Not many things can beat the excitement and anticipation of getting to know someone better that you’re attracted to. Maybe you met through friends, while speed dating, at a singles party, or at some random place like the gym. Your first date has been scheduled and you can’t wait! But as the date approaches, you start getting butterflies. And not those pleasant little ones, but the ones that jab you in your stomach and make you feel kind of nauseous. Where before you were having happy daydreams of how perfect the date was going to be, you’re now increasingly filled with doubts, second guesses, and nightmares of what you’re going to do to screw it up. What if you don’t like each other? What if you have nothing in common? What if you say something stupid and embarrass yourself? Slow down! Before you let your fear take over, take a deep breath and have a conversation with yourself.
5 Ways to Calm your Nerves Before a First Date
1. Write down your concerns. Once we can see our thoughts in writing, we often realize how silly our concerns actually were. It also helps to stop our thoughts from bouncing round and round in our heads causing unnecessary anxiety. When you give your fear a voice that you can see in front of you, you can then deal with rationally.
2. What makes you special? Write down a list of all the qualities you and others love about you. When we let a veritable stranger’s judgement of us affect how we feel about ourselves, we’re losing the point. You’re there on this date to represent what a great person you are!
3. Phone a friend or family member. Call someone you trust to give you a little pep talk. Talking about your fears, like writing them down, will help you stop internalizing them. Fears and emotions have much more power when we keep them inside and to ourselves.
4. Remember they’re probably just as nervous! It might help to admit you’re a bit nervous on the date, to help break the ice. This should be revealed in a casual manner, like, “I don’t know why – but I get a bit nervous on first dates!” This will open the door without sounding too desperate or afraid.
5. Deep breathing. It may sound simple, or corny, but breathing slowly in and out of your nose actually calms down your nervous system. Remember – it’s dating – It’s supposed to be fun, and try not to take it too seriously!