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

If you're experiencing dating anxiety, you understand the difficulty of spending time with someone you really like (or could potentially like, if your anxiety wasn't holding you back). However, you don't need to be in a crowded setting or do something that makes you uneasy in order to have a good time. A decent guy will be willing to collaborate with you to come up with an activity that ensures both of you have a enjoyable time together.

Although I cannot alleviate your pre-date jitters, I can suggest some enjoyable date ideas that may help ease your anxiety. These activities are suitable regardless of the length of your relationship, so whether you've been together for a week or a decade, you can give them a try and unwind for a little while.

1. Cook dinner together

Want to avoid the stress of restaurant choices and judgmental patrons? Consider cooking dinner together instead. It's a fun and intimate activity, and you can customize your meal to your liking. Keep it simple by preparing a boxed dinner kit and baking some refrigerated cookie dough.

2. Quiet picnic away from others

The prospect of going to a bustling park may induce anxiety. Instead, consider packing a basket of picnic-friendly foods and locating a serene spot to spend the afternoon. Request that your partner scout nearby parks and picnic areas to determine the best times and locations.

3. Tour a museum or art gallery

Tranquil and peaceful environments can be excellent for reducing anxiety. Consider visiting local museums, art galleries, or other similar locations. For example, your city may provide guided history or ghost tours that are limited to small groups of 10 or fewer. It can be a pleasant experience while still allowing you to go out. Try to schedule your visit during times when the crowds are minimal to make it less stressful.

4. Double date or go out in a small group

If going out to dinner with just your partner seems daunting, consider asking a friend to join you on a double date. This can be especially helpful in the early stages of a new relationship. Alternatively, you could opt for a small group outing with three couples, if you're comfortable with it. The objective is to avoid feeling pressured to maintain conversation throughout the evening.

5. Volunteer with a favorite charity

Engage in a day of volunteer work for your preferred charity. It could be as simple as assembling care packages or decorating for an event. By doing it together, your partner can gain insight into something you're enthusiastic about. Moreover, you get to connect with individuals who share similar interests, providing you with a common ground.

6. Watch the stars in the backyard

Set up a cozy blanket in your backyard, play some soothing music, and stargaze together if you have a clear view of the sky. It's a romantic activity that offers opportunities to discuss constellations or any other topic that comes to mind. And if you don't feel like talking, cuddling is always an option.

7. Play board games all night

Select a few of your favorite board games that you are familiar with, and settle down together for a fun evening of gameplay. Grab some popcorn to munch on while you play, and enjoy getting lost in the activity, allowing yourself to forget about any stressors you may have. However, steer clear of any games that could lead to intense competition. The objective is to unwind and have a good time, regardless of the outcome.

8. Bring the movies to you

If the idea of going to a crowded theater makes you feel uneasy, don't worry. You can easily create a home theater experience by mounting a large white sheet against a flat surface, such as a wall or the side of your house. Simply purchase or rent a portable projector that supports DVDs, and voila! You have a big screen movie night in the comfort of your own home.

9. Learn a new hobby together

Have you ever wanted to try a new hobby? If there's something neither of you know how to do, spend a day learning it together. Since you're both new to it, you'll feel more at ease helping each other out. Moreover, you can develop a shared interest and pursue it on future dates.

10. Stay in and talk all night

Dates don't have to be extravagant. Order some takeout, snuggle up on the couch, and engage in conversation. Take turns asking each other random questions, but establish some ground rules beforehand about whether personal questions are appropriate or not. It's an enjoyable way to learn more about each other while having a good time.

11. Go to a comedy club

I understand that crowds can be overwhelming, but in a comedy club, all eyes are usually on the performer on stage, so you don't have to worry about being the center of attention. In fact, laughing can be a great way to relieve stress. Going to a comedy club can be a good option for a first date, particularly if your partner is eager to go out instead of staying in.

12. Dress up and check out a Renaissance fair

Although it may sound cheesy, don't dismiss it until you've given it a chance. Consider going to a place where the goal is to assume a different identity. It's not about being the most attractive or seductive person there; rather, you dress up in historical attire, stroll around, and enjoy the festivities.

13. Have a day trip to explore nature

If you're looking for a break from the constant connectivity of everyday life, consider spending the day on a road trip. Explore obscure destinations, hike a nearby mountain trail, or find a secluded public lake to swim in. Conduct some preliminary research to determine what's available in your area. You'll typically encounter fewer people if you avoid weekends.