How To Date When You Have Anxiety? Mental Health Expert Shares TipsWe got you covered!
In this era of online dating and dating apps, it’s not very tough to find a connection. But to maintain a connection and a relationship with someone isn’t as easy as it seems. Relationships are not just about love and romance, they’re also about holding each other through the ups and downs of life and it comes with many unknown factors. To jump into this ocean of unknown may seem romantic at first but things can get tough when you’re struggling with anxiety as you jump headfirst into a relationship or even just agree to a date.
The fear of the unknown can often give people anxiety and more so if you’re someone who is dealing with clinical anxiety. And no, the jitters you feel before your first date or the butterflies you feel when you’re on a date are not the same as clinical anxiety. So, how does one navigate dating while struggling with anxiety? Bumble’s Mental Wellbeing Expert and Clinical Psychologist Ruchika Kanwal has some tips.
5 Tips To Date When You Have Anxiety!
1. Find Familiarity
The one thing that often triggers anxiety is being in a new place with someone new. If you’re going out on a date with someone new, pick a place that is familiar to you or a place where you feel at ease. Avoid crowded places or a place where you may feel overwhelmed. If you want to feel more in control, make your first date about doing an activity like cycling, hiking or pottery maybe.
2. Don’t Rush
Never rush into meeting someone or dating them for that matter. Take all the time you need to know someone better before you decide to meet them for a date in-person. It might put you at ease if you have known this person for a while or if you have spoken to them on video calls.
3. Be Honest
If you’re using a dating app, it would be in your best interests to put your most authentic self out there. Be honest about what you’re looking for and about your interests and likes and dislikes on your profile. This will help you form honest and genuine connections with people online.
4. Look For Like-Minded People
It is extremely important that you form a connection with someone who is like-minded and shares the same values and beliefs as you especially when it comes to mental health. You would not want to date someone who thinks anxiety isn’t a real thing or who doesn’t believe in seeking professional help if you have clinical anxiety. Remember to showcase your thoughts and feelings about mental health on your social media and your dating profile.
5. Set Boundaries
Setting a boundary can go a long way. Make sure that you communicate what you are comfortable discussing and what you aren’t. Don’t shy away from telling your potential date or partner that you’re uncomfortable discussing a certain topic at a certain point in time.
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But when should you disclose the information about your anxiety to your partner or potential dates? Well, Ruchika Kanwal says that while there’s no correct answer to that, it’s best if you consider what mode of communication you wish to use and how many people and how many times are you willing to have this conversation. The mental health expert also highlights that one must take time to figure out what kind of setting would one prefer to discuss their mental health with someone. Do you want to be at home when you discuss it? Before you meet them for the first date or after you start dating? Or do you want to convey it via text or have the discussion in person? These are things that you may want to consider before you have the talk with your partner.