This is my first post. I've had the same problem since I was in middle school, and I've never really had a successful diagnosis or found a way to deal with it. I have what I like to call romantic anxiety.
I don't have any problem meeting people of the opposite sex, and I also can be quite flirtatious. But for some reason, whenever I start getting a positive reaction out of someone (i.e. they start to show interest) I start getting severe anxiety. Maybe not immediately; I can handle it for a little while, but it always ends up with me getting anxious. I honestly have no idea why - I haven't had any scarring breakups or events that would seem to have caused this.
The worst part is, it seems most often to manifest itself in the form of nausea. I have a very weak gag reflex, and on many occasion have had to fight vomiting when I am with someone in an intimate situation. Sometimes I actually do end up throwing up, but luckily I've never done it in front of anyone - I always manage to excuse myself or fend it off until I'm alone.
This basically makes first dates awful for me, because I spend the whole time being vaguely nauseous - eating dinner is tortuous. I almost always come up with some excuse, like that I haven't been feeling well or something along those lines, to explain my lack of appetite.
Continuing, this also persists (and is perhaps worse) during breakups. I simply am nauseous for days with the thought of whatever girl I am/was involved with. Sometimes I lose a little weight.
I think it is also prudent to mention that I have never been in a serious, involved relationship. I have never had a girlfriend that actually lasted for a decent period of time. Where I'm going with this is, I've never gotten "comfortable" with a girl; i.e., gotten to the point where she doesn't make me nauseous when I think about it too much. I'm almost afraid that I'll never be comfortable with anyone - that this nausea won't go away regardless of how long I'm with someone.
I'm posting here because I'm just so tired of this. It's really affecting my quality of life. I'm only 21, and I shouldn't be scared of this romantic stuff - I should be enjoying it. But I just can't conquer this nausea. It's gotten to the point where I almost want to avoid romantic situations just so I don't have to worry about this. But then I'll go some time without being involved with anyone, think that maybe I've conquered my anxiety, and try again. No such luck.
Finally, when I have a bit of alcohol in my system, this anxiety goes away completely. I have no qualms about being intimate with someone when I'm drunk (which I'm not often - not endorsing alcohol, folks, just adding input to my problem). Case in point, a girl that I'm interested in was texting me about coming over to my place the other night while I was on my way back from some bars. Normally, this would really get my stomach in a knot (regardless of the fact that I would love to have her over) but since I wasn't completely sober, I was 100% fine. I wish I could harness that for day-to-day life, but I don't know how.
Does anyone have similar problems/know someone that does? I just need to know that I'm not alone and there might be something that I can do about this.