How to Beat First Date Nerves? Top 10 Tips
Everyone gets nervous on a first date; it’s only natural. Nervousness or anxiety, are actually caused by the body’s automatic natural ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. When we are faced with potential danger, or in modern life, an awkward or difficult situation, our body begins to release more adrenaline and increases our heart rate to get us ready to pick up a stick and hit our adversary or run away as fast as we can. As neither of these options are usually good ideas for a first date, we suppress these rather drastic moves and so, experience butterflies in the tummy, the jitters and sometimes the sweats as well.
The trick is to accept that nervousness is just a natural body response to the situation and we can easily control it, rather than let it control us. Below, we give you our top 10 first date tips and techniques to help you control your nervousness on a first date:
1. Feel good about yourself
When you’re getting ready to go out, play some of your favorite music and play it loud! Put on the clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Pump yourself up a bit and focus on your confidence.
2. Kick out the nervous thoughts
Don’t let the anxious thoughts take over your mind and kick them out as soon as they occur. Push away all the ‘What if I…’ type questions, as the first of these negative thoughts will only breed the next.
3. Remind yourself of the positives
Tap into the first date excitement. A first date has the potential for future love and happiness. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You have to go on another first date?
4. Take some exercise
Remember, your body is tricking you into these nerves so trick it back! Taking exercise, even just a brisk walk, will use up some of that excess adrenaline and release endorphins to give you a renewed sense of well-being.
5. Remember all those times that things weren’t as bad as you feared
We, humans, are the absolute experts in worrying more about what might happen, than we do about what actually has happened. Take some time to remind yourself of all the times that you worked yourself into a state over something that never actually happened.
6. Tell yourself ‘It’s only a date’
Remind yourself that it’s only a date; one very short period in your entire life and, if things really do go wrong on that night, the consequences are very minor and short lived, compared to the rest of your life.
7. Practice confronting your fears
Physiologists tell us that the best way to conquer anxiety is by what they call graduated exposure. In other words, practice. Try striking up a conversation with strangers in everyday life. Perhaps in a queue in a store or just saying thank you to someone who holds a door open for you and get used to talking to people that you don’t really know.
8. Plan some conversation openers
The one thing that we all fear on a first date is the awkward silence, so plan some questions in advance. What do you want to find out about this person, what do they like and dislike? Avoid the questions that can only be answered with a yes or a no, but also, make sure not turn the date into an interrogation.
9. Remember, this isn’t real life
A first date is an artificial and potentially awkward situation for both of you and your date will probably be just as nervous as you are. Some dates will be boring, some hilarious and some just spot on. It may take time before you get the right one, so enjoy the process.
10. Think Positive
Just before you leave home to go on your date, give yourself a bit of time for a boost. Tell yourself out loud; ‘I can do this’, ‘I am strong’, ‘I can deal with this’. Positive affirmations work!
Think positive, be happy and try to remember that first date nerves are natural. It’s a two way street and your date is probably feeling just the same as you do.