10 Tips To Get Rid Of Nerves Before A First Date So You Don't Freak Out

I don’t care how many first dates you've been on; they still have the potential to make you really nervous. This is especially true if you're super attracted to your date. Before you know it, those pre-date butterflies have morphed into Mothra. Thanks to that anxiety, I've made so many first date mistakes I practically have a Ph.D. in dating fouls. It was because I hadn't figured out how to get my pre-date anxiety under control. All that changed when I finally had a strategy to get rid of nerves before a first date.

The craziest part: It wasn't even really that hard to make the switch. It's all about getting in the right head space, letting go of all the nonsense pressure, and remembering you're a BAMF who anyone would be lucky to be going out with. Sounds pretty good, right? I promise, first date zen is totally achievable. But how do you actually make the change from freaked out to cool customer? Well, follow these 10 steps — which start from when you plan the date and lead all the way up through the date itself — to make sure you are relaxed and ready to have some fun, and maybe even a little romance.

1. Claim The Home-Field Advantage

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One of the best ways to keep your cool starts right when you begin planning the date. Don’t be afraid to claim home-field advantage by suggesting you go somewhere you already feel comfortable, like a favorite restaurant or bar. Or pick an activity that you enjoy and feel comfortable doing. Seriously, venue and activity are half the battle. Plus, it sets a foundation of calm.

2. Hit The Gym For A Pre-Date Workout

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Nervous about tonight? There’s nothing like some good old endorphins to turn jitters into confidence. After a great workout, you'll feel relaxed and powerful — which is exactly how you want to feel on your date.

3. Stay Busy Before The Date

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One of the best ways to keep anxiety at bay is to keep your mind occupied. Don’t let yourself have a ton of downtime before the date to give your brain the opportunity spiral into anxiety. Spend the time picking something to wear or, better yet, have a friend come by to boost your confidence by telling you how amazing you are and to help figure out the night’s wardrobe choice.

4. Treat Yourself To One Glass Of Wine

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When in doubt, pop that cork. Listen, you don’t want to get wasted before your date. That’s even worse then being a bundle of nerves. But one glass of wine to chill you out can work wonders. Pro-tip from my dating-foul archives: Go white wine or a nice Prosecco so you don’t get purple wine mouth. Not cute.

5. Play Some Hype Music

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You wanna feel like Beyoncét on your date? Play some. Whatever music gets you hype and makes you feel like a sex-goddess-diva-boss-lady-qween. Put that on the speakers and turn it up!

6. Take A Deep Breath

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OK, this one sounds like a cliché but it really works. Don’t believe me? Try it right now. Breathe in for four seconds, then breathe out for three seconds. Repeat this three or four times and feel the ambient anxiety you probably didn’t even realize you were feeling drain away. Magic.

7. Don’t Dwell On The Anxiety

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I recently heard some amazing, life-changing advice. It was so simple and so real it shook me to my anxiety-prone core. But, like, in a good way. It was simply “don’t take it on.” Just don’t. As it turns out, so much of what we freak out and twist our selves into knots over we are on some level choosing to take on. So next time you feel yourself beginning to freak out, literally say out loud, “I’m not taking this on.” It’s basically you refusing to dwell on the anxiety and breathe life into it, keeping it from growing and growing. You’re welcome.

8. Think Of Your Date As A New Friend You’re Meeting Up With

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See that hottie you’re about to meet up with? For tonight, they go in the friend zone. Half of the anxiety you’re feeling is self-induced pressure and the other half is fear of rejection. When you’re spending time with a friend, there’s none of that nonsense. So decide this is a friend date and let all that that anxiety, fear, and pressure go. If that doesn’t happen right away, refer to number six and take some more deep breaths.

9. Remind Yourself They Are Nervous, Too

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I mean, of course they are; they’re going out with you. Seeing them with empathy and remembering you are both in this together helps make it a heck of a lot less scary. You'll forget to be anxious yourself if you focus on being present, take interest in getting to know them, and make them comfortable.

10. Choose Not To Be Invested In The Outcome

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So, here’s the worst-case scenario: You don’t go out with them again. Gasp! Wait, who cares? It’s not actually that big of a deal. If you’re freaked out about the outcome of the date, and are worried it’s not going to work out, you are putting way too much emotional labor into what is just a meet-and-greet. Be in the moment and enjoy it for what it is. Don’t sweat what happens next and you can relax and have a good time.

See, first dates don’t have to be scary after all.

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