Does dating feel too pressured for you? 'Anecdating' could be the answer

Ever find yourself having a voice note debrief with the group chat after a dating fail?

It was terrible – you missed your mouth and spilled red wine down your outfit, they had a nosebleed, tripped over their chair, and there were more awkward silences than a job interview. It was such a car crash you just have to laugh about it.

Instead of dreading those scenarios, daters and now embracing the experience with a new dating trend.

Simply put, ‘anecdating’ is all about enjoying the process of dating. It focuses on the experiences that stay with you, and the anecdotes you share as a result.

In fact, research by dating app Badoo shows 65% of singles agree that even when a date doesn’t go as planned, they at least know they’ll have a funny or memorable experience to share with their friends.

This certainly shows a less pressured approach to dating is becoming far more popular in 2023.

About 73% of singles said they like the idea of dating without any specific goals in mind.

Dating and relationship coach Kate Mansfield said: ‘It’s a good idea to consider a specific vision for the kind of relationship that you want long term – but to also go out and have fun, and enjoy each date without attachment to the outcome.

‘By going into a date with an open mind, you’ll feel more relaxed and be able to better enjoy the moment, rather than get caught up in any expectations.’

Will anecdating actually increase your chances of success?

Kate says: ‘It is always better to put less pressure on the outcome of a date, as it means you’ll feel much more relaxed going into it, and will be focused on the date and the potential connection in front of you.’

This approach seems like a win-win, right?

‘Being less caught up in what could happen can also help you feel more comfortable being your real self, which is always important on a date,’ she adds.

‘Creating a relaxed atmosphere without pressure will allow you to enjoy the moment rather than overthink it.’

Had an ‘anecdate’? Should you see them again?

Even if your first date made for a funny story that doesn’t mean it was a total disaster and there is a chance you could still make it work.

‘It all depends on the situation,’ explains Kate, ‘but if you do like them and want to explore the connection further then maybe try doing a different activity to the first date and see how you feel.

‘It is also important to remember that you can always learn from a date – dating is about the anecdotes and memorable experiences that come with it, and you’ll find you look back fondly on awkward moments, whether a connection progresses or not.’

Anecdating can empower you in your relationships

Ultimately, dating is all about having fun and exploring connections.

Kate says: ‘It seems that since the pandemic, people aren’t taking themselves or life too seriously – they’re more open for adventure, putting themselves out there and exploring connections.

‘Whether the date leads to a second one or not, it is important to empower people to feel proud of themselves for putting themselves out there.

‘So, if a story or a lesson learned comes from the date, it allows people to have a laugh with their friends post date and can help in navigating future dates.’

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