They say first impressions last, so you’ll want to make a good one. If you’re worried about hitting the mark, here are some tips to help you prepare for that first date.
Set the mood.
Even before you meet up with your date, try to set the mood for yourself. Take time to really prepare for the date. Take a relaxing warm shower or bath. Play some feel-good music and dance around your room a little.
Pump yourself up by talking to some friends who will be encouraging. Try to figure out how to get yourself excited about the date instead of thinking about what could go wrong.
Have realistic expectations.
Forget about the dozens of romantic comedies you’ve seen. Hollywood has set the bar unrealistically high. Go easy on yourself – and your date – by setting realistic expectations. The conversation doesn’t have to be non-stop.
Some silence in between is completely normal and doesn’t necessarily mean your date is bored. Some slip-ups or mistakes are perfectly fine. Sometimes, these can make the night even more memorable. It’s important to remember that everything doesn’t have to go perfectly smoothly.
Practice having casual conversations.
If you feel anxious over the thought of small talk and conversing, try practicing before your big date. Strike up a conversation with someone at the park or your local barista. Finding your rhythm and knowing what you can easily talk about will be a great help.
If you’re uncomfortable talking about yourself, try to focus on what interests you about the other person. Once you’ve figured that out, ask more about it. Another tip is to listen to what other people ask you about. Use those questions as a guide and maybe you can ask your date the same things.
See it in a different light.
Don’t see it as a make-or-break date. Try thinking of it as making a new friend, at the very least. This will help with worries you might have about messing up. Try to imagine you’re just talking to a friend. Let yourself relax around them and don’t think about worst-case scenarios. Try to put your mindset into thinking of it as something you’re already comfortable with.
Another way to look at a first date is that it’ll never be a losing situation. You’re getting into this date as a single individual. At best, you make a good connection and a second date. At worst, you’ve gained new experiences and know more about what you’re looking for in a person.
Don’t over-analyze the date afterward.
Don’t beat yourself up over stuttering when you spoke about your job. Don’t stress over forgetting a detail about your date. These things happen. Owning up to your mistakes are important but replaying them over and over in your head helps nobody.
If you make a slip-up, apologize and move on. Laugh and maybe make a joke out of it. Don’t hold onto the mistakes you might have made. Thinking about them too much will not bring you back in time to prevent you from making them.
Things are over and done with already. Learn from them but also move on. Remember that everyone also gets nervous and can make slip-ups too.