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Why Women Panic About Love

 β€‹β€‹When I was single, one of my good friends, Cyndi, started dating a man who lived in another state. They traveled to see one another every couple months for about a year and a half—and it was starting to get serious. So much so, that he was considering moving to her city. 

My friend and her beau hoped the move would help them deepen their relationship even more, and that they would marry.  

One evening when I spoke with my girlfriend, she shared her fears in the form of “What ifs”? 

“He’s thinking of moving here and I really love him and want to marry him, but what if he moves here and it doesn’t work out?”

“What if his family doesn’t approve?” 

"What if his mom’s health deteriorates and he regrets coming to be with me?” 

“What if my kids aren’t okay with him?” 

“What if he decides that he really doesn’t like me?”

And on and on she went. 

She continued to spin for several minutes until I asked if it was okay for me to share some thoughts that might help alleviate her fears. She said, “Sure,” so I talked with her about where she was in the dating process. 

First, I reassured her that it made sense that she would be fearful. Love can feel scary sometimes. And then, I went on to say . . . 

“You are at Point A in the relationship. You’re dating but you haven’t made a commitment to engagement or marriage. Those important stages are at Point Z, months down the line, and perhaps even longer,” I explained. 

“There are many, many decisions and events that need to happen between where you are at Point A and waaaaay down the road at Point Z. And, you don’t have enough information to figure out that future right now.”  

Then I shared how she could alleviate panic by staying in the moment and by committing to the process of dating. 

“Be mindful,” I said. “That means that you need to pay attention to what you are thinking. And, when you start to go into a mental spin, reminded yourself of where you are in the dating process. You are at Point A. The things you are worried about are at Point Z.” 

"When you start ruminating over ‘What ifs’ and you start fearing what may—or may not—happen, choose to redirect your thoughts and focus on the here and now. And, if you need to, reach out to a trusted friend to give you perspective.” 

By the time we finished talking, she said she felt better, and I was glad. 

The panic she felt wasn’t unique to her; it’s something I hear from the wonderful women I coach all the time. It’s also not unique to women who are in a relationship. Maybe you can relate. 

Panic about “What if” can strike at any time, and depending on how fearful you are about love, it can hit you before you are even in a relationship. 

It can hit you when you just think about dating someone or even going on a date.

It can hit you when you see a good-looking guy who just smiles at you and says hi.  

It can hit you when a man asks you out. 

It can hit you after the first date when you think, “I really like this guy!” and you don’t want to get hurt. 

It can hit you when you have gone out and you haven't heard from him for a couple days.

It can hit you after you’ve been seeing a man for a while and things start to get serious, as was the case with my friend, Cyndi. 

Believe me, I get this. I’ve been there. After a nasty breakup in my early twenties, I became an expert panicker and it was super painful. 

So, here are some things that can help: 

Remind yourself that dating is a process. There is a loooooong road between “hello” and “Will you marry me?” (At least there should be. If you’re jumping into relationships without taking the time to get to know a man’s character, slow down. You’re worth the wait—and love is too.)

When you start to panic, remind yourself of all the steps between where you are now and the commitment to date exclusively and say “I do.” Remind yourself that direction for these steps will come when you need it. 

If you fear making a bad decision, remind yourself that you are in control of your love life and how fast a relationship progresses. No one can force you into marriage or commitment. 

Of course, because you are smart, single woman you won’t make the choice to marry or date exclusively until you are ready and you feel at peace and are confident about your decision. That means that you don’t have to decide anything right now.  

Also remember that you won’t be able to figure out everything about the future of a new relationship now. Again, you’ll only receive enough light and information for the step you’re on.  You are at Point A; that decision about commitment is at Point Z.  So, stay in the moment and practice being mindful about what you are thinking. It will make all the difference. 

So, what does all this practically mean for you? 

It means you can confidently smile back at that handsome man who says hello. 

You can go out with that guy that you aren’t sure you are that interested in because you’re not making any decisions about whether or not you are in love with him or even if you like him. You’re just enjoying the dating process and that means you’re open to see what might unfold. 

You can take your time in making a decision to date exclusively and marry. No one can push you to make a choice. 

You can make a good decision because you’re not in a hurry. 

You are in control of your love life. 

Stay calm and date on. 

I believe in you. You can do this. 

Your dating and relationship coach, 


P.S. If you’d like to get your very own personal dating and relationship questions answered by me, check out my Smart Single Women Club. 

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