11 Negative Thoughts You Should Extinguish On A First Date

If you're going on a first date, it's totally normal to be nervous. In theory, there are dozens of things that could go wrong — your hair falling in your soup, having a cough attack, calling them the wrong name — but you should not dwell on those negative thoughts. Chances are, everything will go totally fine, and you'll only stress yourself out by giving in to the negative thoughts everyone has on first dates.

One thing I've learned after years of online dating is that being nervous does you absolutely no favors. Have I been on tons of awkward, bleh, or flat-out bad dates? Of course. But it's not like I knew beforehand that things would go badly, so I entered into every date with a positive outlook and did my best to be confident, outgoing, and charming. As nice as it would be to be able to control the outcome of a first date, the fact of the matter is that the only thing we can control is how we behave. I won't lie and say I've never had a negative, nerve-inspired thought before heading into a bar or restaurant to meet someone new, but I can say that I always tried to quickly stifle any such good-mood-killing feelings.

Here are eleven negative thoughts to extinguish on a first date, because being a nervous wreck won't help you make your best first impression — and confidence is the sexiest trait you can have, after all.

1. They're Way Cuter Than Me

OK, just stop right there. No one is standing on the sidelines with scorecards to tell you that your date's a 9 while you're closer to an 8.6. If he or she agreed to the date, you already know they think you're cute, so just tell your brain to STFU and strut your stuff.

2. Did I Order The Right Thing?

Eat whatever the f*ck you want — anyone who judges you for what you eat on a date doesn't deserve to date you (or anyone), anyway. If you want a salad, order a salad. If you want a steak, order a steak. It's pretty simple.

3. What If They're Only Laughing At My Jokes Out Of Pity?

It's a little far-fetched to assume that a guy or gal would go so far as to pity-laugh at you. Unless all of their laughs sound like a robot malfunctioning, just calm down and realize you're probably actually hilarious (and if their laughs sound robotic, you might have a larger problem on your hands).

4. Ugh, I'm SO Bad At Small Talk

Everyone is bad at small talk. Awkward getting-to-know-you questions are an integral part of the first date charm. I have literally asked guys their favorite color on dates, and lived to tell the tale. Don't stress about the conversation; it's probably going fine.

5. I Should Be At Home Doing Something Productive

If you spend the whole date lamenting the fact that you have piles of work to do, it's just going to make you anxious AF. We all need to relax sometimes, so there's no point in beating yourself up because you agreed to go on a date with a really hot person on a Wednesday night. Be proud, and enjoy yourself.

6. Oops, Did I Just Over-Share?

The good news? The small talk has clearly drifted into "actual conversation" territory. However, if you accidentally let slip that you drank eight vodka sodas last weekend or that you're still afraid of your childhood dentist, don't fret: These kind of factoids are what make first dates memorable, and I don't think your date will judge you too harshly for any word-vomiting that happens due to nerves.

7. Why Do I Keep Using My Hands So Much?!

There's no need to be paranoid about any erratic hand gestures you might make. Chances are, the other person probably doesn't even notice. Plus, it just makes you look more engaged and enthusiastic, which is a positive sign from your date's point of view.

8. Did They Notice That I Just Burped Under My Breath?

No, they definitely did not. Calm all the way down.

9. WTF Happens When The Check Comes?

This can be a valid concern, but as long as you know what to expect, there's no reason to stress. The usual etiquette? Whoever asked the other person out should be the one who foots the bill. If you're uncomfortable with your date paying, you can always offer to pay for your portion, but if he or she declines, don't put up a fight — politely say thank you and move on.

10. If I Sleep With Them, I'm Trashy

Having sex on the first date does not make you trashy. Consensual sex between two grown adults is nothing to be ashamed of, and if anyone tries to make you feel bad about it, they deserve a wakeup call. Whether you hop into bed right away or decide to wait, both are fine — it's totally up to the two of you, and no one else.

11. They Probably Won't Ask Me Out Again

Slow your roll, champ. It's true that there's no way to know what will happen between the two of you in the future, but give it time. All you can do is let him or her know you're interested, don't play games, and see what happens. Hopefully, the second date won't be nearly as hard on your poor nerves.

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