5 Tips for Beating First Date Jitters

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Benjamin Franklin once said only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. As someone who has been on a plethora of first dates, I would like to add “first date jitters” to that list.  Imagine you are getting ready for a first date. If you’re like most people, you are already running through every possible scenario in your head. Everything from the possibility of falling in love at first sight and running off into paradise together, to the more nerve-inducing possibility of having to sit across from someone in awkward silence for two hours while staring uncomfortably at the bread basket.

If you’re one of the many people in this world looking for love, first dates are a part of the process and unless you resign to being a hermit for the rest of your life, there’s no way to get around them.  No matter how confident, attractive, funny, or successful we are, there is something about a first date that throws our nerves into high gear and has us questioning all our decisions.  Where will we go? What will we talk about? What if I don’t like him? What if i DO like him? Does this top REALLY look good with this skirt??!  First date jitters happen to the best of us and unless we meet “The One on our very first try, we are going to have this experience many times! But don’t throw your arms up in despair just yet, it is time we learn to view the experience as an enjoyable one! Here are 5 great tips for reducing the first date jitters:

1. Keep it casual. 

The purpose of a first date is simple.  It is to establish a connection and see if there is a mutual chemistry there.  You should always go somewhere that you feel comfortable and never somewhere that your safety is a concern.  I would not suggest a movie or a loud bar, the point is to be able to have fun and hold a conversation.  It also never hurts to have an exit strategy, some people make plans for after their date so that way they have a time limit and don’t have to stress about how to end it.

2. Set the tone. 

Putting your best foot forward starts before you even get to the date.  Studies show that getting in a workout prior to a date is a great way to release endorphins and get your stress levels In check! While you’re getting ready, play some of your favorite tunes to keep yourself in a positive and upbeat mood. Still having jitters? Have a cup of chamomile tea before you go to calm your nerves. A glass of wine is okay too but be sure to limit yourself to just one! Anything beyond that can be a spell trouble.

3. Wear something comfortable.

No, this does not mean it is time to whip out your favorite old t-shirt and sneakers!  However, it is also not the time to break in new 6-inch heels or try out the latest trend. Wear something that fits you wells and lets your personality shine through. After all, no outfit can take the place of confidence.

4. Focus on the experience, not the outcome. 

Pretend you’re going to hang out with a friend as a way to take the pressure off yourself. Get out of your own head and take a few deep breaths. Remember, your date is human too and is probably experiencing the same jitters you are! Make it your goal to have fun and try to get to know the other person rather than worrying about if they’re “The One”.

5. Be prepared. 

If the thought of running out of things to talk about is enough to make you want to stay in and watch an entire season of Scandal, you’re not alone. Make things easier by thinking of some topics beforehand in case the conversation starts to lull.  If you are going out on this date in the first place then you must be doing something right!  You have their attention and they can’t wait to get to know you better.  Keep yourself up to date on current events so you feel that you have things to add no mater where the conversation flows.  Remember, this is a date, not a job interview. Keep it light-hearted and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your date.  If the energy is good then both of you will have a great time.

Being nervous before a first date is completely natural and it’s a good thing because it shows that you care about finding a meaningful connection.  We all experience some degree of uncertainty and vulnerability which can trigger “fight or flight” syndrome.  Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you need to go through it to find the person you get to spend the rest of your life with.  You may end up meeting the love of your life or you may end up having a funny story to tell your friends, either way just have fun and remember it is all about perspective.

 

Author: Jenna Davis

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