When you finally meet someone who can be “the one,” the thought of leaving a good impression on that person during the first date tends to fill people’s head with anxiety. That is especially true for women who are nearing their 40s and think that it’s their last chance of building a family. Instead of having fun and getting to know the individual across them, therefore, they get incredibly self-conscious and end up not scoring a second date.
While being aware of your behavior is not bad, it is not too appreciative either. What if you genuinely have more commonalities than differences, yet they cannot come to the surface because of your nervousness? Worse, what if you keep on saying things that you don’t mean and turn off the person in the process?
Considering you want to make the most out of your first date, here are some tips on how to reduce your anxiety.
1. Know What Your Date Likes
Whether you have the individual’s number or not, there are ways for you to determine what a fun activity is for them. For instance, you can ask your friend who knows that person beforehand to be able to plan the perfect date. In case you got acquainted through Tinder or another dating app, you may check their profile.
“Couples often feel that they know and understand their partner, and are compatible on most issues. However, this is a mistake.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said. The reason why it’s essential to know their preference is that you want this man or woman to see that you care. You have no idea how your relationship will flourish, but you made an effort to understand their likes and dislikes. That may allow them to feel extra comfortable with you.
2. Be Yourself
You may have probably heard this one a million times, but the fact remains that your date can enjoy being with you once they see that you are showing your true colors. Say, if you are allergic to shrimp or peanuts, don’t try to eat anything with it to impress the other person. Assuming you cannot drink alcohol, you may mention it politely.
As much as you want to please your date, it is always ideal to be yourself from the get-go. The thing is, it seems better to let the individual know who you are now than when your feelings deepen. This way, neither of you will get hurt potentially.
3. Make Yourself Interesting
While this tip may sound contrasting to the second tip, it is honestly not, considering there are so many facets of your life that you can introduce to your date. The only thing you ought to think of is when’s the best time to do that.
You may start by talking about your hobbies or the stuff you used to do when you were younger. Try not to talk too much, however, about family – or the one that you dream of having – since that might be enough to scare them fast. When it comes to religion, you may tread carefully as well. Besides, “You definitely can hang on to your unique self, trusting you do know yourself enough, while still leaving space for another person to be their own true selves.” Psychotherapist Sona DeLurgio, PsyD, LMFT explains.
4. Discuss Mild, General Topics
It is an unspoken rule never to ask the guy or girl about how many dates they have been to or how many exes they have. After all, you do not want to look too nosy in their eyes.
Instead, feel free to speak about the activities you are interested in or any childhood dream that you still have not fulfilled. If everything goes well, you may even be lucky enough to share your passions with that person.
5. Remind Yourself That You’re There To Enjoy
In case your nerves have still not calmed down even when you’ve been at the meeting place for 15 minutes, you should try soothing yourself quietly. It won’t hurt to excuse yourself, look at your reflection in the mirror, and remind yourself why you went on that date in the first place. If we are honest, although you wish to get married someday, you are there to enjoy the other person’s company.
To Sum It All Up
“Enthusiastic consent is the standard today for modern relationships; and the best approach to build truly sustainable, thriving relationships for both people,” says Monica White, LMHC. Whether your date will end up as your life partner or not, only time can tell. Despite that, it does not mean that you cannot make your first date enjoyable.
Follow the tips given above to stop your anxiety from ruining your chances of finding love. Good luck!