How to Find a Date and Ask a Person Out without Fear

young man and woman laughingForty-four percent of the U.S. adult population is single, according to Census figures. Why, then, is it so hard for singles to meet?

In previous generations, there were plenty of organized mixers and dances designed to help singles find a match. There were also more community members doing informal matchmaking to help young people connect with one another.

Despite the rise of technology over the past couple of decades, which allegedly makes connection and communication easier, it has somehow become more difficult for singles to meet and pursue a dating relationship.

As a sex and relationship therapist, people often share with me how difficult it is for singles to meet dating prospects. I hear about the lack of community events and social events where singles can meet, and that much of the “singles scene” involves bars, alcohol, and “hooking up.”

What if the bar scene just doesn’t interest you? I’m here to help.

  1. Decide what you are looking for. Start with some direction. Are you looking for someone who shares your hobbies? Religion? Interest in helping others and volunteering? Are you looking for a serious relationship/marriage or a casual relationship? Once you have a clear idea of what type of person you are looking for, it will be easier to find him or her.
  2. Get out there. Go where your desired match might go. If you would like someone who shares your interest in hiking, join a mountaineering club. Join groups and do activities that may help you meet someone who shares your interest. This might mean, for instance, going to a weekly Bible study or joining a community softball league.
  3. Build your confidence. The No. 1 issue I see that derails singles and prevents them from dating the person they want is a lack of confidence. Don’t settle or think to yourself, “This might be the best I can do.” Work on building your self-esteem and confidence so that you can say to yourself, “I deserve to have everything I want in a partner.”

Here are some ways to boost your self-esteem:

  • Practice positive self-talk. Tell yourself good messages about yourself.
  • Treat your body well (inside and out). Practice eating healthy, getting enough sleep, working out, and taking care to look your best.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Do things that you are good at and that you enjoy.
  • Set realistic goals. When you reach them, you will feel great!
  1. Increase your social circle. In a recent MSNBC survey, 63% of married couples reported that they met each other through a mutual friend. Start to increase your circle of friends—become friends with your friends’ friends and your roommates’ friends. This will increase the number of people you know and increase your chances of meeting someone you’d like to date.
  2. Ask for help. Let coworkers, friends, and family know that you are looking to date. Put the word out there, plant the seed in their minds, and they might introduce you to someone great.
  3. Try dating sites and social media. Forty million Americans use online dating sites! It might take some work to weed through profiles and to determine who you would want to go out with, but there is a huge pool of possibilities out there. If you haven’t tried, it might be time to dive in.

When you feel good about yourself and meet someone who piques your interest, go for it. The worst-case scenario is that he or she turns you down. The best-case scenario is you meet the love of your life. It’s worth the gamble.

Remember: You have to be the one to find to the one, so work on yourself first; your positive and confident nature will likely pay dividends.

© Copyright 2014 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Mieke Rivka Sidorsky, LCSW-C, CST, therapist in Silver Spring, Maryland

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • 6 comments
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  • Gaye

    Gaye

    May 16th, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    This is all great advice for singles! I know tons of people who bemoan the fact that they don’t have a mate but the fact of the matter is that very few of them actively try to find someone. Most of them act like this should be something that will fall into their laps and I don’t think that dating is like that anymore. There just aren’t enough organized activities anymore that give you the chance to mee “the one” like there used to be. With everyone going in 100 different directions you kind of need to narrow down what it is that you are looking for and then make opportunities to find someone who is like minded and looking for the same things in someone.

  • greta s

    greta s

    May 16th, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    If you like them and they like you then where does the fear come from?

  • Keith W

    Keith W

    May 17th, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    Asking someone out can be an intimidating thing especially when you already struggle with something like lack of confidence or low self eateem. I think that joining a dating website could be a great answer for someone who struggles with this but is still looking for someone to connect with. I know that there are some people who think that these sites are cheesy and for losers, but I am telling you that there are all kinds of people on these dating sites and many of them are just tired of the whole dating rat race and are looking for a way to meet someone who really shares a lot of the same likes and interests that they do. If this is something that sounds like you then I would encoyrage you to at least given them a try. Believe me when I say that there is something for everyone out there.

  • brian

    brian

    May 19th, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    Sometimes I don’t think that women realize how much pressure this whole concept of the guy having to ask out the woman places on men. That’s a lot of rejection that most of us have had to learn to deal with at various points in our lives so it should be easy to see that many of us can be a little bit sensitive when it comes to handling that kind of rejection over and over again.

  • Mark

    Mark

    May 19th, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    I agree with Brian. Most of the pressure is on the guy. I expect I will never marry, especially now that I no longer use alcohol to facillitate communications.

  • Peyton

    Peyton

    May 20th, 2014 at 3:51 AM

    Things like Facebook keep things more casual. They let you be friends with a whole lot of people but does not really give you the chance to take things to the next level unless you are very assertive and just have that natural ability to do that.

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