This time of year can come with a lot of pressure – pressure to get fit, chase a dream, find love and do it all well. No stress, right? For someone jumping back into the dating game and getting ready for a first date, it can all be a little much. But, it doesn’t have to be. This post is all about keeping calm, rocking the first date and (if there’s a spark) locking down a second. 1. Know That This Date Won’t Make or Break You
In the days leading up to your first date, encourage yourself to remember that this is just a first date and the date itself, just as its outcome, isn’t going to make or break your love life. You can even say to yourself that "it's just two people getting to know each other, no pressure." It might be awesome and it might not, so why stress over what you really can’t control at this point? Get pumped, get excited but make sure you get real – it’s just one date and your world will keep on turning.
2. Know What You Want, but Maintain a Sense of Mystery
As you head into the date, know what it is that you want. Are you seeking a great night out, riveting conversation, a short-term fling or something long-term? Knowing what you want is key to setting yourself up for success, but so is maintaining a certain sense of mystery. Heading into date night with the aim of getting married or "interviewing potential husband/wife suitors" is a surefire way to pile on pressure – not only for you but also for the other person on your date. You don't have to talk about exactly what you are looking for on the first date. That's for future dates! Stay cool, practice a little air of mystery and intrigue, and see where the night takes you.
3. Try to See the Experience itself as The Reward
Sometimes it can be easy to get wrapped up in seeing things as a great series of steps. Meet a cute guy? Check. Set up a first date? Check. Have a great time? Check. You can see how quickly one can lose sight of how each experience in and of itself is a pretty great reward. During your date, as you engage in conversation or sit in brief silence sharing a smile, allow yourself to savour the moment and appreciate that you’re having a good time. Even if you don’t feel a spark but the food is delicious and the wine is one you've never tried, try not to get too hung up on expectations and just allow yourself to have fun.
4. Celebrate yourself and all Your Efforts
When the night is over and you sit reflecting on all the things said, the feelings felt and what comes next – stop and take a moment to celebrate you and all of your efforts. You took a chance and struck up a conversation with an attractive stranger. You got dressed up, went out and allowed yourself to be vulnerable. You kept cool, had fun and shared a laugh or two. You’ve taken another step towards finding the authentic, fulfilling love that you crave and are that much closer to it. When the time comes (and it will!) where you are both deciding if a second date is something you are both interested in, I believe that less is more. Indicate during the date that you are enjoying yourself and at the end, you can genuinely say something simple like "it would be nice to see you again." You both don't need to discuss exactly what that looks like or set a calendar date, but aim to be clear of intentions. If you aren't feeling it, be clear on that as well. "It was really nice meeting you" is perfectly acceptable. Keep going my friend!
To your authenticity,