A Guide To First Dates
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A Guide To First Dates

These are my finest tips on how not to freak out before, during and after a first date.

A Guide To First Dates

I don't go on a lot of dates, and by that I mean I never go on dates. So last Sunday I felt like throwing up from anxiety. The date went well, but I was mostly impressed with how composed I was. The entire time I was so incredibly nervous, but the more I pretended I was fine the more I felt better. So without further ado, here are some tips from yours truly to get through a first date without having to breathe into a brown paper bag before, during or after.

Choose an outfit you're comfortable in, not what your date might like.

Yes, I wanted my date to find me appealing, but we were also hiking in 80 degree weather. Plus I didn't want to wear something that wasn't true to my personality, or something I haven't worn before that I wasn't sure would look good to another person. I'd rather be in the same old same old that I know looks good instead of something that I'll be paranoid about.

Eat a snack beforehand if you aren't going for food immediately.

There's nothing worse than being hangry while trying to make a good impression. I was fine for most of the date, but toward the end I was ready to take a bite out of his dashboard. Don't eat too much, though! You don't want to go into a food coma.

Get in a good mood before you take off.

Not only will this keep you at your most pleasant, but if the date starts to look unpromising you may be less irritable about it. It's OK to establish that there probably won't be a second date, but there's no need to be rude during the remainder of the first one.

Get excited!

Regardless of how the date goes, someone has taken interest in you and there's a chance that you won't be forever alone. That's got to count for something, right?

Take lots of deep breaths.

Once actually on the date, I got really jumpy. I was tapping my feet, fiddling with my keys, etc. It hadn't even been 10 minutes and I was as nervous as I get singing in front of a crowd. I started controlling my breath by inhaling for four seconds and exhaling for six. My body started to relax and I could keep up with conversation a lot more.

Stop comparing your date to the last one.

Don't look for similarities or things that remind you of an ex or a bad dating experience. Your date is their own person and deserves to be treated as such. Would you want them to be thinking "well, my last partner did that and it drove me nuts" in regards to you? Let go of past occurrences and focus on what's new. Enjoy the experience, and stop stressing over things that no longer matter.

Don't be afraid to open up.

Being yourself with your date will let them know that it's OK for them to be themselves too. The first date can consist of a lot of wondering who a person really is, but odds are if you're honest and upfront they will be too.

If you're interested, refer to a second date and observe the reaction.

If things are going well, hint at doing something again soon. If they hit you with a "oh yeah, that'd be cool" then they are either waiting for you to blatantly ask or they aren't feeling a second date. If you get an answer that includes "we" then the feeling is probably mutual. This way you'll know if this person is even worth wigging out over.

DON'T wait three days or longer to text.

Don't get angry at your date if they take that long to reach out to you, as some people really believe in the misguided advice that you should wait to text or call someone three days after hanging out. If you like them, say so. If you want to hang out again soon, say so. There's no need for playing games. Be straight up and if their intentions aren't the same then it's better to know now than later.

Express whether you want a second date or not.

Putting it out there is better than playing coy and letting the other person think you're giving off mixed signals. They aren't lying when they say no one likes a tease. If I'm going to settle down before I turn gray, there's no time for any of that bull hockey.

Accept whatever outcome you get.

Whether your first date ends up with second date plans or a hilarious horror story, add this experience to your book of life and don't have any regrets. Everything happens for a reason!

First dates can be a nervous disaster if you let them, but they're nothing to be afraid of. Yes, I was a nervous wreck so I have little room to talk, but by practicing these tips and not overthinking so much, I just might have landed myself a second date that I will definitely be less terrified for. Good luck and happy dating!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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