Departure Anxiety: Is that a thing?

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Post by toddsmitts on Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:41 pm

All sorts of things have been written about "approach anxiety", but I caught some random article once describing some scenario where a guy saw his friend starting up a conversation with a woman in a book store, and later a bar and leaving after a while with no attempt to get a number or email or anything, and saying not to do this, as it leaves a person with "departure anxiety".

I'll see if I can find the article, but in the mean time, has anyone heard of something like this?

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Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:44 pm

Came in expecting to say, "if you experienced it, it must be a thing". But I guess you're saying you haven't?

Well, I can imagine a person getting anxious feelings about possibly missing a positive experience. It's not the way my brain works (being generally the sort of pessimist who says actually that was the best possible outcome), but it doesn't sound impossible.
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Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:47 pm

I can buy that. I haven't had it with approaching people romantically (probably because while I do approach, as a woman, there's not as much pressure for me to feel like I have to). I have had it at social events where I've gone hoping to meet people and then spent most of the time standing around awkwardly and not saying hello. I think that it may have to do with expectations, though. Hopefully, people won't feel that they have to approach others every time they're in a bar or every time a friend approaches someone.
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Post by Autumnflame on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:28 pm

I don't know about anxiety, specifically, but I've definitely had departure regrets? Situations where I basically did that (got involved in a conversation, approached someone) and then chickened out and left without making a solid move, and afterward kick myself for not going through with it. Not only do I get all the racing heart and woozy feelings of gearing myself up, I then get the second-guessing of "shit, what if they'd been for it? I should have said something, at least I'd know and it'd be settled" afterward.
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Post by Mel on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:41 pm

I get anxious after "departing" social situations, but it's usually not been "I should have done/said more" but "oh crap did that thing I said actually come across badly in some way that didn't occur to me until just now when it's too late to clarify/apologize gaaaaah." Razz Like eselle's take, this is a general social thing.
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Post by Conreezy on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:54 pm

I don't get what's causing the anxiety. The exchange of contact information?

It can get weird, as a guy at least, to exchange info, then settle into the pride of accomplishment, creating awkward silence. Smarter advice would be to gloss over the exchange and keep the conversation going for a little bit, cutting it off on a good note and a definite departure.

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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:56 pm

I have had it before because I spent an hour or two chit chatting with someone cool and later realized I forgot to get their name, much less their contact information, and I was never likely to see them again.
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:07 pm

I had this one after a one-night stand("was a hug too cold?", "should I even contact her", "would looking her up on FB be awkward?"), but I can imagine a general anxiety about how to follow up on stuff, ranging from number closes to first dates that went well.

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Post by reboot on Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:10 pm

BasedBuzzed wrote:I had this one after a one-night stand, but how I can imagine a general anxiety about how to follow up on stuff, ranging from number closes to first dates that went well.

Then there is the whole anxiety around things that did not work out or that you do not want to repeat such as turning down second dates, not wanting to give your contact information to a one night stand, etc.
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