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December 1, 2021

4 strategies for dealing with social anxiety while online dating

Do you get sweaty sometimes? Like, specifically when you’ve had too much coffee and/or you’re trying to come up with the perfect thing to say to your crush? Something about stress sweat just ratchets up the anxiety of a situation that probably doesn’t really need to be so scary. Even if you don’t get all pitted out and sweaty, chances are you probably get a little nervous chatting with your crush. In the online dating sphere, a lot of this talking is now virtual, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. At least I have time to think about what I want to say without being put on the spot… but what if my tone is misinterpreted over text? What if they type LOL but they didn’t even exhale sharply through their nose when they read my joke? You get what I mean. Below are some tips to help you relax and embrace confidence in your flirty interactions. 

  1. Get comfy

If you’ve ever done yoga, you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: the mind and body are connected. Getting physically comfortable can help you feel less anxious mentally. Whether this means putting on something glamorous that makes you feel like a bad B, or adding another blanket to your media-consumption couch nest, whatever brings you a sense of peace and capability is the way to go. 

  1. Watch or read a character that inspires you

Maybe it’s Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope and her fiery determination; Maybe it’s Insecure’s Issa Rae and her resilience; or maybe Brooklyn 99’s Terry Jeffords, and his unabashed and endearing sensitivity. Whether it’s someone you identify with or someone you aspire to be, watching a character you love can help you embrace your authentic character and put yourself out there to be known. 

  1. Embrace your quirks

Now, this could really be a sub-point of number two. Think again of those characters you love, and the things that make them unique. It’s probably the reason you like them. In that vein, don’t try to change how other perceive you, be your unique self, share your superpower, and trust that the right person will find them as compelling and delightful as America found Jessica Day when New Girl first aired. Unrelated, but I watch a lot of TV. 


  1. Prioritize Your Time

Chances are, during this time a lot of your conversations are taking place through text or messaging. It can be excruciating when someone you really like is taking a long time to reply. It can be difficult to do anything but compulsively check your screens. It’s important to remember that your time is a gift you give others and yourself, and that your life is fuller than the pauses between chat notifications. Find something to do that will engage your mind and enrich your time. It could be a call to your best friend, working on a creative project, or making yourself a really awesome snack; whatever reminds you that you are valuable and amazing, no matter how an online convo pans out. 


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