First dates symbolize new beginnings, excitement and potential for great love and friendship, although they can also be attached to a variety of fears, anxieties and insecurities. Many people experience challenges in dating, like getting involved with a potential partner too quickly, not knowing what they are looking for, lowering their standards or relationship requirements when thoughts of being alone sneak in or having such high standards that no date can meet them. A more realistic mindset, outlets for self-care and anxiety management, embracing singlehood (until someone really special is present) and pacing yourself while dating are helpful in eliminating common dating challenges. Most importantly though, it is essential to be authentic and clear about who you are when you are on a first date.
A first date naturally brings up nervousness – what to say, what not to say, what to do during a potentially awkward pause and how to avoid awkward pauses in general. Add in concerns about being liked, avoiding rejection and the fear of failure and a date can feel more like a dreaded chore or a task to avoid. Knowing that all of these concerns are valid and natural to the dating process can make the burden a bit lighter, but how can you focus your attention on being authentically you instead of getting caught up in all of the “what if’s” that distract you from the moment?
For the full article (including five tips to help you be an authentic dater) featured on eHarmony, click here.
Rachel Dack, MS, LCPC, NCC
Welcome to Rachel Dack Counseling LLC’s blog, written by Rachel Dack, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (L.C.P.C.) and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Rachel provides psychotherapy and relationship coaching services to individuals and couples in her Bethesda, Maryland office and over the phone.
Please connect with Rachel by emailing Rachel@RachelDack.com, calling 301-655-8462 and following Rachel on twitter. Check back for more great resources, relationship advice and mental health tips!