Nervous About a First Date?
First dates can be quite anxiety-provoking because nobody likes to feel like they are on an hour (or more)-long interview, where the risk of rejection is inherent!
What to do in order to get more comfortable with going on first dates really depends on what exactly is anxiety provoking for a person. A general recommendation has to do with safety and environmental comfortability. I always suggest meeting in public and familiarizing yourself ahead of time with restaurants and lounges (including what to order) with environments that compliment your personality type! This can give one a sense of being on their own “turf” which can eliminate extra potentially stressful aspects that can come along with unfamiliar territory.
Additionally, a little self-care and developing certain rituals can be helpful in calming the nerves! Some ideas for self-care or first date rituals include managing stress the day of the date as much as possible. For example, scheduling a date on days where one isn’t working or in school can be helpful for some, where working or school can benefit others as it keeps their mind off of the date they have planned for that evening.
I have also had some clients utilize skills such as creating a playlist of music that they can listen to before hand. Every person responds to different types of music, so it’s important to pick something that caters to one’s personality type: where the music can serve a purpose, such as music that is distracting, empowering, or erotic – whatever might be most helpful in preparation for the date!
It can be useful to remember that everyone feels vulnerable on a first date and the person you are going out with likely doesn’t want to feel rejected, either. Remembering that first dates are inherently risky for everyone involved can be normalizing and grounding.