Dating can be difficult for anyone, but it’s especially challenging for those who suffer from social anxiety and other anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the U.S., affecting around 20% of the population every year. Anxiety makes nearly every aspect of life more difficult, but it’s especially hindering for social activities such as going on dates.
When you’re dating someone with social anxiety, you both might find it difficult to find somewhere to go. After all, it needs to be enjoyable enough for the two of you, but also a non-threatening environment to keep anxiety at a minimum.
Luckily, there are plenty of fun options that are low-key enough to have you both at ease. Keep reading to learn six fun date location ideas for dating someone with social anxiety.
Dating Someone with Social Anxiety: What You Should Know
Social anxiety disorder involves a constant fear of social situations, especially where there are unfamiliar people involved. The individual with social anxiety tends to fear the attention and/or scrutiny of others, often feeling as though they will act out or embarrass themselves.
This fear of social situations can seriously affect a person’s life, leading them to prefer “safe” situations where there are minimal people involved.
When you are dating someone with social anxiety, it might be tempting to try and get them “out of their shell” by immersing them in situations that go beyond their comfort level. While this sounds like a good idea on paper, it can actually make anxiety symptoms worse. At the very least, the individual’s discomfort might prevent the relationship from moving forward.
Instead, the best date ideas are low-key spots with very few people around. If there are crowds involved, it’s ideal to give yourselves something to focus on, such as artwork or a movie. That way, the pressure is taken off the individual with anxiety, allowing them to feel more at ease.
Date Ideas for People With Social Anxiety
While social anxiety definitely makes dating more of a challenge, there are still plenty of options for pressure-free dating spots. Here are a few great ideas for getting started.
1. A Park
When you’re dating someone with social anxiety, the great outdoors can be a perfect place for a first date. There’s fresh air, plenty of space, and lots of spots where it’s easy to keep your distance from other people.
A secluded walk in an empty neighborhood could be nice, but an even better idea is an outdoor park or nature preserve. This will give you both plenty of beautiful scenery to look at while affording you plenty of space from other people.
Or, if you’re desiring a more relaxed, sit-down date, why not pack a picnic? Bring a large blanket, a light meal, and an assortment of conversation starters. It’s the perfect low-pressure environment for both of you to relax and get to know each other.
2. A Museum or Art Gallery
If you’re dating someone with social anxiety, you might both could enjoy going to a public place such as a museum or an art gallery. While there might be other people around, you’ll be able to focus on the displays rather than the crowd.
Museums and art galleries are among some of the best places to spend an afternoon. Talking about the pieces you see can be a great way to break the ice. As an added bonus, you’ll have plenty to talk about afterward, too.
3. The Movies
Just like a museum, the movies will have other people around, but you’ll still have something else to focus on. Try finding a funny movie to see together. That way, you’ll both be laughing and more relaxed when the date is over.
After the movie, you can hang out in the car, parking lot, or another quiet spot for the two of you. If things are going well, you might even be able to enjoy a low-key dinner together to finish off the evening.
4. At Home
When you’re dating someone with social anxiety, staying at home can be a great option for a date. Whether it’s your house or theirs, you can enjoy a quiet, private, pressure-free environment for getting to know each other.
Here are a few great “at home” date ideas for dating someone with social anxiety:
- Cook a meal together
- Set aside some games or puzzles to do
- Have drinks and snacks in the backyard
- Find music to listen to
- Pick out a movie to watch together
Remember, if it’s the right person, then what you do doesn’t really matter: you’ll still have an enjoyable time together. If the person has particularly severe social anxiety, keeping your date at home is a great way to create a relaxing and welcoming environment for both of you.
5. A Scenic Drive
If it’s cold out, or if you’re just an avid lover of driving, why not take your date on the road? Pick a scenic rural highway, a quiet neighborhood, or anywhere else you’re interested in visiting. Or, if the holidays are happening, you can drive around, admiring the lights and decorations together.
6. Go to a Play or Comedy Show
Stage performances are a great option when you’re dating someone with social anxiety. Again, there might be people around, but you’ll be so focused on the show that you’re not likely to notice.
Funny plays or stand-up comedy shows are great ideas because laughter is a great way to relax. Once you’ve broken the ice, you’ll be loosened up and ready for a quiet walk or dinner afterward.
Living With Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety makes nearly every aspect of life more challenging. For those who live with it, it’s an everyday struggle that requires years of work to manage.
If you’re dating someone with social anxiety, the best thing to do is empathize with their struggles and be patient. Once they’re more comfortable with you, you could be ready for a lifetime of love and happiness together.
Ready to meet new people? Join our online community of individuals with learning disorders and other disabilities.