In this guide we will discuss what to do when we are “scared of meeting someone for the first time”, understand why we could potentially feel scared and a few tips to cope with this type of situation.
Scared of meeting someone for the first time
If you feel scared of meeting someone for the first time know you are not alone, this is fairly common and the good news is that you can actually go pass your anxiety when meeting people.
If you have met someone online or through a friend then you’re maybe experiencing a combination of nervous/scared/excited when a person you like has agreed to go on a date with you, and we know how scary dating after a while can feel.
You have certain expectations about the first meet up and that is also normal, especially if what you are looking for is building a relationship in the future.
Let’s consider the following worries people often have when meeting someone for the fist time:
- Will he/she like me in real life?
- Will I be attracted to him/her in real life?
- Hope there are no awkward silences and I have plenty of things to talk about.
- Will we end up kissing? (if so) will I like it?
- We have been talking for a while over text but will I feel comfortable talking to them face to face?
These are just some thoughts that cross our minds before we meet someone.
We fear what we don’t have the certainty of or what is better known as “uncertainty”.
It’s OK if we don’t know how our date will turn out and it’s OK if we don’t know what to expect.
We might even get surprised on how the date will end up going!
In addition, it is possible we (or our date) get cold feet and decide to cancel the first date by making a lot of excuses to avoid meeting them.
This is a completely normal human behaviour when we get overwhelmed with the thought of meeting someone for the first time, but remember that if you don’t risk you won’t gain or lose anything.
Besides, cancelling the date won’t make the anxiety go away, instead you could be losing the opportunity of meeting someone great or making new friends when you let fear dictate how you live your life.
Next we will talk about some tips and strategies that can help you cope with nerves before your first meeting.
Even if you’re someone with anxiety, you don’t need to worry about making friends because these tips will help you in calming your nerves.
Tip 1: Acknowledge you are feeling nervous (and it’s OK)
Yes, embrace the fact you are feeling nervous and accept it is completely normal.
Everyone experiences being nervous or anxious from time to time but it won’t last forever.
In addition, recognizing what makes you nervous about the situation can actually help you understand how you are feeling and how to deal with it in a more effective way.
Remember you may feel nervous the first few minutes of the interaction with this new person but as the date and conversation progresses you will start feeling more comfortable and secure.
Tip 2: Visualize your success
Visualizing your success or having a successful date will actually give you a boost in your confidence.
Repeating to yourself “I got this…. I got this” and looking into the mirror before going to meet your date will make you feel more comfortable and calm about the whole situation.
Tip 3: Your value is not determined by the outcome of the meeting
With this said, remember that you may find this person very attractive, fun, smart, etc., but there is always a possibility they might not feel the same way about you so getting comfortable with the idea of being rejected is very important.
However, even if they don’t see what you actually perceive from them does not mean you are not worthy of being loved or you are not good enough.
Just think about how there are many doors and you have a special key to open just one of those doors.
So keep looking for your matching door, it is actually out there waiting to be opened!
Tip 4: It’s OK if you don’t like them
If you are meeting someone for the first time and you are nervous about the fact that you may not like them in person know that it is completely normal NOT to like them back.
This is a two two-way street and just as they are choosing you, you need to choose them as well.
Probably you had great chemistry when talking over text or over the phone but when you saw them the butterflied slowly died.
You are by no means obligated to like them back or start a relationship with them.
Tip 5: Breathe
Breathing is super important and you may know this already but how is this going to REALLY help me when if I am feeling nervous?, you may be wondering.
Well, when we face a new situation full of uncertainty, our brain sends a signal to our body to prepare it to either fight the threat or run as fast as possible away from that potential dangerous situation.
However, going to meet someone for the first time is far from being dangerous or threatening (unless your date turns out to be a serial killer).
Just remember to force yourself to take deep, slow breaths through your nose and exhaling it through your mouth.
This will tell your body that everything is OK and you are not in a dangerous situation, eventually feeling more relaxed and calm.
Tip 6: let your date do the talking (in the beginning)
If you are too nervous to start a conversation, let your date take the lead and start talking.
Just make sure you focus on listening at first and ask good follow-up questions to show you are interested.
Then, as the date progresses you may start feeling more comfortable and you’ll be surprised of how much you could actually talk about keeping the conversation flowing.
Tip 7: Take all the necessary precautions
When meeting someone for the first time, and specially if you have met online, taking the necessary precautions will make a huge difference.
If you are a woman, for your personal safety make sure you tell someone where you will be, what time you will be meeting and ask them to keep in touch.
If this is one of the major reasons why you are feeling scared then knowing that someone knows where you are and with whom can take that pressure off.
In addition, make sure you meet somewhere public and plan your transportation in advance in case you don’t feel too comfortable or the date is not going as planned.
Having the certainty of how you will go back home can also make you feel relieved and less stressed about the meet up.
Tip 8: Dress to impress?
This is very important. Making sure you dress for the occasion (and the situation/place) will actually make a difference.
Do not over dress to try to impress your date, just make sure whatever you wear you are wearing it for you and because it makes you feel comfortable.
Moreover, try not to under dress to appear “nonchalant” since your date may think you are not putting a minimum effort or respect for the meet up.
Knowing in advance where you are going can help you think of the appropriate outfit for the occasion.
For instance, if you are going to the zoo or bowling maybe a short-mini-tight dress won’t make it.
You will probably look stunning but will battle to feel comfortable in it.
Why is this blog about scared of meeting someone for the first time important?
Being scared of meeting someone for the first time, as discussed, is a normal and typical reaction we all humans have to endure when facing new situations.
However, the way you deal with it will make the difference. Recognize how you are feeling and don’t try to conceal it or battle with the feeling, embrace it and repeat to yourself how your date is probably more nervous than you are.
In addition, consider how you are not obligated to “like” or be attracted to your date, the same way they are not obligated to like you.
Allow yourself to have fun no matter the outcome and don’t let it determine your self-worth.
Remember you have a special key that won’t open just any door!
Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about scared of meeting someone for the first time
How do you not get nervous when meeting someone for the first time?
To not get nervous when meeting people for the first time you can try the following:
– Think about hoe the other person may feel the same way you are feeling and even more nervous than you are.
– Understand that the outcome of the date does not determine your self-worth.
You are still as valuable and important even after having dated this person.
– Try narrowing down some topics to talk about, topics that may interest your date or topics you really feel comfortable talking about.
– Visualize your success during and after the date. If you feel you are going to be successful, it will boost your confidence and you definitely will succeed.
– Remember to breathe, this is very important to remain calm and relaxed during your date.
– Be yourself, enjoy and have fun!
How should you act when meeting someone for the first time?
You should just be yourself, breathe and enjoy of a nice conversation when meeting someone for the first time.
If you want to make yourself memorable show genuine interest about the conversation you are having, having an opinion is attractive but without being rude or making your date feel uncomfortable. In addition, smile and use confident body language.
How long should you talk to someone before meeting?
Experts recommend not talking too much via text message before meeting someone.
The reason why is, because we tend to create this false sense of safety and avoiding having a disappointing first date, specially if you feel very comfortable talking to this person but when you meet face to face you realize you are not really attracted to them.
What should I wear to meet a guy for the first time?
You should wear something comfortable when meeting a guy for the first time, dressing for yourself not for him.
Try to wear something smart casual, an outfit you’re often complimented on so you feel confident.
In addition, dress for the occasion and according to the place you are going.
Do guys get nervous on first dates?
Yes, guys do get nervous on first dates just as any other person, the gender does not really matter.
However, some people are very good concealing the fact that they are nervous and will do anything in their power to fake it until they make it.
Just remember feeling nervous is normal and actually shows interest for the person you are dating, otherwise you wouldn’t feel that way. Use it to your advantage!
- Overcome Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Step-By-Step Self Help Action Plan to Overcome Social Anxiety, Defeat Shyness and Create Confidence
- How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety
- How to Talk to Anyone: Effective Communication Skills in Business and Relationships that Makes Money and Helps to Achieve Your Goals. Learn How To Manage Social Anxiety and Improve Self Confidence
- Social Anxiety Disorder: SAD – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
- Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques
Mckay, L. (2018, Oct.) 10 Ways To Cope With Nerves Before Meeting In Person For the First Time. Retrieved from Modernlovelongdistance.com.
Ganddini, S. (2019, Jul.) 7 Ways to Calm Your nerves When You’re Meeting New People. Retrieved from Collegeinfogeek.com.
Bailor, K. (n.d.) Online Dating: Meeting Face to Face for the First Time. Retrieved from Onlinedatingmagazine.com.