My super-strict parents weren't the only reason why I didn't date in high school — it was also because I thought dating was terrifying. Interacting with a crush always made me feel tongue-tied and dumb. I couldn't imagine talking to someone I liked on the phone, so how could I possibly sit across a table from them and somehow eat and flirt at the same time? I eventually conquered my dating fears in my 20s, but it wasn't easy, and I still battled plenty of dating anxiety. It's natural to be nervous about dating, and though it takes some time to become comfortable, dating confidence makes a huge difference.
I'm not sure exactly what made dating seem so scary, but I think it was a fear of the unknown. I imagined worst-case scenarios that involved me knocking over drinks with my elbow, or sneezing in my date's face during the goodnight kiss. I worried about running out of things to say, or failing to make the perfect impression. But as author, speaker, and psychotherapist Dr. Nancy Mramor previously told Elite Daily, you have the power to "decide your own outcome for a success with social anxiety management." Here are some tips managing anxiety and boosting confidence while dating.