Staying True to Yourself on a First Date

It’s easy to get lost in the rabbit hole of dating advice found online. Wear this, say that, go there, be this. Sure, you can have a killer first date…but if you’re just playing a role it won’t lead to a secure relationship. At the end of the day, a first date is only a success if you feel comfortable in your skin and form a genuine connection with your date. Here are some tips for staying true to yourself on a first date:

Be Honest

This should go without saying, right? But even if we go in with the best intentions, you say you don’t mind which restaurant you go to and end up at a Thai restaurant when you don’t like spice. Next, you’re saying yes to mushrooms when you’re allergic, and pretending you don’t have kids but promise yourself you’ll bring it up next date. It’s just so much easier to tell the truth from the start. Your date has to like you for you, otherwise, the relationship is heading nowhere. If you don’t want to be eating portabella mushroom stew on your fiftieth wedding anniversary, just be honest.

Calm Your Nerves

How are you on a normal day? Probably not nervous, jittery, and stressed. If you have those feelings during a first date, you’re not acting like yourself. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but if you manage to calm your nerves, acting like yourself will come a whole lot easier. Practice deep breathing exercises, pump yourself up with your favorite song, or call your best friend for a pep talk. Take away all the concern and excitement about what this “could” lead to and frame it as a good dinner with good company, that’s all.

Dress Like Yourself

Sure, you want to impress your date. That should mean putting on your favorite outfit (okay, maybe not your sweats) and being comfortable in your clothes. Eight-inch heels, makeup to the nines, or a starched suit might look nice to your date at first glance, but if they see you’re uncomfortable, they’d rather you dial it back. Wear an outfit that makes you confident, not self-conscious.

The Bigger Picture

A good first date is just the first step in what could be a long and fruitful relationship. You want to be true to yourself throughout the entire course of the relationship, and that includes the first date. Respect yourself enough to be true to yourself. By the same token, respect your date enough to trust them to decide whether they like the real you or not.

Giving yourself the chance to enjoy a loving, lasting relationship all starts with being true to yourself on your first date! Remember, all the same advice applies to speed dating. Browse to learn more helpful advice about speed dating and relationships in general.