FIGHTING FIRST DATE FEARS – OUR PROFESSIONAL MATCHMAKERS BREAK IT DOWN
There’s some Friday alliteration for you! Before we head into the weekend and prime first date time, our professional matchmakers wanted to set you up with our best tips for battling dating anxiety so you can look forward to a fun weekend, instead of dreading those dates!
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that nerves are natural. Maybe, when everyone else was dating and partying in college, you were travelling and studying and now you feel like you’re playing relationship “catch-up” to everyone. Maybe, you’ve had some significant relationships that didn’t work out and now you’re a little gun-shy. Humans naturally use our past experiences to try and predict our future (it’s a survival mechanism) and the unknown can feel daunting.
While those instincts are useful, they don’t belong in dating. A new date is an opportunity! And past disappointments are just that, past. So reframe your brain, and look at the positives going into a first date. And if you need a little extra help, here are our top tips!
Be smooth talker…
Start with some positive self-talk before the date. It might sound cheesy, but when humans repeat things enough our brains start to believe they’re true. So pick a simple phrase that helps you keep your focus on what you’re looking forward to or your own good qualities.
Phone a friend
A great confidence boost comes from being with good friends. So get ready with some support—get advice on outfits, put on make-up together—to help calm the first date jitters. Having an entourage makes everyone feel like a secret star!
Pump up the jams
Music influences are mood instantly. So put on some of your favorite songs and get in the groove (if you just happen to dance along, we won’t judge you!)
Get some O2
Excitement and anxiety have almost exactly the same symptoms, but an important difference between the two is oxygen levels. Oxygen is crucial to the production of serotonin and dopamine—two chemicals that help keep us in a good mood. If you’re really nervous, try breathing in through one nostril while holding the other down, then switching for the exhale. The specificity of the movement distracts your brain from panicking.
Double up on the Dopamine
If deep breathing isn’t enough for you, try a little bit of exercise! Limit yourself to 10 minutes or so of a favorite exercise—we use push-ups, jumping jacks, or stretches just to name a few!
Put it in perspective
Always remember a first date is just one date. If it’s bad, it’ll be over in no time, and if it’s good, you’ll have plenty more dates to connect on a deeper level. Have confidence that things will go well without expecting perfection.
Do a little homework
If you know you do better with a little preparation, there is nothing wrong with having some conversation starters ready. Just remember, they are there to start conversations, not control them. Not sure if they’re good topics, or if you know when to use them? Ask a matchmaker! That’s what we’re here for.
Design a date you’ll like
If you pick a fun date activity, you can focus on that instead of your nerves. And think carefully about scheduling! Some people do better scheduling a date right after work so they don’t have time to stress, whereas others need the time to decompress and shift gears before they’re ready to enjoy themselves.
Leave them wanting more!
A first date is ideally one of many more to come. No need to put all the pressure on one night! Plan something after your date to cap how long it can go. You won’t be stressed about being stuck in a bad date for long, or about overstaying your welcome on a date where you want to impress. If you leave wishing you’d had more time, you’ll be that much more excited for your next date.