Tired Of Dating? You Need To Psych Yourself Up

Nothing can make you question your very essence as a human being like going on a first date. Your thought process can spiral into a panic attack pretty quickly when you’re preparing to go out with a random guy to see if love miraculously sparks, and that’s all before you’ve even thought about what you might wear. So if you find yourself starting to (ever so slightly) freak the hell out, here are some reassuring thoughts to repeat as your mantra when getting ready for that first date:

  1. What’s The Worst That Can Happen? You’re not the President of the United States deciding how to tackle an impossibly complex international relations crisis that can affect the lives of millions. You’re just going to go have coffee with some other single person for about an hour, less if you feel like it. The worst that can happen is he’s a jerk or he’s dull or some combination of the two. And if that’s the case, you can just jet. Your time is yours to do with as you please. If this particular interaction isn’t working for you, it doesn’t mean you’ll never find love or that there’s anything wrong with you, it just means this isn’t a person you enjoy spending time with.
  2. He Could Be Great! If you’re wasting too much time imagining all of the terrible scenarios that could play out, why not redirect that energy into dreaming up all the ways the date could go well! Maybe he’ll be ridiculously funny in a new and exciting way. Maybe he’ll be really interested in your passion for dinosaurs. Maybe he’ll just be a nice guy who you spend a perfectly lovely evening with. We all know this isn’t always going to be the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be optimistic that this date could be great!
  3. Possibly Free Dinner or Drinks. I think the etiquette for paying the bill ranges quite a bit from place to place. In some areas, you’re almost guaranteed a free meal and as many alcoholic beverages as you want to consume if a guy offers to take you out. Personally, I’m very in support of paying for your own drink or your part of the meal. But if the guy insists on grabbing the check, I’m not going to force the issue. So while venturing out on a first date may not always mean free grub, there’s still a higher chance than usual that someone else might be paying for your cheeseburger.
  4. I’m Amazing, So Isn’t He Lucky To Spend Time With Me? A little self-love and some ego-boosting compliments never hurt anyone before a first date. If you’re not normally someone with very high self-esteem, try picturing yourself as the ridiculously self-assured Regina George and think how she would think. You are fabulous. Obviously, this guy is going to love you — you’re amazing! You can skip Regina’s self-absorption, keep her confidence, and you’ll be ready to stun your date!
  5. Karma Will Send Me Someone Good. It’s Time. Nothing eases an anxious brain like some good old fashioned superstition. If you’re tallying up all the atrocious dates you’ve been on lately, then know that the numbers have got to be on your side. Ten horrible dates HAVE to equal one good one!
  6. It Doesn’t Really Matter How It Goes. There is no pressure on this one date. Good, bad, in between — it’s one date in your whole life. Take away all of the stress you’re putting on yourself and the evening. He’s just a person. You’re just a person. Try to reach a zen place where you can understand that this conversation isn’t that radically different from any other conversation you might normally have with another human.
  7. He Could Always Turn Out To Be A Good Friend. Even if you don’t end up having incredible chemistry with this guy, that doesn’t mean he can’t turn out to be a great pal! Who knows, he could introduce you to a whole new friend group or become your movie buddy. If you’re more business-minded, you could always look at dates as networking opportunities too!
  8. Try Out A Fun Restaurant Or Bar! If you’re not feeling excited about your never-ending line up of dates, start planning them at restaurants and bars you’ve been hoping to try out. That way, at least you get to go somewhere fun that you’ve wanted to check out, even if the company isn’t always amazing.
  9. I Get Points For Even Going. Major props to you for even braving the dating world and putting yourself out there! Even if this guy isn’t the one, you’re making the effort and trying to find a real connection with someone. Being open to meeting people and taking the time to go on dates, knowing they may not be great, is a huge accomplishment on its own!
  10. The Worse The Date, The Better The Story. Who doesn’t love a horrendous first date story? My friends and I have filled up many happy hours regaling each other with the latest tales of woe from the dating world. And the nuttier the date, the better the story. So even if you’re not having a fantastic time with the guy, you’ll probably have an amazing time telling your friends about it.
  11. If It’s Bad, You Can Always Drink. If you find out pretty quickly that this guy isn’t anywhere close to a prince charming, you can always order a second, or third, cocktail. It will either make him seem a little more tolerable or help you zone out while he blathers on about his latest killer stock trade. As far as backup plans go, it’s not the worst.
Maddy Aaron lives, writes, and eats a significant number of tacos in NYC. Seamus Finnigan once wrote her a personalized letter that included the words "MAN U. Rule!" When she's not doing the stuff on the InterWebs, Maddy spends way too much time at the movies, discusses the falling hot dog quality in the neighborhood with her roommate, and intimidates men with her Gilmore Girls and Harry Potter trivia knowledge.