Social anxiety and what to do about it: CBT can help

Some people avoid connecting with others, because social situations trigger anxiety and fear. This is based on shame and may be worsened by stigma. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can identify and treat your specific fears.

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Social anxiety and what to do about it: CBT can help
A "social sofa" in Amsterdam

If at first you don’t succeed…

Try, try, again. But what if your first failure has you convinced that you can never succeed? My first attempt at realistic drawing was disappointing, so for 20 years I assumed I had no artistic talent. Then I ended up taking lots of art classes, succeeding in unexpected ways, and learning lessons that also apply to dating.

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Get a haircut, eh?

"Get a better haircut" is basic advice for people wanting more dates. For some it's a platitude that doesn't help. For others, a haircut is easier said than done. Why invest in yourself if nobody is interested in you? In my 20s, I switched from cutting my own hair to going to a stylist, and at first it felt scary & invasive. Now I look forward to my salon visit, and good hair makes me feel attractive and proud to be myself.

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Support Groups

Support groups, online and in-person, may be a good place to talk. There aren't many good ones specific to dating inexperience, but you might find support in allied groups about shyness, anxiety, depression, autism or other issues. Please share your experiences!

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Hacking the online dating system

A software geek worked really hard at online dating. It finally worked out when he expressed his frustrations in a genuine and intelligent way. Finding love can be really difficult and take a really long time, but it can also still be absolutely worth it.

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Are you ready for change?

If you have been single for a long time, and you want to start dating, something needs to change. You can take direct and indirect steps to make yourself more available, desirable and confident. Start with small, low-risk changes so you don't get overwhelmed outside of your comfort zone.

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Are you ready for change?
It's physically safe to walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver. You might not feel so safe, swaying over the canyon. Making changes and trying new things can feel scary even if it's rationally not going to hurt you.

Do women seek kind or dangerous men?

Straight women tend to seek men who are kind and safe. So why do a few women fall in love with dangerous criminals in prison?

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Do women seek kind or dangerous men?
Comic by Bill Lemmond: "Why Do Jerks Get Chosen First?"

Going slow with another shy person

A shy reader's story of going on many dates, finding another shy person and slowly building a relationship.

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Using dating sites confidently and decisively

You can use a dating site effectively by quickly selecting the interesting profiles and sending them unique, kind and confident messages. Or you can be like me: anxious, insecure and worried about rejections by strangers!

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There is no magic tech to avoid rejection

If the tech sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sorry, cryptography will not prevent rejection when you're crushing on a friend.

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Questions to ask a potential counsellor

Does the counsellor understand dating difficulties and your other issues? Do they offer the kind of therapy you need? Are they optimistic, realistic, honest and kind?

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Why there is no forum here

This website doesn't offer an online forum. We don't have the resources to moderate it, and we don't want to repeat the history of the incel forums encouraging hate & violence.

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Living life out of synch with other people

Being a late bloomer is just one example of living life on a different schedule than society expects. I'm also a late sleeper!

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