Written by The Strategy
Oh February – the time of year when you can’t enter a store without being reminded that ‘love is in the air.’
Candy hearts, chocolate roses, and date night ideas are definitely clogging up every social media feed and romance is being sold at every retail business. But, some of us may not have found ‘love’ quite just yet, and are being held up by impossible-to-deal-with dating jitters. They may be holding you back from finally going on that first date, or even holding you back from entering the dating game all together. To help get rid of dating jitters, we enlisted the help of Amy Nobile.
Dating anxiety is often what holds people back from taking the first step of dating – making the decision to start dating! Do you have any suggestions on how to put oneself in the right dating mindset?
Yes! I always say, you have to “be the one to attract the one.” What does that mean? Fear attracts fear, and love attracts love. Most of us have some level of fear going into dating – fear of getting hurt, of being vulnerable, of being uncomfortable. We want to start to shift from fear to love. The first step in doing this is to focus on how much or little we love ourselves. Most of us are tough on ourselves and need to begin to shift the narrative about who we are.
Is it normal to feel anxiety when entering the dating game or even showing up for a date?
YES – and the primary reason why is that relational skills and dating with intention are things we are never taught! I have clients aged 25-81 who all say the same thing, that something must be wrong with them or that they are ‘bad at dating.’ Nothing is wrong with them! And on top of that, Disney sort of screwed us over; we have this really warped vision of what ‘love’ looks like. I give clients very tangible tools to show them that it’s all within their ability. One tip is to get a journal and use it throughout your dating journey. Pouring out your fears, anxieties and downloads from dates onto the page is insightful.
The commonly used phrase in dating is “putting yourself out there.” Their term alone sounds vulnerable and terrifying. What are your thoughts over this?
The phrase feels transactional and sterile. It’s as if all you must do is show up somewhere and presto – your person will see you and off you go! Dating with intention is so much more about how you feel within yourself.
Dating apps add another challenge of looking ‘good on paper,’ but not looking as good in-person. Is there any advice you have for presenting your authentic self right from the dating platform to the actual date?
The most important thing for people to know when assembling a dating profile is that it should highlight exactly what they are looking for, as well as who they are in very specific ways. If you’re obsessed with Breaking Bad, say that! If you’re a huge Halloween person with 2 cats, show me. Your profile should be so specific that less people are attracted to it. But, the people who do like it are more likely to be aligned with you. Then, when you show up to the date, they’re getting the real you.
It’s hard to show off your best self when you feel nervous. Do you recommend embracing the nerves or ignoring them?
Embrace the nerves. Get to the date 15 minutes early to set your energy and read a book or journal. If you’re super angsty, just say that. The goal is to feel like you’re on the same team. I suggest saying, “Well…this is a little awkward, meeting on an app! How’s swiping going for you?” It allows you both to breathe into the date without feeling like it’s an interview (which is the worst!).
What are your thoughts on taking a shot or indulging in a drink (or two) to calm nerves prior to, or even while on, a date?
I know that it’s so tempting to do this – to have a ‘personality drink’ beforehand. But, what I will say is, alcohol can help in that very moment, but an hour later it may backfire and make you feel more anxious. If you do imbibe, just be sure to not let the nerves trick you into having more than is prudent for you!
What are some of your tips and tricks for getting over dating jitters before you take the first steps to dating? Whether that be creating a dating app profile or making the decision to actively put yourself out there.
The best thing you can do is develop a self-love/self-care practice, so that you are confident in who you are, and what you stand for. I like the 5/5/5 – it will change your entire outlook! Every morning for one month, right when you get up and before you grab your phone, do a 5-minute meditation, write down 5 things you love about yourself, and 5 things you are grateful for. It’s powerful and helps shift your mindset into the positive.
What are some of your tips and tricks for getting over first date jitters?
Know that you are not alone! Everyone gets nervous! And the more first dates you go on, the easier they get. Keep them short – 45 minutes to an hour. I call this the ‘mini screener date.’ It’s just to see if you’re aligned enough to go on a real dinner date. You can keep it casual, dress down, and you’ll see that it really takes the pressure off!