You receive a notification on your phone. It’s an alert that reads, “Date”. Your eyes widen. You click on the notification. The location reads the name of a restaurant you’re familiar with.
Your eyes dart back and forth over the page in front of you. It starts to blur. Your body starts to fill with dread.
You look at the date and realize it’s scheduled for tomorrow. You don’t have much time.
Questions start to fill your head. Should you cancel? Are you really ready for this? What are you going to wear? How early should you arrive? What if they’re a no-show? What if you have nothing to talk about?
Nerves on a first date are common. When you start to feel overwhelmed or have feelings of doom or dread, it could be something more.
Here’s how to manage dating anxiety.
Assess Your Anxiety
Any type of anxiety can be overwhelming, no matter the cause. Getting down to the reasons why you may be feeling anxious can help you figure out ways to overcome it and feel more at ease. With dating, your anxiety could stem from any of the below:
- Think you’re an awkward person.
- Assume they won’t like you.
- Think you’re bad at dating.
- Wonder if you’re a good fit with one another.
- Worry you may say the wrong thing.
- Dread awkward silences.
No matter the exact reason, your internal thoughts can make you question things and even believe things that aren’t necessarily true.
Think of it this way. Would your family and friends agree with any of the statements listed above? They probably wouldn’t. You have several different types of relationships in your life already: family, friends, and co-workers. There’s a reason you have those relationships and you’ve maintained them. The same can be done in a romantic aspect. Give yourself time and grace.
Acknowledge Your Anxiety
Haven’t you ever heard that admitting it is the first step? The same applies to anxiety.
Anxiety can make it difficult to admit to yourself, let alone friends, family, or your date. Even the thought of that may make you a little uneasy, and that’s okay! Recognizing and acknowledging that you’re anxious can actually help with your anxiety! Sure, you may be anxious about dating. Your date is probably feeling the same way!
Hope for the Best
Don’t put a pause on a relationship until it’s had a chance to blossom. Sometimes, people dealing with anxiety can put up walls as a way to protect themselves. Anxiety can also lead you down a road of negative thoughts, which can spiral you into thinking and assuming the worst in situations.
Put those negative thoughts aside. Instead, try imagining what could happen if it does work out! You could have a great time. The conversation could be exactly what you’re looking for, and you may even be able to feel confident throughout the entire date. You and your date may even be on the same page and could plan a second date before the first one ends! Calm your nerves by thinking positively!
A little bit of dating anxiety stems from the unknown. You can help to ease some of those feelings by planning the date ahead of time, so you know what to expect. Plan ahead with things like the following:
- Your outfit.
- The time you’ll meet.
- The place you’ll meet at.
- What you’re going to drink.
- What you’re planning on eating.
Planning ahead will help you focus on the date instead of worrying about all the other details.