If you live with dating anxiety, you may have trouble knowing how and where to meet people. Traditional spots for meeting partners such as bars or the local supermarket require you to strike up a conversation-a task that can be difficult if you have severe anxiety. If you live with social anxiety disorder (SAD) or are simply chronically shy, chances are that these situations will not showcase your best qualities.
Fortunately, there are many ways to meet people that do not require you to display wit or charm on cue. Below are some suggestions on where to meet people if you live with social anxiety.
Friends or Family
Enter the dating scene by letting family and friends know that you are looking. ? ? Those closest to you likely have a good sense of your unique qualities and who might be compatible as a dating partner.
Going on a date may feel less nerve-wracking if your potential date is a friend of someone whom you know.
Best of all-you won’t need to try out any pickup lines, as the family friend date can be arranged through your mutual contact. Your friend or family member can arrange a blind date, or you could go on a double date to make the first encounter less stressful.
Don’t overlook groups to which you already belong, such as your church or neighborhood association. ? ? If you have not been very active in attending events organized by these groups in the past, try helping to organize their next event. As you work alongside others in the group, they will become more familiar to you, and you may find yourself more at ease exploring romantic possibilities.
One of the best ways to meet potential romantic partners is to join a service organization or spend time volunteering. Choose an organization with a cause in which you believe, such as protecting the environment or animal rights, and you will meet like-minded people. ? ? Working together in a group creates a sense of camaraderie that makes it easier to get to know people on a personal level.
Whether you are in college or university, or just taking an adult education class, meeting people in a classroom setting has many advantages. Classes usually last for several months, giving you enough time to get to know people.
Difficult assignments or upcoming exams also give you an excuse to get together for study sessions or to compare notes. Best of all, being in the same class gives you an automatic topic for conversation-what do you think of the teacher, are you enjoying the class? Having common ground is much easier than starting from scratch.
If you have a job, meeting someone at work may be the easiest way for you to find a partner. Instead of hiding at your desk during lunch, join your coworkers and make a point of asking about their weekends, their families, and their hobbies. Even if you don’t end up finding a romantic match, you might make some new friends along the way.
Don’t be too quick to discount using online dating services or personal ads. The hard part of meeting people, that is, approaching strangers, is much easier in an online environment. ? ?
People who place personal ads online or in the newspaper are also usually serious about finding romantic partners. Best of all, you have the chance to carefully put together a personal description that reflects your true inner spirit-qualities that are probably not going to shine through during a quick encounter.
Even if you have never played sports in your life, they can be a great avenue for meeting people. Joining a beginner sports league such as baseball or volleyball gives you the chance to learn a new skill while also building new relationships. ? ?
In addition, watching how others handle themselves during a game-whether they show good sportsmanship and offer help and advice to newcomers to the sport-can tell you a lot about how they would conduct themselves in a romantic relationship.
If you own a dog, take it to a dog park! Look for other owners who are there on their own and strike up a conversation. Having the dogs to talk about will help to break the ice, and knowing that you have at least one thing in common is a good starting point for conversation. ? meddle app ?
Hobbies and Clubs
If you don’t already have a hobby, think about what interests you. Perhaps you always wanted to join a book club or gardening group.
By participating in a hobby with opportunities for social gatherings, the odds of you meeting like-minded people will increase. ? ? Best of all, if your hobby is a passion, you will find it easier to strike up conversations with people you meet who share your passion.
Browsing in a specialty store gives you the opportunity to meet people with similar interests. ? ? Take notice of the books that strangers are looking at or the music that they pick up.
If you see an opportunity to comment on an item that you like-take it. Talking with people about things you are passionate about is easier than grasping at conversation topics.
A Word From Verywell
If you are just shy or nervous about dating, you probably still push yourself to go on dates and form romantic relationships. On the other hand, if you live with SAD, you may avoid romantic pursuits altogether.
Unfortunately, if this behavior is allowed to continue over a long period of time, your chance of meeting someone and having a satisfying romantic relationship is greatly reduced. Proper diagnosis and treatment including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or medication can help you to overcome the symptoms of SAD. Take the first step toward getting help and you will become more open to meeting new people and excited about the romantic prospects that await you.