5 tips for avoiding first date awkwardness

Okay, so you agreed to go out on a date with someone, and at first you were excited about the prospect of a possible new romantic connection. But now that the date is drawing near your pre-date anxiety is building to the point where you just might have a full blown freak out. Before you reach for the prescription anxiety meds, let’s try some relaxation tips that will help you calm down and be your best self.

1. It’s just a date. It’s just a date. Say it. Hear it. Understand it. 

Whether you have been on 5 or 500, all dates share one basic component at their core, they’re just a way to facilitate getting to know someone. If you’re tweaked out about the prospect of having something to talk about for the next two or three hours with someone you don’t know very well, or aren’t sure about. Just remember, everyone loves to talk about themselves, so just ask your date questions about their life. This should also help you accomplish the whole point of the date, figuring out if you like the person you are going on the date with.

2. For a first date, try to pick an activity that will allow you both to converse freely. 

You might be tempted to go to a movie or a concert so you can avoid talking to your date entirely and having to navigate all the social cues of a conversation. But should I remind you of the purpose of going on a date? You need to be able to talk to this person, and sitting together in silence watching something else going on isn’t going to do sh*t for helping yourself figure out if you actually even like this person. If you want to do something more casual, suggest grabbing coffee. Then follow up with dinner if that goes well. Only after you’ve had a full conversation and you deem your date a person of interest should you move on to activities where you will be distracted from each other.

3. Wear something that is comfortable AND makes you feel good. 

If you’re tempted to wear the five inch heels because you know they make your legs look killer, but they could actually kill you because you can’t walk in them very far, OPT OUT. When dressing for a date I keep in mind the following factors. Is it comfy? Does it make me feel good about myself? And lastly, but VERY importantly, if I have to ditch my date (either because they suck or for reasons of your safety being compromised) will I be able to make a quick getaway in this outfit. You want to be able to move freely, feel good, and pay attention to the person sitting across from you– not whether or not you’re going to topple over on the way to the restaurant.

4. Plan ahead so you don’t have to spend time figuring out logistics. 

You’ll feel better and less stressed out if everything is in order long before the actual date comes a long. That means decide what restaurant you’re going to beforehand. Make sure you have time to get ready and relax a little before the date happens. During this extra time watch your favorite TV show or listen to your favorite band. Do something that feels familiar and casual so you aren’t keyed up before the big moment.

5. Be yourself. 

It’s the best approach for both of you. Don’t you want your date to give a true representation of who they are, rather than a super edited and perfect version of themselves that they won’t be able to live up to later? Sure, we all put a little extra effort in when we are meeting someone or dating someone for the first time, but don’t let this extra effort turn into a complete misrepresentation of who you are as a person. Don’t agree with everything your date says just to be polite and push the conversation forward. Just be real, and everything you have to offer will speak for itself.

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