The big night is here. You have worked up the courage to go on your first date and now comes the hardest part: getting ready for the date itself. Here are some tips to make that first date a success:
- Spend time making yourself beautiful:
Before your date, do everything you can to make you feel your best. Go ahead and indulge in that facial mask or paint your toenails (even if he won’t see them). By doing this you will make you feel your best physically and this confidence will translate into how you present yourself on your date.
- Be aware of your body language:
Prior to and during your date, pay attention to your body language. On your date, are you fidgeting with your fingers? Do you have your arms crossed in front of your chest? Are you tilting your head towards your date? These are all strong nonverbal indicators of your interest in your date and reflections on your comfort level.
- Prepare for an engaging conversation:
If you are very nervous for the date it might be helpful to have a list of questions ready to ask your companion. Here are three that generally work well: (1) given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest? (2) what is your most treasured memory? (3) what would constitute a perfect day for you? Also, the key to any successful conversation (but especially when you are nervous) is reciprocity. When someone shares something about themselves or asks a question, always reply back by sharing a similar story or asking them the same question. Not only is it polite but it also keeps the conversation on an equal footing.
- Approach the date with confidence:
One of the most important things that you can do before a date starts is to bolster your confidence. You may want to repeat some positive mantras to yourself, do some deep breathing or some positive imagery. While you cannot control chemistry, compatibility or attraction, you can control the energy you are giving off and make sure that it is positive. If you enter a date feeling unworthy or defeated, these feelings will carry through the night. This is why it is so crucial to practice self-compassion before a date. Self-compassion can help you to stop ruminating on previous bad dates and it can make you understand that sometimes fear or trepidation can just be a natural feeling we all experience in anticipation of a novel event.