older couple date
Relationships & Love

7 Tips for Overcoming First Date Jitters

Whether you’re 15 or 50, first date jitters are real and can even be uncomfortable. How can you better handle them? How can you reduce your anxiety and have a better first date? However, there are some simple and natural ways to deal with them. Here are my tips:

  1. Picture yourself in the situation ahead of time: Visualize yourself out on the date. Picture yourself in the restaurant, walking in the park, sitting in the movie theatre or whatever it is you plan to do. If you have the time, visit the location of your date ahead of time and get comfortable sitting in the situation.  This will make it easier when you are there on the real date.
  2. Know that you are worthy: One of the most common problems I see in my patients going out on a first date is they sometimes feel the person they are going out with is in another league, and they aren’t worthy of being with this person. You have to put this negative self-talk in its place the moment it shows its ugly head. After all, the person would have never agreed to go out with you if he/she didn’t have interest.  Give your self-confidence a boost.  You are not a loser and you are indeed worthy of going out with this person.
  3. Be ready for the unexpected and go with it: Many first dates are planned in super detail that they don’t leave room for spontaneity.  Planning is good, but being able to go with the flow is better.  Always be ready for the matinee to be sold out or the restaurant to have a two-hour wait. Be able to think on your feet and don’t let the change of plans stress you out.  The goal is to just have fun and relax.
  4. Show your uniqueness: What makes you fun and interesting and worth spending time with? Your conversational topics that are different from other people and your stories that display your good qualities show uniqueness. Focus on transitioning from casual chitchat about the current location/activity to showing your uniqueness to the people you are speaking to.
  5. Listen: Conversation is a two-way street. Let your date talk as much as possible and see how much you can learn about them. Ask questions, smile often and interject with a similar story that might have happened to you. The idea in conversation is to start the process of building emotional entanglement, because when you interact well with someone they are going to want to spend more time with you.
  6. To kiss or not: One of the most anxiety-provoking moments on a first date is trying to determine if your date wants to kiss goodnight. Take a slow step into their personal space and notice their reaction. If they lean forward towards you, go in for the kiss. If they step, lean or jump back, then you step back and don’t go for the kiss.  If things are going well, try again on the next date.