A couple on a date after calming their pre-date jitters.

First date jitters can include anything from annoying palm sweat to terrifying anxiety. James Preece, UK’s leading dating expert and dating coach, is well-versed in first date anxiety. “Many of my clients are worried about rejection or embarrassing themselves on their date,” he says. “For some people, dating can be a really scary experience.”

To help you relax and have more fun on your dates, we’ve partnered with the dating expert to deliver these quick tips to banish your dating anxiety:

1) Make a Mental Movie. Rather than focus on what might go wrong, envision your date running smoothly from start to finish. Picture you and your date laughing, flirting, and having fun. Imagining a successful end to your evening will help you get through the beginning of the date when things are more stressful.

2) Prepare Your Questions. If you’re concerned about awkward silence, think of a few questions that lead to longer conversations. Starting questions with ‘what’ or ‘how’ will help you establish some conversation momentum.

3) Cheer up. Those negative feelings can have a snowball effect. Get yourself to a happy place by tricking your brain. To do this, look into a mirror and hold your biggest smile for at least two minutes. If this isn’t working, place a pen between your teeth. Smiling releases serotonin, a chemical that helps improve your mood.

4) Have a Dress Rehearsal. Do you know what to wear? How will you get to the date location? Taking care of these decisions will help you stay relaxed when you’re feeling extra tense. Pick an outfit that makes you feel amazing. Check out the location in advance, so you won’t worry about running late. Do everything you can to minimize surprises.

5) Modify Your Expectations. Those lofty romantic expectations are doing more harm than good. Instead of planning the wedding before ordering your entrée, relax and enjoy the process of getting to know each other. Give yourself and your date time to build some real chemistry.


James Preece is UK’s very own dating guru. You can find his website at www.jamespreece.com.

Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.