I have a lot of anxiety about speaking with a language exchange partner. I know it is not only me. I know the only way to deal with it is to just do it. I feel my Mandarin is good enough now to try - but - how do people deal with the awkward gaps and silences while one tries to figure out what to say, or to understand
i find that exhausting.
I just wanted to comment and say that I relate to this so much hahaha. I've only recently tried italki again, and it's still taking me some time to finally muster up the courage to contact potential language partners. You have no idea how many profiles I've gone through looking for people who I feel I can get along with.
Reading through this discussion thread, I think I picked up some great advice and I'm encouraged to finally go for my first language exchange :)
Best of luck to all of us!