Dating with Social Anxiety: Tips & Tricks on How to Manage It
You might have thought that dating with social anxiety is off the table for you and everyone else diagnosed with this psychological disorder which affects romantic relationships in every aspect.
Social anxiety disorder or shortly SAD is a psychological disorder that prevents people from being comfortable and active in social interactions with other people. So, when thinking about dating, it might seem far-fetched, yet many have mastered the art of dating with social anxiety and are living fulfilled romantic lives, whether they’re only dating or in serious relationships.
If you’re new to this and don’t know how to successfully meet new people without social anxiety affecting these experiences, this article is for you.
What Is Social Anxiety?
A severe, ongoing worry of being observed and evaluated by others is referred to as social anxiety disorder. Work, school, and other daily activities may be affected by this constant concern. Even making and maintaining friends may become challenging, yet the good news is that social anxiety can be treated with adequate therapy.
A typical form of anxiety condition is a social anxiety disorder. When confronted with circumstances where they might be observed, judged, or evaluated by others, such as speaking in front of an audience, interacting with strangers, dating, participating in a job interview, responding to a question in class, or having to interact with a cashier in a store, a person with a social anxiety disorder experiences symptoms of anxiety or fear.
Common actions like eating or drinking in public or using the restroom can also make people feel anxious or afraid because they worry about being rejected, judged, or humiliated. People with social anxiety disorder experience such overwhelming fear in social settings that they believe they are powerless to control it.
Some people may find that this fear prevents them from going to work, school, or performing daily tasks. Other people might be able to carry out these tasks, yet they do it with a great lot of worry or anxiety.
Some people might experience anxiety during performances rather than anxiety linked to social interactions. In situations like giving a speech, competing in sports, or performing on stage, they experience sensations of anxiousness.
Typically developed in late infancy, social anxiety disorder might resemble severe shyness or a need to avoid social situations or interactions. It affects girls more commonly than boys, and this gender disparity is especially obvious in adolescence and early adulthood. Social anxiety disorder can persist for a long time, or perhaps a lifetime, without therapy.
Tips for Your First Date
There are a few things that might make it easy for you when you decide to go on your first date with someone. You don’t have to immediately admit to having social anxiety. Be sincere when describing the setting where you feel most at ease. For instance, if they suggest going bowling, dining at a restaurant, or any other activity that makes you uneasy, let them know. Being socially anxious is challenging enough without having to contend with uneasy settings.
The opportunity to meet many new individuals is one of the best things about dating apps. Why not go on a few practice dates to boost your confidence if you find the dating world to be intimidating? You can exchange messages, talk about mutual interests, and see how you feel about that level of interaction. This will prepare you for a conversation when you decide to go on a first date with the person you like.
Also, consider arriving at the location before your date. This will allow you some time to settle in and get comfortable with the setting and people around you. That said, aim to arrive a maximum of ten minutes earlier because anything more than that might trigger your anxiety even more.
Never experiment with a new haircut or cosmetics appearance before a first date. Your stress levels will already be high enough from the mere prospect that everything will go wrong. Just maintain it simple and pick an option that gives you a comfortable, confident feeling.
Social Anxiety & Romantic Relationships
Unfortunately, social anxiety can negatively impact your capacity to form, nurture, and sustain romantic connections. Even with someone you love and trust, it might be challenging to let down your guard and feel vulnerable. Because you can perceive emotional intimacy as being too risky, it might be harder the more anxious you are.
A healthy and happy relationship is entirely possible for those who receive social anxiety treatment and are able to find the right supporting partner. Identifying and interrupting distorted thoughts is something you can work on beforehand. As soon as you hear that voice in your head telling you that someone isn’t into you or they think you’re weird, challenge those thoughts! For example, questions like, “Is it possible I misinterpreted their text?”
Practicing this will help you have more faith in a relationship you start building with another person as these doubts tend to appear more than once. Of course, the best advice someone could give you is to start therapy and talk to a therapist or a mental health professional who can provide you with valuable tools that enable you to start and nurture a romantic relationship.
Be Patient while Falling In Love
Avoid making assumptions about how your date could be feeling about you. Making assumptions about what other people think or feel can make us anxious, yet doing so is unjust to both the other person and you. Instead, focus on your positive sides. For example, if you have a hobby or a favorite band, think about the things you would like to share with your date.
If you occupy your mind with positive thoughts, there will be no room for negative ones. Lastly, keep in mind that dating is difficult for everyone. Nobody has it all figured out and we’re just doing our best to make the most of all experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Take it easy on yourself and give love a chance!
About Life Coaching and Therapy
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!
Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). And an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.