Dating can be difficult.

There’s almost nothing else in the world that can trigger as much anxiety as going up to someone you recently met, saying “here I am, the good… the bad… all of it… right here”, and waiting to see if they’re going to accept you.

Dating involves opening yourself up to criticism, judgement, and rejection.

And that can be scary for a lot of women (and men too!).

Just that alone can cause us to turn the spotlight of our attention onto ourself.

  • “Am I witty and funny enough?”
  • “Am I being boring?”
  • “Am I too needy?”
  • “Does he like me?
  • “I just hope I’m not blowing it.”

All of these are focused on YOU.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to take you too far.

Remember, dating isn’t about YOU. It’s about the connection that the two of you are having together, and about getting to know that guy sitting across from you.

And you can’t do that when you’re fixating on yourself.

(Plus, you’re probably just driving yourself crazy overanalyzing everything.)

The more you worry about yourself, the more you’re going to struggle with dating.

Instead, remember that it’s not about you.

Dating will be a lot easier and more enjoyable if you instead focus on the interaction and on him.

Become curious about him.

What’s it like to be that guy?

What’s the hardest thing he’s had to deal with lately?

What gets him out of bed in the morning?

What is he afraid of?

When you can do that, not only will your anxieties start to melt away (because you’re not focusing on yourself and whether or not you’re “passing” the date)…

…But you’re also accessing one of the most powerful things that will help you build a connection with him:


Empathy is truly the key to a great connection in any dating or relationship situation.

The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine what life is like for them (or at least become curious about what life is like for them) will to so much more for increasing the quality for your interactions than obsessing over whether or not you’re good enough.

In a certain sense, there really is no need to worry about yourself anyway.

After all, you are irrelevant.

The true strength of a connection depends on the how much access to the 3 Advanced Relational Skills you have, not on any other qualities like witty comebacks, the clothes you wear, how many books you’ve read, or anything like that.

(Sure, that stuff might be important to a shallow guy, but I don’t imagine you’re in the market for one of those.)

The truth is that all you need for a strong connection is the ability to be present with someone else, get curious about them, and know what you personally stand for.

When you get that down, everything else will become automatic.

And notice how none of those things have anything really to do with what we commonly think of as ourselves.

Anyone can experience the present moment.

Anyone can become curious about another person.

And moment by moment, we make decisions about what is truly important to us (it’s never hard-wired into us).

So for a better connection, relax. Don’t worry about yourself so much. Take interest in the person sitting across from you, and you might find that the electricity starts flowing a lot more easily.


Clay is an author, blogger, and dating and relationship coach for Loving Boldly. He is also a nap enthusiast, coffee aficionado, and home brewer.

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