Feeling stressed on a first date? 5 tips on how to deal with dating anxiety
If you’re just like any of us, you probably know the feeling: dry mouth, sweaty palms, your heart pounding nervously and this overwhelming sensation of your mind going absolutely blank.
Nope, you don’t have chlamydia, or so I hope ;). It’s only a 10-minutes-before-your-first-date meltdown.
Since as men we’ve been experiencing this weird phenomenon from probably 2000 B.C., it’s the high time we shed some light on dealing with this issue once and forever by providing you with some pretty nifty intelligence on the matter in question.
1. Show some empathy
Some say empathy is the very key to restoring a natural piece amongst people of all religions and preventing fatal diseases.
Well, we’re not so sure about this, but what we do know is that understanding your date’s perspective can go a long way.
Once you show up at a set spot, just bear in mind that she’s probably even more scared than you are. After all, it’s her who’s risking some nasty consequences of meeting 1 on 1 with a strange man during the evening, her female reputation and has probably spent the last 90 minutes getting ready for the meetup.
So don’t panic if at first she doesn’t say much or seems to be unexpectedly tense — it’s normal.
If you remain your calm and give her some time to loosen up, while continuously keeping the burden of the conversation, I can guarantee you her tongue will untwist rather sooner than later.
There’s a common belief out there that every human being is special and unique, thus every time you’re having a conversation you can never pre-determine the way in which it unfolds.
In our opinion though this could remain true only if every person on this planet was entirely different, which — given the ever rising popularity of Starbucks and McDonalds — is certainly not the case.
Although every one of us is somewhat individual, we still share some common habits, experiences and life choices.
So if you’re one of these guys who often struggle with having something to say, just equip yourself with a set of default questions you can always resort to if needed.
What kind of questions am I talking about? Try out investigating her family and friends, vacation spots, favorite cuisine, hobbies, sports she enjoys, kinds of animals she prefers (dogs vs cats), college experiences, first kisses and dates, worst pickup line ever heard and so on.
See? It’s easy simply because just about everyone has some perspective on the above topics.
“She loves me… she loves me not… she loves me…she loves me not” — this very popular children’s rhyme is apparently in use not only by a five years old girls.
As it turns out, men, although gratefully skipping the routine of ripping flower petals apart, very often tend to subconsciously follow a very similar pattern when it comes to dating women.
If every time you arrive at your date spot you find yourself in a serious doubt regarding whether the girl sitting in front of you likes you or not, just follow my advice.
Firstly, follow your logic. Would an attractive woman sacrifice her precious time and mostly entire evening getting excessive make-up, dressing up nicely and laughing to your not so great jokes if she wasn’t attracted to you in the first place?
I guess not, so if you can clearly see she’s put some effort into looking nice just for you, just assume you’re on the path to success.
Secondly, follow your ears. If she skipped wearing a fancy dress and her make-up seems to be pretty basic, simply focus on what’s coming out of her mouth? Is she talking a lot? Is she trying to fill in the gaps when the conversation dries out? Is she going out of her way to avoid potentially harmful silences? If so, there’s no need to worry.
If you cannot help but stress yourself over your future date, sometimes the best way is to simply put your focus onto something else and the more absorbing this activity is, the better for your brain.
Exercising, especially high intensity workouts such as crossfit, weightlifting, HIIT or tabata squats turn out to be extremely effective not only when it comes to steering your focus away from your girl, but also in reducing excessive adrenaline and cortisol levels which add up to your general pre-dating anxiety.
So feel free to pop up at your local gym just a few hours before the meet up. Pumping your muscles with blood for a more masculine look, while getting rid of nervousness can be the very thing you need.
5. Meditation and Mindfulness techniques
We’re definitely not going to go voodoo on you here, but as it turns out bald monks from Tibet, even though they typically don’t keep any form of contact with females, can have some meaningful input on our dating struggles.
If everything else fails, resorting to various forms of meditation, mindfulness, slow breathing or simply quieting your mind down can be of some aid when dealing with dating anxiety.
Putting your focus on making your negative thought patterns fade away can be a surprisingly effective way of reducing your nervousness levels.
What I’ve just listed below is, in my not so humble opinion, the most effective guide to dealing with most common dating anxiety issues.
If one of them doesn’t seem to help you much, feel free to try the other or maybe even mix a couple of them at the same time.
If nothing helps, just remember this — dating is a skill and it can be learned. The more often you meet with women, the more confident you’re going to be at it, so always keep your head up no matter what. After all, you’re constantly improving.