Even if you’ve gone on a thousand dates, a first date can still make you nervous. From the person you’re meeting to the clothes you’ll wear to the conversation you’ll have, every aspect of a first date brings something to fret about
But if you know how to prepare, you don’t need to worry at all. While you prep for your next date, keep the following tips in mind if you’re hoping to put your best foot forward.
1. Don’t Pick a Location or Activity That Makes You Nervous
When it comes to picking a location for your first date with someone new, there are a lot of factors to consider. Many people opt for a coffee shop or bar, as the casual atmosphere makes it easier to cut the date short if you’re not feeling it. Others opt for dinner in a restaurant for a more romantic setting. There’s no right answer – just make sure that you pick a location that makes you comfortable.
If you’re comfortable in the place you and your date are visiting, you’ll be more likely to open up and enjoy the date. The goal should be to avoid anything too new or unfamiliar; somewhere casual will help put both your nerves at ease.
2. Don’t Wear Something Uncomfortable
Wondering what to wear on a first date? The idea is daunting for many. Ideally, you want to wear something that’s appropriate for the venue, but that’s also attractive and comfortable. Your outfit should express your personality while still being presentable, and should definitely make you look your best.
Avoid any outfit that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re not comfortable in your clothes, you won’t be comfortable on your date – and it could affect your conversation, interest level, and your perception of the date. Stick to clothes that make you feel good, inside and out.
3. Don’t Delve Too Deep Into Past Relationships
If you’re on a first date, it’s natural to want to discuss past relationships. Some people try to avoid the topic all together, while others want to bring it up right away in an effort to deal with any potential awkwardness head on. Regardless of who chooses to bring it up or when it comes up, make sure that you’re ready to deal with this topic of conversation – and during your first date isn’t exactly the best time to delve into this difficult topic.
Instead of getting into the nitty gritty about all the people you two have dated in the past, keep things quiet and simple on the first date. If the subject of past relationships does come up, be honest but brief. A simple statement like “we just grew apart” or “we decided to mutually end our relationship” shows emotional maturity.
4. Don’t Talk Too Much About Yourself
Many people cover their nerves on a first date by either clamming up completely or dominating the conversation. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves, but it’s extremely important for both partners on a date to feel like they’re being heard.
On a first date – and honestly, in any social interaction – make sure you’re asking relevant questions and engaging your date in conversation. Someone who asks questions of their date and seems legitimately interested in what they have to say tends to attract interest in return. Curiosity is a sexy trait! If you’re nervous about making conversation on your date, you can prepare some topics and questions in advance. No one needs to know they were prepared in advance, and you’ll look eager and interested.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Focus On the Date Itself
So many people fixate on their first date, building it up as a massively important event in their minds. This, however, builds anxiety and stress, which in turn prevents you from relaxing and enjoying the moment. You don’t want to be incredibly anxious or frightened heading into your date – you’ll have a better time, and potentially form a better connection, if you’re confident and calm.
If you’re feeling anxious or locked in a loop of negative thoughts, give yourself some compassion, and try to remember that you don’t need to be perfectly compatible with someone to have a successful relationship. So avoid judging every single thing your date says, don’t try to surreptitiously tabulate how much money they make in a year, and enjoy yourself! If your date goes well, then you’ll likely have another – but if you both decide that it’s not the right fit, that’s okay too.