You might think that it’s just women who are capable of feeling anxious, nervous or scared before a date. But the truth is that both men and women are equally prone to dating phobia. Some people get past the phobia and go on to have successful romantic relationships, and some don’t. The second group of people may be smaller, but it is significant enough to talk about dating phobia. 

Dating can be scary. Most people have one or another insecurity about themselves. Do I look good? Am I too fat? Am I losing hair? Do I stink? Am I too middle class? Am I too desi? The list is endless. So the notion of putting yourself out there for someone, with all your vulnerabilities on display is really scary. Even more so for people who are a little too old, or out of the game. Single folks who are divorced or have lost a partner are most vilnerable to dating phobia.

Here are  few tips to get you started on your dating journey:

1. The very first step is to think of dating as a social interaction with someone of the opposite sex. It may or may not lead to something. It is certainly not a commitment for life, at least not till you have been seeing each other for some time. So try to think of dating as an enjoyable outing with someone you could be friends with.

2. Do not try too hard to impress. You may dress to kill on the first date, and the second. But finally, your date has to see real you. So just focus on looking smart and attractive, without putting yourself out there. It is best to feel relaxed and comfortable in whatever you wear.

3. If you feel nervous, you could work on having a few conversation starters in your mind before you go. Though one should not have to prepare for a date, if you feel too anxious – preparation might be of help.

4. Talking things over with a close friend really helps. Friends will cheer you up and share your excitement. It could even be a sibling or your mother that you talk to. Just have someone to share things with.

5. Keep telling yourself that nothing will change in your life if the date goes wrong!

6. The best way to deal with your fear is to face it head-on. So ask someone out, for a change!

7. If you can’t do any of these things, perhaps a professional psychologist can help you in dealing with your phobia.

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