It's a real shame that many guys simply can't relax enough around women so that their true personalities shine. Personally, I always felt that I had a very relaxed and down to earth way about me. However, this terrific side of me only came out when I was around people that I could relax with. Unfortunately, in high anxiety situations (such as a date), I was transformed into this whole other person. I went from feeling confident, self-assured, and personable, to this insecure, nervous guy that was always stumbling on his words and agreeing with what ever she said just to gain her approval. It was a real train wreck; honest to God.
I eventually came to the conclusion that I was in over my head in most dating situations. I obviously had confidence and self-esteem issues that I needed to take care of before I'd have any hope of success on a date.
The solution seemed simple: I somehow needed to take my relaxed personality and use it in high-stress situations, such as dating. Of course, I quickly found out that this was next to impossible. I simply couldn't relax enough to have my “real” personality take over.
Obviously, I needed to work on my self-confidence and self-esteem. I figured I had two options: I could either go and get professional help, or I could go the self-help route.
Now, seeking professional help takes a major commitment, not to mention, money. Although I've got nothing against talking to a professional, I didn't think my problem warranted such drastic action. So I started reading everything I could about confidence building and hoped that there would be something that I could take and use in the real world.
To make a long story short, I did get a lot of value from the books that I read, but ultimately what changed my life was the real world experience that I gained over the course of a year. I literally forced myself into social situations.
As scary as that sounds to a shy person, the uneasy feeling doesn't last. I can remember feeling so self-conscious at first that all I wanted to do was go home, put on a movie and relax. Of course, that was the old me. The new me was determined to make this work no matter what.
Even though I ended up making a fool of myself on several occasions, I didn't give up. I learned from my mistakes and over time I began to relax a little more. My conversation skills increased dramatically and I started feeling much less self-conscious around people.
Eventually, I got to the point where I could actually handle a dating situation with relative ease. Of course, it really depended on who I was with. There were still (and are) women that made me nervous and self-conscious no matter what.
The bottom line is that there is no “quick fix” for lack of confidence and self-esteem in the dating world (or in general). While everyone is nervous on a first date (to some extent), excessive nervousness could be a sign of deeper, underlying issues.
Why am I spending so much time talking about this?
Well, first of all, it's an issue that hits very close to home with me. Secondly, I think it's something that affects many more people than you would think. Not to mention, if you allow your nervousness and lack of confidence to dominate your life in the dating world, you are condemning yourself to a life of disappointment and embarrassment. And you deserve better than that.