Becoming a sexologist has been one of the greatest joys in my life so far. Having never been the most studious in high school, I always knew I wanted to focus on people and talking about ‘taboo’ topics came naturally to me.
My job now as a psycho-sexologist is to empower people to feel good about themselves, especially when it comes to relationships, sex and dating.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number one insight I have observed is that our desire to connect and socialise is stronger than ever and anxiety around dating IRL has increased after two years of uncertainty, lockdowns and a whole lot of social distancing.
Single Australians are craving real connections, and I believe the return of dating and the opportunity to engage and socialise again is something to celebrate.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, a day for some in those early stages of dating that can feel a little awkward or uncomfortable, here are some of my tips for planning a date to remember.
Make the First Move and Ask Them Out
Dating can be challenging, but it can also be so much fun. I know it can be nerve-wracking putting yourself out there, but think of the new experiences you’ll discover and people you’ll connect with.
If you’re single or in the early stages of dating this Valentine’s Day, my recommendation is make to the first move and ask them out ‘Hey, I’m not great with chatting on apps, want to go on a real-life date instead?’.
Confidence is sexy and I’m not the only one who thinks so. New research from dating and networking app Bumble, which surveyed 1000 Australians aged 18-54, says that right now more than 3 in 5 Australians believe it’s appropriate to ask someone out on Valentine’s Day or give them a gift, even if you’re in the early stages of dating.
Enter the date with an open mind and know that this could be something special and, if it’s not, it’ll arm you with a good story to tell your friends later on. Every date you go on should be for the story, regardless.
Keep the Date Simple and Authentic
Be you! Dating gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself while getting to know other people.
Steer clear of the big crowds and clichés and lean into a date idea or gift that reflects who you are. Maybe it’s heading to a local gig together or sharing a personalised playlist with the person you’re chatting to. The Bumble research backs the idea that dating and music go hand in hand with over 60% of people using music as a topic to spark conversation when getting to know someone.
Thoughtful will always trump extravagance in my opinion, so get thinking about a date idea or gift that reflects who you are in a really authentic way.
Take the Pressure Off and Try to Keep Nerves at Bay
A date on Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be a big deal. In fact, it’s just like any other day but perhaps a little more excitement in the air! If you’re feeling a bit nervous, don’t worry — your date probably is too! Try to stay in the moment and remember that you are there to connect, chat and have fun.