Going on a first date can be a scary prospect and especially if you’ve been off the dating scene for a while, you want to do everything you can to avoid bad first dates.
There are three simple things you can do in advance to avoid bad first dates.
1. Identify any fears behind going on a first date
Fears are often irrational and once addressed are greatly reduced. Identify what your fears are about going on a first date and whether they are justified. Here are some examples:
You’re scared that you could make a fool of yourself, it may help to remember that your date may also be thinking this.
You’re scared that if you have never met your date in person before that they will turn out to be a dangerous weirdo, this is highly unlikely but you can take preventative measures such as meeting during daylight in a busy place and not accepting a lift home.
You’re scared that you will dry up and won’t know what to say, you can read more about what to say on a first date in a later post.
2. Visualise success
This is the technique that all great sports men and women use in preparation for a race, match or competition. They run a film in their head of them succeeding and winning whatever sports event they are preparing for. The more colour and detail you add to your film and the more times you run it in your head, the more effectively it will work to reduce your nerves. The reason visualisation works is because by repeating over and over what you want to happen, you are programming yourself to feel good about a future event to the extent that you will feel good about it when it actually happens. To visualise a relaxed and successful first date, you could imagine yourself looking and feeling confident in a favourite outfit, see yourself having a hassle-free journey to the date, see your date smiling and looking happy to meet you, visualise yourself acting confidently and in a relaxed way, hear yourself making good conversation and making your date laugh, and seeing yourself ending the date in a positive way.
3. Remember a time when you felt confident
You may not feel very confident about a first date but there will be times in your life when you have felt confident. This could include, while relaxing with family and friends or while enjoying a favourite hobby. Close your eyes and think back to a confident time and remember what your body language was like during this time, this could include breathing normally or deeply, smiling or standing or sitting tall. Close your eyes and remember the kind of thoughts or feelings that were going round in your head at this time, this could include, “I’m relaxed and enjoying myself” or “I’m feeling calm”. Now, when you go on your first date, use the body language and thoughts and/or feelings you identified when you went back to a confident time.
Good luck changing bad first dates to good first dates. You can read more dating advice in Chapter 6 of HOW TO MEET YOUR PERFECT MATCH.