13 Ways To Deal With First Date Anxiety So You Can Enjoy Yourself

Yes, you’re nervous when heading out to a first date, but you shouldn’t have to deal with sweaty hands and a racing heart all through the dinner or coffee. Here’s how to zap those first-date nerves.

  1. Do something fun later. It can really help to have something awesome planned for after your date, whether that’s a catch-up sesh with your bestie or a shopping trip to your favorite store. This can help you to keep the date in perspective because it reminds you that you’ve got other things to be excited about. If the date crashes and burns, you’ll have fun later on like it didn’t even happen.
  2. Go to your favorite place. It can really help you beat first-date nerves by choosing a place where you feel at home. That way, you prevent having to deal with other unknowns and can feel your nerves dissipate by the time you walk into the restaurant or bar.
  3. Talk to a friend. Phone a friend if you’re nervous, but not a friend who’s bitter about her previous relationship going up in flames. She’s just going to make you feel worse. Chat to a positive, fun friend who always makes you laugh to shred your nerves and remember that it’s no big deal to go on a first date.
  4. Remember that it’ll be okay no matter what happens. This is important to remind yourself of when you’re nervous about meeting someone new. Just think of previous dates and relationships that didn’t work out and how you were fine afterward. Whatever happens, you’ll be cool.
  5. Remember that there are worst things. Like, going to the dentist for a root canal, for instance. A date is just a date and you can always get out of it if you really can’t take it or your date turns out to be a creep.
  6. Chat to the person about your feelings. Sometimes it’s really cool to be open about how you’re feeling. Tell the person you’re going on a date with that you feel nervous. Chances are they’re feeling the same way — guys also get nervous about first dates. Hearing that will help to make your anxiety disappear. You’re in the same boat!
  7. Play music in the car. Your favorite music is the perfect way to unwind and even boost your confidence levels before a date so you can strut your stuff like Beyonce.
  8. Choose a fun location. Sometimes feeling excited about going to a cool new restaurant or theater that’s opened up can help you to focus on the fun of the date. It’s not just about the person you’re meeting but the overall experience.
  9. Kill your expectations. Going into a first date with a ton of expectations can easily translate into frazzled nerves. Don’t go there. Besides, it’s only the first date and way too early to start getting your hopes up.
  10. Do an activity together. Sometimes you’ve got to get away from the typical first date that includes you and your date staring at each other over a restaurant table or trying to force conversation. It can help to go do something fun together like trying out a dance class or walking your dogs in the park. It’s so much more relaxing.
  11. Meditate. Breathe in, breathe out. Have a quick meditation sesh before your first date to center yourself. You’ll feel much more relaxed and able to deal with whatever happens.
  12. Don’t be late. Rushing into a restaurant late and feeling frazzled is only going to make you feel worse, especially if your date’s already seated and you have to walk up to them. Ugh. Avoid that by getting there on time or getting there early. This gives you the chance to decide where you feel most comfortable to sit and order a glass of wine to help you settle down.
  13. Cut it short. The thought of sitting down through an entire dinner can feel scary, so cut your date short. Make it no more than an hour. No matter what happens, that’s much easier to get through. Besides, there’s something to be said for keeping dates short. Even if they go well, sometimes it’s best to do so that you don’t run out of fun conversation and can leave something juicy for the second date.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.