Is dating stressing you out? Here are a few strategies to help you de-stress your dating life.
Like yourself — just as you are.
Remember when Mark Darcy told Bridget Jones, “I like you, very much. Just as you are”? It’s time you told yourself that. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not complete without a significant other. Do you want a partner? Sure. Do you need one? Not necessarily. Relieve the pressure of “need” and enjoy getting to know new people without panicking that they won’t end up being “the one.”
Challenge your inner monologue.
When you’re stressed before a first date, ask yourself why — and then challenge your fears. Give yourself a pep talk, reiterating that you’re a great catch, that everyone’s nervous before a date, and that a date is simply an opportunity to get to know someone new. Don’t settle for an inner monologue of lies that you’re not good enough or that your date is doomed to fail.
Don’t fear rejection.
If rejection is what you fear most, remember that rejection often has more to do with the rejector than the rejectee. It’s part of the process. It’s better to be rejected than end up in the wrong relationship. Don’t panic every time a date goes nowhere. There will be someone else.
Do your homework, then go with the flow.
Do a little research before a date to put your mind at ease: dress for the weather, look at the restaurant menu in advance, map your route to the date spot, etc. Having some idea of what to expect can often alleviate stress.
And while some research can be helpful, it’s also important to let go of your inner control freak. Allow yourself to be fully present and just “go with the flow.” Don’t worry about traffic, your outfit, or if you’re sitting across from your future spouse or not. Just enjoy the evening together. (The more present you are, the more relaxed you’ll be. Trust us.)
Consider adopting a relaxation strategy: a warm bath, meditation, exercise, or listening to music. Be proactive about tackling your stress and take some time for yourself. (Also helpful: going on “dates” with friends who think you’re the best.)
Manage your time.
If dating is stressing you out, maybe it’s time to get a little more selective about your dating-dedicated time. Aim for quality over quantity, limiting the number of coffee dates or after-work drinks per week. Prioritize time for yourself — and a non-dating social life — on the calendar. Don’t let dating take over your life.
The old adage still holds true. Nothing is more stressful that trying to be someone you’re not. If you’re feeling nervous on a first date, say so. Don’t pretend to like the things your date does just to impress him. Be transparent about who you are and what you’re looking for. In the long run, it will make dating much simpler.
How do you de-stress your dating life?