Meeting her was a manner of divine intervention, she cackles over the phone at your jokes, and conversation between the both of you is seamless.
Now, as you prepare for the first date, all that seemed right is suddenly a potential stumbling block and the world as you know it is now crashing down.
First date anxiety is a common thing. Self-critical over-analyzations of otherwise very common interpersonal interaction can suddenly become a jigsaw puzzle if you go into it with the wrong mindset.
The problem is that we expect too much from the first date.
We so desperately want the date to go smoothly, that the potential of a disappointing outcome becomes a reality we do everything in our power to avoid. As a result, we spend all of our energy trying not to mess up instead of focusing on the individual in front of us.
The secret is that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Just like you’re there to see how compatible the mutual attraction is, she’s there to do the same. And just like she’s there to investigate whether you’re everything as advertised, so are you. She still has a burden to prove herself and you’re not only there to impress but to be impressed.
This is why you should always go into a date with zero expectations — because at the end of the day, a date is a trial. Nothing more, nothing less.
Once you realize that no matter the outcome, you have nothing to lose, that you are there to be impressed, and that there will always be more dates in the future, you will never get hung up on the night being perfect and you will perform better than you could have ever planned.
You’re Playing With House Money
A major reason men are nervous on the first date is because they think they have something to lose. This shouldn’t be the mentality.
When you are on a date you’re really playing with house money.
If you are familiar with gambling, house money refers to when you are in the black and feeling good. When this is the case, you tend to play with the attitude that if you lose it is not your money, but the house’s instead.
This should be our attitude when going on a date.
You cannot miss something that was never yours and you shouldn’t be emotionally invested in an individual you’re just now taking on the first date.
Yes, you can think she’s perfect. Yes, she may meet every criteria on your list. She may even be the most attractive woman that’s ever agreed to let you pay for her meal. Even considering all this, at the end of the day, you still aren’t sure if she’s good for you or not.
It’s important to remember that, though the bells and whistles may be shiny, until you test them out, you won’t really know if they work.
The moment you free yourself from the pressure of keeping your date from slipping away, you’ll feel more comfortable being yourself.
Don’t expect her to come home with you. Don’t ever expect her to fall in love with you. Go in with the mentality that whatever happens, she is not ‘yours’ in the first place, and that, if for some unforeseeable reason she doesn’t call back, your life won’t change one bit.
You’re There To Be Impressed, Too
The burden of impressing the girl is another factor that plagues us on the first date.
For the majority of our lives we’ve dressed ourselves. We know what we love to eat and we know what type of conversation is the most stimulating to engage in. Yet, when there is a pretty face across the table from us, we suddenly get amnesia.
You will have a much smoother first date if you do not expect to impress her. While you want her to like you, you shouldn’t feel like jumping through hoops or pulling out all the stops is the way to land another date.
Let her be impressed by who you naturally are.
Wear the first thing that comes to mind, take her somewhere you like to go, bring up convo that you like. We start fumbling the most on dates when we begin to tread in unfamiliar waters — dressing up when we prefer jeans or trying to drop our two cents on the latest episode of ‘The Bachelor’ when reality television makes us nauseous.
Dude, don’t pretend you watch ‘The Bachelor’.
Even if you maintain that you want to put your best foot forward and show her your best face, keep in mind that she is there to do so, too. You’re not the only one with something to prove, and keeping that in the back of your mind will alleviate a lot of anxiety.
More Fish In The Sea
For some odd reason, we’re conditioned into believing every date that we go on will be the last date of our lives. At least that’s how we treat them.
When you head into the date expecting her to be the one — thinking that if it does not work out with her all will be lost — of course your nerves will be bad.
You have to remember that it’s a possibility that she might not like you, regardless of what you do.
You can be the most handsome, start the best conversation, and have the best smelling breath in the restaurant that night and she still might not be into you. That’s okay. There are other women out there and there are more dates to come.
Just like you cannot expect to land every job you submit an application towards, you cannot expect every date to end with them going home with you.
Trust me, the majority of the pressure we place on ourselves on the first date can be avoided if we completely eliminate expectations. Always hope for the best, but also understand that you’re a valuable asset yourself.
When you accept that fact, women will respect it as well.