First dates can be really anxiety provoking. You have to figure out what to wear, what to say, where to go and what to do.
You want things to go well but it’s difficult to know all the right things to do when you are getting to know someone. Just meeting someone offline for the first time can induce stress, add the dating factor and it can seem overwhelming.
You don’t need to worry. We have some tips to help relieve first date anxiety and help you not only make it through the night but make it a night to remember- in a good way.
Take Your Time
Make sure you have lots of time to get ready for your date. You don’t want to feel rushed because nothing can start anxiety like running behind.
Have a shower, give yourself lots of time to prepare for the date and to relax before it’s time to meet up with them.
This also will give you some time to do breathing exercises which can help keep you calm during the pre-first date jitters.
Spend a few minutes with your pet if you have one. This will help to melt away your fears. But try not to get covered in their hair/fur if you’re already dressed for your date.
If you’re meeting the person someplace give yourself lots of time to get there so you’re not stressed before you even say hello.
You don’t want to add more anxiety than necessary, so make choices that are comfortable. Choose clothes that you feel confident and comfortable in.
Sure you might look great in heels or those tight jeans but if they leave you unable to walk without fear of falling, or unable to breathe when sitting they’re probably not the best thing to be wearing.
Choose to go someplace you’re comfortable. You don’t want to be stressing about money because you’re at a place you can’t afford or anxious about doing an activity you’ve never tried.
First dates are a great time to choose a comfortable activity for both of you, whether that’s sitting having coffee or going to a movie.
Give yourself an out. This is your first date.
You don’t want to be a half an hour into a full day boat tour when you realize you can’t stand this person. If you like the person you’ll have other dates to do more time-consuming things like that.
Find Common Interests
Hopefully, you’ve chosen to do something you both enjoy to help make both of you more comfortable on your first date. This is often a time to get to know each other better.
During conversation try to find common interests to talk about. You may wonder how to find out what things to bring up to make the connection.
It may be the animals you love or movies you’ve seen, books you’ve read or your favorite meals. Talking about things that bring you joy will help relieve first date anxiety and help you learn more about each other.
Everyone wants to impress their date but don’t use deceit to achieve this. In the end that will only make it harder on you and is sure to cause stress at some point.
Be honest and you’ll not only find the first date easier but if you continue going out you don’t have to worry about keeping the dishonesty going.
Be a Good Listener
Most people listen to respond. They don’t really take in what the person is saying because they are waiting to say something themselves. While you want to keep up your end of the conversation, listening to understand is a great skill to have as a first date or a lifelong partner.
Listening well gives you a chance to see if they have the potential for a future with you. It will also let you do some quiet breathing activities if you need to.
Breathe, listen and enjoy your conversation without putting pressure on yourself to always be saying the right things.
If you do find that you’re struggling with anxiety while on the date there are some grounding techniques you can use to calm yourself down so you can focus on enjoying your date.
In your head, try to think of a list of things you like such as:
- all the breeds of dogs you know
- types of cars you’ve been in
- countries you’d like to visit
This will get your mind off of the anxiety and help you find your peace.
Concentrate on your breathing. Take a deep breath in and out several times as you think of nothing else.
Can you think of five things that see near you. Perhaps the table, chair, painting on the wall, flowers in the corner, a sign hanging from the ceiling.
Now come up with four things you can feel. This could include the air from the air conditioner, the chair on your back, your soft shirt on your arms, the floor under your feet.
What three things can you hear at the moment? Can you hear music in the background, the clinking of silverware on a plate, the sound of someone’s heels as they walk across the hardwood floors?
Now try to focus on two smells around you. Are you eating something that smells like cheese? Can you smell flowers or perfume in the air?
Lastly, name one good thing that you like about yourself.
You can switch up the order so that you list five things you like about yourself and four things you hear and three things you see. It’s up to you to come up with a combination that works for you.
It’s good to have it figured out before you are in an anxious situation so that your stress-relieving activity doesn’t cause more stress.
Get Some Air
There is nothing wrong with taking a minute to get some air. If you can’t calm yourself while sitting beside your date there’s no shame in excusing yourself for a few minutes to do some deep breathing outside or to call a friend who can calm you down easily.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
This is meant to be an enjoyable experience so don’t worry about the future, just find the joy in the moment.
First Date Anxiety Can be Calmed
Everyone gets first date anxiety to some degree. The person you’re meeting is probably feeling nervous and anxious too.
You might be doing both of you a favor by actually talking about it. Ease the tension and have a laugh instead of allowing yourself to get worked up over the anxiety.
Check out the rest of our blog for tips on dealing with stress over the holidays, dating tips and so much more.