No matter how many dates I go on, I will never not be nervous. There’s something so daunting about going somewhere to meet someone you don’t know very well, where you will then proceed to just look at each other and hope conversation topics come naturally enough to not feel awkward. So yeah, those pre-date jitters are gonna come on no matter what, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole day freaking out only to wind up a total mess when the date time finally arrives, or worse backing out. You are not doomed to peak anxiety levels. Whatever your worries are, these ten techniques for how to relax before a first date will definitely help you take a deep breath and approach your date night with excitement and confidence.
1. Go for a run
One of the best ways how to relax before a first date is to distract yourself in positive and satisfying ways. Going for a run earlier in the day will get you moving, saving you from just sitting around and stressing at home. You’ll have something else to focus your attention on, but running also often allows your brain to go to a calmer and meditative place. Tune into the music playing and just enjoy the forward motion. You’ll find yourself more able to breathe afterwards, you’ll have released lots of endorphins, and you’ll have done something satisfying and fulfilling, all leading up to a more confident you.
2. Eat something
And I don’t mean half a bag of trail mix and an egg. Eat something real. Cooking for yourself is another positive activity that can get you moving and keep you distracted. Meanwhile, if you make sure to eat a real meal for dinner, or lunch if you’re getting dinner together, you’ll also be in a better position for your date, having not starved yourself all day or only eaten junk. If you’re just going out for drinks, eating beforehand is a must. Jitters plus alcohol on an empty stomach is a no-go. Go to the store. Make yourself a meal. Sit down and enjoy it. The methodology will calm you and the food will fill your body up with the energy you need to conquer that nerve-wracking date.
3. Have a glass of wine
Nothing helps you deal with nerves like a glass of wine. Even if it’s just a placebo, you can feel yourself relax with that glass in hand and that first sip. We associate wine with a reward to have after a stressful day or as something to enjoy on a fine night, so having a glass before your date will help remind you how to relax before a first date. And that this is something to be excited about! I love having a glass whenever I get ready for an occasion because it makes me feel extra special. As you get ready for your date, make it a pregame of one, psyching yourself up for a great night.
4. Feel good about how you look
Nothing can give you confidence better than feeling happy with how you look. What that entails is totally up to you. When I want to feel my best, I go all out, doing my hair and makeup to the best of my ability. But some girls feel better when they’re more comfortable in what they’re wearing and all they need to feel good in makeup is a quick swipe of mascara. Think of what you’re wearing when you feel your total best and most attractive and go with that. If you feel good, then you can take comfort in the fact that your date will totally feed off of those confident vibes and no doubt think you look amazing, too. Unless you like end up choosing to wear workout clothes to a fancy dinner. That still doesn’t work.
5. Think up possible conversation topics
If you’re trying to figure out how to relax before a first date and you’re anxious about there being awkward moments of silence when the talking lags, help yourself feel more prepared by thinking up possible conversation topics or questions to ask. What’s their family like? Who are they closest too? Do they like to read? What kind of movies do they watch? It all seems kind of corny, but that’s just part of getting to know someone. Having a good date takes equal initiative from both parties working to spur the conversation along. I’m not saying you should be bringing straight up ice breakers from church camp to the table (please don’t), but if you’re nervous about what to say beforehand brainstorm about stories you like to tell or questions you can ask, and unless you really just have nothing in common, things will go fine.
6. Have a selfie session
Once you are feeling good with how you look (AKA fly as hell), you might as well pull out your phone and indulge in a little selfie session. We both know your nervous ass got ready early as hell, so take the extra time beforehand to take some selfies and admire your handiwork. It’s not vain to feel good and confident about how you look. If you’re struggling to recognize, selfies will just help you better see your own beauty better for yourself, so you can calm down even more and feel great. Plus after taking all those pictures you’ll know exactly the right angles and smiles to give your date.
7. Meet friends for drinks beforehand
No one calms you down when you’re worrying about how to relax before a first date like your friends. If your date plans consist of grabbing dinner or drinks at a bar or a restaurant somewhere, meet up with your friends somewhere close by beforehand. You can have a drink and dish and chill, waiting for the time to arrive with people who know how to encourage you and calm you down, rather than at home by yourself with all your own crazy thoughts. You’ll feel a ton better with your friends by your side supporting you on your dating endeavor and when the time finally comes you can kiss them goodbye and walk on over to the main event.
8. Stay off social media
I love social media, but it can be exhausting and it can put a lot of doubt in your head. It’s definitely not something people normally describe as able to help them calm down. If you’re going on a date with someone you met online, scouring their profile beforehand for any extra clues as to who they really are is only going to further stress you out with worry rather than calm you down. Pouring over stuff like that only builds up anxiety. You’ve already talked to him enough to decide it was worth going on a date. Looking back now is only going to plant needless doubt in your brain. As for just perusing mindlessly, if that relaxes you then go for it, but personally absorbing all that content, rather than just chilling outside of your phone, keeps my mind from settling down, and I know I personally do not need to be comparing myself to any Instagram models right before a date.
9. Imagine positive scenarios
You’re stressing out over everything that could go wrong, but why not imagine all that could go right? Instead of worrying over how to relax before a first date, banish those negative thoughts and take time to imagine all the positive scenarios and ways the date could end. Harness that feeling of how nice it is to come home from a good date and be excited to see someone again, to get that text afterward that says, “I had a great time.” There are so many awesome ways this could all turn out and that’s really what you should be focusing on because it’s just as likely, if not more likely, than the terrible things you’re automatically imagining. And if you really can’t get those horror scenarios out of your head, calm yourself down by imagining and making game plans for how to deal with them and get home sooner rather than later.
10. Remember how great you are
This is the best way I’ve figured out for how to relax before a first date. Amidst all those worried thoughts that I’ll be awkward or they won’t like me, I remind myself that well, I like myself. Yeah, I actually think I’m pretty cool. I have interests. I have friends. People sometimes think I’m funny. I’m happy with who I am, and whoever I want to date should be happy with that too. If they’re not, then no harm because we shouldn’t be dating anyway. It’s not a question of whether or not they’re going to like you, it’s a question of whether or not you’re both going to be compatible. You are not on trial here. You are cool and great and people like you, so really unless this person is weird they should too.
In the end, no matter what you try, sometimes those jitters won’t go away and you finally just have to take the plunge. But the more you take the plunge, the less jitters you’ll have each time, even if you can never fully calm down. That’s just because it’s something new. It’s something challenging and scary, which a lot of good things in life are. It’s worth it because someday that nerve-wracking date will lead into something wonderful. And for the times, it doesn’t there’s wine and friends to meet back up with after.