Anxiety is common in dating. Even the most secure people can get a case of first date jitters! But there’s a difference between romance-induced butterflies and crippling anxiety that takes all the fun out of something that should be enjoyable. If you’re one of those people that feel debilitated by dating nerves, you may be wondering how to turn things around.
Modeling A Secure Relationship
What does it mean to be secure? Well, people who are secure in themselves are confident and self-assured. They still experience doubt, but they can stay level-headed in the face of uncertainty and change. Secure relationships are dependable and consistent. You know what to expect from your partner on an emotional level, and they are predictable in their love and support for you. It means you are unequivocally there for one another.
Secure Sophias (my name for secure and independent daters) are emotionally accessible, resilient, patient, and reliable. And because Sophias are secure in themselves, that makes it much more likely for their relationships—romantic and otherwise—to be secure as well.
Being secure in yourself isn’t a 100% guarantee for a secure relationship, but it can provide a good working foundation. The more stable and secure you are, the more likely you are to attract stable and secure partners.
The Nora Model
Nervous Nora is… well, she’s a pretty nervous dater, and the polar opposite of Secure Sophia. She desperately craves affection and validation from others because she can’t find it within. She falls hard and fast, even though she’s been hurt before and has reservations about finding love.
If this sounds familiar, you may be a Nervous Nora. But don’t be alarmed: there’s nothing wrong with being a Nora! Much of our romantic attachment style is unconscious and is based on childhood development. Negative dating habits are so hard to break because they’ve taken a lifetime to build!
Ultimately, being a Nervous Nora isn’t a personal judgment. But sometimes, being able to categorize your emotions and behaviors can help you understand where they come from, how they affect you, and what you can do to change them.
Maintain The Balance
Nervous Noras are notorious for allowing their emotions to get the best of them, leading to relationship drama. It’s totally normal to have emotional reactions – it means you’re human! But being governed by your emotions can be a problem, especially when it completely obliterates rational thought.
A Nervous Nora may get carried away with irrational and emotional thinking, especially at the beginning of a new relationship. This can be positive (‘falling in love’ on the first date) or negative (“he didn’t text me back right away, he must hate me!”). Noras may also overlook facts (he’s rescheduled your date three times) in favor of emotions (“we have amazing chemistry!”). Intensity, passion, and drama may be entertaining at first, but it isn’t necessarily indicative of a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
Conversely, Secure Sophias are naturally drama-averse and prefer low-key stability to emotionally wrought highs and lows. She uses rational thinking to keep herself and her relationship in check.
Set The Pace
Because she is an emotionally forward thinker, a Nervous Nora can rush into things with a new prospective partner. She tends to enter relationships that burn hot and fizzle quickly, and while not all fast-moving relationships are destined to fail, Nora might not be making that leap for the right reasons.
On the other hand, Secure Sophia doesn’t feel the need to rush into things but doesn’t hold back from fear or trepidation, either. She stays grounded in the moment; she doesn’t feel the need to speed up the process, and she takes her time-sharing information about herself. Building a comfortable, trusting, and dependable relationship takes time; you don’t have to spill your guts on the first date!
It's Not Personal
Nervous Nora may struggle with accepting compliments (maybe because she’s uncomfortable, isn’t used to receiving them, or doesn’t believe them to be true). She may also be unusually sensitive, thinking everything—especially comments, behaviors, and even expressions she perceives as unfavorable—is about her. She may be easily offended or emotionally wounded, which is a classic symptom of overthinking. It may be the anxiety driving these feelings, but it can come off as self-centered or dramatic to others who aren’t in the know.
On the other hand, Sophia quickly and gracefully accepts compliments and is much less likely to brush off minor perceived offenses.
If you recognize these thoughts and behaviors but aren’t sure what to do about them, I can help. Start by taking my love style quiz to learn your dating strengths and weaknesses. Then, sign up for my course, where I teach you techniques for becoming more secure in yourself. When you’re secure in yourself, secure dating and relationships may not be far behind!
Dating is hard! But if you are a Nervous Nora or Nick, it’s easy to question and second-guess every little thing. Just know that you’re not alone. If you feel that your attachment style is giving you grief, there are strategies you can apply that will open up new doors to happiness.
Take our Love Styles Quiz to find out more about what makes you tick. And when you are ready to break up with anxiety and move on from overthinking, try one of our online courses and break out of the cycle.