It might sound like something you joke about — “I’m a commitment-phobe!” when you’re feeling nervous about going on a first date with a new guy or when things are going well with one. However, these dating nerves could actually be something more serious. Here are 12 signs you might have an actual fear of dating and relationships:
You feel physically ill before dates. You’re nervous about your upcoming date? Hell no. You’re stressed AF. You can’t sleep, you battle to eat, you’re worried about what’s going to happen and what he’ll be like. People laugh at you, saying it’s just a stupid coffee date and really no biggie, but to you it feels like climbing Everest without any prep beforehand.
You’re EXTREMELY fussy. When you joined Tinder, you were accustomed to swiping left on many guys for really small things. Eyebrow piercing? Swipe left! He looks too friendly? No thank you! He made one spelling error in his message to you? Thanks for playing! Although people say you’re way too picky, your issue is more than fussiness. It’s that you’re afraid to get to know people and then have to meet them in real life.
You’ve made a quick escape from a date before — without telling the guy you were leaving. Sure, many people have done this, but what makes it a different story is if you’ve done this during a great date when everything was going fine. WTF? You freaked out about meeting someone you’d actually have to date again, which terrified you. Plucking up the courage to go on the first date was bad enough!
When things get serious, you flee before it can go any further. You’re afraid of commitment. You don’t like it when things start to get too serious with someone. Instead of making you want to be with them, it makes you run for the hills. People see you as flaky and perhaps men have called you a tease, but the truth is you’re riddled with relationship fear.
The fear usually stems from childhood. How we deal with relationships originates from our childhood. Our parents are the first people who show us how to love and express love. So if the experience with them was dodgy or hurtful, we carry this through to adulthood. If your parents made you feel neglected, for instance, you might fear getting into relationships and having your partner neglect you.
You love to flirt… but that’s about it. You enjoy flirting with guys and having fun, but when that fun phase ends and you have to go on a real date, you’re likely to throw out that cute guy’s number you got at the bar. You like the chase because it enables you to enjoy yourself without anyone mentioning the words “commitment” or “love.”
You feel a nameless fear. If you end up dating a guy for a few weeks, even if things are going well you’ll start feeling that something’s just “off” – even if it’s not. You just can’t help but feel that something’s wrong and you shouldn’t be dating this guy.
You sometimes really want a relationship. People might see you as carefree and only looking for a good time, but you’re not superficial. Rather, you’re the type of person who feels too much! There are times when you’d love to get into a happy relationship, but you’re just too anxious about dating to make it work. Your issues prevent you from sticking around long enough to hear the guy say, “I really like you.”
You’re holding onto the idea of Prince Charming. It might sound like a total contradiction: you want to avoid relationships but you also have an idea of the perfect guy in your head. Interestingly, the two things are connected. You feel like guys you meet on Tinder or in real life just don’t match up to the idea of Mr. Perfect in your head, so you keep them at arm’s length. It could be that you’re using the excuses with men you meet to prevent you from facing your commitment issues, or maybe it’s just so much safer to date a guy in your head than it is in real life.
You feel anxious when others feel excited. When your girlfriends talk about how they’re so nervous about their second date with the great guy they met, you can see that they’re actually also excited. It’s the healthy kind of nerves, but when you’re in the situation, you don’t feel “butterflies” — you feel angry wasps of fear and dread! It’s a totally different ballgame that many people just don’t understand.
When the guy ends things, you’re actually relieved. When a guy you’re dating ends things before you do, instead of feeling stressed about it you’re relieved! He’s actually decreased your stress by leaving you alone because now you don’t have to worry about what to text him and when to see him, and how you’re going to cope with all the dating dread you feel.
You’ve ghosted guys before. Although ghosting is a horrible thing to do, you’ve been guilty of it in the past because you saw no way out of the relationships you were in. The anxiety of having to end things with a guy was just too terrifying for you, so you let your phone’s “block” feature send the message for you. Some might call you unfair, but you really don’t mean to be. It’s just that dating anxiety is messing up your mojo.
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