First Dates Suck, But Here’s How To Make Them Slightly Less Painful

When they’re not totally terrifying, first dates are just plain dull. After a while, making small talk with someone you have no idea if you even want to see again can really take its toll. You might find you’ve lost your dating mojo and don’t even think you should leave your apartment ever again, but there’s no reason you can’t take back the Queen of First Dates crown.

Talk yourself up before heading out the door. Super cheesy… and yet super effective. You know you’re amazing and any guy would be lucky to have you, so why do you seem to forget that when you come face to face with a new guy? You already know that all the negative talk is freaking you out, so be kind to yourself and make a good impression.

Remember the good ones to keep hope alive. It’s not possible for every single date to be horrible, although it may feel that way. Remember the laughter and fun evenings when you could actually be yourself on a date and felt like you were making headway with someone new. It doesn’t matter how it worked out. All that matters is that good dates totally exist.

Actually have stuff to talk about. Don’t break out the cue cards (that might not go over too well). It’s not a bad idea to think of some stories or convo topics ahead of time in case you totally freeze up and feel like you have nothing to say. Go for interesting and unique, but avoid TMI, because no one needs your life story on a first date.

Pre-game your dinner plans. Even if you have a dinner date, make sure you have a snack before and aren’t dehydrated, especially if you’re going for drinks. First date nerves and glasses of wine and zero food in your stomach don’t exactly mix.

Figure out why you’re so freaked out. It’s totally normal to be a bit nervous — if you weren’t, you would basically be a psychopath. Try to put things in perspective, though. A couple of hours with someone potentially interesting is no real investment, and if it’s really terrible, you can always bail early.

Strategize with your BFF. Not sure how to end the date, whether you hate the guy or are secretly planning your wedding in your head? Ask your best friend what she typically does. This will calm you down and make you feel much more in control of the situation.

Have an exit plan. Just because you agreed to a date (or asked the guy out yourself — go you) doesn’t mean you have to stay for five hours. Decide to stay for an hour and then see how you feel. You can always say you have to work in the morning or got a sudden bout of food poisoning.

Enjoy the process. A date is literally just a chance to get to know someone — it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a walk down the aisle. It’s just an hour or two and a glass of red wine and hopefully a good conversation. Happy people are confident people. But whatever happens, try to have fun, or at least not hate the entire evening.



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