Very Nervous To Date/Feel Inadequate
Hi I am a 30 year old woman who has had anxiety , worse in previous years, for the past 6 years. I had generalized anxiety over many issues, and one of them that has cropped up recently is dating. I have never dated /kissed, and I am currently talking to a wonderful man online. He wants to meet, and so do I.. we have STRONG feelings for each other, even love. However I have been INCREDIBLY nervous to meet because of my feelings of not being 'enough'... like 'who am "I" ? " that would be ENOUGH for a guy.. ? :(
I think it stems from a CONSTANT environment of being yelled at/criticized by my Manic mother everyday. I feel like men are 'more' almost.. maybe b/c they are , in some ways, more 'assertive/authoritative ' , as my mother was, and I feel 'not good enough' :( I know I am funny, Very kind, and warm. I know this man likes me for ME, but I'm trying so hard to not be incredibly nervous to meet. I don't want to get 'spacey' in front of him, although I don't think I will. But I don't want to live like this anymore.. constantly on eggshells about Me , and what I am capable in , in love, and that I'm worth it.. because I have never felt I was.
I end up thinking, "Who am 'I'?" (for a man ), and since I have not have relationship experience/kissing/ etc.. I overthink that, subsequently feeling inadequate, and this makes me Feel extremely nervous. I know I need to feel comfortable with ME inside, first, so that I can meet him with love and acceptance , and feel Competent. I just wonder how you can feel like this, when you are 30, and feel Incompetent/unworthy ,thinking men/he will 'judge' me, as if he will 'see' I'm not 'girlfriend material'. Ridiculous sounding I know, but I guess this is what my subconscious has been feeling..that b/c of my low view of myself, I think I could never 'be' that to a man, or be good at intimacy/sex/kissing. It is sad , and I am tired of labeling myself. ANY tips or advice on how to increase my self worth and improve my Being so I can ever be with a man / date /kiss, is VERY much welcomed. Thank You so much for your time.
If you are not in counseling now, I recommend you start. When you don't feel good about yourself, you will attract the wrong type of man--controlling, abusive, bully, etc. I did online dating for several years, and you have to have an extremely thick skin to handle it, and you have to tread very carefully.
You are already setting yourself up for heartache. You cannot love someone who you haven't even met. Even when you meet, it's just infatuation for quite awhile before it turns into love. When I did online dating, there were times that I loved the guys photos, e-mails and phone chats, but when we met, it was a different story. Either one or both of us didn't feel the chemistry, which is no one's fault. It's biology. Sometimes men lie about their age, and posted much younger photos. Sometimes they would lie about looking for someone to be in a long term relationship, when they really wanted to go through all the women on the dating site. One of them ended up just getting out of jail. You don't know their criminal history.
You need to get real and always take a wait and see attitude when dating. Tell yourself that all men are wonderful at the beginning, but the real test is how they will treat over the long run, past the first 4 months of dating. Do they ask you out at least once or twice a week? Do they phone you daily after you're an established couple? Are they kind, respectful, financially responsible? Are they faithful once deciding you're exclusive?
Don't give your heart to someone until they prove themselves worthy of you. You are the prize, and if you don't think that, do everything in your power to get to that place. Men are attracted to confidence. Start changing your dialogue to positive thoughts about yourself, and never tell a man your thoughts about not being good enough for him. It's the worst turn off for a man to whine about her own looks, sexiness, personality, etc. He wouldn't be there if he he doesn't like your looks or personality. Get over it. Be careful and good luck.
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Yes, working with a therapist or coach sounds like it would be helpful for you. It's so important that you learn how to heal from your past and to release it so that you can be more present with the new people in your life. The key is "hear" yourself thinking that men are like your abusive mother. Pause and remind yourself of what is true (and what's not).
You can also pause when you notice you are thinking negatively about yourself-- putting yourself down. Pause and breathe. Feel whatever emotion is there with the thought and soothe your emotion instead of continuing to think that thought you are hurting yourself with.
Susie and Otto
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Thank you Susie and Otto... I REALLY appreciate your feedback.Thank you for the bit on "hearing" yourself think that men are like my mother.. I know deep DOWN that they are not.. I think it is just when I see or have the potential to see , as I do now, someone I like..I think, "they'll judge me, and size me up if I'm Gf material.. or this/that" , which is probably silly, because now saying it, I'm sure (especially this very smart kind man online) they know 'looks' or 'experience' have nothing to do with it.. it's your personality, and Heart that matter. He's even TOLD me this!!! I just have to say it and FEEL it every day, as you said. To just HEAL from a monstrous past, and release it.. release the fear to me is key. I am also trying to call a counselor this morning, to see if I can meet a couple times too... I REALLY thank you for your feedback.. it was very uplifting and positive, and that is what I think I need now in my life. Have a wonderful Day Susie and Otto !!!!
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Thank you for your response Safire.. I really appreciate it. This person was actually on the site (not a dating site) that I was on, for friends, similar to me. We started just platonically chatting for a couple months.. and we started flirting after that. He is Extremely smart, funny, witty, kind, and loving. He has had depression in the past and said just talking to me every night made him smile, and he has never really felt a warm kindness (even from his ex) in his life. Because I've never dated, I've been nervous (VERYYYY) to meet him.. I have had anxiety in the past, and I don't want to get Soooo nervous in front of him :( I know he is gentle, and kind, and even has said, I know you are Nervous Michelle, and I don't want you to be. Take your time whenever you'd like to meet, becuase you ARE worth it, and you ARE wonderful and you ARE deserving of love. I thought that was just so touching, him understanding this. My friend said, "if he wanted sex only, he'd have been gone LONG ago" lol... We've been chatting for 9 months now, and I know he does want to meet.. and deep down I do too.. have just been SOO nervous :( So I think I need to prove to myself I CAN be calm, and even just meet 'as a friend' at first. I'm placing these expecatations on myself of him 'rejecting' me when we meet... like I won't be GF material, since I've never dated. I t is really silly to overthink like this, because I AM funny, kind, loving .. i just have never SHOWED my love to a man or been with him intimately. So I think it will also come down to what I WANT in my life.. that I've Never thought I was worthy to have :(... and just saying Fear, You are bringing me DOWN, too much . I will call counseling today actually too.. to see if I can chat with someone a few times to try to increase my self esteem :) Thank you safire, I really liked your tips, safety, concern, and experience on this. You are right.. I have to realize "he wouldn't be there if he doesn't like your looks or personality" THANK YOU ..! have a wonderful day :)
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When my wife and I married, she had unresolved issues she had not told me about. I love her, but dealing with her baggage (which she has refused to get help resolving) has been a REAL strain on our marriage.
You are perfectly capable of being a wonderful girlfriend (or even wife) to your guy friend, but you do owe it to yourself and him to get professional help in dealing with your issues so they don't remain an emotional millstone around your neck.
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