Confront your social anxiety Yes, you might be feeling anxious before your first date because you’re not as smooth and charming as you’d like to be, but stop worrying! Many people struggle with social anxiety because they fear rejection and that they won’t measure up to someone else’s expectations. As with a lot of fears, first dating is the perfect opportunity to conquer your social anxiety. On a one-on-one date, it’s much easier to be yourself because you know there’s no one else in the room, but you can still practice your social skills. It’s not as awkward to be in a crowd, so that if the conversation gets rocky, there are lots of other people to distract you. Dating can be a real mind game. Many people come into an online dating experience feeling like they need to be the best person on the planet or hide their crazy hobby or strange hobby (many of us do). It’s generally not as dire as you’d think it would be to show your hobbies on a first date, and sometimes it’s easier to be honest about a hobby than you’d think. If you’re going to share a hobby with someone, make sure it’s something that you and the person you’re dating understand can be done together. Don’t bring up some obscure secret hobby that might make the person uncomfortable, just because it’s something you’re passionate about. Research shows that people who are honest about themselves (including a hobby) are more likely to get what they want in a romantic relationship. Plus, hobbies can be really fun, so if you want to do something cool, someone who’s interested will keep an open mind. Be honest, but make sure the person you’re dating understands you can do something like that too. Learn to relax When dating a few people, I always felt as though I was responsible for each person’s approval and feelings. So, I’d spend so much time perfecting the perfect date that I’d rarely be able to enjoy my time with the person. If I’m having a good time, I’m not worried about whether or not my date is having a good time. If I’m worried about putting people down and disappointing them, I end up taking all the fun out of the date and getting nothing in return. Dating is a lot like going out to a restaurant. You have an idea of what you want the meal to look like and you want to make sure everything is perfect. But if you’re
With the advent of many new dating apps and websites, online dating has become a real and thriving phenomenon. If you are looking to get started with online dating, there are some key steps you need to take to make sure you are making headway and won’t be wasting your time and money. Even if you know exactly what you are looking for when you go on a date, you need to know how to navigate some of the nuances of online dating—like the different types of profiles, how to search, and what to look for in a potential date. We’ve got you covered. Online Dating Sites For You There are many different options when it comes to online dating, from free sites to paid sites, to sites that are just for those in your city, sites that cater to your religious beliefs, or sites that are geared toward a particular topic. You can even choose to use only one of the many dating apps. Free Online Dating Sites Think of free online dating as a way to get to know people at a slower pace. Free online dating sites allow you to meet new people but these sites also limit the amount of time you can spend on them. There are over 11 million active users on these dating sites—most of them are looking for a free trial to the paid services. Free sites tend to have low standards and will set you up with anyone who is on the site. Sites like OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Match, and Date have millions of members, many of which are searching for a long term relationship. So, if you are looking for a one-night stand, this is probably not the site for you. Free Sites and Paid Sites With paid sites, you will be able to filter your matches according to your favorite sex positions, physical traits, and type of partner—what you are looking for. For example, say you are looking for a family man, or one who is willing to travel with you. Paid sites allow you to quickly find matches in your area or based on your criteria, such as height, education level, and even desired parenting style. On the other hand, you will find that free sites can be a little overwhelming, with far too many matches for you to sift through all at once, and you won’t get your desired outcome as easily. Sometimes too many people to choose from is the same thing as not many people to choose from. People are more comfortable having hundreds of options available to them when they