If Dating Makes You Anxious, These 13 Stress-Free Date Ideas Should Help

If you’re dealing with dating anxiety, you know the struggle of going out with a guy you really like (or might like, if you could forget your anxiety for long enough). But you don’t have to be around a bunch of people or do anything you’re uncomfortable with to have fun. Any halfway decent man isn’t going to mind working with you to find an idea that makes sure you both enjoy your time together.

While I can’t help reduce the anxiety of getting ready for the date, I can tell you about some fun date ideas for anxiety. You’ll quickly relax and let go of your stress for a little while. Plus, these ideas work great no matter how long you’ve been together. Try these whether it’s been a week or 10 years.

  1. Cook dinner together. Don’t want to go through the stress of picking a restaurant or feeling like the other patrons are judging you? No problem. Plan on cooking dinner together. It’s intimate, fun and your meal is fixed just the way you like it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Put together a box dinner kit  and bake some refrigerated cookie dough.
  2. Quiet picnic away from others. The thought of going to a crowded park might make you panic. The idea here is to pack a basket of picnic friendly food and find a quiet spot to spend the afternoon. Ask your guy to scope out local parks and picnic areas to see what the best times and places are.
  3. Tour a museum or art gallery. Quiet, calm places are usually great to ease your nerves. Check out local museums, art galleries or other places. For instance, your city might offer guided history or ghost tours that only involve groups of 10 or less. It’s enjoyable and you still get to go out. Try to find times when there won’t be crowds to make it easier on you.
  4. Double date or go out in a small group. Going to dinner with just your guy might seem overwhelming. Gather support by asking a friend to double date with you. This is perfect if you’re just starting a new relationship. You could even go out in a small group of three couples if you’re okay with it. The idea here is to ensure you never feel pressured to keep the conversation going.
  5. Volunteer with a favorite charity. Spend a day volunteering for your favorite charity. It could be something as simple as putting together care packages or decorating for an event. Doing it together allows your man to experience something you’re passionate about. Plus, you meet like minded people so you always have something in common with those around you.
  6. Watch the stars in the backyard. If you’ve got a good view of the sky, lay a blanket in the backyard, put on some soft music and watch the stars together. It’s romantic and you can always talk about constellations or whatever comes to mind. Of course, cuddling is always an option if you don’t feel like talking.
  7. Play board games all night. Pick a few board games that you love and know how to play. Grab a bowl of popcorn and sit around together playing games. You get so involved in playing that you forget about many of your stressors. Avoid any games that might get you worked up, such as anything too competitive. The idea is to relax and have fun, no matter who wins or loses.
  8. Bring the movies to you. Spending an evening in a crowded theater might make you break out in a sweat. No problem. Put up a large white sheet against a flat surface, such as a wall or outdoors against the side of your house. Buy or rent a small portable projector that supports DVDs. Suddenly, you have a big screen movie at home.
  9. Learn a new hobby together. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? If it’s something neither of you know how to do, spend the day learning it. Since know one’s a pro at it, you’ll feel more comfortable helping each other learn. Plus, you get a new hobby to share together on future dates.
  10. Stay in and talk all night. Dates don’t have to be complicated. Get some take out, curl up on the couch and talk. Take turns asking each other random questions. Set some rules upfront about whether highly personal questions are allowed or not. You learn about each other and have fun at the same time.
  11. Go to a comedy club. I know there’ll be  crowds, but everyone will be so busy laughing at the person on the stage that no eyes are on you. Besides, laughing helps relax you. It’s a good option for a first date, especially if the guy really wants to go out instead of staying in.
  12. Dress up and check out a Renaissance fair. It might sound corny, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Imagine going somewhere where the entire idea is to pretend to be someone else. It’s not about being the prettiest or the sexiest. You just dress in period clothing, walk around and enjoy the festivities.
  13. Have a day trip to explore nature. You could always spend the day getting away from the always connected life. Plan a road trip to see random sites, hike a small mountain trail or find a secluded public lake to swim in. Do a little research first to see what’s around you. If you avoid weekends, there’s usually very few people around.
Crystal Crowder is a freelance writer and blogger. She's a tech geek at heart, but loves telling it like it is when it comes to love, beauty and style. She's enjoys writing music, poetry and fiction and curling up with a great book. You can find her on Twitter @ccrowderwrites or check out her other writing on Medium.