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17 Nov

First Date Nerves: How to Be Yourself When Your Heart’s Pounding

First dates are nerve-wracking, no matter how many times you’ve done it. Learn how to overcome first date nerves. Let your personality shine!

First date nerves are terrifying, don’t you think? You’re scared to say the wrong thing, you’re worried about talking too much, not talking enough. Then there is the possibility of those awkward silences. Why do we put ourselves through these things?

Because it’s necessary to get to know someone and perhaps meet the love of your life! Of course, even if this person doesn’t turn out to be The One, they could be a great new friend to add to your list or could be someone you simply don’t want to see again. However it works out, learning how to overcome first date nerves will allow you to relax and enjoy the process. It’s possible, trust me!

What you should realize—a first date isn’t a job interview. Not everything hinges on this one particular event. It’s entirely possible to have a terrible first date and then end up together forever! It’s possible to have an amazing first date and part ways soon after.

This isn’t the very moment on which your romantic life hinges, it’s just two people meeting up for a chat. That’s really all it is. When you think of it that way, it’s very easy to get over first date nerves because we come into contact with people and talk to them randomly every day of our lives almost!

How to banish first date nerves and learn to chill on a date

If you are struggling with first date nerves, let’s look at a few ways you can make things easier.

#1 Arrange the date yourself so you can choose somewhere you’re comfortable. It’s very nice to have someone arrange a date for you, but you’ll have no idea where you’re going or what you’re going to be doing. That’s going to add to the anxiety, and it won’t help you to overcome first date nerves.

For that reason, you do the organizing, even if they’re the ones who ask you out. Then you can choose somewhere that makes you feel at ease and comfortable.

#2 Choose a date that is a little shorter. If you’re super nervous, choose somewhere that gives you a fixed amount of time. For instance, a coffee date in the afternoon is likely to be far shorter than meeting someone for dinner and drinks at night. There is a lot less pressure there too.

#3 Wear clothes that you’re comfortable in. When you’re getting ready, choose something that makes you feel comfortable and confident and that will help to relieve those first date nerves pretty quickly. Don’t attempt to knock them out with a super sexy outfit if you’re constantly fidgeting and feeling uncomfortable. You won’t be able to relax.

#4 Understand that you’re not the only who is nervous. Your date is going to be nervous too, so don’t assume that you’re the only one. As mentioned, this isn’t a job interview or anything particularly important, it’s just two people meeting up. Keep reminding yourself of that, and your first date nerves should start to disappear.

#5 Just admit you’re nervous. A great ice breaker is to just say “I’ll apologize in advance if I talk too much, first dates make me really nervous.” You’ll be able to laugh it off and you’ll both relax. They’ll probably admit that they feel the same!

By doing that, you’re getting the elephant in the room out of the way, and you can start to simply chat. If you have an awkward silence, just laugh about it!

#6 Pamper yourself a little before your date. If you spend some time getting ready and doing all the things you like to do, e.g. having a long hot bath, listening to your favorite music, choosing your outfit carefully, and doing your hair, you’ll feel more relaxed and more able to just enjoy the date. Being relaxed also helps to reduce your stress levels, which is never a bad thing.

#7 Avoid making the date huge in your mind. Okay, I understand, it’s hard to do, but remember that this isn’t anything majorly important in your life. You’ll move on from it and carry on with your life regardless of whether it went well or not. If you really like this person and you’ve been waiting to go on a date with them for a while, it’s hard to see it as nothing important.

It’s not all about whether they like you, it’s about whether you actually like them after you’ve spent time talking to them too. First date nerves are a natural thing, but it’s vital you don’t let them overtake the fact that this is just two people meeting up.

#8 Avoid drinking too much. If you’re somewhere which sells alcohol, you’ll probably be very tempted to have a glass of wine or two to relax yourself. If you can handle it, go for it, but remember that drinking too much on a first date is a) a bit embarrassing, and b) likely to lead to you saying or doing something you wish you hadn’t. Just reel it in a little and be aware of what you’re doing!

Think how you would feel if your date had far too many drinks and made a fool of themselves in front of you. Would it give you a great first impression of them? Probably not!

#9 Just be yourself! It’s hard to let your walls down and just be yourself when you’re meeting someone on a first date. It’s important that you try. How can you know whether they enjoyed spending time with you for real if you weren’t really your authentic self due to nerves?

Do a few deep breathing exercises before you meet them. Focus on just enjoying the date and be yourself. You’re a wonderful human being, and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t enjoy their time with you. It’s the single best way to reduce first date nerves! Honestly, if they like you, that’s great and if they don’t, that’s fine too. There will be countless more who do!

How to keep your perspective

First dates have always been nerve-wracking and always will be, but it’s vital that you keep everything in perspective. The success of your life doesn’t hinge on this one date! You might come out of it and never want to see the person again because it’s shown you that they’re really not a great person. Or, it might show you that you’ve met someone you want to get to know a little more. First date nerves are just part and parcel of the process.

Hollywood movies show us these rather unrealistic depictions of first dates. Then, we assume that we’re going to be swept off our feet by someone who we’ve just spent time with, having not known them beforehand. It doesn’t happen like that.

Some of the most successful and wonderful relationships I’ve witnessed started off as slow burners. The first date wasn’t anything spectacular and there were no major fireworks; the love simply grew over time. Perhaps that is what it will be like for you, or maybe you’ll simply end up as friends with this person. The fun is in finding out!

When you experience first date nerves, just do your best to go with it. See the date as something fun, rather than piling on the pressure. Enjoy the process!

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