Avoid letting insecurities disrupt your dating life.

Getting Over Dating Insecurities

by Shannon Philpott

Although most people envision dating as a time of excitement, anticipation and flirtatious encounters, when facing insecurities about yourself or your ability to date, the dating process can make you want to avoid the opposite sex all together. Instead of dreading the dating world, launch into a self-help routine to get over those insecurities that may be intruding on your future happiness.

1. Shyness

First dates can be very successful if both parties are willing to engage in small talk and share details about their lives. If you are shy, your date may view this as disinterest or even standoffish behavior. Although it is difficult to force yourself to engage in conversation when you are nervous or shy, it is the only way you can get to know a potential partner and show him your true personality. Try practicing with friends or family members prior to each date to help ease your anxiety. It also helps to have a few conversation starters in mind to help ease any awkward silences. "The best strategy for a great first date is to go into it with the goal of simply enjoying yourself, instead of harboring an agenda to win him over," says Lionel Tiger, Ph.D., author of "The Decline of Males," as cited in the Cosmopolitan article, "How to Totally Rock a First Date."

2. Avoidance

If the thought of dating is uncomfortable for you, it is likely you have avoided it for too long. Avoidance often stems from hurtful feelings leftover from a relationship experience gone wrong. In many situations, both you and your dating partner may harbor feelings or fears stemming from past relationships or even issues with intimacy. According to Johanna Nauraine, a Chicago-based psychotherapist, on her website, "Johanna's Couch," there is often this uncomfortable resistance to closeness when coping with avoidance. It’s important to heal from the past before dating to ensure you are willing to engage in conversation and friendly banter with a potential date and ultimately, allow yourself to become close with someone again. Speak with a therapist or relationship expert to work through feelings of anger, bitterness and fear.

3. Compatibility

Second-guessing yourself constantly can be a major obstacle when dating. Many times, women question whether or not they are compatible or good enough for a dating partner. “I’m not his type” is a common excuse that women often use before they give themselves a chance to get to know a potential date. Try not to focus on whether or not he will approve of your career, personality, looks or even outfit for the evening. Instead, act as if your date is auditioning for your approval (because in reality, he is). Accept your personality and even your quirks as gifts that others should appreciate, suggests New York-based psychotherapist Ken Page, in "How Our Insecurities Can Reveal Our Deepest Gifts," in Psychology Today. This frame of mind will help you relax and put less pressure on yourself when dating.

4. Embarrassment

First impressions are important when dating, but worrying about whether or not you are going to embarrass yourself should not stop you from taking the plunge into the dating scene. If you are worrying that you will trip on the sidewalk or spill your drink on your dress, the reality is that sometimes, embarrassing moments will happen. In fact, your klutzy side is a part of you and letting your true personality shine will show off who you really are to a dating partner. According to Page, the qualities we are most ashamed of or embarrassed of are typically your most precious core gifts that can be the key to finding real love within yourself and others.

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