We've all been there, those nervous hours (and for some of us that are more anxiety prone, days) before a date with a guy you either just met or recently started dating that you're just so, well, into. You want to make a good impression and you start obsessing about everything from your hair, to what on earth you're going to wear, to those extra few pounds that you want to lose so badly. It's enough to drive a beautiful single girl crazy, and for most of us that's exactly what it does.
Well, I've got good news for you – I'm going to give you a handful of go-to tools that you can use before that big date to get you ready to present him with your best, most confident, and, most importantly, calm self!
1. Make plans with friends or family.
Make sure you have plans for the hours before the date so that you will be distracted from over thinking things. So if your date is for Saturday night, connect up with a friend and head out for the afternoon so that you don't have too much time to stress about your upcoming date. Worst case, Mom always loves to see you – invite her out for brunch, shopping, or to check out that new art gallery you heard about. Make sure that whatever you're doing together leaves you with just a bit more time than it takes you to get ready for the date, so you won't be stressed getting ready but you also won't have time to obsess over the little things.
If you're stuck and everyone you know is otherwise engaged, then spend the time on your own enjoying something you love doing. You'll get a bonus if the activity involves exercising – the endorphin rush will give you a mood boost to last throughout the date. The point is that being busy and spending time with friends or doing something you love will elevate your mood and put you in the right mindset to feel relaxed and happy during your date, and that's very attractive.
2. Picture it going well.
While you're getting ready for the date, imagine yourself with him feeling very relaxed and comfortable like being out with one of your longtime friends. The two of you are talking easily, laughing together, he enjoys being with you and you're really connecting. Think of a great time you had with a good friend and picture it feeling just like that (only better). The better you can visualize the date, the better it will be.
3. Focus on something other than yourself.
When we focus on ourselves, how we're speaking, what we're saying, where our hands are, etc., we become overly self-conscious and this tends to make us nervous. Instead focus on him; if he's talking really hear what he's saying, and make sure your response has nothing to do with you. For example, if he's telling you a story about his dog acknowledge his story first (Oh, that's such a cute story!) then ask him more details – what kind of dog? How long has he had it? etc. before delving into the story about your own dog or the one you had as a kid.
We're all guilty of thinking about what we can tell someone about ourselves while they're in the middle of telling us their story (many times we're even scripting our own story in our head while he's talking – don't worry, it's natural). If you spend your time focusing on him and what he's saying instead of yourself, you'll learn more about him and you'll be less nervous – a win-win. Once he's clearly through with talking, or better yet, asks you about yourself, then you can tell him your own cute dog stories.
4. Remember it's supposed to be fun.
Remind yourself that dating is supposed to be fun, and if you're so worried about every little thing you say or every little detail about how you look or what you're wearing, then it's not fun. So spend some time looking and feeling your best, know that you are looking and feeling your best, then stop worrying about it. You did everything you can do. Now it's just a matter of seeing if the date is actually fun and if there's enough compatibility to justify date number two (hint: there always should be, unless there was one of these dealbreakers).
The point is, just be yourself and know that if he's not that into you then it's a blessing. You only want to be with men that are into you the way you really are. Otherwise, you have to be something different your entire life, and that's no fun.
5. Remember that you're doing the choosing.
Last but not least, always remember that you're in the position of doing the choosing. He may seem like he's the perfect guy for you, but remind yourself that you really don't know much about him yet. Tell yourself that he still has to prove himself to you in order to win your precious heart – after all, you're not going to give it away to just anyone. Not to the point of making it seem like an interview or being standoffish - but enough to make sure that you aren't putting him up on such an unrealistic pedestal that you feel like he's out of your league. He isn't; he's just a person, just like you are, and that's why you're here – to get to know more about each other so you can both decide if you are a good match.
With this type of healthy mindset you'll be much more confident going into and during the date. Being confident and self-assured is not only very attractive, but it's essential to keep yourself from falling for a guy who is actually not right for you.
What do you do to ease the pre-date jitters? Tell us about it in the comments!