Dating Changed When I Started Doing This One Thing...

Struggling to connect with people isn't as frustrating as failing to connect with that special someone. This simple shift changed everything for me.
Medically Reviewed by
Dr Hamilton

I remember when I was 17, I really wanted to ask out this girl I had a crush on. I thought about it for weeks.

When I finally forced myself into a situation where I had no choice, I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up over my head as if it was some force field that could protect me. Anticipating the outcome created intense fear and a racing heart, and that made me feel short of breath and unable to speak.

Later on, my girlfriend said she had felt the same way. I was surprised to hear she had felt those sensations thinking about how the situation would play out on her end.

Knowing that the person I wanted to ask out could feel like I had helped me. But the feelings didn’t go away. As the dating landscaped changed from my late teens to twenties, my nervous feelings shifted to the anticipation of first dates.

Dating has been an inner barrier in my dating life since my teens. Facing my fears was the most important thing to do to overcome the limiting feelings that could’ve made me avoid all that I had wanted.


Nowadays the Internet is full of articles, videos, and infographics about how to get over the fear of dating. These resources can be a good place to start, but to really get through dates without feeling like you are going to scare the other person away, it's important to look inside yourself instead of just looking outside.

Looking inside ourselves reveals inner barriers, like doubt, fear, and anxiety that block our full potential to ask out our love interest or go on dates.

Anxiety is a valuable response we need for survival. The brain developed this response over millennia to protect us from predators and other dangerous situations.

We need anxiety the same way a car or a house needs an alarm: to tell us there is danger.

The term social anxiety refers to nervousness in social situations, and everyone has it in varying degrees. It serves an essential function in our lives. It makes us more aware of those we care about and helps us nurture our social connections.

So why does that alarm sometimes make our social lives so overwhelming?

A mix of our personality, demeanor and past stressful social experiences can set our alarm to hypersensitive mode.

Whatever the underlying cause is that made your "alarm" hypersensitive, the most important thing to know is that there are effective approaches for overcoming social anxiety and boosting confidence.


When people face situations that make them anxious, avoidance is the most common action they take. Avoidance keeps people in their comfort zone and prevents them from experiencing the feelings of anxiety.  

However, we know that avoiding uncomfortable situations also takes us further away from getting what we want. For example, a night out with the one you’ve got your eye on.

There are various effective solutions that help individuals build confidence, lessen anxiety in social situations and start doing things they imagined were impossible.

Experts worldwide recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a very effective technique for overcoming anxiety in social situations.

CBT exercises empower you to understand how your mind works. Then, you build new skills to react more positively to situations that would usually cause you anxiety.

Clinical studies report that participants created new brain pathways through repeated CBT practice. Basically, CBT gives you superpowers to reprogram your brain to feel more confident.

In the context of psychology, a therapist is a person who is trained and licensed to guide a patient through CBT exercises.

Finding the right therapist can often be a lengthy and challenging process. Most people don't know where to begin once they're ready. Besides that, many people think that face-to-face therapy is intimidating and can be too expensive.

Digital and self-guided approaches can also be a useful first step if you are unsure whether or not to seek further help. It is a convenient alternative if face-to-face therapy doesn't interest you.

Research suggests digital CBT can be just as effective as having face-to-face therapy with a therapist.

These solutions are available around the clock and are easily accessible via smartphone or computer, wherever you are. Other advantages include: it’s discreet and confidential.


Youper is a personal digital solution designed to increase confidence by overcoming anxiety in social situations. Youper re-invented Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to make it fun, interactive and engaging.

Dr. Hamilton, psychiatrist and Youper co-founder, says that building confidence and meaningful relationships can be just like climbing a challenging mountain. It requires time and dedication to reach the summit.

Along your journey, think of Youper as your guide and the backpack full of tools. We ensure you reach your destination safely and successfully. You can even fit us in your pocket with our free app.

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