Ahhhh dating anxiety, it’s the worst isn’t it?
When it comes to first dates, anxiety is at its peak.
You might stress over just about anything – and this is normal!
There is a lot of uncertainty, you want to look and sound at your best, which is something your brain isn’t really used to.
The tension is real and sometimes it can be hard to cope with, hence why we decided to talk about some of the most effective stress-relieving techniques known to mankind.
What is dating anxiety?
Before we start talking about the methodologies, let us first dissect what is dating anxiety and how it’s connected to your brain.
So, long story short, anxiety is a state of mind where you exaggerate all your fears.
Typically, anxiety is associated with the inability to control everything.
Anxiety and dating are closely related as most people are uncertain whether they will be able to impress someone they like.
This causes your brain to develop all kinds of fears and stresses as you cannot even predict what will happen.
Fearing that everything will go wrong is often reinforced when things go south, causing you to be even more stressed.
As you can see, the problem is real and it requires a lot of effort on your end.
However, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to tackle it.
Asking someone out can be scary but as feminism goes on stronger with each year, women are feeling more empowered to ask a man for a date.
And it’s not just that, science is on your side too. Many psychologists started to research the issue clearly, meaning that there are now more ways to cope with first-date stress.
Why Do We Feel Dating Anxiety?
Lately, this has been a very common question in the realm of dating.
More and more people are experiencing anxiety and the worst part of it is that many are afraid to talk about it.
Anxiety is often coupled with something personal and dating anxiety is no different.
During a date, people want to give their best. And often, the person gets so focused on “giving their best” that they forget about everything else.
This is when you know your anxiety level has skyrocketed.
You find out that something is always bothering you. Typically, that little something is deeply connected to you.
It could be your appearance or that one smudge you got on the insides of your shirt. It could be anything.
You become so obsessed with what is wrong, even though there’s nothing, that you don’t see the whole picture.
You act, feel, and talk in a very stressed manner, causing your date to stray further with each new interaction.
Anxious dating will not only ruin everything but will heavily impact your ability to solve issues and tackle complex tasks as you’re practically helpless.
Having control over your mental state is vital no matter what you do and when you do it.
How to Stop Dating Anxiety?
Now if you’ve been asking yourself how to get over dating anxiety, then you’re in luck as there are quite a few methods you can employ.
Keep in mind that not every solution will work in all cases, and if you have a lot of trouble doing them, then it’s best that you act like a responsible adult and seek professional help.
The last thing you want in your life is internet therapy.
If you feel that none of these works out for you, we highly encourage you to visit a therapist.
Now that this is out of the way, let’s take a look at the methods themselves.
Take A Deep Breath
Every time you say that ‘dating makes me anxious’, remember that sometimes all it takes is a deep breath.
You would be surprised at how many people use this simple technique to get rid of the tension.
Indeed, it’s not only dating with anxiety that is difficult. Whether you apply for a new position or take a serious exam, your body gets stressed.
Filling your brain and blood with oxygen will not only lower your blood pressure but will help you overcome stress more easily.
You will refocus on something else and therefore, forget for a minute that you were actually stressed in the first place.
Many people don’t even know this but there are two types of breathing patterns.
When you’re under a lot of stress, you typically breath using your chest.
Shallow breathing causes oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to not reach your blood properly.
This can activate a stress response mechanism, fueling your anxiety even more.
So, before you start doing your breathing exercise, we suggest that you do it with your abdominal muscles as that way, you will fill your body with oxygen much more efficiently.
Remember That You’re Beautiful
Another simple method you can use to overcome dating anxiety is reminding yourself of the fact that you’re indeed beautiful.
Well, this might seem pretty self-centered but that is the truth. After all, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.
Relationship anxiety has no chance when you start viewing yourself as a viable player, as someone who is desired. This mindset will give you a solid morale boost, as well as it will help you cope with the stress.
Also, remember that we are all humans and if someone agreed to go on a date with you, then they at the very least, like you.
In fact, they most likely consider you just as good as they are because they are willing to spend their valuable time with you.
The more you remind yourself about this, the more confident you get.
Remember that when we fail to appreciate ourselves, we automatically agree to be treated poorly.
This is technically a subconscious thing and many people don’t even understand how they got to where they are.
Whether it’s work or relationships, you have to understand that nothing beats you and your well-being.
There are many ways to remind yourself you’re worth it.
After all, you’re a priority and everyone should acknowledge this.
Once that is out of the way, we’re pretty sure your dating anxiety will fade away.
Relax Your Mind, Relax Your Body
Now this one is very similar to the Deep Breath technique but the main difference is that you need to reduce the tension your body experiences.
It might seem impossible when you’re under pressure, but there’s actually a ton of different ways you can achieve a calming effect.
For starters, just imagine a waterfall. Like a huge one. With the noise and humidity.
And if that doesn’t work, you can always think of a forest.
This will place your mind in a distant state where you’re focused on imagining something different. Something that your brain perceives as peace.
Think about how the monks meditate. This is pretty much the same thing but on a smaller scale.
Just take a moment to recollect yourself and then go on a date. You’re bound to have a better experience.
While this might not work for everyone, online dating can help you cope with dating anxiety.
In fact, it’s one of the most convenient ways to meet somebody new and not undergo the struggles of actual dating.
Also, online dating allows you to search for a person that is not only visually attractive to you but will share interesting thoughts and ideas as well.
Imagine a scenario when you have to go through the whole anxiety state just to find out that he/she is not your cup of coffee.
Another point would be the fact that you can actually boost your self-esteem using online dating websites.
Put out your best photo, write a compelling “About” section, and start liking photos. In just a few hours you’re bound to scroll through a ton of messages from all kinds of people.
If you’re having trouble finding someone, you can search for popular dating profile headlines for females and males. That way, you will surely have someone to talk to.
And speaking of talks, you get to learn the person, get accustomed to that person, and therefore, feel more confident. Give online dating a go as it just might be what you need.
Schedule something casual for the first date
Returning to the more conventional means of relieving date anxiety, we suggest that you do something simple on your first day.
Going in and out of yourself to impress someone can and will put a lot of tension on you. Especially if you’re doing something that even you haven’t done (like bungee jumping or skydiving).
Instead, invite her/him to do something that is known territory to you. A good example would be taking the date to a bar you’ve already been to, or even to a park that you like to take a walk.
It has to be somewhere you’re a regular and know a few interesting stories about the location.
Basically, your main objective is to create an environment where both of you would feel comfortable.
Whether it’s a restaurant or a place downtown, pick a location you’re most accustomed to. Once you do what you like the most, you will surely be able to open up more freely.
Besides, you might as well learn more about your partner since you won’t be so focused on pretending to be someone you aren’t.
Finally, the more confident you feel walking in that park and telling stories about it, the more interesting he/she will find you, which is precisely what you want.
Safety Tips on Your First Date
And the last bit of advice is something that everyone should know regardless of anxiety levels. There are many ways how to stay safe while dating but we decided to point out the most crucial ones.
First off, even if you’re mega stressed, try and negotiate a place where there is a lot of people. We know that this will only increase the level of tension but you don’t want to meet a weirdo in a deserted place.
Trust us, you don’t. The more people there are, the less likely you will get in trouble.
The next thing you should remember is not to drink more than you can take.
There is absolutely no reason to be a hero in front of someone you barely know. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a glass of wine.
In fact, this is what you want since it will surely calm you down. Just don’t overdo it.
Last but not least, if after all the time you’ve spent together you feel uncomfortable and even suspicious, just leave the person.
You can come up with lame excuses as your safety is far more important than your date.
So, the next time you ask yourself how to get over dating anxiety, remember that these small but practical tips will definitely make a massive difference.
Not every tip is indeed for everyone, but we feel that these are universal and they require little to no effort to work.
And before we leave off, in case you still feel super stressed, pay your therapist a visit. But for now, that’s all we’ve got.
Be sure to come back again as we cover another hot topic.