Escalation anxiety, simply put, is a fear-based emotion that is felt when it’s time to take an interaction to a more intimate level.

You’re on a date with a woman, the conversation is going great, you’re exchanging laughs, and sooner or later there comes a pivotal moment where things need to be taken past the “friendly” point that you’re at. It’s time to look her in the eye a little more deeply. It’s time to give her a sign that lets her know that you’re interested in her romantically.

If you know that you’re into the girl, and that pivotal turning point is reached, you need to jump through that window when it opens.

If the girl looks you in the eye with a subtle hint of romance and you don’t look back, you don’t reciprocate, the woman may think that you’re either not that into her, or that you’re not man enough to go after what you want.

A few examples of how to escalate the interaction…

“I’m really enjoying my time with you. You’re pretty awesome.”  This should be said with a warm, genuine, tone and a smile on your face. There should be a sincere and romantic vibe when you say this. There should be no mystery in the woman’s mind as to whether you’re stating your interest in her or whether you’re just being friendly.<

Another way to move the interaction forward is to hold her gaze for a second longer than you have been with an expression of warmth on your face. This is a very low-risk way of testing the woman’s attraction for you. If she seems to respond well to your eye contact, then you can go for a “bigger” move forward later on in the interaction.

Another way to convey your interest to the woman in a very subtle way is to look at her right eye, left eye, lips, and then back to making steady eye contact with her. You can do this a few times in a row and show her that you’re really soaking in her beauty.

If you want to take it a step further, go for the kiss…

You: “I really want to say something to you right now, but I’m holding back…”

Her: “Say it!”

You: “I really want to kiss you right now.” If you’re going to say this, you need to own it.

When you’re having a great time with a woman and you’ve built a solid connection, there comes a point where you need to move things forward or things may fizzle out. When the window of opportunity opens, if you’re confident that you are into her, it’s best to jump through. I’m not saying that you will never get another opportunity to escalate the interaction, but if the woman keeps trying to intensify things with you, if she keeps searching for deeper eye contact from you, a more romantic tone to the conversation, or if she keeps looking to you to make your move, and you don’t, she will move on at some point.

Conquering escalation anxiety is very similar to conquering your approach anxiety. You have to understand that the fear doesn’t go away before taking action. It goes away afterwards. You have to move the interaction forward in spite of your nervousness.

A touch of nervousness can be exciting for the woman. It shows that you’re really into her and that you care. If she’s feeling the same way towards you, there’s a chance that she’ll have a few butterflies as things heat up, too.

When that moment comes, you need to face the fire and cross the line. Your fear and anxiety will normalize after taking action, not before. There is no easier softer way, but through your fear.