I think we can all agree that dating in general, automatically rumbles that anxiety bug inside of us. I still remember that feeling before going on a date and those tiny butterflies having a party inside of me definitely did not help.

Before I met Luke, I did my fair share of dating. I was in my first year at uni and that’s when the anxiety really hit me.

For one, I felt silly being on a dating app at 18… when you’re younger you always think that dating isn’t going to be a problem, and that you will always have someone to go out on dates with.

Seeing all my friends meeting new people and going on dates was something I thought would happen to me one day, without really even trying. After all it seemed to happen so naturally for them. It never happened to me and I didn’t understand why.

I’ve seen spinsters with cats, and I knew I didn’t want to end up like that… so I had to do something about it quick!

The feeling of downloading the app and signing up was much more nerve wracking than the app itself!

That’s when when I first discovered Badoo. At first I was a bit hesitant and shy but then I realised I was so wrong. I discovered that the opposite actually happened. I felt more confident and I felt in control of everything. I could choose who I wanted to match with and I could decided if I wanted to strike up a conversation or not reply to those who did if I didn’t feel like it. The pressure was immediately taken away from me and it felt so exciting! Getting new matches was the biggest confidence boost I could have asked for at the time.

Then the reality of the future kicked in, I couldn’t just stay behind the screen forever. I had to actually MEET them in person if things were to progress (obviously). This is when things turned complicated for me again. That little black cloud came reigning in and I always used to panic.

I definitely had my fair share of boring dates, moderately ok dates, and surprisingly good dates. Which is why I think my friends always came to me for advice when they decided to make the decision to sign up to Badoo.

As so many of my friends always found my advice somewhat helpful, I’ve decided to share it with you! I’m of course no dating expert, this is just how I managed to overcome the confidence barrier and managed to deal with my anxiety with the dating world.

Here are a few tips and tricks I learnt along the way…

Stick to one dating app… It can get very overwhelming when you’re using multiple apps and Badoo is the biggest dating app in the world, so let’s keep it simple and start with that one! Plus there’s over 375million users worldwide, so i’m sure there’s someone out there that’s right for you. Another plus of mobile dating, you have the comfort of your own home to go on the prowl. Grab a bottle of wine, get a rom com on, and get scrolling.

“OMG, you’ve got a match, that was so quick?” What a RUSH that is! As if I got a match straight away… wait a minute, I didn’t plan this far in advance, what do I DO!?”

Stay calm… you’re at home, not bumping into them in the street… take a sip of wine and compose yourself. You definitely don’t want to go in straight away. Play it cool as a cucumber.

In my experience, being behind a phone automatically made me feel that little bit more confident. If I got rejected, I could just delete them and pretend like nothing happened. You didn’t get rejected to your face, so finding the words to say and going red in the face isn’t something to worry about. Just pretend it didn’t happen and move onto the next match… simple.

You’ll get the vibe when someone wants to talk to you. This feels nice and sometimes the conversation can flow naturally. It’s like you’ve known each other forever, but on the other end of the scale, sometimes it can end abruptly and you hit a wall.

You want to continue but it’s too forced. Some conversations will be at the end of the line and that’s ok, don’t try to revive something that’s already ended. If you ended up meeting them in person it would have probably been full of awkward silences and that’s not good for your confidence and especially not your anxiety.

Focus on those who are easy to talk to. If you have natural conversation over the phone, that means when you meet in person you already know you’ll get on well. You’ll have discussed mutual interests already and therefore meeting will be a breeze.

If like me, when you finally set the date to go and meet someone, you’re a bit worried about your safety. It’s only normal and you’re definitely not being silly. Your anxiety will be going intro overdrive about this. One thing which helps is meeting somewhere that’s not overcrowded. A cafe for example, not too full that over crowding triggers your anxiety, but there’s always going to be someone else around.

Another thing is to always tell a friend where you’re going, who you’re meeting and that you’ll text updates to them when you can, like when you’re popping to the loo. It’s failsafe and that way you know someone is always expecting to hear from you. It’s a guarantee to let your mind rest and actually enjoy yourself while out on your date.

For that extra little safety factor, and another reason I loved Badoo, they actually verify their users with a phone number and another social media account. You can see those who are verified as they have a little blue tick on their account. You can also just request to speak to those verified so you don’t have that doubt in your mind. They even do photo verification so you don’t have to worry if you’re being cat-fished! You can get the most up to date photo of them by requesting a selfie there and then, giving us girls the upper hand in the situation. It’s utterly genius!

While on the actual date, it’s so easy to overthink all the tiny little things and your anxiety can sometimes make you panic. Which then leads on to awkward silences and unable to know what to say. One of the perks of getting to know them before meeting in person is that you should already have prior knowledge of what they like, therefore you can plan some questions to ask in advance. More like a conversation prompt.

One question can lead to four or five different conversation topics, so that way the conversation will flow and you will forget about your worries. You’re confident in what you’re saying and that immediately makes you feel at ease, giving your full attention to your date. If the conversation runs dry, you can think back to another question you previously have wanted to ask, helping you on to a new discussion.

Sometimes when I can’t think of any, I will pop to the toilet, top up my make up, and then that will give me time to strike up something new.

The time will fly by before you even know it, and 9 times out of 10, you won’t even want the date to end!

Another thing which is really worth mentioning here, is if it comes to actually meeting up and you’re not fully feeling confident in yourself, you can always cancel and reschedule the date. Don’t ever feel forced if you’re not mentally prepared to put yourself through meeting someone for the first time. There were times when I just wasn’t feeling my full self, and I knew I wouldn’t be fun company, so I simply rearranged the date for when I felt more like socialising.

The person you’re going on a date with should be absolutely fine about rearranging, and if they’re not then you’ve dodged a bullet and it has tuned out in your favour for not actually having to meet them. They are going to be potential partners at the end of the day… they have to be right for you.

Now get out there and get scrolling. If there’s anything you’d like to know more about or simply want to ask me a question, I am an open book so don’t hesitate to write to me!

Be you and the right person will come along!

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