It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in the dating game for several years or you’ve just decided to jump in recently and test out the water. Pre-date nerves are a part of the whole process, and these can be overwhelming and daunting at times. They can make you squirm, cause anxiety and self-doubt, and see you obsess about every little detail of the upcoming date. So what can you do to tame these pre-date nerves?
The key to calming yourself down and getting into the right zone is planning. Follow these 5 steps to give you the best head space for your first date:
1) Research the venue
You’ll be more relaxed if you research the first date setting and get clear about exactly what you’re getting into. Research the parking, the venue, the food/ alcohol available, and the noise levels, crowd size and expected dress code. The more you know, the more you’ll be confident about what’s to come.
2) Plan your dress code
Forget about last minute decisions on your wardrobe. Put plenty of time aside to organize your clothes and this will keep you calm. Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Also attend to your accessories, hair and grooming well before time. You want to be well prepared when it comes to your appearance.
3) Prepare some questions
It’s always calming to have a couple of questions up your sleeve that you can use to open up conversation with your date. Remember – people love to talk about themselves, so take an interest and be curious. Avoid cheesy one-liners, abrupt interrogation and don’t be wooden or robotic with your questions. Let it evolve naturally after the initial conversation starts.
4) Lean on your friends
Friends can play a very important role in taming those pre-date nerves. Use them leading up to a big date by getting re-assurance from them and also asking them for advice about how to make a good first impression. Don’t go over-board, just keep it to your inner circle and let them help you get in the right head space.
5) Have realistic expectations
Dating is about sifting through the wrong ones get to the right one. It’s not personal. It’s a process of elimination. So remember - you don’t have to meet ‘the one’ on your first date. Instead, go into the date with the mindset of having fun and seeing if this new person is a good fit for you? Take the pressure off, and look at this as an opportunity to learn more about what you like and don’t like.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)