Even if you have been on dates with dozens of different people or have met your current date many times before, it’s possible for nerves to creep in and undermine your ability to enjoy yourself. Don’t feel ashamed if you feel nervous–your anxieties merely show that you are invested in the results of your date! Instead, focus on ways to combat those butterflies in your stomach. Here are some useful tips that will help you to calm your nerves.
While a bit of spontaneity can be exciting, having a rough plan can help to reduce the nervousness that comes with lack of control. For example, you might want to look up some of the best restaurants in the area or do some research on bars with a romantic atmosphere. This type of planning stops you from panicking and freezing when asked to make decisions on the day.
Know what makes you feel more confident
Give some thought to the clothes, locations and conversation topics that help you put your best self forward, and try to incorporate these confidence-boosters into the date. Do you have a smart shirt that wore when you landed a great job? Wear it! Do you feel especially engaged and interesting when talking about your favorite hobby? Discuss that hobby early in the evening and feel the nerves slip away.
Remember that your date may be nervous as well
In all of your obsessive focusing on your own worries, it can be easy to forget that you’re going to meet a person, not a perfect and judgmental being. Most people feel a little anxious before or during a date, and thinking about how you can ease the other person’s nerves can help you calm down.
Practice self-care before the date
If possible, don’t rush straight from work to the date venue, feeling tired, sweaty and stressed. Ideally, you should spend time relaxing and doing things that make you feel good before your date. Listening to your favorite music, taking a relaxing walk, reading an absorbing book and having a long, hot shower can all help you to feel positive, reducing your nervousness.
Act like a confident person
If you try to behave like you are confident, this practice can slowly cultivate genuine self-confidence. Make sure you maintain eye contact with your date, focus on speaking clearly, be gracious and polite, and do your best to smile frequently.
Put the date in perspective
Finally, if this is your first date with someone, remember that you’ll have many other opportunities to meet new people and that your happiness doesn’t depend on the outcome of any one date. Meanwhile, if you’re meeting someone you’ve met several times before, try to remind yourself that you won’t be judged on the basis of this date alone. This person has enjoyed your company enough to meet you again, and it’s unlikely that will counteract all positive impressions on this latest date.