10 Surefire Ways to Get Over First Date Nerves

A couple eating ice cream on their first date to get over their first date nerves.

Feeling anxious about an upcoming first date? Don’t worry, first date nerves are completely normal, and we’ve all been there. It’s easy to fall into a rabbit hole worrying about what to wear, what to talk about, and how to act on a first date. But if you’re feeling anxious, there are some things you can do restore calm.

Here are 10 tried and true ways to get over first date nerves:

1. Plan a simple date.
Yes, going on an exciting date is fun. But an intricately planned activity is by no means mandatory—especially on a first date. In fact, it’s a bit much. If you tend to get first date nerves, it’s ok to keep things simple. Grabbing coffee, getting drinks, or meeting for dinner are all perfect first date ideas and they take a bit of the pressure off.

2. Make yourself comfortable.
If you’re already nervous about the date, breaking in a pair of brand new heels or trying to squeeze in a workout beforehand will only complicate things more. If you’re prone to first date nerves, you can find small ways to make yourself more comfortable from the start. Choose a familiar date spot, wear something you feel good in, and allow plenty of time to arrive. If you take control of the things you can control, you’ll be in a great place before the date even starts.

3. Do something you like beforehand.
Keeping yourself occupied with something you like will take your mind off of your first date nerves. Go for a run, bake cookies, or listen to your favorite song on repeat. Whatever it is, just make sure it’s something positive that you enjoy!

4. Change your perspective.
See if you can transform your nerves into confidence. Think of it this way: Getting the date is the hardest part of dating, and you already aced that. Now, all you have to do is enjoy it. Pretty impressive of you, huh?

5. Set realistic expectations.
Your first date might go down in history as the best first date of all time. It could be a sweet story you sell to movie executives and one day tell your grandchildren. Or, it might go terribly. We don’t say this to make you more nervous, but to preemptively combat first date nerves. When you acknowledge that your first date won’t necessarily be a hit, it can be oddly calming.

6. Give yourself a mini pep talk and repeat as needed.
Hey, self. You look great! Remember, this is just a first date. They happen every single day. There’s no need to be nervous, because your date is just a person. If you hit it off, awesome! But if you don’t, that’s ok too. You’re already doing great, because they agreed to go on a date with you. So try to relax and be yourself. Did I mention that you look great?

7. Or, get a pep talk from a friend.
Sometimes, you just need to hear it from someone else in order for it to sink in.

8. Focus on your date instead of yourself.
And listen to what they’re saying. The more time you spend getting to know your date, the less time you’ll have to worry about why you’re nervous or what could go wrong.

9. Be yourself.
Like we said, your date is already interested in you. That’s why they’re on a date with you—to get to know more about the person who caught their eye. If you’re feeling nervous, remember that the hard part is technically already over. Then, just keep being you and see where it goes. It’s a recipe for success.

10. Breathe.
When in doubt, pause and take three deep breaths. We promise your date won’t even notice.

If you’re feeling first date nerves, you’re not alone. It happens to just about everyone. In fact, we bet your date is nervous too, and hoping that you don’t notice.

Elizabeth Entenman

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.

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