Do you feel anxious, awkward or exhausted when you think about going on a first date?
Here are six tried-and-true tips to have confidence on your date and get through it with ease, fun and grace:
1. Make it your mission to have fun no matter what. This should be your #1 goal. Levity and laughter are irresistibly attractive. Hopefully, you’ve done a little recon on the front end to know if there’s enough of an initial connection with the person you’re about to meet so you’re more relaxed and positive.
2. Be Prepared. Have a handful of interesting questions ready. The best ones are those that give insight into someone’s personality. Try these: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2000/01/proust-questionnaire and be prepared to answer them as well. And it never fails to ask them to talk about something they love.
3. Tell yourself that you’re just meeting your best friend’s brother/sister who are visiting LA for the first time. Low expectations and zero romantic pressure create an authentic level of connection and playfulness. Lower the stakes. Actually, there are NO stakes – you are just showing up, being friendly and there to have a good time. (Our clients swear by this method!).
4. Don’t make it a first date. Choose an experience or situation where you feel the most confident or relaxed. The key is to roll your date into a plan you were going to do anyway so that it feels more organic and less pressure-filled. For example, instead of meeting for drinks or dinner, bring your date to the art opening you need to attend. Invite him/her to ride bikes on the beach with you. The purpose of a first date is not to see if you can check all the boxes; it’s to check how you feel in the presence of the person.
5. Stop caring so much about what your date thinks of you. Everyone wants to make a good first impression but if you’re paralyzed by the fear of how you’re coming across, you’re essentially conveying this message “I am seeking your approval. I don’t already know that I’m a great catch so I need you to validate that I’m worthy of you” Total turn-off.
The best way to shift that mindset is to start asking yourself “I wonder if this person has what it takes to make me happy?”
6. Make plans for immediately after . This sets a time limit and less pressure on you if things aren’t going so well. It’s easier to go on a date knowing that no matter what, at x’ o clock, you have to leave and go do something else. (If the date’s going really well, even better; leave them wanting more and you’ll have a lot to look forward to on the next date).