All of us are programmed to feel anxiety before certain situations that we perceive as dangerous or risky, either for our physical or psychological integrity.
So getting a first date with the person we like is both an achievement and a stress factor. On the one hand we are happy to have the opportunity to date someone special to us, but on the other hand we feel a great pressure not to make mistakes. In this article we will see how to manage our nerves on the first date regardless of whether we are shy or not, so that they don’t become an impediment to enjoying the evening.
Why do we really get nervous?
As we have seen, nerves on the first date respond to the fact that we perceive a risk that something may go wrong and make the encounter unpleasant , which would represent an emotional upset for us. This is a biological response that has physical and mental repercussions.
It is natural that we all feel nervous about meeting the person we like, because we want everything to be perfect, just as we have imagined it. In other words, we are primarily responsible for causing our anxiety, with our thinking and expectations.
It’s not bad to be cautious and have expectations about our first date, the problem starts when we think things will go wrong even before we have started having our date. Nerves are nothing more than the anxiety we feel caused by the fear that things will get out of control.
The anxious subject presents a catastrophic thought pattern , in which he imagines that things will inevitably go wrong for him, regardless of everything. This situation causes him a series of physical and psychological consequences that represent a significant discomfort.
Some of the physical consequences can be excessive sweating, headache, muscle tension, hand tremors, etc. Regarding the psychological consequences, the tendency to isolation, thoughts of rejection towards one’s own person, and inadequate feelings in general are frequent.
Managing First Date Anxiety
Now we will see a list with several practical tips that will help you overcome the characteristic nerves of the first date.
1. considers that the other person may also be nervous
Get used to the idea that the other person may also be going through the same nervous situation as you, which is somewhat reassuring, since generates a feeling of equal conditions for both of you . It is not unreasonable that this should be the case, as nerves are natural.
2. Adopt a positive mentality
Negative thoughts, which are usually involuntary and intrusive , are fought with voluntary positive thoughts. What we are going to do is to make every unpleasant thought we have associated with a stimulus or pleasant thought.
For example, if we have the idea that our date will be a disaster because we don’t know how to hold a conversation for too long, and we are afraid of uncomfortable silences, we respond that this time it will be different because we have prepared for this situation.
3. Pre-appointment preparation
The preparation before the event is key to reduce anxiety ; it is about imagining the different scenarios that could occur during the meeting, and identifying those situations where we could have difficulties.
If we fear that at some point during the appointment we may run out of conversation, then we look for a way to prevent that from happening.
4. Have confidence in yourself
The preparation helps a lot to keep the nerves on the edge during the first appointment, but beyond having previously prepared for the meeting we must be able to have confidence in ourselves , in our strengths and virtues.
It won’t matter too much if something gets out of control during the date, or there is a sudden change in plans that you haven’t considered. If you’re a confident person, you’ll be able to deal with that scenario without any problems. Keep in mind that the other person has agreed to go out with you because he or she likes you.
5. Avoid unrealistic expectations
A common way to self-sabotage a first date is to create in our minds a set of expectations that are too difficult to meet. By doing this we are signing a judgment of early failure. We should avoid imagining overly elaborate scenarios , it is better to take things slowly.
6. Choose a place that gives you comfort
If it is within your reach, choose a place where you can feel comfortable, so that the tranquility that that place generates in you can be reflected in your attitude towards the other person. It may be a place you have been to before and consider suitable for a first date.
7. Choose a fun activity
Having chosen the right place, it remains to be seen what alternatives there are to do in that place. It is always a good idea to choose something that is fun for both of you . Don’t just think about yourself when making decisions, remember that the other person may have different tastes. The best thing to do is to make the decision together, ask him/her what he/she likes to do.
8. Choose your clothes well
Choosing the right wardrobe is important; sometimes it happens that we don’t give the necessary importance to this aspect and then we feel uncomfortable when we are on our date. The best thing to do is to take the necessary precautions and evaluate well which is the best choice depending on where we are going.
- G. Lindzey and E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology. New York: McGraw Hill.