Approach anxiety is a common concern among many single men looking to date women. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in your early twenties or your late forties – approach anxiety is something that affects most men at one point or another.
A lot of men in the Porn Reboot program are divorced, recently single, or have been single for a long time. In this day in age, especially with the existence of dating apps, it’s becoming more challenging to approach women. Technology removes the personable aspect of approaching a woman in real life which makes the problem of approach anxiety worse.
I needed to overcome my own approach anxiety early on during my reboot. It wasn’t easy but I assure you it’s possible. Today, I’m digging up my old notes and going to go over them with you. These are the lessons I learned from my own experiences of failing over and over again while trying to overcome my compulsive sexual behavior.
Barriers to Defeating Approach Anxiety
Whether you’re newly single or you’ve been single for a long time, approach anxiety is overwhelming. There are a few ways men deal with the overwhelming feelings and emotions that come with approach anxiety.
Withdrawing Into Yourself
When you’re single and feeling anxiety with approaching women, oftentimes you’re feeling overwhelmed by her feminine energy. You see a woman who’s beautiful in her own right but this is also magnified by your pornography addiction. After months or years of watching pornography, you’ve placed women on a pedestal.
A common way men cope with this overwhelming feeling is to withdraw. That anxiety starts to kick in then you’ll draw into yourself and get stuck in your head. You step back from involving yourself in the event and become an introverted wallflower instead.
“Nice Guy” Mode
Another coping mechanism for feeling overwhelmed by feminine energy is to shift into “nice guy” mode. This refers to the times you repress your sexual desires when you’re around a gorgeous woman. You don’t own these desires when you see her. Instead, you repress them and then act out on fantasies when you get back home.
This feeds into the behavior of placing women on a pedestal, too. You can feel an attraction to a woman and not repress that desire. It isn’t something you need to immediately shut down or shut off. Desire is a natural part of being a man. Shutting down that desire instead of acknowledging it is simply fighting against your biology.
Controlling the Situation
This can happen in two different situations. Some men simply feel a natural drive to control the situation from the start. Others shift into controlling the situation as an overcorrection after withdrawing into themselves for years. Either way, controlling the situation isn’t a good approach, either.
Controlling the situation is really just your way of resisting when things aren’t going the way you expect them to. You don’t like what’s happening. Maybe she’s not as interested as you want her to be. You think, “Okay, I’ve got to assert control now.”
You immediately launch into telling stories about yourself to keep her as a captive audience. If you don’t give her room to respond, though, you’re only reacting to her beauty. You don’t know anything about this woman and your interest is purely physical. Again, you’ve placed her on a pedestal. And I guarantee if you do this you’ll ruin your chances.
Tons of guys do this. Some resort to being overbearing. Others turn to pick-up lines to draw the woman in. The worst is when we turn to overly sexualized comments or gestures. But all these behaviors come back to your anxieties.
Overcoming Your Approach Anxiety
When you’re stuck in approach anxiety, you’re not calm, you’re not present, and you’re not owning your space. You feel out of control and those behaviors come out as a result. If you want to overcome that anxiety, though, these are the methods I found worked best.
The first solution is to develop self-awareness and become more present. I started paying attention and learning how to be more in my body. This means I became aware of my desires rather than running away from them. I acknowledged that I thought she was an attractive woman but I didn’t allow myself to fantasize. Developing self-awareness means those desires and anxieties may be present but they don’t control you.
Hold Your Space
I also practiced something I call “holding my space.” Instead of minimizing yourself and becoming a wallflower, I encourage you to hold your space. Holding your space is all about believing you’re worth the space you occupy without feeling the need to compensate. It’s like those descriptions you hear people give sometimes, where they’ll say, “This person walked into the room and there was something about him.” As you learn to hold your space you’ll develop this confident presence.
Accept the Desires
Finally, you can combat your overwhelming anxieties by accepting your desire. Don’t fight your biology. Feel that attraction to her in your body without shutting down. Become aware of the neurobiological response to seeing her but, at the same time, don’t allow it to take over you. Don’t put her on a pedestal. She is simply another human being, just like you. She has her own desires. She has her own hopes. She has her own dreams and feelings.
If She Wants You, She Wants You
These steps might seem strange at first if you’re still new to your Reboot. Porn portrays women as objects and it takes time to work through these false beliefs. It can be hard to see women for their individual characteristics if you’ve been battling pornography addiction for a long time.
Separate your anxieties from her, though. You can appreciate her beauty without minimizing her to simplified objectification. Develop self-awareness, hold your space, and accept your desires. It isn’t easy in the beginning but you’ll learn to understand and then control your reactions as you work through the Porn Reboot system.
Ultimately, you aren’t going to have to rely on “game”, pick-up lines, or “smooth-talking” to draw the attention of a woman interested in you. The more you settle into awareness and acceptance of yourself, the more confidence you give off. After a while, simply being yourself will be enough for plenty of women to be interested in talking to you.
You’re a unique and incredible individual with your own experiences. Stepping into this is the best thing you can do for yourself and for the women around you. Approach anxiety wears off the longer you practice. It’s going to take time, brother, but you’re not in this struggle alone.