There are few other times in our lives when we put ourselves up for assessment by other people.
At least not so willingly!
As a result, it can be a nerve-wracking and panic-inducing nightmare for many.
But just like any other fears you may possess, there are ways to get over them and ultimately build confidence in yourself and your abilities.
No matter how experienced a dater you fancy yourself to be, there is always room for improvement.
1. Perform Your Pre-Date Rituals
Many people have rituals that they follow before every first date.
These individuals understand the importance of preparation and the necessity of focusing their energy on positive things.
Some activities that can have a calming effect on your nerves include working out, doing progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and even yoga.
You might also try listening to music, talking to yourself in the mirror, visualizing the evening ahead, and anything else that requires being mindful.
Rituals add certainty to a date night that might be full of uncertainty.
2. Go Somewhere You Know
If conquering a fear is about creating comfort in situations that are uncomfortable, it stands to reason that adding the familiar as often as possible should help.
Therefore, I always recommend that a first date be at a venue you know.
That doesn’t mean that you should go to the local coffee shop where everyone might see you, but rather that you should find a place to take your first dates and stick with it.
Knowing what to expect can help alleviate outside stressors that you might never think of including what to order, where to sit, and planning an optimal route to get there on time.
3. Create a Discussion Gameplan
Nothing adds to the anxiety you experience on a first date more than awkward silences.
If you find that you often get caught without anything to say, just create a list of talking points that can get you through the night.
Having questions ready for your date can help you avoid getting flustered.
Of course, there are some guidelines you should abide by when creating your list. These include:
- No strong politics! ( unless that’s your thing) The last thing you want to do is get into a vigorous debate on your first date.
- Get personal, but not too personal. Asking about where someone grew up is good, but asking about previous relationships is not ideal.
- Avoid yes or no questions. Instead, opt for questions that will prompt more ideas and questions that you can discuss through the night.
Although I would like to think it goes without say, don’t bring a cue card with you! Just memorize your list.
4. Act Confident
There is a big difference between acting confident and actually being confident.
But for the purposes of getting over your fear, you need only act the part in order to get by.
Confidence is as much a physical thing as it is a mental thing.
That is why you should stand and sit up tall, smile, make eye contact when you speak, don’t fidget, keep your hands on the table, and look your best.
Practice in front of a mirror to ensure you don’t look odd.
The more you fake it, the more you will realize that your confidence has become natural.
I hope you find these tips useful on your next date.
It’s good to keep in mind the fact that your date is probably as nervous as you are.
Just keep things lighthearted and fun and you will do great.
Most importantly, if the date is not a success, don’t let it get you down. Finding the right one takes time, but once you do, you’ll know it.