As some of you may know, I am not the most experienced person when it comes to relationships.
One of the reasons for that is because dating with social anxiety, my social anxiety, seemed impossible for me at the time.
Instead, I am going to discuss my first reason.
You see, social anxiety really gets in the way of getting to know people.
Eh, that’s an understatement right there. In truth, most people with social anxiety simply aren’t all that capable in the social department, and I am not talking about making friends and small talk either.
It’s about just being around other people, forget talking to them or them actually noticing you in the first place.
No, social anxiety is the thoughts process inside your head, it’s an irrational idea that consumes you whole.
You keep looking at “what if’s”, and suddenly the worst case scenario seems to amount to death itself.
There’s no way out.
Going on dates takes this notion and pumps it up to eleven.
Dates are social interactions, too!
A lot of people seem to miss this point due to the nature of going out with someone.
Much like a job interview, going on a date is, first and foremost, a process of evaluation, with both sides measuring each other up over a nice dinner (or maybe not, in the case of a job interview)
Also, much like a job interview, dates are, at their core, social interactions.
Sure, most people don’t quite see it as such, but when you meet someone, for whatever reason, you are already interacting with them.
Seems pretty obvious, right?
Although it is obvious, most people don’t disregard this idea to the point of obscurity.
Yet dating, much like going through a job interview, is far most intense.
In fact, it’s much more likely that you will exhibit symptoms of social anxiety because of a date than a regular social interaction.
Trying, and failing, to make a good impression
As far as research goes, data seems to be pointing out towards one direction in particular.
Studies have found a direct correlation between the need to perform accordingly and make a good impression with social anxiety among participants.
What does that actually mean? When you are faced with the need to look good, your social anxiety only becomes worse.
As it is, social anxiety, largely, causes a “what if” mindset.
What is the worst possible scenario? What’s going to happen and make this situation worse?
It only stands to reason that when we are judged by others we tend to get far more anxious, right?
And that’s precisely what dating is.
As I said before, you do nothing but judge each other.
Not only does this mean that your social anxiety will impair your judgment, but you will also exhibit undesirable qualities that will push your date away.
I mean seriously, who would want to date a nervous wreck anyway?
Look at it as an experience
I am no expert, so I’ll just assume that you asked someone out/were asked by someone and that your social anxiety isn’t too severe.
If it was, then this article wouldn’t be of any help to you – dating with social anxiety, like, real, severe, social anxiety just isn’t possible.
Still, if your condition isn’t absolutely overwhelming you then you shouldn’t worry too much.
Look at this as an experiment – get ready, know what you are up against, and just roll with it.
If it fails then it’s alright, nobody has a perfect date count and there’s always next time – practice makes perfect, after all.
If it does succeed then you are off to a great relationship, no?
You won’t get better without practice, and as far as practice goes dating is a pretty good “exercise”, so to speak.
In light of that, here are a few good tips for you to use in your dating and social anxiety problem
1) Be prepared, but don’t overthink this
As I said before, the “what if” scenario is a very dangerous one as far as your mindset goes.
Overthinking the situation may lead you to a sense of paralysis, a state of worry that will make it impossible for you to take action.
You will be looking for this “perfect solution”, believing that you are being logical about it, and eventually end up taking no action whatsoever.
This might be the “logical conclusion”, that is to say that taking no action will at least prevent you from failing, but this comes from the assumption that anything short of “perfect” won’t be good enough.
Life doesn’t work by perfection, since your idea of it might be vastly different than your date’s.
So overthinking things is a big no-no, but that doesn’t mean that you should just go at it.
Treat this like an interview of sorts, although a somewhat casual one, and come up with a few questions to ask and some answers to your date’s question.
A date is a type of outing meant to get to know each other better.
So get ready to know the other person better, and as long as you are confident in your ability to summarize stuff about yourself, then you will be alright.
2) Keep it short and sweet
Another thing that people with social anxiety seem to suffer from is the challenge of maintaining silence.
For us, silence means that we are being judged and opens up the possibility of us to overanalyze the situation.
As such, I would recommend you to keep the date short yet lively – it will make it more memorable and much easier your to bear.
I am not telling you to just rush through the whole thing either, mind you, but keeping it on-point is a pretty good idea.
Keeping the date interesting for long will be difficult, and if you try to do that you might succeed.
In case that you don’t, your confidence and self-esteem will drop considerably
So yeah, no long dates for you.
Be interesting, be engaged, get to know the other person well enough and end it right there and then.
A date is just a “get to know you” kind of thing, so keeping its duration to the bare minimum should be alright.
I mean, it doesn’t take more than half an hour to get to know someone well enough, right? Job interviews can take as little as 10 minutes (or less) to complete, so why not a date? It’s basically the same thing.
3) Don’t think too much about it afterward
One big mistake that many people make is overthinking their date before it actually happens.
An equally large issue is overthinking the date after it ends.
Sure, reviewing your date in your mind isn’t a bad thing, we all think back on things after we do them, yet anything more than that won’t end well.
It’s pointless to think about “what if’s” after the date is done, even more so than before it.
You can’t change anything, the first impression you were meant to give was sealed right then and there.
You can’t change the past, only look at the future.
If you didn’t like your date then move on, if you did and messed up…
Well, just notice your errors and work on correcting them next time.
Yeah, I know, pretty cliche, but it works!
There are about 8 Billion people in the whole world, at least a good portion of those are in your age, and sexually preferred, group.
There’s nothing to worry about when it comes to failure, just keep up working at your social anxiety and it will get better sooner than you think.
The only real problem is letting it get to you, so just don’t.
If the date failed then your relationship would have been no good, right? If you can’t even get past the dating stage, what would you do next?
Just tell yourself that if they weren’t interested in you – it’s their loss, and move on with your life.
Social anxiety won’t go away
Ultimately, at the hands of the persistent user, dating can be an excellent tool to crack out of your shell and stretch the limits of your comfort zone.
I am far from being an expert on the subject of dating, but I do know a thing or two about social anxiety, so I feel very comfortable giving you this advice, regardless.
Like I said before, dating and social anxiety don’t mix, you have to apply one in order to get read of the other.
And when push comes to shove, which one is it going to be? Your date or your stress, which one seems more rewarding and worth striving to?
If you need any further help I would gladly redirect you to a great product on the topic.
Until then, here’s a question for you – what is your best (and worst) experience when it comes to your love life?
A tad personal, but we can all laugh at our successes and failures in the end!
If you are up to it then make sure to write down your answer in the comment section below, I go through every single one of them myself!
If you got any question you would like to ask me personally then simply send me an email, those work great!