The thought of going for a date can be very nerve wrecking. Meeting new people in general is stressful for most people. But couple that with the tension of meeting someone you’re interested in pursuing a relationship with amplifies all those emotions.
The expectations you hold on yourself and your date can cause anxiety and stress in the hours before a date. Your nerves can get the best of you and even make you want to cancel the date altogether.
It’s really hard to think of the positive points of the date if you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack.
First dates can also have the added pressure of being awkward which doesn’t help calm your nerves.
What should you say? What will they ask you? Who pays? All of these thoughts running through your mind is a lot to take on.
You can choose to stumble into a date with your nerves stretched to the maximum or you can use the following tips to calm yourself and be prepared.
1. Plan your outfit before time
Planning your outfit ahead of your date is very beneficial.
You’re able to pick out accessories and clothes that work together in a relaxed environment. In order to look nice and present yourself in an impressionable way, you need a great outfit to boost you.
Leaving the outfit decision until the last second will make you anxious and stressed out right before the date. Keeping in mind where you’re going for your date, your outfit should be as comfortable as possible.
You’re already anxious about your date, the last thing you need is to be cooped up in an uncomfortable outfit. Planning your outfit ahead of time will make you feel put together.
It eases your mind from the outfit stress before the date, knowing that when you chose the outfit you were clearheaded and relaxed. The right outfit will boost your confidence too.
2. Get into a positive mindset
Carrying around your anxiety and taught nerves to a date isn’t bound to end well. These negative feelings will hinder you from enjoying yourself and even get reflected on your date.
Do something that makes you happy and boosts your mood before the date.
A relaxing walk outside or playing soothing music can calm your nerves. A positive mindset also includes having realistic expectations for the date.
Don’t place too much expectations on yourself. Look forward to being as much of yourself as possible. After all, your date accepted to go out with you and not anyone else.
It was your personality and spirit that originally attracted them to you enough to go on a date, so keep that in mind. It’ll
Collect your courage and positivity and be ready to show your date who you really are. The less pressure you put on yourself and this date, the less tension you’ll feel.
3. Avoid dwelling on the anxiety
Everyone gets nervous during dates. It’s caused by the anxiety of the unknown and it’s completely normal.
Obsessing over your anxiety only makes it worse. Focus on redirecting your thoughts from your nerves to other things. Staying on the positive and thinking of how much fun you’ll have and what a great outfit you picked will help you avoid anxiety.
Think of all the strong points of the date, like the food you’ll eat and the enjoyment you’ll feel when you watch that movie.
It’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, but you have the power to redirect you’re thoughts to happier things. You can also call a friend to discuss your anxiety and help keep you grounded.
4. Come up with a few topics of conversation
It’s a good idea to come up with a few conversation topics to talk about. Dates can get a bit awkward when you can’t think of something to talk about. Long periods of awkward silence can get pretty uncomfortable.
Nerves may get the better of you and prevent you from thinking of random topics on the spot, so be prepared and get them before the date.
Choosing easy topics with a bit of interesting personal experiences will make the date run smoothly.
It’s also going to give your date more information about you and be an opening for them to share too.
Talk about your interests and your goals. Easy topics will come to you fast and sound unrehearsed. The lighter the topic, the easier your date will find it to chip in and give their experiences too.
If you’re lost for ideas, this video shows 36 non-traditional questions to ask on a first date:
5. Pick a location that makes you comfortable
Pick a location that you can be comfortable at, but not too comfortable.
Picking a place where everyone knows you will make your date feel left out. The last thing you want to do is make your date feel uncomfortable. It will just ruin the good buzz you’ve worked up before the date.
You ought to go to a place you’re somewhat familiar and comfortable with. You’re already dealing with the anxiety of meeting someone new. So going to a new restaurant or club that you’ve never been to before will only heighten your stress and anxiety levels.
Meet on mutually beneficial territory that you’ll both enjoy. Even if it’s not some place you’ve gone often, if it’s in an area you know, that’s enough to help calm you down.
You’ll both have the opportunity to fully experience this venue together and even infusing it as a topic of discussion.
6. Expect the best but prepare for the worst
Plan multiple contingency plans to deal with the outcome of your date. Most people make this the “get a fake emergency phone call” part.
Depending on how well or how terrible your date will be, you need a plan. Not all dates need a follow up and neither do all of them need to be disregarded.
In case your date goes wonderfully and you feel like spending more time together, be ready. Be prepared with an invite for drinks or an after date movie.
If the date didn’t go too well and you feel like you shouldn’t do a repeat act, have an escape plan. The fake emergency call is too obvious and unnecessarily hurtful.
Be honest and cut the date off immediately after. Bid your date farewell and leave. If the date went well but you just feel you aren’t compatible, no need to be rude or hurtful. Here’s an article from eHarmony on how to end a date gracefully.
Most importantly, always have a plan.
7. Remind yourself to have fun
Dates should be fun. After the initial awkwardness wears away, you should be able to ease into it and have fun.
Don’t place too much expectations on yourself and this date. Treating your date as one of your friends will make things easier.
Show your date the simple courtesies like switching off your phone and giving them your full attention.
Be a good sport about the awkward topics that are bound to slip and come up. No need to over analyze the awkwardness. Smoothly brush it off and go on to other things.
Acknowledge the topic is awkward and infuse humor into it if you can. Your date will appreciate you not outrightly disregarding them.
Remind yourself that someone who is meant to be with you will like you just as you are.
8. Have a pre-date routine
Having a specific routine you follow before the date will put your head in the right place.
Go to the gym and work out the extra nervous energy.
Have a to-do list with all the things you’re sure will make you feel better.
Have an awesome pre-date routine and the positive energy will be reflected in your date.
Find ways to boost your confidence in these activities. You can work on looking confident in front of the mirror. By acting confident, you’ll feel more confident.
Focus on your good qualities and traits that the person may have seen and decided to go out with you.
9. Be prepared to pay the bill
An awkward payment process can easily un-do the great momentum that you got going during the date. If you’re the one who initiated the date, then it’s probably your tab.
Theres nothing wrong with going dutch, only it ruins the couple feel that you were out for.
Even if you were the one invited for the date, be safe and carry enough money. Why ruin a perfectly nice date by awkwardly starring at the bill and wondering who will pay?
Reach out without hesitation and be ready to pay. And if you’re offended that the other person expected you to pay, then just keep it in mind when considering a second date.
10. Pick a fun activity
A date can take a variety of forms, the most common being going out for a meal or a movie. You can choose to be unique and pick a different activity as your date.
Just make sure its something that both of you can enjoy while having the privacy to talk and know each other better. If it’s a game, pick something easy to learn and that engages both of you like miniature golf.
If you try to better understand your date and you do so from a place of playfulness and fun, you’re bound to have a good time.
Dating doesn’t have to be stressful
Nerves and anxiety are nothing new when it comes to dating. Everyone gets them.
It’s how you choose to deal with them that counts. You can either drive yourself crazy by obsessing over them or take the tips and use them.