There are not many people who are comfortable walking up to a stranger in a bar, or any other setting for that matter, and simply beginning a conversation. It can even be difficult to speak to a stranger in an elevator. The reason for this is that we do not want to make ourselves vulnerable. No matter who you are, no matter your age or your interests, we are all scared of making ourselves vulnerable and the result of this is that we either don’t speak to strangers or we hesitate. This is made all the more palpable when it is a person that you find attractive or are interested in. The anxiety of approaching someone you like never goes away, and while it may be terrifying in person, it can be no less nerve wracking online.
Plucking up the courage to engage a person in conversation can certainly cause a bit of anxiety, and while there is a certain distance that is necessary in the early stages of online dating, sending that first message can be just as nerve wracking as if you were speaking to the person face to face. The is of course because in either case you are making yourself vulnerable to another person, opening yourself up to either their openness or rejection, and it is that possible rejection that we are all terrified of. One of the consolations must surely be that we are all in the same position, all nervous, all sacred of rejection, but the only way to move forward is to act through the nerves and have courage to send that person you fancy a message.
While it may not seem simple, and anyone who has had to make this first step knows it isn’t, it is the necessary step to make. If you don’t send that first message then you may not send the next one. It may seem strange but you can use the distance created by the online setting to give yourself more courage. Perhaps you could compare it to what it would feel like approaching someone in person, once you realise that the computer offers you the protection of distance, it may be easier to gather your courage and send that message.
Once you send the message, the excitement of waiting for a response sets in. As with most new experiences it is the first moves you make that can determine how the rest pans out, but at the end of the day it is making the choice to take that first step that is both the most difficult and potentially the most rewarding. Courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of it, rising above it and acting anyway. So the anxiety of sending that first message is totally normal, just remember to send it anyway.