The movies don't do justice to the anxiety that sometimes comes from going on dates. What to talk about, when to listen, what to do with your hands other than itch to get your phone.
6 easy-to-use tips if going on dates gives you anxiety
There are so many rules about going on dates. But you only need about six to handle yourself on any date.
The thrill is overshadowed and the potential for having a good time is ruined by nervous energy.
It could be lack of experience, fear of doing or saying the wrong thing and worry of having a bad experience.
Use these six tips to enjoy each date.
1. Prepare good questions
Roman Philosopher Seneca said 'luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Prepare good questions that you feel could spark interesting conversation and stories.
First dates come with a certain pressure to fill silences and ask "interesting" questions. To avoid this tension, have your conversation guides ready in form of good questions. You can get the questions from previous conversations or their profile and what you have in common.
2. Shared activity
Overthinking is a killer of joy in any situation. Do a shared activity with your date to get out of your head. Overthinking comes with questions like "are they having fun?" "Is the conversation flowing?" "Are my jokes funny?". Focus on the external activity will take this pressure off, make you comfortable and more confident.
3. Dates with familiar people
Consider going on dates with people you know rather than those you meet on dating apps. Places you can meet familiar people include social/group activities like weddings, birthday parties, trips, among others. This way you can grow a close relationship before going out on dates.
4. Avoid the talking stage before meeting
This may sound like a contradiction to the first tip. However, if you spend so much time texting online, you will share so much personal details that it will feel like there is nothing they don't know about you or you, them. This may affect conversation on the date.
Once you know the basics, plan for the date.
This way, you also risk little disappointment if you don't like the date or the person.
5. Avoid daydreaming
At all costs, avoid fantasising about the date or the person. Since you don't have any way of knowing for sure, your assumptions and imagination are likely going to make you unsure.
This is closely related to the tip 5. Extended periods of talking lead to fantasies building up. When you have a fantastic version of events or the other person built up in your mind, you are likely to feel anxious.
6. Create your setting
Choose an environment that is comfortable. This does not mean going to your comfort zones only. Different places trigger different emotions but so does atmosphere.
For example, a fancy hotel might make you uncomfortable but live band at a fancy hotel might be fun. Do you prefer sitting near the wall or facing away from other people. Make your comfort priority!
You don't have to keep these experiences to yourself. Your date might be nervous too! Talk about your anxiety with them. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need to enjoy yourself.
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