Insight Is 20/20

Exploring the pervasive, and unperceived, patterns that govern our lives

Dating Anxiety: Tips, Secrets, How to Enjoy, Best Strategies

Dating doesn't have to be a horror story in 3D.

Most people don't love the thought of dating for obvious reasons, but dating is even more challenging if you tend to be a little more shy or introverted than your socially bubbly peers. Following some basic tips, however, can make your dating life a little easier - and successful. Check the tips out below and use some or all of them to improve your romantic experience.

1. Early in the dating process, make the dates activity-oriented. Malls, sporting events, and festivals are great examples of places to visit on your first few dates.

2. On your date, make sure to ask your date questions about him or her – e.g., likes, dislikes, a little information about where he or she comes from. Women often find that men on first dates don’t ask them a lot of questions about themselves, and this is a big turn-off for women.

3. On your date, avoid too much discussion about work or what your date does for a living. Men and women who make a lot of money, in particular, are often afraid that someone will simply want to be with them for their money, so asking them too much about their job might scare them away.

4. On your date, tell your date a little bit about your hobbies or interests.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

5. On your date, show a little physical affection throughout the date if you like him or her – e.g., touch his or her arm warmly, or put your hand on his or her back for a moment.

6. On your date, don’t feel uncomfortable if there are a few moments where you’re not talking to each other. You’re just getting to know each other, so lulls in the conversation are perfectly normal. During such a lull, divert your eyes from your date and distract yourself – e.g., rearrange your silverware, take a breath, or ask for a dessert menu.

7. At the end of your date, if you like him or her, suggest something that you could do together on a future date. Don’t try to read too much into how he or she responds, because it’s often impossible to figure out how someone truly feels at that moment – only time will tell.

8. At the end of your date, avoid engaging in too much physical or sexual contact. If you like him or her, keep it simple with a kiss on the cheek. If you’re meant to be together, you’ll have a long time to get more physical. There’s no need to rush it!

9. After your date, don’t get caught up in the “Should I wait a day to call him?” drama. If you like him or her, make the phone call. Growing up = giving up the games.

10. After your date, remember that finding the love of your life is a numbers game. The more frequently you date new people, the more likely you will be to find someone you truly connect with. If your last date worked out and you stay together, that’s terrific – mission accomplished. If not, allow yourself a day to feel disappointed and then get back out there and start looking for your next date!

Seth Meyers, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health.

more...

Subscribe to Insight Is 20/20

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?