Dating With Anxiety

Anyone who enjoys having a crush on someone is definitely a masochist. The constant butterflies in your stomach, the over-analysing every message they send, the making up of scenarios in your head until you see them again – not a fun time for anyone!

I have anxiety. And my anxiety bloody loves when I have a crush. It thrives on it, feeds off it and sniggers to itself as I very quickly freak the fuck out. ‘Just chill out Iona’, ‘It’s fine, just be yourself, just not as intense’, ‘Calm. The. Fuck. Down.’ – all common sentences I hear from friends whilst I’m dating someone I potentially have feelings for. But it’s not that easy. I have ZERO chill. None. Zulch. Nada. So how do you date when you have anxiety? Here’s some of my top tips.

1. Enlist a pal (thank you Jamie) that you can message unconditionally whenever you get to the overflowing stage of HAVING to blurt out how you’re feeling. Get it all out. Tell your friend about how you’ve googled your crush and read a blog they wrote about how important it is to send postcards to friends when you’re travelling and how that basically means you already want to marry them (definitely not something I did the other day…).

Send your pal screenshots of the messages you and your crush have sent each other, and get reassurance that you’re definitely over-analysing and the fact they sent two x’s yesterday but only one today probably doesn’t mean that they hate you and are already sleeping with someone else. And get your mate to remind you that you’re amazing, and that although it may not feel like it, you actually have nothing to worry about.

2. Keep busy. The less time you are on your own imagining every possible way your date could go, the better. Get out in the fresh air to clear your head, do something creative to get your anxieties out (knitting is my go-to!) or do a work out or masturbate to get rid of all of that anxious energy.

3. Organise another event on a day after your date. Something that you’ve been wanting to do for ages. Something to look forward to, that will stop you from channelling all that impatient excitement into just your date. Whether it’s trying out bouldering for the first time, taking a day trip somewhere new or booking yourself in for a mani – make sure it’s something for you that will also act as a calming mechanism after your date as well as before.

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4. If ever there was a time for self care, the time is now. Run a hot bath, light some candles, snuggle up with a good book – whatever it is that helps you relax and let yourself have a break from the neverending anxiety feels.

5. BE YOURSELF – with all the intensity you may or may not have. At the end of the day, you are you. And that fact is something to be proud of. And if your crush can’t deal with your real self? Then love, they don’t deserve you anyway. Wave goodbye with your head held up high and look forward to meeting the right person that will love you exactly as you are, anxiety and all.

How do you deal with pre-date anxiety? Do you actually enjoy having a crush? Let me know all about it by sending your stories to

Header Image : @cecile.dormeau

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