Feeling nervous about a first date? Read this guide before you go

You’ve lined up a first date with someone you’re really excited about. You’ve planned your outfit, thought of some interesting anecdotes to cut through the small talk and even arranged a de-brief breakfast with your bestie for the next day. So why, despite all of your best preparations are you still feeling so nervous about that first date? 

Don’t panic. We’re here to help. If you’re feeling nervous about that first date and – dare we say it – even considering cancelling the whole thing, read this guide. We’ll walk you through some tried and tested methods to get through the intimidation of a first date, and have you feeling your best, most relaxed self when D-day arrives. 

Photographer: Ashley Steffens

The science behind first date jitters

If the thought of going on a first date leaves you feeling sweaty and like your stomach is doing somersaults – don’t panic. These are perfectly normal reactions to stress, and they happen to all of us from time to time. 

When you feel stressed (which often happens before a first date), your brain sends signals that lead to a release of adrenaline. This prepares your body for “fight or flight”. Now thats great if you were one of our hunter-gatherer fore-fathers (or mothers), but not so helpful for a first date. 

So how do you effectively overcome this physiological response to stress before a first date? Let’s take a look.

Imagine yourself at the date beforehand

Studies have shown that if you imagine yourself doing something that frightens you, it better prepares your brain for dealing with the real thing. This is because even the act of imagining yourself at something that makes you nervous (in this case, a first date), activates your nervous neurons. Over time, your brain is better able to regulate these stimuli, leaving you more able to actively control that “fight or flight” response.

Breathe

Focusing on your breath is a powerful technique that has been used for centuries to overcome nerves and increase performance. Before your first date (or any time that thinking about it makes you nervous), take big conscious breaths. Inhale slowly for 5-6 counts, then exhale for the same amount of time. If you can, increase the length of the inhales and the exhales each time. By focusing on your breathing in this way, you’ll force your mins to thing about something other than what scares you. This gives your brain a chance to disrupt the “I’m nervous!” mindset. 

Photographer: You and Me Fotografie

Call out your self consciousness

It’s totally fine to sometimes feel down on yourself. We’ve all had moments where our confidence is a little shakey, and our self esteem takes a hit. The important thing is that you don’t allow those negative thought patterns to become your norm. It’s ok to have a blip and think you aren’t funny enough for your date, but you gotta snap yourself right out of it before you start to actually believe that. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. And that means calling out your inner demons. If you find yourself subconsciously feeling that you’re not good enough, consciously tell yourself “I am 100% enough, just as I am”. You don’t have to say anything out loud, it’s just important that you disrupt negative thought patterns with an alternative truth. Cause it is the truth. You are absolutely good enough, for anyone. 

Acknowledge your nerves as something positive

It’s totally fine to sometimes feel down on yourself. We’ve all had moments where our confidence is a little shakey, and our self esteem takes a hit. The important thing is that you don’t allow those negative thought patterns to become your norm. It’s ok to have a blip and think you aren’t funny enough for your date, but you gotta snap yourself right out of it before you start to actually believe that. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. And that means calling out your inner demons. If you find yourself subconsciously feeling that you’re not good enough, consciously tell yourself “I am 100% enough, just as I am”. You don’t have to say anything out loud, it’s just important that you disrupt negative thought patterns with an alternative truth. Cause it is the truth. You are absolutely good enough, for anyone.