There comes a point in your life, where after countless times of running into the wrong guys, wrong relationships that leads you to a particular fear of dating.
It’s not like you’re afraid to go out to have dinner with someone who asks you on a date… it’s kinda what happens afterward that you’re afraid of.
The “what now?” and “what next?” part.
I’ll tell you exactly what I mean by this…
When I was living out my single days, not really looking to date anyone, in particular, I came across a man who found me as, “a breath of fresh air”.
I wasn’t out to find a man to date that night.
And he didn’t quite strike me as someone I particularly wanted to get to know right away. We just new mutual people, went out together as a group, and happen to discover that we shared a lot in common.
One night out as a group of family and friends turned into two nights, so on and so forth. Our paths kept crossing.
Naturally, having gone through a terrible breakup, and doing my best to focus on myself, I enjoyed the new attention and decided to get to know him better as friends.
My close friends would dish out the story behind him and warned me that he was not the type to get serious with anyone. I took this information with caution and carefully proceeded to see where things would go. After all, I was nowhere ready to get into anything serious myself.
And to be honest, I’m not sure I was even that into him. I was still trying to figure it out.
But before I could determine what my true feelings were, he was over me and over us. Just like that.
To make things worse, as soon as he stopped paying attention to me and started paying attention to other girls, I finally figured out that I liked this guy. He got me.
And seeing him go to those same group gatherings with someone else just boiled my skin.
It was the dismissal of me and the arrival of her that got me feeling foolish for no good reason.
I mean, I saw the red flags, I was told the warning signs, I proceeded with caution. But none of that mattered. I still fell for someone who wasn’t that into me, and for someone, I wasn’t so sure that I was into myself.
But this experience lead me to not wanna date at all! I believed that if this humiliation happened when I wasn’t even trying to get involved, then I couldn’t imagine what would happen if I actually wanted to start dating again.
Can anyone be trusted anymore?
Would I have to get hurt each and every time?
Was there no end to this dating game that everyone seemed to be playing?
I was fed up with it and I’d rather stay single over putting myself out there to date again. At least in my singleness, I could focus on myself– and that didn’t would cause me to hurt again.
In spite of all of this, I think the part that really stung the most was the fact that because this happened, on top of everything else that happened in previous relationships, I began to question myself.
“What’s wrong with me?” I would wonder to myself.
This lead to a season where I had an immense fear of dating.
You might be out there going through some similar things in your love-life, and regardless of how it went down, we are still faced with this question of what did we do or where did we go wrong?
It took me a long time to figure this out, so to save you some time, I wanna share with you what I learned from this experience and how you can possibly overcome your own fear of dating.
Why we possess a fear of dating
Many of us women truly are a great package. Beauty, brains, good heart, etc. In our eyes, we are not the problem. And how could we be? We see ourselves as being ten times better than the guys who hurt us. Real talk.
Yet, they still manage to get under skins and make us believe that we have some glitch within us that makes us unsuitable to date.
Why is that?
First off, we allowed ourselves to be in this position one too many times.
For too long, we allowed these average guys to make us feel less than average.
And though we may know it deep down that we are far beyond average goodness, the fact that we continue to hear this cripples our own beliefs and weakens our confidence, thus believing the lies.
Another thing is that when we get hurt by our Exes, we often didn’t see it coming. Like, seriously, how are you breaking up with me? Especially when they were the ones who deserved to be dumped?!
It comes out of left field and totally blindsides us. We chose to remain faithful and loyal to the relationship, but instead, they checked out, leaving us to wonder why they felt wasn’t worth fighting for. That does a number on us when it’s all said and done.
What happens when we possess a fear of dating
So perhaps this self-doubt happened in one of your past relationships. For me, it kinda grew with every breakup I had. To the point where I was faced with a guy who I wasn’t even sure I liked and allowed him to get so close to my heart that I got hurt all over again.
When we choose to live with the fear of dating, it carries into all of our future relationships.
Because we believe that someone is wrong with us, and not worth investing in, we settle for less.
When I first met my husband, I didn’t even think twice about him, because I felt that he was too out of my league. I was not good enough for him, I thought.
It almost persuaded me to not date him. That tiny fear of dating someone nice, and believing that I was worth dating someone nice, almost cost me my marriage.
We choose to settle for guys who cannot pinpoint the “glitch” within us (even though there isn’t one!) We also choose not to take the risk of dating someone who actually is serious about getting to know us, all because we are afraid of getting hurt all over again.
The fear of dating keeps us in the bondage of an unhappy single life.
Now granted, being single is NOT the end of the world! It’s actually one the greatest seasons you’ll ever encounter.
But to allow your fear of dating to consume your inner thoughts about who you are, it can easily transform this season into one that seems more like a punishment.
Are you ready to overcome this thing once and for all??
How to overcome your fear of dating
1. Invite God into your dating process.
When you’re ready to stop allowing the inner doubts to lead how you feel about yourself, then you’re ready to let God take over. This comes through prayer over your singleness, your love-life, and your future relationships. When you put God first in your relationships, then everything else will fall into place!
If you need help in getting you to a place where you can specifically pray for these things, then I highly recommend my book, The Single Woman’s Prayer Book! It contains 30 personal prayers that you can use to build up your prayer life and connect with God in your love-life!
2. Believe that you’re worth more.
You and I both know that the guys who told you these lies are not worth your time and energy. Regardless of what kind of pull that had (or still have) on your heart. I would like to think that there is a still, small voice inside of your heart tells you otherwise.
The guy that wasn’t that into me really messed me up. And the guy before him messed me up even more. But the truth of the matter is that they both aren’t in the picture anymore. And that’s because they aren’t worth it.
So the next time you feel jipped over some half-relationship by someone that you know isn’t worth it (or else you’d know that he was a keeper), shake it off and remember whose words hold more weight.
3. Do not settle for less.
Sure, it seems easier to settle for less. Especially if you aren’t looking for something serious, yet still want to have some attention here and there, just remember that your time is precious. You shouldn’t give it out like cookies to kindergarteners. You should only be given your time to someone whom you know that the love is real.
When those guys try to sneak their way into your zone, block them. Stay focused on the goal here: that being giving you only the best of the best. Why? Because you deserve that. You are a catch, remember? So, you should treat yourself as such and do not allow someone to treat you otherwise.
4. Call out the red flags.
We all see the red flags before the crap hits the fan. It’s what they say, or how they act. We question it within ourselves and try to rationalize it before completely ignoring what just happened. Stop doing this.
Red flags are meant to let you know when it’s time to make a U-turn and end things with Mr. McShady.
My family and friends told me about homeboy well before I got my feelings deep into this guy. Yet, I ignored them and figured that I’m a big girl and can decide for myself when it was time for me to back out of the “whatever you wanna call it” if and when I had to. Huge mistake. I should’ve listened to the people who were looking out for me.
And you should be listening too. Or at least giving those red flags a little more credit than what you’ve been giving them.
It’s important to remember that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26: 41).
Even though we may think that we can handle a situation, you gotta remember that we’re vulnerable because of our past. And if you haven’t taken the time to deal with your past, then those fears are still lurking, weakening your perception of what you ought to have and what you’re settling to have.
If it were up to me, I’d tell you to overcome these fears of dating before you actually go off and start dating again. But, based on personal experience, sometimes those guys and situations just come out of nowhere. So be prepared and follow the steps to overcome those fears. The sooner you do, the sooner you can decipher who and what situation is good for you and what’s worth passing up.