In theory, when asked out on a date, you should be flattered and excited. In reality, are the only things on your mind complications, fears, and uncertainty? First dates can be terrifying, and we have all been there. An important thing to remember is, more often that not, that you are both in the same boat.
Here are a few tried and tested pointers to consider ahead of time to help nip that first date anxiety in the bud:
Plan a mental list of things to chat about
Should you find yourself running out of things to say, and the tumbleweed starts blowing in, it’s always easier to think of subjects to bring up if you’ve done a bit of homework. When you were first messaging each other, did he/she mention any activities or hobbies they were interested in? Where were they born? How many children/grandchildren do they have? You never know, you might find some common ground and the conversation will be sure to flow.
Don’t expect the world
Remember that first impressions are not just physical! Remind yourself as you are getting ready to go on your date, that this date is just one of many that you will be going on and that if it doesn’t go as well as you hoped, everything will be fine in the end! The key to dating is to expect nothing and you will not be disappointed!
Choose a date location you are used to
When planning your date, suggest places you feel comfortable in. For example, if you have a certain preference for food (for instance, you might have a milk allergy or you don’t eat meat), when being asked to go to a milkshake bar or a barbeque night, politely suggest something different, perhaps somewhere you know has a more varied menu. It is important to be in a comfortable place you are used to, as the nerves and anxiety will show right from the outset.
I haven’t got a stitch to wear
You might want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe for your first date, which can sometimes be the key to boosting your confidence. But we always find that a tried and tested smart casual outfit will suffice on a first date. Something you know fits you and you look good in. It does your confidence no good to fiddle with a too tight shirt or a too short skirt throughout the date. How about updating your look with a new pair of shoes or an accessory or two?
Just to be clear, you don’t have to go as far as inviting a friend to the same venue to spy on you to make sure that you are safe, but there are a few pointers to remember when meeting someone for the first time. Both parties should drive separately to the date venue and neither should get in the other’s vehicle to drive somewhere on the first date. Let someone you trust know where you are going and at what time. Sometimes both men and women will feel safest if they find an opportunity to go to the bathroom and call their friend to let them know that everything is okay. It’s okay to take whatever precautions you feel necessary to help you relax in the company of your date. It’s also recommended that both parties refrain from divulging too much personal information. One last thing is try not to drink too much alcohol or to leave your drink unattended while you visit the bathroom.
Don’t rush in to planning date number 2
It’s usually a good idea to end the first date without mentioning when and where date number two will be. You may feel the date didn’t go as great as you planned and you would just like to sleep on it before you make a decision, or vice versa. It saves each others feelings if you evaluate the date on your own and follow up with a phone call or an email with the next steps, if any.
Following these tips should help you combat the very common and totally normal anxiety that people experience when they begin dating. First dates should be exciting events and can be very enjoyable. So, relax, enjoy yourself and let us know how you got on!