Tips to Navigate Through Dating Anxiety

Worrying over something you are going to do for the first time is a common phenomenon. And going on a date for the first time is no different. Apart from the feeling of excitement, it may give jitters to some. However, staying worrisome and down in dumps for a long time could be a red flag that someone is dealing with inherent anxiety.

This can mar the experience of meeting someone new and having a good time. If the fear of dating sounds familiar and the stress of even thinking about a date is overwhelming, here are some tips to feel better:

  1. Be comfortable through online interactions – It is important to get to know each other a bit before meeting in person. Social media platforms or mobile apps should be helpful in this. This can help in breaking the ice and making two people comfortable beforehand.
  2. Indulge in mind-relaxing activities – To alleviate anxiety, one can indulge in mind-calming activities like taking deep breaths, or practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques, tai-chi and yoga. One can also relax by reading a good book or listening to soothing music.
  3. Do some homework beforehand – It is always helpful to have some pointers ready before meeting a stranger. One can prepare a mental note of a few questions or topics a person would like to talk about in order to avoid awkward silences.
  4. Do some physical activity – Exercise releases feel-good hormones that not just keeps the body fit, but also relaxes the mind. Some amount of physical activity on daily basis keeps one invigorated and alert.
  5. Choose the venue mindfully – Dark, smoky and dingy bars can exacerbate anxiety. Therefore, one should choose the venue carefully. It could be a small and cozy cafĂ© or an open-air restaurant where the music is not loud and it’s not much crowded. The idea is to avoid triggers that exacerbate anxiety.
  6. Eat mindfully – One shouldn’t order food that takes time to finish or difficult to eat. It could cause an embarrassment to the other person and knowing that can make someone anxious. Focus on knowing each other rather than exploring the menu.
  7. Have fun activities together – Rather than sitting idle and searching for ways to keep the conversation going, try some fun activities. Humor is infectious and effortless. Dating isn’t confined to only eating and talking; one can plan a movie show, watch a play or participate in some sport.
  8. Dress comfortably – A person shouldn’t dress just to impress. It’s important to feel comfortable and dress appropriately.
  9. Try to be your true self – A person on a date should not try too hard to impress the other person. Be yourself and enjoy every moment. Instead of putting all the energy on what the other person might be thinking or how the date will turn out to be, one should try to be present in the moment and go with the flow.

Seeking help for anxiety

Dating can be a fun experience. It offers an opportunity to socialize with someone and discover shared interests. It might also turn out to be a lifetime experience. Some amount of worry is okay, but excessive tension might be a sign of an underlying anxiety disorder that needs to be treated. It might reflect in the way a person behaves in other life situations and not just while dating. In such a situation, one must seek professional help to overcome the problem.