5 tips to reduce dating anxiety
Let’s face it, dating can be stressful but “participatory anxiety,” as we say in the mental health community, is completely normal. What’s important is that you deal with this anxiety in a healthy manner. That’s why, I’ve provided some tips below to alleviate dating nerves.
Step 1: Focus on all of the things that make you the unique, wonderful person that you are. We are all beautiful in our own way and we should accentuate those features that make us feel good about ourselves. For example, if a favorite outfit or blazer brings out the best in you, then make sure you wear it on your date. Doing so will help ease your nerves and remind you of how attractive and amazing you are. Confidence is always sexy!
Step 2: Take the time to get to know your prospective partner by calling him or her up before the date. A pre-date phone conversation can be a laid-back way for you two to chat about your shared likes, dislikes, hobbies, favorite foods, sports teams and so on. This can be a crucial conversation that sets the foundation for the date itself- especially if you have never met yet. Think of it as a crash course in getting to know each other. You won’t have to worry about running out of things to say on your date if you’ve already established mutual interests and favorite topics of conversation. If you’ve utilized Date Therapy, your date will be someone who is right for you on all levels, someone with whom you share similar values and beliefs. Established sexual boundaries and similar expectations can (though don’t always) determine if your date is a one time thing or the beginning of a new relationship.
Step 3: Take time to prep for your date. Make sure that you choose your outfit and get your hair and nails done ahead of time- especially if your date is scheduled right after work. During your pre-date phone call, it’s also helpful to decide on the location of your date so that you can prepare to dress appropriately. A pre-planned outfit will alleviate some of your pre-date jitters and ensure that you are confident and comfortable.
Step 4: As many of you know, boundaries are a favorite topic of mine because they’re so important. Healthy boundaries are a necessary component of a good relationship. You should always be true to yourself and partake in activities that make you feel comfortable. If you find yourself feeling pressured to be someone that you’re not, then you need to seriously reevaluate who you’re with because something isn’t right.
Step 5: Have fun! Dating is a process. Not every date will be “the one.” Dating is about gaining confidence, meeting new people and enjoying yourself. Lighten up on yourself and others and get out there! Above all else, remember that every date offers us the opportunity to grow in self-confidence and maybe even make a new friend. Friendships can evolve and are often the foundations for strong relationships later on down the road.
Developed by Lydia Belton PhD, Ct.H.A., Date Therapy® is an effective protocol that helps people get in touch with their criteria for an ideal mate. DrTranquility’s protocols® have been featured most recently on Forbes.com & Yahoo, ABCNEWS.com, ABC’s the View, KISS FM, CupidsPulse.com, Metromix for the Chicago Tribune, British Glamour, REDBOOK, Cosmopolitan Magazine & promoted by Match.com.