There’s nothing like a first date to get your heart racing, your sweat glands multiplying and your knickers in a twist!
Then someone like me comes along and says ‘relax, it’s just a first date’. Annoying? Yes! But there is some truth it in.
It’s unlikely you’re ever going to skip into a first date, grinning like the Cheshire cat and feeling ecstatically happy to be there. That would be a little extreme. But you can go in to it with an open mind, a balanced level of hope V.s reality and an open heart.
Next time you are going on a first date it’s a good idea to get some perspective and get your mind in the right frame of mind before the date and remember these pointers:
1) You will both be nervous
Both men and women equally get nervous before a date. It’s natural and a little nerves often give us the energy and adrenaline that help us get through situations that can feel a little uncomfortable. Don’t feel bad if you’re nervous, accept that you’re human and your date will be feeling the same.
2) It’s just an opportunity to meet someone new
A first date provides the perfect opportunity for you to meet someone, to have a chat, and to see whether you get on. That’s it. If you go in with high expectations that the person is going to be the love of your life you may be sorely disappointed, that’s also a pretty high pedestal you’re putting someone on. If you hit it off then wonderful, of course that’s what you both want but if there’s no connection there, don’t beat yourself up. There is nothing wrong with you, or your date, it’s simply a case that you’re not right for one another. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there.
3) If the date isn’t perfect it’s not the end of the world
Are first dates ever perfect? You will always meet someone who has had a Disney fairy tale relationship but for the majority of us that doesn’t happen. First dates are generally awkward. You make general chit chat and you’re both trying to suss one another out. You might not feel swept off your feet, you might not experience fireworks or sparks and that’s ok. Trust your instincts and listen to what your heart and mind are telling you. If there’s a part of you that’s interested in finding out more about them then arrange a second date. My top advice to you would be this: If in doubt ALWAYS see the person again. Second and third dates are much for revealing when you’re not on first date ‘safe conversation’ topics such as career, family and hobbies.
I know only too well that first dates don’t always go well. My first date with my now boyfriend of 2 1/2 years did not get off to a great start. You know all the cliché things you should never do on a first date such as dominate the conversation, talk about your ex and ask too personal questions? Well he did all of those. I left the date disappointed but also knowing that I was still interested in him. There was something there. So when he asked me out the next weekend for a walk I agreed and we have been together ever since. Your instincts and gut feelings are the very best indicator, listen to what they’re telling you and remember ; it doesn’t have to be perfect.
First dates don’t have to be scary. Approaching them with the right attitude can turn a not so great date into a learning curve and if worse comes to worse – a really great story to share with friends!
Read more about Caroline Brealey right here.