Dating can be an anxiety-producing, nerve-racking experience -- but it doesn't have to be that way. Mastering a few skills and getting a bit of practice can help banish anxiety from the dating process. Learning to be yourself and taking time for an authentic connection to occur between you and a significant other should help you enjoy the journey to finding romantic love.
Eye Contact and Nonverbal Communication
Researchers find over 90 percent of the information exchanged in human interactions is derived from nonverbal cues, note Human Resources professionals at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Eye contact, posture and facial expressions will tell a date a lot about you -- that is, of course, if your date is reading your cues properly. It's recommended that you maintain good, attentive eye contact, smile and use subtle hand gestures during conversation to show your date that you are not a bore.
Deciding what to wear on a date is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of the dating process. In a 2010 article, Sadie Stein, writing for Jezebel.com suggests ideas for what to wear on daytime and dinner dates, the importance of dressing comfortably and bringing a sweater in case it becomes chilly. Tips for men, provided in 2010 by Diana Vilibert for Your Tango, include avoiding tees with printed jokes, as well as shapeless or ill-fitting clothes.
Counselors from the University of Florida Counseling and Wellness Center suggest having an idea of topics to discuss while on a date. It is helpful to find shared areas of interest to discuss, rather than asking lots of questions that put your date on the spot. Good listening skills are also an important component of good conversational skills. It's important to pay attention to what your date is saying in full without pre-planning your responses.
Learn From Experience
Past experience is often the most useful teacher. Use lessons learned on previous dates when dating potential love interests. Think about what behaviors the dates you enjoyed seemed to appreciate, or what topics tended to make them lose interest in the conversation. Seeking suggestions from others can enhance your dating experience, too, but remember that you can gain insight from past experiences.