How To Date When You Have Social Anxiety

Anxiety is like an unwanted companion that invades your personal space and barely leaves you be. So, when it comes to bringing this companion along to something like a date, it can get a little annoying and hard to navigate. There are ways to help keep the anxiety at bay (praise be), so that you can have a date without choking on your spit from talking too fast and forgetting to swallow.

Don’t Go Somewhere Overcrowded

It’s probably best if you both go somewhere a little more relaxed and easy going, rather than loud and overwhelming. By doing this, none of you will have to raise your voice and compete with other elements to be heard. Instead try to find a place where there will be enough quiet, but a lot of conversation starters. This could be anywhere from a museum to an aquarium (who doesn’t love a good sea cucumber?)

Tell Them About It

You may think that your anxiety is lame, but there’s nothing wrong with being honest with someone about it. While the notion of discussing mental health has improved over the years, those with social anxiety can still feel shame and other negative emotions about it. Everyone has their own quirks, so by taking the steps to reveal them and have a laugh about it, it may help loosen things up. It doesn’t have to be a drastic conversation. Besides, your date will probably understand your qualms more than you expected them too. And at the end of the day, if they have the audacity to judge, they’re not worth your time anyway.

Plan What You Want To Talk About

We’re definitely not talking about sitting at the restaurant with palm cards filled with questions and topics to fill any awkward silences. Well, you can if you want to, someone might find it endearing and adorable, but nevertheless, stick to the mental list for now. By going into the date with a semi-structured outline, it might help your mind feel less chaotic. You’re also less likely to have a tonne of those awkward silences that are known to make your head explode from nervousness.

Have A Break

If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed during the date, listen to what your body is telling you and take a break. You can do this by excusing yourself to the bathroom for a few minutes or going to get a drink of cold water. It’s been said that removing yourself for a little bit, then reintroducing yourself to the situation helps. Think of it as blank canvas, or a reboot for your brain.

Know How To Breath

You obviously know how to breath in a normal day-to-day situation, so this isn’t too much of a concern. However, in an anxiety inducing situation (like dating) your breathing tends to change. This is where we usually land ourselves in a hyperventilating pickle. Implementing breathing exercised and tiny relaxation tactics can really help. They’re also subtle enough that your date won’t notice you’re doing them, which is a lovely bonus.

Image source: HBO

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