First Dates Are Terrifying, But Don’t Let Your Fear Get The Better Of You

First date nerves can strike anyone at anytime. Usually you’re pretty laid back, but a few hours before you’re supposed to meet this guy, you have a total meltdown. What if you can’t find anything to wear? What if he doesn’t look like you remembered? What if you have nothing to talk about? These are all real concerns, but at the end of the day, who cares? It’s not like you are forced to see him again, and that just frees you up to meeting someone new! Here are 15 ways to beat the first date nerves:

Have a friend come over to help you get ready. There’s nothing like laughing with one of your besties to calm you down. They will remind you not to take yourself, or your date, too seriously. Of course blasting your favorite tunes and having a sing a long or dance party always helps too.

Stretch/ do yoga. Stretching or doing some yoga poses will put both your mind and body at ease. Try this about thirty minutes before you need to leave and you should walk into your date feeling a little more zen.

Have a drink. Or, you know, the whole bottle — however much it takes to mellow you out without getting so drunk you embarrass yourself. If you’re lucky enough to live in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, or Washington state, you can find something else to soothe your nerves instead.

Tell him you’re nervous. Sometimes admitting you are nervous is all it takes to break the ice and relax. Chances are, he’s probably equally as flustered and you two can joke about how ridiculous you were both being.

Make it more casual – drinks, not dinner. Having to sit through a three course meal is daunting, but there’s a lot less pressure when you say you’re just going to meet for a drink. If it’s not going the way you’d like, you can always say you have to be somewhere afterwards… and if it’s going exceptionally well, you can always ask if there’s a table available so you can grab a bite.

Get to know him from afar first. If you spend more time talking/texting before you actually meet, you’ll feel less like you’re going out with a complete stranger, which really is the scariest part about a first encounter.

Breathe. Not in a bag like a pyscho having a panic attack (guilty), just like, you know, regular breaths. Sometimes when we get caught up in a moment we forget to do this, even though it’s as natural as blinking. Don’t forget to do that either, because crazy eyes aren’t cute.

Figure out what you’re nervous about. Psychoanalyze yourself to get to the bottom of what’s bugging you. If it’s that you feel like you know nothing about this person, revisit number six. If it’s that you’re being too self-conscious, maybe you need to work on you before you’re ready to date.

Make it a group activity. There’s comfort in numbers. See if he and his friends want to meet you and your friends somewhere so you aren’t solely responsible for carrying the conversation.

Remind yourself how awesome you are. A little motivational speech from yourself to yourself goes a long way. You know you’re the coolest of the cool and this guy should consider himself super lucky to even be meeting you.

Think about worst case scenarios. So he’s boring, or a crappy tipper, or God forbid makes you go dutch. The good news is you never have to see him again and you’ll have a great story to tell the next guy, who you actually like.

Drop the expectations. It’s one date, it’s not like you’re getting married. I mean, maybe it will lead to that, but chances are it won’t. Think of it as nothing more than a fun night out with someone new and you’ll feel a whole lot more comfortable.

Choose a place you are comfortable with. If you aren’t comfortable skydiving, then that probably isn’t the best choice for a date. You’re already wound up tight enough, so you should go somewhere that puts you at ease, like your favorite sushi restaurant or the park.

Let someone know exactly where you are going. You know the drill: pass along the guy’s name, license plate number, and where you’re going just in case you’ve watched too many episodes of Dateline and think your date is more interested in abducting you than watching a movie.

Think of it as good practice. No matter how badly things go, you just have one more date under your belt, which means you should be a little less frazzled on your next one.

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