With symptoms like sweaty palms, shallow breathing and obsessive behaviour, a thoroughly modern epidemic -- Modern Female Dating Anxiety (MFDA) -- has developed and it is by-product of technological communication and casual dating practises, say two leading experts.
Ryan Cassady, a life coach, and his wife Jessica, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, coined the phrase MFDA in their new book, Stop Wondering if You'll Ever Meet Him.
"There actually are components of mental illness that we see coming into the picture of MFDA (and) we know that these are people who are mentally healthy," News.com.au quoted Jessica, as saying.
According to the couple, the condition most commonly affects self-assured women who lose their cool on the dating circuit.
"They have a sense of confidence and security that somehow becomes absent in the dating situation," Ryan said.
The evolution of "conveniences" like text messaging, social networking and email have created "this illusion of intimacy" that hasn't been formed between people, Jessica added.
She said: "As technology has been brought into the equation people have gotten used to exploring connections in a very fast way. That sense of immediate gratification has confused a process that traditionally followed more of a courtship process. If you're not hearing from someone straight away because they do have that ability to call you, (you) that something must be wrong."
Women also aren't coping well with loosening of formal courtship "codes", a legacy of the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
"The formality of the dating process was kind of tossed out the window and as a result a very casual (method)... arose," Ryan said.
"Hanging out and hooking up" replaced traditional courtship methods, he added.
To get over MFDA, the couple encourage sufferers to channel their "feminine mystique", or charisma, learn some old-school dating practises and "let go" of their "type".
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh