5 Tips For Beating First-Date Nerves

Nervous about your first date? Don't be. Here are five tips to turn fear into excitement.

first-date nerves

As I mentioned in my post about six missteps that won't kill your chances for a second date, it's natural to be a nervous before meeting a guy you're really excited about. However, I'm a little worried about my fellow dating adventurer lindsgirl, who revealed the following: "I am ALWAYS nervous before a first date and have, at times, gotten physically nauseous from all of the nerves and adrenaline. I have yet, luckily, to actually throw up on a guy!" Linds, I feel your pain, but it doesn't have to be that bad. Check out my five proven tips for transforming stomach-churning fear into tummy-tickling butterflies of excitement and joy (now are you sick?):


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1) Come up with a list of reasons why he will absolutely love you.

While I have a healthy ego about many things, my confidence goes down the tubes when pursuing a woman I really like. I can't help myself from focusing on all of the reasons why she probably won't dig me. All too often, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So when the self-doubt becomes overwhelming, I channel Stuart Smalley and remind myself that "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!" I may not be the right guy for her, but I'm the right guy for someone.


2) Put your worries in writing.

I'm a huge believer in the value of journaling. Transferring my thoughts to paper forces me to recognize the sheer silliness of my many fears and petty judgments. Here's a sample entry, transcribed verbatim except for a name change:

"Nervous about my date with Jane. Afraid I'm gonna mess it up.Just need to relax and be myself. Either she'll bite or she won't. OK, feel a little better. Remember to buy more yogurt."

John Cheever, eat your heart out!

3) Call a friend for a pep talk.

According to Married Jake, "not even the most in-touch-with-their-feminine-side guys I know would ever call their pals so they could be talked down from full pre-date freak-out." I guess that means I have a death grip on my feminine side, because I always turn to my buddy Dan when the first-date jitters strike. He can't understand why I'm still single and always counters my self-doubt with variations of "Dude, if she's not into you it's her loss." I don't believe him, but it's always nice to hear.


4) Come up with some cheesy icebreakers.

You already know I'm a huge believer in the icebreakers, but I just want to reiterate their importance. Yes, you'll feel a little silly asking about his favorite dog names, but he'll appreciate your willingness to help spur the conversation along. 5 First-Date Icebreakers That Really Work

5) Deep breaths.

Simple but effective. Whenever I'm about to give a big speech or match wits with a larger-than-life television personality, I take a few deep ones. There are medical reasons why this works; all I know is that it slows things down for me. I guess you could also picture your date naked, but if things are going well that should do anything but calm you down.


How do you quiet your nerves before a big date? Are you like lindsgirl—can the anxiety be overwhelming? What's the most nervous you've ever been before a date? Have you ever been with a guy whose nervousness freaked you out? Most important, what do you think about my tips?

Written by Ryan Dodge for Glamour.

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