In our line of work, we are no strangers to first date anxiety. Here are some tips to get you through the first date jitters and send you smooth sailing into date number two.
1) Resist the urge to Google stalk your date. You may think knowing where he works or where she went to college will make the date more familiar but generally it only makes daters more nervous. Besides, knowing all about your date before you meet him or her takes away from the fun of getting to know someone new. Enjoy the excitement of actually learning about the person when you meet them–conversation will flow more naturally. Go into the date with an open mind and an open heart and see what happens!
2) Create a calming pre-date ritual. Whether it is a warm bath or trip to the gym, try to develop a pre-date routine that calms you and puts you in a positive frame of mind. Short on time? Even something as simple as sipping a glass of wine before a date can refocus your mind from your busy day at work and get you into the mood for a fun night.
3) Leave work at work. Try to compartmentalize and separate your work life from your dating life. If you only talk about work, it is very difficult for your date to really get to know you. Sure, work is part of your life, but it is not your entire life.
4) Don’t be late! Being late only adds to stress so try to arrive at the date a few minutes early to avoid further anxiety. Figure out the cab/subway/walking situation ahead of time. If you are running late, call your date and give him or her the heads up.
5) Think positive. Have you had a string of bad dates that make you think tonight’s date will be another frog? Did your ex-girlfriend get engaged last week? Leave your baggage at home. Tonight’s date is not responsible for the past and bringing your bitter feelings about former flames to a first date is a sure way to ensure there will not be a second one.
Relax and have fun! That may be easier said than done, but practice makes perfect. Dating is a skill, and everyone always needs a little brush-up from time to time. First dates are a great way to meet new people and perhaps meet the love of your life.