You’ve got a first date and you’re feeling nervous. You want to make a good first impression not only for your date, but also for your own self-respect.
If you’ve been on many first dates before, chances are you have gotten into a routine by now with your pre-date checklist. If you’ve been on lots of first dates and only a few ended up resulting in a relationship, then maybe there are some tweaks you need to make to your pre-first-date regime.
If you’ve been on hardly any first dates or this is your very first, then it can feel incredibly daunting to think about all the things you should get right.
Nothing worsens first date anxieties more than being unprepared and unsure, second guessing yourself all the way from entering the shower to saying goodbye to your date. If you’re too preoccupied with your own thoughts, you’ll miss opportunities to really connect with your date. Use these 5 tips to help you relax, have fun and achieve dating success.
First Date Preparation – 5 Top Tips
1. Be Clean & Confident
Cleanliness give you confidence so be sure to have a shower, clean and clip your nails, brush your teeth, and moisturise. Whilst these simple regimes may seem obvious, most people don’t think about the extent to which cleanliness impacts our perception of ourselves and of others and of our surroundings. Research shows notions of cleanliness are embedded deep within our psyche. Our mental associations with cleanliness can determine how we respond to the world at large, how we expect the world to respond to us, and the decisions we make.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Whether you care much for fashion or not, remember that your clothing is a form of non-verbal communication and it also forms part of your date’s first impression of you. Dress as you are comfortable dressing, i.e. be you, and just make sure you tick a few boxes along with it. Be sure to dress modestly, wear clothing that looks cared for, smells fresh and suits the setting for your first date. Not only will your date glean first impressions from your attire, you too will reap confidence benefits if you feel well dressed for the occasion. Remember, how we care for ourselves impacts how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about ourselves impacts our success in our relationships.
Smile when you are getting ready at home, smile on the way to meet your date and smile as you are about to walk into the venue where you’re meeting, as this will release feel good hormones to help you feel relaxed, happy and optimistic. Be sure to also greet your date with a smile and to smile through your first date as this act will help your date to see you as someone who is happy, welcoming and optimistic and will help them relax. Read these 5 tips for detailed benefits of smiling.
4. Pre-Prepare A Few Questions
A lot of the pre-first-date anxiety can come from worrying about potential awkward silences and the risk of your date thinking you’re dull even when you know you’re not. Have 3-5 questions prepared that can serve as conversation starters. That way, you can relax before and during your first date and when you are there, you can really be present in the moment which is the best way for you to connect with your date. During your date, you can ask a question and go where the conversation leads you. The only time to pull out another pre-prepared question will be when you feel the conversation needs a springboard, otherwise, go in with the mindset that you’re just going to go with the flow.
5. Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Be your own best friend rather than worst enemy when getting ready to go on your first date. It’s very easy to leave the mind on auto-pilot whilst getting ready and not realise that you’re silently putting yourself down. If you silently berate yourself with your thoughts and think about all the things that might go wrong and dwell on all the mistakes you might make, guess what, you’ve just focused your brain on exactly those things. Just as an athlete wouldn’t focus on losing, and would instead focus on winning, you need to do the same, focus on the first date being a success. Whatever your ideal self would be on a first date, that’s the stuff to tell yourself you are and imagine yourself being that way. Tell yourself things like, “I’m relaxed, funny, confident and likeable”. Even imagine the first date as a success, from the moment you walk up to greet your date to the moment you part company. A little mind prep can go a long way!