How to Conquer Dating Anxiety (+5 Tips to Help You Mentally Prepare for a Date)

Most people when searching for a romantic connection experience some sort of anxiety. Whether it be wondering where to go, what to do, or topics to talk about, going on a date can cause both butterflies and nerves to flare up as you think through the upcoming events. 

This is NORMAL. 

However, it’s when these thoughts become intrusive, overwhelming, and you begin to second guess yourself due to a panic or anxiety disorder, that we begin to struggle with our confidence and tend to isolate ourselves. Below you will find out how to manage dating anxiety and five tips on how to mentally prepare for a date to help you overcome your anxiety.  

Conquering Your Dating Anxiety

Dating anxiety can be defined as distress associated with interactions with a potential romantic partner before the development of a full-fledged relationship. Being able to manage and conquer your dating anxiety is crucial for building successful and sustainable relationships. By being able to do so, you open up a world of opportunities that become available to you when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and gain the courage to enter into a relationship with another individual. This is quite easier said than done though. In order to find the balance within yourself to manage and conquer your dating anxiety you’ll need to:

 1.      Plan What You Can

Stress and anxiety can be alleviated by planning what you can ahead of time and by bringing awareness to obstacles that may pop up on your date. Planning out a ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’ for both your restaurant and activities is a great way to make sure that no matter what comes up on the date, including weather obstacles, you’re able to navigate appropriately. Planning out your travel time, potential conversation topics, and any “what if” scenarios that you can think of will also help alleviate some stress and anxiety. 

 2.      Evaluate Your Expectations 

We not only get nervous for first dates, but they also tend to come with high expectations. You’ve been talking to someone and creating a version of them in your head that may or may not be true about them. By evaluating your expectations, you’re able to not only go with the flow, but you’ll also get to know the person across from you for who they really are, and not who you think they are. 


3.      Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Have Fun

Let loose and try something new for both of you. Ask questions when planning the date about things your potential partner may be interested in and pick something new for the both of you. When you do this, you’re able to release some anxiety because you’re both beginners or haven’t tried whatever it is you’re doing yet, so you will be able to create a bond and memory. This is also a great way for you to grow and have some fun. It might not be your next favorite hobby, but you will have a good time and something you’ll both look back on if it works out. 

 4.      Seek Support

When dating, seeking support as you build new relationships can give you insights into what is appropriate in terms of communication and sharing as well as on what is effective in terms of building rapport and trust. Reaching out to friends and family members is a great place to start as they know you best. However, sometimes we have to reach outside of our immediate circle to find the answers. Hiring a dating coach or taking a course on dating can teach you what you wouldn’t otherwise learn in today’s dating world. Online mental health support is available to you as you navigate how to not only find yourself a date but manage a healthy and sustainable relationship between you and your potential partner. 

 5.      Stay Present and Give Yourself Grace 

Not everyone is going to be right for you, anxiety or not. Anxiety rises while focusing on the future and the past, causing to worry about what will go wrong, how the future will play out, or how past events have gone wrong. The alternative is mindfulness. If you’re able to stay in the moment with your date and the chemistry isn’t there, then that’s fine. Take what you’ve learned from this date and make your next one that much better. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but it’s hard to find your potential partner fish when you’re swimming after those that don’t understand or accept who you are. 



It’s absolutely normal to have butterflies or to feel nervous before a first date. If you’re feeling a bit anxious, try planning what you can, evaluating your expectations, as well as being present. It will certainly help to overcome the stress and anxiety of your first date as you try to find that special someone. 

 If you experience anxiety and/or enjoyed these tips, be sure to check out Head Habitat, an affordable and ever-growing library of on-demand courses to help you grow along your mental health journey! We are offering a new course to help you learn how to Date Free From Anxiety with Dating Coach Micki Lavin-Pell (MS, MA).









Leitenberg, Harold, ed. Handbook of social and evaluation anxiety. Springer Science & business media, 2013. Pg. 220.