You reach for your phone and unlock it. After navigating through several of your apps, you find the one you’re looking for. You click on the icon and the home page opens. Pictures of random people you’ve never met fill your screen.

After staring at the screen for longer than you’d like to admit, you decide to go through with it. You swipe right. After chatting for a bit, you decide to set up a date. Oh boy.

Now what? What will you wear? What if they don’t like you in person? These are common thoughts that may start small and spiral into an anxious mantra that only ends up discouraging you.

Here are 4 tips for managing anxiety about dating.

1. Give Yourself Time

Dating can be a bit uncomfortable, but you’re not alone in those feelings. You can’t grow by staying in your comfort zone. Just like you can’t find a date just by staying in the comfort of your 0wn home.

Give yourself the necessary time to adjust to dating. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If your friends and family are telling you to put yourself out there, but you’re not ready yet, then that’s okay. You have to do what is best for you.

2. Try to Enjoy the Moment

It’s easy to pull people and situations from your past and thoughts about the future into your present date life. Although this can be easier said than done, try to live in the present moment. When you’re living in the past or future, it can make it extremely difficult to enjoy the present moment.

The past is the past for a reason. Although you may have reminders from time to time, try to look ahead instead of in the rearview mirror.

On the other hand, focusing on the future too much can also be a downfall. Try not to plan ahead, especially for things that are out of your control. Try to push all of those negative thoughts to the side and enjoy things that are happening in the here and now.

3. Don’t Hide Your Anxiety

There’s a good chance that you’re not alone in your feelings and anxiety, especially when it comes to dating. The person you’re going on a date with is probably feeling exactly the same way.

Trying to hide your anxiety can actually make it worse. Talking about your nerves and anxiety can be a great talking point, especially on the first few dates. Plus, getting it out in the open can be a huge relief to you and the person you’re dating. Tell them how you’re feeling. Be open and honest with yourself and them. Saying, “I’m a little nervous,” can be an effective icebreaker.

4. Prepare Yourself

Uncertainty can cause or worsen the anxiety you’re dealing with. Try to plan ahead for an upcoming date by knowing the details ahead of time. Fine tune all the details ahead of time, so you have a plan in place.

Figure out the location and time of the date. This will help you research the location and menu ahead of time. Figure out what you’re going to order ahead of time, so you can focus on getting to know your date instead of reading the menu.

You can also plan your outfit ahead of time. You don’t want to wake up the morning of your date and spend hours trying on different outfits and stressing yourself out even more before you head to your date.

Planning ahead can naturally ease some of the anxiety you’re facing.

Looking for love can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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