6 ways to stop nerves ruining your date
1. Call a friend
If you've worked yourself up into such a flap that you're a gibbering wreck on your bedroom floor and considering call the whole thing off, pick up your phone and call a friend instead. They will give you a bit of a pep talk, calm you down and remind you that it's just a date and it's meant to be fun. If you and your friends have got a Whatsapp group or other group chat, turn to them for support throughout the date - you can sneakily keep in touch when your date is at the bar.
2. Enjoy some Dutch courage
Nothing takes the edge of first date nerves like a little drink. However, the emphasis here is on 'little'. Turning up to your date half cut is not a good way to start, because you'll probably drink more on the date and end up doing something silly like being sick in their handbag or declaring your undying love. If you don't want to end up in an embarassing morning-after situation, hold back on the booze after that initial nerve-steadier.
3. Dress your best
Wearing a killer outfit will make you feel super confident, which will kick those nerves to the kerb and have you walking up to your date feeling like Beyonce (even if you're a guy. Who doesn't want to feel as confident as Beyone looks?). Apart from making you look and feel amazing, dressing your best will impress your date.
4. Prepare yourself
Spend a bit of time thinking about the date and which bits you're particularly worried about. If you're stressed about conversation running dry, have a couple of questions or anecdoes ready; if you're chronically late for everything, plan your route and leave loads of time. A little bit of preparation can help you feel in control of the situation and calm your nerves.
5. Have an exit plan
Many people get stressed about what they should do if the date is a disaster and they need to get out of there pronto. The trick is to plan this possibility into the date in advance. Rather than agreeing to go for a three-course dinner on a first date, meet for a drink instead. That way, if your date turns out to be the human equivalent of filling in your tax return you can leave after an hour.
6. Get some perspective
At the end of the day, it's just a date. You aren't diffusing a nuclear bomb or negotiating a hostage situation, you're just meeting someone new for a drink. Don't put pressure on yourself by treating it like the only chance you'll have to find 'The One', either, instead enjoy a sociable chat, a bit of a flirt and a nice evening.
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