We’ve all been there and it’s very nerve-wracking, but today I’d like to share with you 12 tips to show you how to not be nervous for a date.
Your gut is seizing and nausea is roiling and you’re thinking about shooting him a text with an excuse to postpone the date, but did you know he might be feeling the same way? Date nervousness isn’t exclusive to women. Men experience it too!
Still, dates can be great experiences with the right mindset. Instead of worrying about what to wear, how to fix your hair and makeup and whether he’ll like you, focus on the twelve tips below. They’ll help you know how to not be nervous for a date.
Right now, you’re placing too much importance on this date. You’re making it seem as if your entire future hinges on this one date, but it doesn’t. Dating isn’t about getting married or even making a commitment, not the first few dates anyway. It’s about seeing how well you might fit. Can you have fun together? Is he someone you enjoy spending time with? Is he an interesting guy?
This is how men look at dating. They don’t look at dating as taking steps toward the alter. They have fun. They enjoy the challenge of getting to know you and the mystery behind who you are.
How to Not be Nervous for a Date: Treat it as a Meeting
The best way to ease your nervousness over a first date is to treat it as a meeting, which is what it is. You and this new guy are meeting to see if there is any spark or chemistry. If you know one another before, you’ve probably never dated until now so this is still a first date or meeting to consider becoming a couple.
Even the next few dates can be looked at in this way because that’s what you’re doing. You’re meeting up with a new friend to see if you can become a couple in the future.
Have some talking points
If you met him online or through friends, you might already know something about him. Use this to your advantage and have a few things you can talk about. If his pride and joy is his ’67 corvette, study up a little on them and show interest. If you love something he loves, he will transfer his love of that thing to you over time.
Men love to talk about themselves, so the more homework you do before your meeting, the more prepared you’ll be to feed him questions.
Understand that He’s a Hot Mess of Nerves Too
Any great guy worth having is probably a bundle of nerves before your first few dates too. If he isn’t, there’s a better than even chance that he’s a player who goes on a lot of dates and has his own system in place.
Assuming your guy is a great guy, he’s just as worried about saying the wrong thing or looking dumb in front of you. How you both survive one of you making some sort of goof will determine how your relationship will go, moving forward. If someone goofs, poke a little fun, in a nice way, maybe with a tad of humorous self-deprecation.
If you trip over your own feet or accidentally spill a little coffee, it’s fine. He’ll love it and it’ll make him feel better about anything that happened to him.
How to Not Be Nervous for a Date | Don’t ‘Clear Your Day’
You’ve got a date with a great guy and you’re so nervous about getting ready that you take the day off and clear the schedule for the entire day so you have plenty of time to get ready.
I’ve done this myself. If I had a hot date planned for that evening, I’d clear the day to wash my car, plan my route and prepare myself for the date. The problem is that when it was time for the date, I was so nervous because I’d focused my entire day on it, that I could barely function.
Instead, stay busy with other plans. Go on with your day as normal and prepare yourself as you would for a girls’ night out. Slip on something comfortable, do your hair and makeup as you would for any other occasion and be yourself.
Stop With the Worst-Case Scenarios
Your anxiety is ratcheting up and the what-if’s are starting. Recognize this for what it is – date anxiety. It’s normal, but that doesn’t mean you need to feed it. When those what-if’s start showing up, stomp them down. What if he doesn’t show up? His loss! What if he hates you? His loss! What if he’s an axe murderer? What are the odds, really?
Anxiety creeps in and we don’t often recognize it for what it is. Take some deep breaths and gain control of your thoughts. Instead of allowing this anxious train of thought to continue, find something to watch on Netflix or turn on some music and start singing along. Do anything to change your train of thought.
Desensitize Yourself to Dating
The real issue with dating anxiety is fear. You’re doing something new and you’re afraid of the outcome. There are two things to do to eliminate this fear. One is to realize that just because this guy isn’t into you, or vice versa, doesn’t mean no guy will be into you. He simply isn’t the right one.
The second thing to realize is that the best way to eliminate a fear of something is to desensitize yourself to it. This means exposing yourself to more of what you’re afraid of until the fear dissipates.
What does all that mean? Go on more dates! Yes! The very thing that is striking fear in you now – dating – is the one thing you need to do more of.
But I hear you – “Gregg, there aren’t that many great guys out there.” And my response to you is “Oh, but there are, you just don’t know where to look!”
Date a few guys who rank in the so-so category if you must, just to get the exposure. At the least, maybe you come out of it with a new friend. Just make sure he understands that it’s just a friendship so there are no hurt feelings.
How to Not Be Nervous for a Date | Keep it Short
Don’t plan a date that will last for hours. Instead, plan a coffee date where you can meet someplace casual and relax into the comfy chairs. If things go well, you can certainly plan a longer date, but make any first meetings short.
If you’re looking for how to not be nervous for a date, this is a great one because a coffee date is, by nature, a more casual, laid-back experience.
Be Involved with Planning the Meeting
Get involved in planning your meeting so you have some say in what you do and where the meeting will happen. If you allow him to do it, he may be more inclined to either bail on the date or plan it someplace where he’s more comfortable, but you aren’t.
Give him a few suggestions and make them closer to your comfort zone. This not only feels more comfortable to you but it’s safer and will keep your anxiety at bay.
One great tip for how to not be nervous for a date is to chill. Relax and remember not to place so much importance on this two hours of your life. Think about it – it’s two hours, if that, of your entire life and, as you recall, if he doesn’t like you, it’s his loss!
Use anxiety-busting tools like playing music or taking a short walk. Splash some cold water on your face before you do your makeup or take a few deep breaths. When you consider what to wear, go with something comfortable, rather than something new or something that makes you squirm because it’s too tight or doesn’t fit properly.
Keep It to Yourself
It isn’t necessary to share this meeting with your entire Facebook friends group or blast it on Instagram. In fact, I suggest you tell one close friend so someone knows where you are, but otherwise, keep it to yourself. Other people will try to be helpful, but they’ll only provide advice you don’t need to hear. Friends will push their own anxiety on you with stressors over what to wear and so on.
Make it Fun!
The worst date is sitting down to dinner with someone in some high-end, or even middle grade restaurant. All you have to entertain yourselves is one another. The stress of carrying on a conversation can become overwhelming, especially if one or both of you are introverts.
Instead, make your first dates and meetings fun. Go bowling or go prowl a farmer’s market. Go watch a sport you both enjoy together or go somewhere that relates to a hobby one or both of you have, like antiques or cars or photography. Even a museum or an art gallery is better than a dinner date because there are conversation starters all over the place.
Workout Prior to Your Date
When you workout, two things happen. One is that it alleviates any anxiety chemicals that are coursing through your veins. The other is that it produces endorphins, or happy hormones as some call them, and you get a lift.
This will help your confidence shine through, instead of your anxiety.
How to Not Be Nervous for a Date
Most long-lasting relationships start out as great friendships. Remember this as you head into your next date or first meeting with a guy. Work on building a great friendship and don’t worry about how long it will be before he buys you a ring.
Date to have fun and learn more about him, not to find milestones that you think show he wants to marry you. I guarantee you he’s oblivious to such milestones so don’t bother with them. Guys date to have fun and you should too! Use this time to determine not only if he’s a great guy, but also if he’s the right guy for you. Take your time and enjoy the process! Take the pressure off by not worrying about getting married after the first date!
Remember the tips you’ve read here and go have yourself a great time!