Dating is #1 Cause of Stress for 68% Single Women, Study Finds

Have you ever had a panic attack before a date? New research shows that almost 7 in 10 women and 1 in 3 men consider dating as a leading source of stress, while many have had anxiety and panic attacks before a date. 

Timed to the Mental Health Awareness Month of May, the researchers at dating app Flirtini surveyed 2,000 singletons on all things stress and dating. 

The research showed that almost 1 in 2 regularly experience anxiety because of dating, while dating-related stress is a daily occurrence for 1 in 3 women. Furthermore, for 7 in 10 women and 1 in 3 men, dating is the #1 cause of stress in their lives.

For some, dating stress can lead to disaster. In fact, 2 in 3 single women and 1 in 5 men have suffered a panic attack before a date. 

Some 36% of women have passed out on a date due to stress, but that isn’t the worst thing that could happen — 1 in 5 women admit they have puked while on a date because of the nerves. Men, on the other hand, admit that 1 in 5 have said inappropriate things, while 1 in 3 behaves awkwardly and clumsily due to stress.

For 54% of women, the main cause of dating stress is jealousy and trust issues. Men are more likely to stress over their relationship status, with 28% fretting over whether or not they’re on the same page as their partner, compared to 14% of women. 

It is no wonder that 65% of women and 25% of men have cancelled a date due to their nerves

Anastasiya Pochotna, a dating expert at Flirtini, commented: “We all want to make a good impression and avoid turning our date off—and that’s incredibly nerve-wracking. Dating stress is totally normal and anyone who tells you they don’t feel the nerves is being dishonest, but you can’t spend every waking moment worrying over ‘what ifs’. It’s not good for your health and it’s certainly not good for your dating prospects. All that pent-up anxiety will cause you to act the wrong way and say the wrong things. You need to find what helps you relax—whether friends, work, food, or whatever it may be — and stop letting stress stand in your way of finding love.”

So how does one overcome dating nerves? The study revealed that almost 1 in 2 women turn to their favorite comfort foods and 42% seek support from friends and family. In contrast, nearly half (46%) of men rely on masturbation and casual sex to calm their nerves, while 1 in 3 distract themselves with work. 

Walter Gjergja, a 32nd-generation Shaolin monk, mindfulness expert and co-founder of the personal trainer app Zing Coach, commented: “Prolonged stress is an awful match for our health, damaging everything from our immune system and gut microbiome to telomere length and DNA structure.

Typically, worrying triggers a passive hyper-response, which leads to ‘analysis paralysis’ — we invest all our energy into worrying, stressing, and depressing rather than accepting it and focusing on activities that will alleviate our mental turmoil. When your nerves start to build, take your mind off it by engaging in mindfulness practices, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. These focus your mind on the present and help you to let go of worries about the future, so you can approach dates with a sense of calmness and clarity.

Composure on the day is also crucial, which comes with building strong emotional regulation skills. If you tend to get flustered once your date is in front of you, emotional awareness, self-soothing, and distress tolerance can help you recognize your emotional triggers and respond thoughtfully rather than react impulsively.”

The full study is here.

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.