How to not be nervous for a first date (9 Tips)

In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous for a first date” and a few tips and tricks to manage your anxiety when meeting someone for the first time. It is not easy to put yourself out there and to let someone into your life so it is very brave you have decided to accept and go into a first date. 

How to not be nervous for a first date

“How not to be nervous for a first date?” you may have been wondering, well we get it. You are having your first date with this amazing person you have just met or someone you feel attracted to but never dared to ask out until now. 

Here are 5 quick tips you could follow before a date so it can help you feel more relaxed and calm:

  • Plan your date ahead and if possible, get a head start by suggesting the place where you will meet your date.
  • Try going on a “date” with yourself first. This can help you get in touch with who you are letting you have a better date. 
  • If possible, have a pre-date workout session. Either at the gym or home, exercise releases neurochemicals that have the power to boost your mood and make you feel positive, happy and energized.
  • Talk on the phone before you meet in person.
  • Try to stay busy before the date. Overthinking about what could go wrong during the date, even before going to the date. It will only feed your anxiety and then the probability of something going wrong will be real. 
  • Avoid drinking too much to play cool or less anxious because it might go south.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply. This will help your muscles relax and feel calm.
  • Remind yourself they are probably nervous too, you are not the only one. 
How to not be nervous for a first date (9 Tips)

It does not matter how many “first dates” you have had until today, they still have the potential to make you feel nervous. This seems to be even more so if you really feel attracted to this person and you are desperately seeking to cause a very good impression that will make them go into a second date with you. However, do not overwhelm yourself since it is the “best” way to make mistakes.

 First, you need to be fully aware of how normal it is to feel nervous before your first date, and to some extent, the nerves are a good sign because you care and there could be a potential match made in heaven. Besides, if you were not feeling nervous at all then that means you do not care and would not have accepted going to this date in the first place. Here we will give you some advice on how to manage your first date anxiety. 

Plan your date

When we are feeling nervous or anxious is because we feel we are not in control of the situation at all. However, you can tackle this by suggesting you go somewhere you know and feel comfortable about, like your favourite restaurant or bar. This will give you a head start!

As discussed, feeling uncertain or not having an idea of what to expect can increase your anxiety to the roof. If your date suggests a place you have been before then it may help you get there earlier to get familiar with the place and the environment giving you an overall idea of what to expect. Also, make sure you know how you will get there (e.g. walking, by bus or car) so you make sure you arrive on time. You could also have your outfit ready the night before your date so you won’t have to feel anxious last minute about what to wear. 

Go on a “Date” with yourself first

When we go on dates we want to live up to our high standards. Everything has to go according to plan and perfect, but we forget how to enjoy ourselves and get in touch with who we are. 

According to Eva Taylor Grant from Bustle.com “Grab a few minutes before the date is scheduled to take place, stand in front of the mirror, and look at yourself truthfully.” Just remember yourself “perfection is relative” since what you think is perfect may not be the same definition for your date, so avoid putting unnecessary pressure upon yourself. 

Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself

We want our first day to be perfect so we think things twice before saying them out loud. We are worried we might spill our soup or beverage and it is understandable but try to chill and enjoy your evening. However, if something does happen don’t worry too much about it and chances are your date won’t go out running away from you at the first mistake. Try to make fun of the situation with a light-hearted joke. This will show your date that you have a sense of humour and that you can make fun of yourself.

What if my Date doesn’t like me?

It is normal to be worried your date won’t end up liking you but if that is the case, trust us when we say that there is nothing wrong with you or your personality. Finding the right person takes time so don’t be discouraged because it didn’t work on the first date and keep trying.

Sometimes we are so eager to be liked or loved by others that we forget that not everyone is a good fit. So it is OK if you walk out of the place you are meeting, by yourself. 

Talk on the phone before you meet in person

First dates can make anyone nervous so a good way to help each other lower down your anxiety levels is to have a mini first date over the phone but remember to keep it short. Also, you can identify some things in common or possible topics to talk about during your date so you won’t feel “awkward” when meeting in person and at least you will be able to keep the conversation going.

Stay active, keep yourself busy

We all have been there, many times before. We start thinking about how the date will go, “will he/she like me?” or how perfect we want it to be. However, the best way to avoid overthinking too much and building up your anxiety before your date is to keep yourself and your mind occupied, but just make sure you don’t do too much or you will feel exhausted later on.

Instead, try to plan on what to wear or ask a friend to help you get ready, stay grounded and confident. Also, there is no secret that music can make us feel good so try to listen to some relaxing music before your date. Have a playlist with all your favourite tunes and if you are feeling nervous on your way to your date, plugin your headphones and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and try to relax while listening to the music play.

Avoid drinking too much before and during your date

Alcohol is considered a central nervous system depressant which means it works by slowing down the activity in some parts of the brain resulting in impaired cognitive functions. For many people, alcohol helps to “loosen up”, relax and feel less nervous. Yes, alcohol has sedative effects but it can increase anxiety symptoms and stress. 

We are not saying you can’t treat yourself to a glass of wine before your date or even during your date but just remember not to drink too much.

Breathe!

Yes, as simple and silly as it may sound some of us forget how to breathe and it is easier to start having a panic attack before our date. Try doing some breathing exercises (there are plenty on YouTube) while you are getting ready for your date. 

This will help you stay calm and relax while keeping your anxiety on point. In addition to your breathing exercises, you could also try some guided meditation to keep your mind distracted from overthinking about your date and bring you to the present moment.

Remember: Your date may even be more nervous than you are!

We are all humans, and we are all entitled to feel anxious or nervous from time to time. Especially if we are facing unfamiliar or new situations. Allow yourself to feel how you are feeling, it will be just temporary. Also, think about how your date may even be more nervous than you are so having a little chat about it and being honest about it can make you feel more comfortable after your date confesses they are feeling the same way you do!

Why is this blog about How to not be nervous for a first date important?

There are plenty of tips and tricks on How to not be nervous for your first date and here we just mentioned a few. Overall, it is important to remember that feeling nervous or anxious before a first date is completely normal, it is a good sign or indication that you care about your date and will give you that “push” to be at your best. 

Also, overthinking too much about how your date will go or if they will like you or not will have a negative impact on you and even can affect your behaviour. Just be yourself and keep your head and mind into the present moment. 

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

References 

Shatto, R. (2017, Nov.) 10 Tips To Get Rid Of Nerves Before A First Date So You Don’t Freak Out. Retrieved from Elitedaily.com.

Brabaw, K (2020, Jan.) How To Get Through An Intimidating First Date. Retrieved from refinery29.com.

Grant. E.T (2018, Apr.) 11 Tips For Calming Your Nerves Before A First Date. Retrieved from Bustle.com.

Piña, C. (2018, Aug.) If You’re Anxious About A First Date, Don’t Freak Out and Try These 9 Strategies Instead. Retrieved from Elitedaily.com.

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Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.