Fear of Dating

Has a pattern of destructive relationships deterred you from dating? Our expert offers advice for the romance-wary.

By Sherry Amatenstein, LMSW
Travis Hartley, founder of Meet Market Adventures, an activity club for singles, suggests, "Group-setting events are stress-free, friendly environments that are great for those who are nervous about dating again. Everyone is there, first and foremost, to taste wine or to hike or to make pottery. The possibility of meeting someone is an added bonus."When you progress to mano a woman-o encounters, be wary not just of the guy’s relationship-worthiness but of any over-eagerness you may harbor to find faults in your partner. The founder of the dating site True.com, Herb Vest, asks, "Are you bringing your relationship history on the date? It’s important that you give the guy the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to conclusions, or you can sabotage what you’re trying to accomplish before you even get started."Lucia, whose dating misadventures have spanned the globe, says, "When I start to automatically mistrust a guy who’s given me no reason to doubt him, I ask myself if I’m looking at him realistically or letting that negative, fearful little voice in my head win." Today, she is at the two-month mark in a promising new relationship. "He’s wonderful. When those fears crop up, I talk myself down from the ledge. At this stage of my life I can’t keep running on my emotions and wasting so much time being unjustifiably anxious!"More information on experts featured in this article:Dating Expert Lucia Florida Psychotherapist Caryn Sabes Hacker Dating Expert Lisa Daily Meet Market Adventures Do you have a tough question about dating or relationships?E-mail Sherry at DatingExpert@More.com and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.E-mail Sherry About Sherry AmatensteinSherry Amatenstein, LMSW, is the author of Love Lessons from Bad Breakups and Q&A Dating Book. She runs dating seminars around the country and does private coaching — not to help singles marry in 60 days, but to uncover their blocks. She has given relationship advice on the Early Show, Regis, Inside Edition, CBS News, VH1, BBC, and many other programs. Her philosophy is that the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself.Schedule a one-on-one coaching session with Sherry Buy Love Lessons from Bad Breakups Buy The Q&A Dating Book Originally published on MORE.com, March 2008.

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