How to date stress-free

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Does the thought of a date make your palms clammy? Can you feel your heart beginning to race just at the thought of dating? Well, you’re not alone. While dating should be lots of fun, for many it’s a painful experience where their nerves get in the way of their great personality. For some people dating is just too stressful to even contemplate and they end up missing out on some great opportunities.

What a date ISN’T
When dating we can get ourselves so stressed out we lose perspective of what dating should be. As your starter for ten, here is what a date really isn’t:

•    It’s not a test of how attractive, personable or intelligent you are – you are who you are, and just because you’ve had some not so great dates doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of finding happiness. It also doesn’t mean you should try and change yourself
•    It’s not your last chance of happiness. When you’re on the dating circuit for a long time you can start to put undue pressure on yourself before every date, hoping they will be The One, or at least someone who’ll do

What a date IS
As a counterpart, it’s important to remember just what a date is, too:

•    It’s a chance to get to know someone, in a relaxed environment (not a one-shot attempt at securing the love of your life)
•    It should be fun

Where that stress comes from
The stress of dating comes from various different sources: the expectation of friends and family, the media’s depiction of how our lives should be, changing gender roles…the list goes on. But, more than anything else the stress you feel comes from you.

We’re our own worst critics, and we’re even more inclined to heap stress on ourselves, especially when it comes to dating. We tell ourselves that tonight’s date might be ‘The One’ and we stress about what to wear, how to get there,  how to say hello, what to order, what to talk about and every other aspect of the evening.

But, along with remembering exactly what a date is, there are other ways to help reduce that stress. You must remember:

•    There’s nothing to lose: Think about all those ‘what ifs’ you say to yourself before each date, like ‘what if he thinks I’m ugly?’, ‘what if she hates the way I eat?’. Then tell yourself it doesn’t matter. These things absolutely shouldn’t hurt you when your date doesn’t even know you. If things don’t go well, that’s not great, but life goes on.

•    You’ve got nothing to prove: This isn’t a job interview, you shouldn’t be answering questions with practised answers pretending to be someone you’re not. You are you, and that is exactly who your date wants to meet.

•   Have no regrets: As Robbie Williams once sang, ‘no regrets, they don’t work’. And he had a good point. Regrets can be harmful, causing you to beat yourself up about something way after the event – sometimes they can even stop you moving on. This date may be a complete waste of time, or it might lead you to the love of your life. You’ll never know unless you actually go on the date!

•    Have fun! Dating should be fun. It should be at least an enjoyable way to experience an evening, and at best potentially the best time of your life. With a positive approach to things you will be able to influence your date and make things even better for both of you.


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