As a guy with social anxiety, one of the most difficult parts in dating is be going on a date. There can be tremendous amounts of pressure to make a good impression which can send us reeling with anxiety. The nervousness of going on a date is kind of like test-taking anxiety, the more you prepared you are, the more confident you are about getting the right results.This is the final article in the Guide to Dating for the Socially Anxious Man. Now that you have been preparing yourself and getting to know the fairer sex, we’re ready to start reviewing some tactics that will help you to enjoy yourself when you’re actually on the date you’ve been preparing for. You can relax on a date and be your charming self.
Three Golden Rules for Going on Date When You’re Socially Anxious
1. Give Her Options
When you take a girl out, look into a few options of what you want to do and have a loose plan. That way, when she says “what are we going to do” you say “well, we could do this, this or this”. Give her options. It’s a great way to show that you are decisive and organized but at the same time, you’re giving her the last say.
Don’t be too rigid with your plan though. Things rarely go exactly as planned and a date is no different. Use your plan as an outline and let her fill in the finer details.
This first step is a reflection of a future relationship. It mirrors the natural balance of control that exists in many marriages. The man wants to believe he’s in control and a lot of women will let him, while in reality, she’s pulling the strings and getting the final say on everything. Of course that’s a gross generalization but it’s true enough people to make it worth noting.
You don’t have to be a man of action and call all the shots but being a man with a plan can earn you the right kind of points. As socially anxious men, we have to consciously find a way to earn as many points as possible while being careful to never put the girl on a pedestal and beg her for her approval.
2. Get the Pressure Off of You & Off Her
Whatever you choose, it is a good idea to be doing some kind of activity on a date. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as taking a walk but generally, you’ll want something that requires a bit of concentration and the use of your hands and here’s why: Your brain can only handle so many tasks at a time. The part of your mind that controls how much attention you have to divide among tasks is called the Executive Function.
When you’re anxious, your mind is preoccupied with a perceived threat. Usually, the fear of rejection and embarrassment. When you engage in an activity that requires focus, you’re bogging down your executive function and therefore inhibiting your brain’s ability to focus on anxiety.
If you can think of very few things, other than what you’re doing, your body and mind will be naturally more relaxed because you’re not giving yourself time to over-think and get tense. You’ll be looser, more fluid in your conversation and have a better time as well as be able to get to know the girl you like.
3. Remember Why You There
A date is for getting to know someone and because you don’t know them, there really is nothing to lose if you never see them again. Think about it, how can it be personal if she doesn’t know you personally?
This is our entire challenge as socially anxious people; making ourselves understood to others. Finding a way to let them in so they can get to know us. So, before your date remind yourself that you don’t need this girl. How can you need her? You don’t even know her. And besides, the minute you start to need her, that’s when she’s out.
There is a really harsh reality to having social anxiety (as you may have noticed) and that is that we have to accept that a large percentage of people will not get us and that’s okay. Mental well-being stems from the ability to understand what is in your control and what isn’t. You cannot click your heals together 3 times and repeat “there’s no place like home” and then wake up in a world where you don’t have socially anxiety. So, remind yourself that your date might not get you and remind yourself that you don’t need her to.
That being said, this is not an excuse to be arrogant and dismissive. I have seen plenty of men use this “I don’t need you” attitude as a shield to protect them from that feeling of rejection. If you really want to improve your chances you must remain a perfect gentlemen as we previously discussed in the article about charm.
I do not recommend viewing this as a long-term solution but it is something that you can use to improve your life immediately. It may not cure anxiety, but it is a tool that will allow you to get to know someone and possibly build a relationship. That alone will help your anxiety as having company usually helps most people feel better.