The excitement that comes from saying “Yes” to a first date has you feeling confident and fabulous. This vibe may stay with you straight through to the date itself. Or, a pesky series of “what if’s” could start playing on repeat in your head. “What if your date looks nothing like his picture? What if there’s awkward silence? What if you eat something sketchy?” Queue the scene from Along Came Polly and suddenly you are convinced you can’t eat anything on your date, or you’ll end up in an embarrassing bathroom scene with no toilet paper!
Maybe the jitters don’t hit until you are getting ready for your date. Suddenly you start feeling nervous – experiencing physical symptoms, such as an upset stomach or excessive perspiration. Now before you ask yourself, “Why is this happening? What is my problem?” realize that these thoughts and symptoms are normal. In fact, a recent study found that nerves leading up to a first date can often cause diarrhea. (Insert a sigh of relief that you’re not the only one with a queasy stomach!).
Guess what? Feeling anxious before a first date is normal.
Putting your best foot forward on a first date is important. But it’s hard to accomplish this when you’re stressed, nervous, or distracted by physical symptoms.
To help you ease those annoying first date jitters, we have compiled eight tips that will help you release your worries and feel more chill so you can be fully present and fabulous on your date.
Remind Yourself that He Is Probably Just as Nervous as You Are
Don’t forget that men get nervous too. He is also prepping for a first date, so he likely has some butterflies in his stomach too. So, don’t be hard on yourself because you do. Remember that anticipation can mess with both of your heads and that you’re not alone!
Take Deep Breaths
Practicing mindfulness and being present through deep breathing is one of the best ways to combat stress. You can do this while getting ready for your date, just before the two of you rendezvous, and even during the date if you need to. It’s ok to take a step away to refocus. Just sit down, close your eyes, and breathe in to the point that you feel your lungs expanding and retracting with each breath. Picture a serene place, maybe a park, a beach or somewhere else that evokes calm and peace of mind. This will help to bring you back to focus and release those jitters.
Practice Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can go a long way in boosting your confidence. Did you know that they can also help ease stress? Just like deep breathing, you can practice self-affirmation before, during, and after your date. There are many ways to practice this, but you can start by telling yourself that you’re an amazing woman and that your date is lucky to spend time with you. Repeat to yourself your positive strengths and remind yourself that whatever happens, happens! If it doesn’t work out between the two of you, all is still good with you. Maybe the connection just isn’t “meant to be.” If you’d like the help of an affirmation cheerleader, bookmark this positive affirmation video for quick inspiration and a smile.
Take a Walk, or Work Out
There’s nothing like being active to help clear your mind. If you have time before your date to get a workout in, you’ll be well on your way to a more serene mindset. Or, if you’re short on time, a 10 – 15 minute walk to get some fresh air can be just as impactful. Take your mind off the upcoming date while you walk. Be present in the moment and notice your surroundings – the trees, the birds and the breeze. You’ll return feeling calmer and refreshed.
Write it Down
This is a great method for getting disruptive self-talk out of your head! Get out a pen and paper, or your favorite mobile device, and start writing down exactly what you are feeling. Let your thoughts flow. List out what you are afraid of and what’s making you the most unsettled. Then, end on a positive note. Write down three things you are grateful for and reflect on how they bring joy to your life. You can also incorporate this process into your self-affirmation practice.
Call a Friend
Sometimes we just need to laugh things over with our friends. Get on the phone and talk about your apprehensions. Nobody is better at building us up than our best buddies. Share some laughs and ease up the tension you are creating for yourself.
Play Your Favorite Calming Music
Music has a way of directing our emotions. Take time to put on your favorites beats that will pull you out of your anxious thoughts. Need some inspiration? Check out this list.
Listen to the First Date Stories Podcast
Listening to our podcast, First Date Stories, is a great way to get rid of your pre-date jitters. We created it to help all women in their late 30s and beyond become more knowledgeable, comfortable and connected daters. Listen to women talk all about the dates they’ve been on and the lessons they’ve learned. Or read their tales. Either way, you’ve got “comrades-in-dating” sharing tips with you so that you can go on that date with confidence and a bounce in your step. Feel the sisterhood!
Now let’s be realistic here. There’s still the possibility that your jitters could end up being on display during your date in a way you may not want them to. If it happens, oh well. Shrug it off. But, there are precautions you can take:
- Put on an extra strength antiperspirant.
- Wear underarm sweat pads.
- Dress in darker colors or loose clothing.
- Apply a shine control makeup product, or carry makeup blotting sheets.
Obviously, you won’t be able to do all of this before your date. But practicing one, or a few, of the eight tips in tandem will help you get out of that stressful head space so that you can be fully present. Not only will you show up glowing, you’ll help your date feel at ease as well.
You got this, girl!