8 Ways to Get Rid of the Nerves of Being on a First Date

Relationships

Being nervous on a first date is nothing special, especially for teenagers. According to Match.com's 2018 Singles In America survey, 89 percent of singles get nervous before a first date. However, the ones who can get over the jitters are the ones who can actually impress their dates. Though jitters are usually good signs that show you are attracted to the other half, they may actually ruin your date.

A real story can explain this: a friend of mine went on a first date earlier this year, and despite having known each other for a long time, the boy felt extremely nervous when meeting her and could not bring up topics to talk about. They walked around in silence, and acted more like strangers than a couple. Only a few days after this date, my friend decided to end this relationship.

If you don't want this to happen, here are some few tips to get rid of nerves on a first date:

1. Have a detailed plan before the actual date

Especially for the person asking his/her partner out, it is extremely important to have a schedule ready. No matter if it is simply reserving a restaurant, or booking an appointment in an amusement park, knowing what you will do on the date makes your date a hundred times more comfortable. Not only would it make you feel more confident, since you would be taking the lead for the day, but it would let your partner see you as a responsible person.

2. Tell yourself it's also a friendship

If you get too nervous, remember to keep on telling yourself that he/she is not only your date, but also your friend. The way you act in front of your friend would not seem to be inappropriate, and they would even appreciate that you are treating him/her in a natural way. Acting nervous in front of your date may make them worry about their behavior, so staying relaxed would not only impact you, but also their feelings.

Stop trying to pretend like someone else on a date - your partner did not accept this invitation because you are someone else. It's because you are you, and the only way to keep impressing them is to keep being you.

3. Know your partner's interests

It is extremely important to know what your partner likes and how they spend their free time. In order to make your date a successful one, conversations are the key. To show that you respect their opinions and want to know more about him/her, knowing their interests before hand will be a great way to make you feel confident and make them feel surprised about you and about the date.

For example, if you know your partner is a cat lover, going to a cat cafe may be the perfect option for your first date. There you will be able to have countless things to talk about, and she/he will never feel bored because the activity matches his/her interest.

4. Tell them "I'm a little nervous"

There is nothing wrong with being nervous on a first date. If you know that anxiety is going to inevitably hit, tell your date that "I feel a little nervous today", and maybe if you want to use some flirting tricks, add "because you look so good". Honesty is the symbol of a good and healthy relationship, and letting your partner know your feelings may even calm you down. With their support, you will gradually feel more comfortable.

5. Stop thinking about it!

You will only get more and more nervous if you keep thinking about what might happen on a date. Remember to keep your mind occupied with something else before the date, so anxiety won't be the only emotion you feel. Asking other people "how to get rid of the nerves" won't help you much - the ultimate solution is to stop thinking about it, and do what your heart tells you to do, even if it's not the best act.

6. Do not wear anything too formal

Maybe you just want to show that you really care about this date, or maybe you just want your partner to know that you really respect them. However, dressing up is only going to make both of you more nervous. Having fun is the key to having a successful date, not looking fancy. You always want each other to know that you can be comfortable around each other, therefore wearing something casual is the best way to show that - comfort is the key to confidence.

7. Talk to someone for support

As mentioned before, everyone has been through this stage. While this may be the first time for you, some of your friends may have already experienced this and know how to handle this situation a lot better. Talking to a trusted friend or adult before your first date will not only make you relax a lot more, but also give advice on how to behave on the date. It is the best way of all tips to get both suggestions and encouragement. Reassurance may sound a little embarrassing, but it is the best way to get you into your best emotional state.

8. Don't be too sensitive

Remember the case of my friend breaking up after the first date that I mentioned at the beginning? After listening to the complete story, I told her that half of the reason that led to her break-up was because she was too sensitive. When her boyfriend sounded less passionate or lowered his volume for whatever reason, she would start doubting that he was not interested in this date anymore. Therefore, their relationship should not last. When her boyfriend did not offer her his jacket when she said she felt cold, she thought that he simply did not care about her. Maybe these problems may be signals of a wrong relationship later, yet on a first date this is not the case. Firstly, this may be the first date for them too - they could be nervous as well and did not act the way you wanted. Secondly, an important part of the first date is to get to know the other half. Cutting off all the chances because of some mistakes on the first date may not be the best choice if you want a lasting relationship. Simply relaxing and ignoring the tiny details will make you a lot less nervous.

Remember, almost all human beings nowadays go on a date at least once in their life, so you are not the only one. Letting your nerves overtake your feelings would only give your other half a bad impression, and make them more nervous as well. To face your jitters and enjoy the best of the date is the only way to make it a good one. Start out positive, and your first date will be positive as well.

Emma Hu

Emma Hu is a junior in McLean High School, Virginia. She is an enthusiast in social studies, photography and journalism, and also an active advocator for Asian rights. Emma also enjoys traveling, vlogging, and playing video games.