Overcoming social anxiety dating

Frankly, I have a lot to be proud of. I should have probably showed more of myself from the beginning.


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Social anxiety can be crippling, and it frequently becomes a vicious cycle — the more anxious you feel, the more anxiety you radiate, the less successful your social interactions become. The most successful approach to treating social anxiety is a Cognitive Behavioral one. A treatment approach or plan usually takes months, and is aimed at changing thought and behavior patterns to eliminate self-limiting beliefs.

Sessions are structured and consist of strategic planning and reporting on completed assignments. He feels very distressed. The CBT plan for him might look something like this:. Observe the general demeanor of those whose success you wish to emulate. Seek out those who attract you as potential friends. Continue to observe those who feel comfortable in social settings. What specific behaviors to they use to introduce themselves?


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  • How do they circulate in a room? Do they spend any time alone and watching? This approach involves gradual but frequent exposure to challenging situations, with the goal of getting mentally acclimated and eventually practicing new behaviors to reduce anxiety. This is why PUA routines are such a massive fail for most men. Sexual attraction is not remotely possible under these conditions. It teaches men to survive by being literally unfeeling.


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    They lose their ability to make ethical decisions about their own behavior, as well as its effect on others. All of the language is adversarial — this sounds like sniper talk! So, thank you for this information as it has given me a firm plan of action to take with this girl and it will allow me to set boundaries for the type of treatment I will accept from her. I still wanted to follow my plan as best I was able.

    I sent her a text during group saying I was getting coffee after group let out and would she like to join me. After group she bolted away and took a different route out of the building than usual. So I knew that she was now uncomfortable with me. I let it go after that. I said I understood and wished her all the best. Don't let your anxiety deter you from asking girls out. Focus way more energy on being awesome and living with conviction and passion.

    Go live your life. Get out of your room, out of your head, and into the world where all the ladies are at. I'm telling you, I waste so much time thinking no guy will ever love me because I'm super boring and nerdy. Meanwhile, all you dudes are just sitting on Reddit thinking the same thing! Wish there was an easy solution! Get out of that room eventually. It's a big world out there. The light will blind you and it will hurt like a bitch but you wouldn't wanna go back to darkness.

    I've been wondering that myself. I'm 28 and I've never so much as held a girls hand in a non-platonic fashion. The longer I live this way, the more comfortable I become with being without that kind of relationship. And the idea of suggesting to women that they should ever interact with me again, much less date me, it just all feels insurmountable. And I'm aware this may be one of those things you just have to plunge into and take what comes.

    But, I just feel so much better when I don't think about it. My friends and family usually feel like enough, but I often feel like I'm entirely missing out on an aspect of life, that most people seem to take for granted. I used to get really sad when I saw couples together. I just couldn't help it. I was becoming bitter. But that stopped after a while. Not really sure why. One time, my gay friend jokingly snuggled up to me when he was sitting down on the couch and I laughed and shooed him off.

    But, the truth is, I almost started crying, right there and then. I'm not really attracted to dudes honestly, I kinda wish I was. I can already talk to men. I kinda freaked out for a second, as I thought about all the people snuggling up with somebody, and how I may never have that. Honestly, I've considered going to a prostitute. If I was ever somewhere where it was legal and regulated, I'd probably do it. It'd still probably be the most awkward thing that's ever happened to me, but at least a pro probably knows how to handle the awkward virgins.

    I've lived alone for a very very long time. I definitely understand where you're coming from about missing an aspect of our lives. I've also gotten very comfortable being alone, but I would like to think that being alone was because I had a choice in the matter, not because I'm totally overwhelmed with social anxiety. Well, I still live with my family.

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    But, romantically, I'm alone. I used to want to move out, but it's much easier this way. And they don't really want me to move out, which is kinda weird. I like my solitude, and my room is almost totally separate from the rest of the house, so I can really be alone. But, I like my family enough that I don't usually have much SA around them.

    Except maybe when it comes to talking about anything sexual or about me dating. But, I like seeing them everyday Which sounds kinda sad, but I don't think I would be as happy away from them Being alone romantically is not a choice for me. If some girl just walked up and told me I was a nice person and she wanted to be my girlfriend I had a dream once where I kissed this girl. And I looked at her and asked, "So Women were always my worst trigger as well. I don't think it's true that you won't find a relationship in your lifetime.

    I'll tell you my story and while I might not be coming from a place as difficult as yours I think it's important not to compare yourself to others. The way forward is to track your own progress as you work on it everyday. I promise it's not hopeless.

    Please Read This If Social Anxiety Is Ruining Your Dating Life

    It could be the hardest thing you ever do but its not hopeless. I'll share where I'm coming from because it helps me and maybe it will help you. I'm 23 and I've yet to have a girlfriend or a serious relationship. I've been trying to work on myself and have been beating myself up for years about not being able to get anywhere with women. I'm finally at a point where I can make some horribly painful and slow progress. I only discovered that I have social anxiety last year.

    I never realized what was wrong until I finally made some progress by myself after years of reading pick up advice and other junk. Its only a little helpful if you are coming from a place of serious SA. Mostly it makes you feel less competent because you think it's going to help but its not actually addressing the issues you are having.

    So i made some progress and then hit a particularly rough patch and started seeing my schools counseling services. I think the important thing is to work on it every chance you get and I think some professional services can help you with that. Through tinder in the winter I went on a few dates with a girl I sort of knew already.

    I was so nervous I made a very illegal left turn on a path that I had taken to school or more times. She actually was horrible for me and set me back a bit. She started sleeping with my friend because I was too anxious and moved too slowly with her. I got so beat up about it I said some things to her and now I don't speak to either of them but it left me very messed up. I was at rock bottom because I was afraid of my incompetence with women was so bad I might be the kind of person who will only hurt them if I get close.

    My counselor helped me sort a lot of that mess out. Things are getting better. I went on a date with someone who is close to our family. My sister's fiance's cousin to be exact. We have both been chronically single so our families have hinted we should get to know each other. Turns out we werent right at all but at least we knew this at the first date and can be friendly in the future.

    I'd call that progress. Now I'm at a point where I can spend some time with a girl and I'm getting better at the art of conversation threading. I practiced that for the past 2 years with friends. I would go out to a diner late at night with one or two close friends and instead of bowling or whatever we would just have to talk to keep entertained. I find with trusted friends that a long and deep conversation is a wonderful thing. I'm fortunate to have a friend who feels the same way about this sort of thing and doesn't just want to drink at a bar or distract with an activity.

    I also went on a bike ride with an old friend this summer.

    Overcoming Social Anxiety

    She used to date a friend of mine but they've been a part a long while. It wasn't a date and though she turned me down for a real date she did want to go for a second bike ride. On which we didn't have much to talk about so I stopped chasing her. Then there was this girl that I used to like and I found out she really likes me.

    She has a kid though and I realized even with my self esteem being shitty and her throwing herself at me, I just wasn't interested. I thought I was sabotaging myself because of anxiety but really I just didn't like her anymore because she doesn't meet my standards. I felt guilty about that because this all changed when she had a kid a few months ago but seriously she was no catch and settling with her because of my own issues would have been a terrible idea just like it was with the first crazy girl I tried to date.

    See you learn things and grow on the way Just yesterday I went on a date with a girl from tinder and I feel very good about this one. All day i was so nervous i couldn't function properly and felt like I needed to cancel but somehow i managed to pick her up and relax enough to have a good date. I told her meeting new people makes me nervous and she didn't seem to mind. She confessed her own inability to notice awkward gaps in conversation until its way too late. So it went well. We just sat at a spot and chat for a few hours and when a topic died out we would people watch or watch the animals around we went to a touristy little village We have a lot in common and I'm feeling like I'm approaching a place where I can get close to a woman and not sabotage myself out of fear.

    How to Overcome Social Anxiety - Dating Advice

    We eventually got some pizza and parted ways. It was enjoyable actually and we plan to do it again. I hope all this doesn't come off as bragging but I'm saying one day you will look back and see how much progress you've made and you will be proud. I spent many agonizing years feeling like I would never be able to date someone and now I'm doing it. I have a long way to go but I've moved forward against anxiety. You need effective strategies to work on yourself.

    I got mine from various sources in the internet for many years. They range from great to terrible and sorting that all out is extremely challenging. They got me to a point at least where I could almost function normally but I broke down bad with that first girl and I realized I needed some help. I wouldn't be moving nearly as quickly without the focused counseling. I didn't even know how often I was avoiding women because they made me so anxious.

    Like I said it might be the hardest thing you ever do but I know that with the right stratagies from the internet, a good friend, or in my case a councilor. You can make progress and get where you want to be. You are not hopeless. What you want is possible but don't think it's easy. I just told a girl I liked her despite the fact just being around females I'm attracted to triggers panic attacks. It was a small victory and she told me she was seeing someone else but was still down to try to get to know each other because she "doesn't know where her other relationship is going".

    Now I feel like I'm staring across a social minefield, and any wrong move is gonna mean suffering and panic attacks. But I'm being prodded by the sharp stick of intense loneliness, so I have to keep going despite the landmines. Just waiting for something to blow up. Feels like the defensive part of my personality is screaming no to moving forward and the lonely part of my is screaming no to bailing on the whole attempt. Either way I feel like this is gonna hurt. My experience is the same. The only ones interested are asexual and think I'd be ok with just never having sex, but providing the rest of the experience at my expense.

    You'd need a person that's interested in you and willing to deal with your idiosyncrasies. I haven't had much success, but I'm coming to find that you have to just force yourself to be vulnerable and open to the idea of getting rejected and hurt. Just let yourself get hurt and rejected over and over until you find the right one.

    I haven't found him yet, but it seems like that's the only thing you can really do. And focus more energy on yourself and being someone you'd want to hang with. It's hard to demand attention and love when you don't feel you deserve any. I don't want to minimize what you're going through, but I do think it's much more difficult for men. Women will NOT overlook those same traits in men. If you are a man, you will not be able to be in a relationship with a woman unless you have some level of confidence and self-esteem.

    So far I've only heard that from men on Reddit. I have yet to meet any of these men! A shy girl who dabbles in Netflix binging and self-loathing would like to know where all these men are! I guess to prove my point we all must first be able to get out of the house to begin with, and actually be in a place where people socialize.

    Right, but it seems like a waste of energy to turn this into battle of the sexes. I can understand why you think it's easier for women; I often think the same of men. As a heterosexual woman, man is the unattainable object for me and it can make me feel powerless and small, so it seems natural I'd envy his position. But ultimately, I think it's just hard to form connections and maintain relationships, and even harder when you have social anxiety.

    But for the sake of argument, let's continue this example in the case of those who don't have SA: Take an attractive woman who is naturally reserved and quiet, not from social anxiety, but because of her personality, and place her in a nightclub seated at the bar. A attractive naturally quiet and reserved guy who behaves the same way as the woman will not have an opportunity to hook-up. Even if he's super hot, all the woman will simply walk past and ignore this guy. Yes there is possibly a slight disparity in how many women proposition compared to men.

    But having multiple terrible options is no better than having no good options. You're also making blanket statements about how women act. How do you know that women always overlook shy men? Stay away from nightclubs. Even people who know what they're doing and are comfortable with being sociable have a hard time grinding out a win there.

    2. Practice!

    You're doing it on hard mode and it's just going to wear you down. While I agree that nightclubs are hard mode, I really haven't been able to find any place better for meeting girls. Singles events, online dating, bars, and female-dominated activities such as book clubs have all been a bust. Besides grade school and college undergrad, I haven't been able to find any place for meeting girls that isn't hard mode. Also, for the sake of argument, I've noticed that many girls often will make excuses for why guys don't display interest in them and girls will often put in the effort to get guys to open up and be vulnerable, so being shy and quiet won't hurt the guy's chances since the girl just sees it as something to work past.

    And for a while I felt hopeless because men don't seem to be willing to put in the same work so I figured I'm just going to die alone. But, of course, I know that that can't possibly apply to all women or all men. And ultimately, it's up to me to work on becoming the person I want to be so I can attract the kind of guy I want and be confident that I deserve him too.

    I really think you should stop telling yourself that you have it worse. Despite your disclaimer, it does minimize what I'm going through.

    Practical Dating Tips for Social Anxiety Disorder

    And I think you're distracting yourself from all the work you need to be doing. I know it's hard, unbearable at times. Keep your chin up, dude. Hope you learn to love yourself and find the love of your life and lots of awesome sex! I'm speaking in generalities that apply to "normal" people those who don't have SA. But I think this is a small minority of people. The one think I'll grant you which is now in the process of changing is that women are slowly drifting away from seeking status in men, and seem to be moving towards seeking superficial things such as physical attractiveness.