Life Advice


Health & Spirit

A socially-anxious person navigates online dating

Carolyn Hax on

-"What if he's a serial killer?" Take reasonable precautions: Meet in public, tell friends where you'll be, use your own transportation, read or reread "The Gift of Fear." And, trust that "stranger danger" is overhyped.

7. "[I]f it doesn't work out we'll both just move on with our lives." Yes. The near anonymity of online dating makes this more likely.


None of this is intended as persuasion. If you don't like online dating, then don't do it. As an alternative, push yourself to meet people in group-oriented contexts. Proximity helps us make friends more than anything else. So, think of the things you enjoy, are good at, feel passionate about -- and then look for groups that meet frequently based on those interests. Shared activities ease self-consciousness. Your chances of hitting it off with people (even just new friends) are much higher when you're comfortable, so let your comfort be your guide.

Re: Online dating:

I have high levels of anxiety, and met several fantastic guys online, including my husband. Prepare for the awkward phase by reading The Post, watching Sports Center or "30 for 30," and skimming People magazine for relatively safe topics of conversation.

--Sponsored Video--

-- Anonymous

Preparation is calming, thanks.


Email Carolyn at, follow her on Facebook at or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



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