Every single person hits a stretch where they don’t really feel like dating, and that’s completely understandable considering that most people work, balance a social life, and everything else on their to-do list. If you really can’t stomach the idea of having dinner with someone new, take a few weeks off and revisit the issue then. But if you’re like most people, you might need a little help to approach dating with a sense of excitement and a smile. Try any or all of these tricks below to get in the mood for your next date, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more you enjoy the experience.
It wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t inject a bit of humor here and there. Getting yourself relaxed for a date is the most important step as you prepare to meet someone new. Do a yoga session, take a hot bath, have some tea, or read something pleasurable on the couch to calm your mind.
Make getting ready a calming experience instead of a harried one.
Give yourself an extra half hour to get ready so that you aren’t rushed. Play some music or light some candles, and do an extended grooming session so you feel extra good.
Call your funniest friend for a quick chat.
If you’re not feeling like keeping a date that you already committed to, nothing cheers you up and gives you energy like a chat with a hilarious pal. Tell your friend you’re not up to it, and ask for a little encouragement. Have fun with it and come up with a list of the five worst things your new date could say to you, and feel free to share those with him or her later! Humor makes dating a lot more fun and interesting.
If you have nervous energy, take on an hour-long project that you have otherwise been dreading.
If you’ve got a date planned for later but feel restless or nervous, channel that energy into something productive and you will see your stress level diminish. The key is to find something for your mind to sink its teeth into so that you don’t focus on the anticipatory anxiety of the date. Organize your closet, organize your shoulder bag or purse, or try cleaning out your car. Not only can focusing on something help you relax, but it also allows you to check something else off your to-do list that has been causing you frustration. (Self-disclosure alert: It’s the console in my car that has been begging for my attention, so I am going to take my own advice!)
Set up Plan B for when you come home later.
If a date doesn’t go well, it’s a bummer to go back home later to a quiet, messy house or apartment. Before you leave for your date, make your bed extra nice and comfy, and leave something special in the refrigerator to enjoy later. Having little things to look forward to after the date can actually make you enjoy the time even more, because you know you have something pleasant to go home to later.
Quick reminders to say to yourself on the way to meet your date…
Putting yourself out there will prove worthwhile once you’ve met someone you really like. Let your sense of humor come out, even if that humor is a little idiosyncratic. Compliment your date and make sure to ask questions about his or her life. Finally, don’t pressure yourself to meet The One when all you really need is to meet a decent person and to have a good meal. The rest of the story will write itself!
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Des