4 Ways To Take The Stress Out Of A First Date (So You Can Focus On Getting To Know Him)

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When it comes to that all-important first date after matching online or on an app, it's totally normal to feel a little nervous. Where do you go? What should you talk about? What can you expect? 

No matter how well you think you get along with someone online, everyone knows that nothing really happens until you get in front of each other on a first date. That’s when you’ll find out if there is enough chemistry to lead to romance — which is why this first interaction can put a lot of pressure on both people.

But your first date will go well if you remember just one thing: This isn't even a date. 

That’s right. The first time you take things offline and into the real world, you’re simply sharing an experience. This alone should relieve the pressure caused by first date nerves right away.  

Here are 4 other ways to help calm your first date nerves, so you can show him your best self the first time you meet in person:

1. Make your first date an activity, rather than a dinner.

Now that you’re in the mindset that this first meeting is an experience and not an interview, where do you go?

Here’s a handy tip: Use all those pre-date messages to express what a fun date is for you and ask him what it means to him. Get this out of the way early on so you both have a picture of what would be an enjoyable time out for both of you.

What you don’t want to do is the default dinner or coffee date because when you sit opposite each other, then you’re back to the interview. Instead, pick a place that will let you walk and talk at the same time, and that will provide readily available talking points. It’s the connection that’s important, not what you do.  

Do something cheap: the park, zoo, a promenade, or the museum. All of these will give you ample things to look at and chat about, all while creating a fun, shared experience that will be memorable for both of you... and open the door for a heart connection.

2. Know it's not about what you say; it's about how you say it.

If you're worried you might not say the right things to him, don’t. Connecting with a man is not about cerebral conversation and impressing him with your wit. It’s about letting him see your feelings — your feminine self in all its glory.

When he experiences you experiencing your feelings, it intrigues him. He sees that you’re comfortable being yourself and so he lets down his guard and feels that it’s okay to be himself, too.

When you only convey thoughts rather than feelings, you can end up creating a non-romantic situation. You might connect with him on an intellectual level, but you won’t connect with his heart.

This doesn't mean you need to hide how smart you are. On the contrary, it means you share more of what you love about your life. In order to have a sensory experience about something, you have to know about it.  

So if you’re a biochemist, express how passionate you are about making a difference in people’s lives — whatever it is about your career that keeps you motivated. When you stick to feelings, you keep the meeting from turning into an interview.


RELATED: 5 Stress-Free Places To Meet For A First Date


3. Let go of expectations so you don't get ahead of yourself.

One of the things that make first meetings so nerve-wracking is how much stock we place in them. So don’t! Even though it might be hard not to think about the future and whether this date might be the one to end all first dates, stay grounded in the present moment.

It might be tempting to discuss things like marriage and children, especially when you’ve had good rapport with someone online. But let him lead any future talk. Take the pressure off yourself by letting him initiate any such discussions. Doing so gives you the advantage of truly seeing where his mind is at and what he thinks of you.

He’ll find it refreshing that you’re not pummeling him with questions (there’s that interview again), and instead, he’ll feel that he can just relax and get to know you.

That’s when he’ll feel safe enough to open his heart.

4. Don't say goodbye if you want to see him again. 

If you want to see him again, don’t end the evening with a handshake or a hug. If you like him, let him kiss you. Just let it happen. Make that your rule instead of the no-kiss rule because you want to establish a romantic feel to your interactions with him from the outset.

But what if you’re not really feeling it for him? I say always give a guy at least two dates, especially since the first one isn't really a date! If you decide he really isn't for you, keep it simple and gracious. Say, "Thank you for a nice time. I enjoyed meeting you, but I feel we’re not a match."

Every man who comes into your life has something to teach you and every one of them gets you a step closer to your Mr. Right.


RELATED: 4 Things You Can Learn About A Guy By Kissing Him On The First Date


Rori Raye is a trained relationship coach who’s helped thousands of women transform their love lives. For more dating and relationship advice, subscribe to her free newsletter.

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