Experiencing a level of anxiety when we embark on dating again after previous setbacks is entirely normal. We tend to be quite hard on ourselves when we experience it though which if anything, exacerbates the anxiety and makes it difficult to get grounded and trust us.
People often say to me that logically they know what’s up but that emotionally, they’re in a different place, often resulting in them feeling confused, overwhelmed and even immensely triggered. It’s a vicious cycle when in this situation due to the anxiety feelings, plus being stressed about being anxious, and stressed that we’re either right to be anxious or wrong and are about to balls things up. That’s a lot to contend with and that’s before throwing in worrying which is like praying for what we don’t want to happen, or being self-critical and feeding the thoughts with judgements, ridicule and contempt.
We are afraid.
We’re afraid of trusting the process. It’s like the suspense of going through the discovery phase and showing up to the relationship and deciphering things as we go is too much. It’s like, “Just tell me right now damnit! Should I settle in because this is a forever deal or should I brace myself for this to be done and dusted?” Of course no one can give us those guarantees or a crystal ball.