Although dating, in general, can be a bit unnerving, it’s the first date that can really give your nerves a run for their money. It’s exciting, but kinda scary. It’s thrilling, but can also make you sweat, tremble, and maybe even feel a bit nauseated — in a good, weird, “I really hope this goes well,” sort of way. I mean, you’re going out there and pretty much trying to sell to someone just how awesome you are. You’re also hoping that they can do the same and you don’t have to make up a lie to get the hell out of there. But no matter what, the first date involves some preparation — physical, emotional, and mental.
“I am a big fan of pre-date rituals,” Licensed Psychologist, and Founder and CEO of Rapport Relationships, Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, tells Bustle. “I work with all of my clients to perfect a ritual to help shift the mind into a calm and relaxed space.”
While you may think that popping a Xanax or having a drink before the big date is going to help, in reality, it isn’t. Instead, getting your head in that relaxed space, as Dr. Rhodes mentions, is what’s going to make the first date a success... even if you don't hit it off immediately.
Here six ways to calm your nerves before a first date.
1. Indulge In Some Relaxation Techniques
If you meditate, then do it before the date. If you’re not into meditation, then “consider a restorative yoga class if your anxiety is really high prior to a date,” says Dr. Rhodes. It won’t just help calm your nerves, but help in making you feel grounded and more confident.
2. Apply Essential Oils
Although I’ve, personally, never used essential oils before a date (I’m not sure why), I do use them when I’m stressed about work or my depression has kicked into gear. The result? Always amazing. They really do take anxiety levels down several notches.
“I cannot say it enough but understanding and using essential oils during your day can really help with stress and anxiety,” says Rhodes. “I like Young Living’s Sacred Mountain for grounding and always use Rose oil before a date. Pairing an essential oil for just dating will help create a ritual around getting ready for you date.”
3. Give Yourself Extra Time
Since running around and running late stresses people out as it is, it’s important to give yourself extra time so you can at least subtract that aspect of nervousness from your night. Dr. Rhodes suggests adding an extra 30 minutes to however long you think it’s going to take to get to where you’re going.
4. Get Grounded
So you’ve given yourself an extra 30 minutes? Great! Now treat yourself with a manicure or one of those 10-minute massages. As Dr. Rhodes explains, “Physical touch and taking the time for yourself can be incredibly grounded.” And, yes, you want to arrive at that date as grounded as possible, so you can feel confident and at peace.
5. Drink Tea Or Something Equally Healthy
Dr. Rhodes suggests you skip the pre-gaming and opt for tea or something else healthy instead. According to her, “Too many people rely on alcohol and that can have the opposite effect on your anxiety (if you drink too much).” Not only that, but if you drink too much before your date, you might not even remember it. If it’s a great first date, you definitely want to remember it.
6. Live In The Moment
You just can’t worry about what’s going to happen right after the date, tomorrow, or if by next week, the person whom you went on the date with will be a distant memory. In doing so, you’re taking away from the date and the experience. Remember to let yourself have some fun — after all, that's the point of a first date.
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