Question: What do men think of nervous women?
I have a lot of social anxiety, and a past with trauma and attachment issues. Despite that I’m self-aware and actually pretty easy-going, low maintenance, and fun and interesting to be around. I want to date but find it hard to commence because of shyness. (I have had several long term relationships.)
When I’m attracted to a man I feel panicky and tremble, and fear I come off as needy. So I avoid interaction (obviously counter-productive) when a man I like shows interest. I suspect this comes off as playing hard to get, or as being uninterested. Recently I had incredible chemistry wth a man I worked with temporarily – but he is in a relationship. Due to extreme attraction and thus nervousness I was not even able to get to know him in a friendly way, sadly, even though we seemed to have a lot in common – which he even mentioned. I know this sounds lame, especially at my age, but I’m wondering if nervousness is as huge a turn-off as I fear it is, and how others struggle with this issue. I know there are meds for anxiety but they can make you sleepy.I’m hoping that finding it’s not as bad as I think it is to be nervous might help me feel a bit more confident.
It’s interesting that you’re more concerned about how men feel about your anxiety than the anxiety itself. Who cares how men respond to it? Do something about it for your own peace of mind and quality of life. That stuff doesn’t just disappear or work itself out.
I’ve learned a lot about myself since staring therapy a couple of years ago. Namely that I have what they call a dismissive avoidant personality type. I’ve been self-reliant since I was five or six years old. Add forty years to that and I’ve become so closed-off that I didn’t feel an attraction to anybody for years until recently. And trust me, when that happened I was/am a total mess. All I can think about is the numerous ways I’ll fuck it up or make a fool of myself.
But you know what’s helped me? Medication. While I don’t take anything for anxiety, I do take Wellbutrin for chronic depression. I can’t believe I ever, ever fought that decision. I still get sad and turn in when I fear rejection or loss, but I’m better able to cope with those moments. I’m also more focused. So take the god damn meds if your therapist (and I hope you have one) thinks they could help. There’s a difference between shyness and social anxiety. Shyness is easier to overcome by forcing yourself to be more social. Social anxiety is debilitating.
As for the question of whether or not men are turned off by anxiety or nervousness, my answer is: it depends. Does the anxiety cause you to behave in a way that might scare a guy off or think you’ll reject him? If so, then yes, it’s a problem. You first need to determine what it is you’re actually struggling with and then need to devise a course of action. That requires the help of a professional. Keep in mind that none of this – the anxiety, the meds, the therapist – means you’re a kook. All it signifies is that you – like the majority of the population – have some challenges.
Let me tell you something: nobody gets out of here alive so you might as well make the most of every day and fixing whatever it is that is preventing you from experiencing life to its fullest. Show me someone unscathed and unbruised by life’s ups and downs I’ll show you a person who’s never taken any risks or pushed themselves beyond their mediocrity and complacency.