I don’t care if you are in high school or in your forties, first dates are always a little nerve-wracking. For me, just coming out of a long term relationship, going on first date is completely foreign to me. How should I dress? What if I laugh too much? What if something gets stuck in my teeth? You name it, I’m probably stressing over it.
Unfortunately, college isn’t known for its romance and dating someone can happen just because of a series of hookups, or maybe y’all study together, or hang out watching TV with his roommates a lot. In the real world, hopefully, dating will be more like what you expect: getting drinks with someone, going out to dinner, or maybe a festival downtown.
I am not vastly experienced in the world of adult dating, but tonight I will be going on one and am a tad nervous. However, I have decided to take my nerves and share them with y’all to not only reassure you that you are not alone in that department, but that there are things you can do to combat those nerves.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready
Not only is it unattractive to keep your date waiting, but you also don’t want to feel rushed while getting ready. If you’re getting drinks after work, give yourself enough time to touch up your makeup and run a brush through your hair even if it’s just in the office bathroom. If you’re going out to dinner, make sure there’s enough time to shower and do your hair / makeup without feeling rushed. You want to put your best self forward, and keeping a calm, relaxed pace will help ease the pressure.
2. Pick a place with which you are familiar
Please do not be the girl that says “whatever” or “I don’t care” when your date asks you where you would like to go. Get a feel for what he / she likes and think of some places you’ve been before. I like to think of places where I’m familiar with the menu and have had good experiences with both the food and the waitstaff, but also a place where the noise level is a good balance – I want to be able to talk to my date, but I also don’t want to be overwhelmed if there are silences. Be confident in your decision; this date is just as much for you as it is for him / her!
3. Recycle old outfits
I know this sounds weird, but wear an outfit that you know you look good in! I’ve fallen into the trap of buying new outfits specifically for dates, and while the notion is exciting and understandable, I find myself more concerned about keeping necklaces in place and blouses tucked in than I am with the person I am with. By wearing an outfit that you’ve worn before, you can focus on what is really important – getting to know your date! Plus, if you’ve already gotten compliments on the outfit in the past, your date is sure to notice how awesome you look.
4. Take a deep breath, and relax
He / she has already shown interest in you, otherwise you wouldn’t have a date in the first place! So what if it doesn’t go well? It’s not the end of the world, and there will be more than enough dates in the future. Try to smile and have fun, because your energy will undoubtedly be contagious. Two things can happen: either the date will go really well and you might even have another one, or you’ll realize there’s no connection, and maybe you’ll even get a funny story out of it!
Dating is still very new to me, but I am slowly becoming more comfortable with the fact that a bad date does not mean I am bad at dating. In fact, my friends look forward to my bad dates because the stories make for fantastic lunch conversations. It can be a bit awkward getting back into the dating scene post-break up, but keep in mind that going out with someone does not mean that you are committing to a relationship. Who knows, maybe you could meet some really awesome friends that way too! The bottom line is stay positive and be confident that you are a great person.
** if you have any funny dating stories, please share them in the comment section below! **