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7 Reasons Anxiety Makes Me Seem Like a 'Bad Date'

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Maybe you decided to meet up after mutually swiping right, or maybe they’re a friend-of-a-friend you met while you were out. Whoever they are and however you met, first dates (or dates in general!) can be nerve-wracking for everyone. Add some anxiety to the mix, and it’s easy to get psyched out before the date even begins, worried anxiety will leave you feeling like a “bad” date.

If you’re nervous anxiety interferes with your dating life, you are not alone. To find out what people with anxiety fear on dates, we asked our mental health community to share the different ways anxiety makes them a “bad” date.

To be clear, living with anxiety doesn’t actually make you a bad date — you just might need to modify what “going on a date” means to you, or honestly express your needs.(Hint: If they don’t understand, you’re not a bad date. They’re not the right date.) So take comfort that you’re not the only one with anxiety-induced dating habits, and know that someone who loves you will love you for you, anxiety and all.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. You Cancel Last Minute

“Canceling last minute. Sometimes it is just hard to force myself to leave the house!” — Chanel Y.

2. You Talk Non-Stop…

“I feel like I am a bad date because I can’t just sit and enjoy silence with my date. I’m constantly talking and not even about them, but about myself. I’ve actually had a date call me self-centered once because of it. It’s literal word vomit jumping from topic to topic so quickly that they can’t take anything in!” — Samantha J. 

“Sometimes I’ll start talking about something, and then I keep talking and talking and I feel annoying. Other times, I won’t say anything and I feel like they might think I’m ignoring them.” — Mikelle M.

“The non-stop talking I used to do. It’s super embarrassing to go through basically your entire life story with someone you just met due to your anxiety.” — Danielle K.

3. … Or You’re ‘Too Quiet’

“I don’t talk sometimes, and I’m quiet. I feel the need to say something but I’m too afraid to mess up. I don’t always finish my entire meal either, I’m not hungry, that’s what my anxiety does to me. I feel awful for it. I’ve been working on trying to fix it.” — Sariah B.

“I would be a bad date because after the get to know you things, I have nothing else to say…” — Tammy R.

4. You Self-Sabotage

“I feel like a bad date because of self-sabotage. For me it’s very difficult to even interact with someone I find attractive without constantly judging myself.” — Matt K.

5. You Overthink Everything

“I’m married and still feel like a bad date when we go out. It’s difficult to enjoy the moment, enjoy him, because my mind is stuck on my surroundings; who is coming in, going out, looking at us, sitting near us? Am I annoying the waiter by asking for something? It’s ridiculous.” — Kristy H.

6. You Seem Distracted

“I can seem distracted because my anxiety makes me hypervigilant so I might be looking around and not always giving the person I’m with my full attention. And also if we were going for food I always have to sit with my back to a wall and be able to look out so I might seem odd or embarrass them by asking to be reseated.” — Luna L.

7. Being in Public Makes You Nervous

“I’m weird about public place. I prefer to drive myself especially if it’s new, and I don’t talk about myself. If I do it’s general stuff, nothing more than basic basic info.” — Jennifer N.

What advice would you give to someone living with anxiety who’s nervous about dating? Tell us in the comments below.

Originally published: February 14, 2018
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