One of the strongest symptoms of social anxiety is that of a fear of getting judged negatively by people in social settings.
You are basically standing naked in front of them figuratively, as they judge you.
In turn, you are frozen in place, terrified of the prospect of making things worse by saying or doing something that embarrasses or humiliates you.
Having social anxiety has been a major part of your existence.
The reason why you are on a dating app to begin with has much to do with your social anxiety.
It is less daunting to meet men on dating apps than it is to meet them in real life.
The digital world is impersonal.
Maintaining a conversation with men you meet online isn’t as intimidating as doing it with a guy you met somewhere in the real world.
Online, you are hiding behind a dating profile that you have created.
This helps you avoid the real life terror of being in a public place and hoping to attract a man, knowing his judgmental eyes are on you and feeling excessively uncomfortable with it.
Online is much different.
Now you are talking to a guy that you are starting to like and a terrifying reality is dawning on you.
As long as the two of you keep getting along, you are going to like him even more and eventually, the two of you will have to meet in person.
This makes you nervous and you can’t help but panic at the thought of meeting this guy in person.
It makes sense that you are nervous about meeting him in person.
This has been fueled by your life history.
Your mind is equating meeting this man in person with something embarrassing or humiliating and you can’t help it.
This is how your mind is wired.
This is to be expected.
As automatic as these nervous thoughts are, there is a simple remedy.
Stop thinking about the prospect of meeting him in person.
When you fixate your mind on the prospect of meeting him in person, you put undue pressure on yourself.
You are lost in your head and your thoughts inevitably get worse.
Staying stubbornly grounded on the here and now is how you combat the nervousness.
A person with social anxiety may fear the prospect of interacting with others, but once they get to know someone, they loosen up.
Think about the last boyfriend you had, if you have ever had a boyfriend.
You trusted him didn’t you?
You were safe around him.
Although you were initially nervous, as you got to know him, things changed.
After being around him in person a few times, you were no longer nervous.
That’s how it works in these scenarios.
The nerves go away as you build a deeper trust and rapport with him.
This is why you need to keep your attention on building a rapport with him through conversation, instead of fretting over meeting him in person.
Fretting over meeting him in person launches your thoughts into a future that hasn’t happened.
Unfortunately, in this future scenario, your mind creates the worst possible scenarios of an in-person meeting with him, given your history of social anxiety.
Obsessing too much about the prospect of meeting him in person causes you to act differently.
You aren’t as invested in conversations you are having with him, as your thoughts are too preoccupied with the idea of meeting him in person.
This hampers your relationship with him.
Don’t let your mind get lost with thoughts about a future that hasn’t occurred.
On the contrary, have your mind stoically engaged in conversations you are having with him presently.
This strategy plants the seeds of trust.
A trust that strengthens.
Should a time arrive when you two meet each other in person, this trust keeps you from being as nervous as you normally are when you meet strangers in public.