What Is Dating Paralysis & Do You Have It?

Do you get freaked out about dating to the point where you can’t even do it anymore? You’re always second-guessing yourself and worrying that you’re doing something wrong and it’s totally holding you back. Here are 11 signs you’ve got dating paralysis.

  1. You take way too many rainchecks. You want to go on dates but then when they’re finalized, you chicken out. You’re the queen of the date rain-check, always promising to make things up to the guys you leave hanging. You don’t mean to be horrible to them, it’s just that you’re so freaked out about dating that it gets to you sometimes.
  2. You obsess over trivial date details. You might worry about what restaurant or outfit to choose for your date to the point where you don’t even know what to do. Whoa, relax. Maybe get a friend to make the choices for you so that you don’t work yourself up so much. Remember, it’s just a date. The world’s not going to end if you wear a red dress instead of a blue one.
  3. You’re always doubting yourself. You’re never 100% sure about anything in the dating game. You might make a move on a guy and then worry that you came off as desperate. Or, you might start dating someone and then doubt if you made the right choice. You’re always worried that there’s a better way you could’ve behaved or a better choice you could’ve made and it’s getting in the way of your life and happiness.
  4. You take forever to write messages to your crush. When texting your crush, you take forever to send replies. You write and erase your messages so much, it might make him ask if you’re still there. You’re a perfectionist to the point where it becomes a flaw. Remember that no one’s perfect and perfect’s boring anyway. It’s better to be real.
  5. You beat yourself up. No matter what you do, you always feel like you’re stupid/lame/corny/whatever. You never feel confident in the dating game and it’s worth asking yourself why. Maybe you’ve had some tough relationships that messed with your self-confidence or you haven’t been single for long and you’re insecure. Whatever the case, it’s good to do the work on yourself so that you stop giving yourself such a hard time.
  6. If he doesn’t reply, you beat yourself up even more. When you send your crush a heartfelt or funny message and you don’t get a reply, you freak out. Did you offend him? Did you come across as pathetic or clingy? Were you too much? Was your message OTT? Ugh, it’s enough to drive you crazy and that has to stop. You’re sending out anxious energy with every text and that’s what’s going to put the guy off you, not what you’re writing him.
  7. You panic about the dating rules. There are dating rules that we follow or that everyone says we should, but if you’re worried about doing your own thing, try to remember that there are actually no real rules! There are just common or conventional rules that do the rounds, but who said they were dating commandments? Breaking free of them is liberating.
  8. You subscribed to a dating app and didn’t speak to anyone. You took the leap and subscribed to a dating app. You were on for days or weeks and didn’t talk to anyone. It kinda defeats the purpose, no? You just felt like it was too much to make the first move and you were afraid of getting rejected.
  9. You’re not sure who to date. When you meet guys, whether online or in RL, you sometimes doubt which one to pick. It’s difficult when you have choices, but that’s not the problem here. The problem is that you’re not sure what you want. You have to determine that as well as your dating goals and expectations before you get to the point of choosing someone to be with. It’ll just make the process so much easier.
  10. You leave things up to the people you date. When dating someone new, you tend to let the person you’re with make the rules and set the pace. They’re the one who has to make the first move, DTR, and plan dates. That’s a lot of pressure on them. But worse than that, it leaves you powerless. It might feel like a nice, safe position to be in because you don’t have to worry about dating paralysis, but it’s also very risky. You’re not focusing on your wants and needs, which means you’re on the highway to relationship dissatisfaction.
  11. You overanalyze everything. When the person you’re getting to know says or does something, you overanalyze it to death. You can spend hours thinking about it and replaying the moment in your mind. You might even reel in some friends for their opinions on it. It’s a lot of energy, don’t you think? It’s probably not worth it either. There’s no point in analyzing stuff so much. Let things happen and remember that when the person you’re dating wants you, you’ll have nothing to analyze. It’ll be obvious.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.