Dating with anxiety

Kashdan and Roberts (2006) conducted research on the tendency to feel both anxiety and curiosity in social interactions.

As the authors explain, "Unfamiliar [social] experiences evoke feelings of both anxiety, (due to conflicts with existing knowledge and feelings of low personal control), and curiosity, (due to a natural propensity for pursuing potential rewards and personal growth opportunities)".

Dating anxiety, or heterosocial anxiety as it was often called, had a number of characteristics which made it an excellent target behavior for analog behavioral research (Borkovec, Stone, O’Brien, & Kaloupek, 1974): (1) it frequently occurred in psychiatric populations, so it was seen as more worthy of attention than simple phobias; (2) it occurred frequently enough among college students to provide adequate sample sizes; (3) it often involved physiological arousal, which was useful for testing desensitization treatments which were particularly popular at the time; and (4) it caused disruption in the individual’s life and, in fact, was identified as a significant problem among college students (Bryant & Trower, 1974).

However, Heimberg (1977) argued that the high incidence and amount of distress experienced by dating-anxious college students made dating anxiety among college students worthy of treatment attention in its own right, not just as an analogue to the problems of psychiatric patients.

In other words, social situations have both scary and wonderful components.

On one hand, feeling unprepared for the "unknown" can be a bit intimidating.

Don't get stuck on your own thoughts, concerns, or opinions.

Presumably, they spent a greater amount of time noticing the positives, the opportunities, and the fun.You will enjoy your social life more, have better conversations, and really get to know your potential dates.Here are 5 Tips for Curious Dating:1) Be open-minded and optimistic - Focus on the positive possibilities within any social situation.If you are feeling anxious in a social situation, you might want to try being a bit more curious.This will "get you out of your own head" and help you see the positive aspects of the interaction.

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