Breathe. You're about to go on a first date. You're running through all the possibilities in your head — from fantasizing about the best possible scenario of love at first sight, to dreading the horrific possibility of sitting across the table from a weirdo all night. Or maybe even the worst of all — meeting your dream lover to be brutally rejected upon his or her first glance of you.
As a matchmaker, I've set up a lot of first dates. And I appreciate it when my clients get nervous. I think it’s normal and healthy, and it shows that you care about yourself, the other person, and the outcome. Good for you. So take a deep breath and give yourself a pep talk before the first date. Remind yourself of these 5 things, and let them calm your nerves.
- Your date is nervous, too. Unless your date is a blow-up doll, your date is probably calming his or her own nerves too. Your date has agreed to meet you, which means he or she is willing to check you out. The million scenarios that ran through your head likely ran through your date's head as well. This isn't a job interview where your potential boss is only scanning you for a good impression; it's a date where two people are evaluating each other. It's absolutely human to have nerves, so it should give you some peace to know your date is probably jittering too.
- You can't control everything. Of course you should show up with your game face on, look the part, and play the part. But so many factors are out of your hands — from the weather to whether your date thinks your jokes are funny. Since you can only prepare so much, leave the rest up to the universe.
- Energy is more easily read than you think. I'll hear clients often say, "I don't think I showed her how fun I can be because I was so nervous!" Unless you suffer from serious, debilitating anxiety, for the most part, your date will probably read your overall energy despite the nerves. Meaning, if you’re a talkative person up for adventure, but your nerves get you stuttering and telling boring stories, your date may still leave with the impression that you are a talkative but adventurous person, but with first date jitters.
- You'll have a story to tell later. Part of the fun of dating is sharing the experience with your loved ones. You're in the game and living your life, and part of that is experiencing new things. The funny mishaps at dinner, the totally offensive things your date may say, your own flubs — those will be stories to tell your grandkids.
- You're worth it. Somebody thought you were worth spending time on — whether that be your matchmaker, your friend who set you up, or the other person who agreed to go out with you. Even if the date doesn't end up in marriage and kids, there was something about you that got you to this point. Someone believed in you, and you should believe in yourself. Everyone has something special to show, and you’re no different.
So, to recap: first, inhale deeply. Then exhale. Repeat the process, and with each breath, let each one of these first date reminders slowly settle your first date jitters.
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