It’s not easy to go out with people on romantic terms even if you DON’T have anxiety, however if you do; depending on the severity it can literally stress your entire day out! Remember to see a psychiatrist, I know the stigma that comes along with mental illness but it’s important to get help (and believe me they can help and know what they’re doing, it’s helped me a ton to be on SSRI’S and a light amount of Clonazepam). Also Counseling can be HUGE, just having someone to listen (who’s an unbiased opinion and can see things from an outsiders perspective on your life), you’ve got to find the right counselor though; that’s really important so don’t be afraid to try a few out! They typically give free consultation visits.
Anyway, here are some tips to deal with the anxiety that comes along with this. In today’s hookup culture, especially in your late teens to early 20’s; potential romantic partners are not typically very forgiving of any abnormal behavior until you know each other better (a new partner is just a swipe away… it’s unfortunate but you have to be able to manage your anxiety or people will be scared away).
If you’re shaky, you can hide your hands in your pockets; you can also laugh it off as “being a bit nervous on the first date”, some women thought it was cute, others saw it as not manly enough and unmasculine so that’s up to you on whether you want to hide it or not. If you sweat really bad like I do (when you’re anxious) there’s a couple ways to deal with it, my personal favorite is to wear tank tops/bro tanks/basketball jerseys (no sweat spots under your armpits and because it’s light clothing you’ll be cooler anyway, which is always helpful). Another way to hide anxiety sweat is to use the restroom and wash your face, it will help cool you down and hide the fact that you were sweating.
I have the issue of the eye twitching (my anxiety is typically more related to social situations, so when I’m around people this happens a lot), sunglasses are an easy way to hide this (I’m almost always wearing sunglasses during the day, and it can even be in style to wear them at night)! Also holding my head up with my hand seems to do the trick as well as digging my fingernails into my palm (these are just tricks that work for me).
Getting nervous that your date may flake is normal, but if you have anxiety this can literally exponentially multiply. What you have to do is stick to just one confirmation text the morning of and then about an hour before I usually shoot my date something like: “Hey I’m jumping in the shower after my workout and then heading over :D”, this serves the purpose of you not heading out there if they don’t respond (and have decided to flake for whatever reason).
On the date itself just try to relax, there’s plenty of fish in the sea so don’t get attached early (and thus get needy). If you’re going to make a move, do so in a calm, calculated manner (make sure it’s smooth) and make sure it’s the right time for it. Other than that if you’re especially nervous ask some lengthy questions that cause your date to launch into a story (so you have more time to relax and get comfortable in the situation, time can make a huge difference with anxiety).
If you feel like you’re going to have a really bad anxiety attack, politely excuse yourself (phone call, bathroom etc.), chill out in the restroom or go get some air for 4-5 minutes, it will help. Drinking water also helps me with my anxiety for some odd reason.
Here’s where lots of people mess up, after your date (whether it’s the night of or the next day), if she doesn’t text you back; DON’T FREAK OUT!!! I have lost many a woman due to me getting anxious about them not texting me back. People are busy and the whole point of a text is to be able to respond when convenient. I usually follow the rule of Chase Amante, after the first text - no response I do a day of radio silence, then I send one more (not referencing the unanswered text, just ask her out again). If she doesn’t respond again, drop the number and move on, whether she’s not interested or playing games it doesn’t do anything for you to send more than two texts. Lots of times they’ve reached back out a week later and just said they had been busy, up to you with how you want to take that and if you want to go back out with them (I typically don’t, since I only date people who value my time as well as theirs).
These are all tips and tricks I’ve learned from having extreme social anxiety but deciding that I wanted to run Nightclubs/Raves/Events/Parties for a living as well as modeling and acting; plus I spent about six months in the Pickup scene (so I went on a lot of dates and therefore was able to hone my anxiety fighting tactics). Exposure therapy has seemed to help somewhat but hasn’t completely eradicated my anxiety, so that’s why I compiled this helpful list of tips :D.