Going on a first date is an exciting time, and it's only natural that there would be some anxiety involved. That's not necessarily a bad thing though! Pre-date nerves indicate that you care about making a good impression, you care about a successful date and you care about the person you're getting ready to go out with, which is exactly how you should feel before a date!
Normal though they may be, pre-date nerves can be crippling. Not only can they be difficult to deal with, but they can end up ruining your date. Whether you're new to dating, you're dating after a divorce or loss and are reacquainting yourself with the dating world or you're an experienced dater, you can find yourself feeling nervous about spending an evening with someone new. If you're having a hard time dealing with first date jitters, relax by following these tips.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Ever notice how much kinder you are to your friends than you are to yourself? You'd probably (hopefully!) never tell your best friend that they were going to screw up a date, embarrass themselves and spend the rest of their lives alone. But how often do you berate yourself? Try this: before your next date, change your inner dialogue to be more positive. Rather than wasting your time worrying about what could go wrong, focus on your strengths and put your energy toward making sure that you enjoy the evening.
This helps with pre-date nerves for a couple of different reasons. First of all, practice makes perfect. The more you date, the more comfortable you feel going on dates. Second, the more you date, the less earth-shattering and life-changing each date feels. You're less likely to stress out about tonight's date if you have another date tomorrow night, and a couple more booked next week. When it feels like there is less at stake, you're more likely to relax.
Recognize that Your Date Feels the Same
In all likelihood, your date isn't waiting with bated breath for the opportunity to critique you; he or she is more concerned about making sure that they don't mess anything up. By recognizing that your date is probably also feeling some pre-date nerves, you can relax and loosen up a little.
Engage in a Physical Activity Beforehand
Exercise is a wonderful way to release some pent up stress and anxiety, and, as a bonus, it makes you feel more confident. Before a big date, work off your nerves by participating in an exercise or another physical activity that you enjoy.
Put It in Perspective
When you're preparing for a big event, it's easy to place more importance on it than you should. That's not to say that a first date isn't important; obviously, it is. But your life has not been leading up to this moment, and after the date is over, the world will continue to spin. This date is merely one short, simple event in your life. Putting the date in the proper perspective may be just the thing that you need to be able to relax and just enjoy it.
Reframe Your Emotions
Ever noticed how nervousness and excitement feel strikingly similar to one another? Next time you're preparing for a first date and you're feeling nervous, consider the fact that maybe you're just excited for the date. Never underestimate the power of simple mind tricks!
Prepare a Plan of Action
You've put some effort into relaxing before the date, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to prepare. In addition to directly calming your nerves, you can also relieve some stress by having a plan. Come up with some conversation starters just in case things become awkward. If it makes you feel better, you can even decide on a time when you will bow out and go home. Go into your date prepared, and you'll feel more in control of your emotions.
Preparing for a date can be nerve-wracking, but by trying out these tips, you can ensure that it is a positive experience.
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