This Is How Not To Be Nervous On A First Date — Forget About These 5 Things, Because They Don't Matter
If you're reading this because you just Googled "how not to be nervous on a first date," please — please — take it from me: You will be fine. You will be amazing. Nothing will go wrong. Just take a deep breath. You got this.
Pre-date jitters are common. It's natural to feel a little out of your element when you're meeting someone new for the first time, and that goes double when you're meeting someone you may hope to eventually see naked. You might worry about making a good impression, or running out of things to say, or getting a huge piece of spinach stuck in your teeth.
I used to get nervous before first dates, too. Then I started working as a matchmaker for a dating service, and that experience unlocked a major realization for me: Dating is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you're going to get. And sure, that could be worrisome, but it's also pretty freeing: All you have to do is show up as your most confident, badass self, and see if the chemistry is there. If it is? Great! If not, no sweat. You're bound to click with someone else on a different night.
Trust me — these five things below truly do not matter one speck on a first date. So go forth, feel awesome, and have a good time. Remember, your date is lucky to meet you.
If you're five minutes late.
If you're a Type A personality, the idea of running five minutes behind schedule probably makes your skin crawl. And while it's true that showing up excessively late is rude, no one can fault you for skidding into the bar at 7:05 p.m. Traffic happens. Subway delays happen. You're only human. Your date will probably spend all five of those minutes sucked into something on their phone, totally unaware of the time.
Whether you greet your date with a handshake or a hug.
This moment is awkward for everyone. Nobody knows what to do. Just embrace it. (Or not! Handshakes work, too!) You'll have another opportunity to make physical contact again at the end of the night — and that is the moment your date will remember.
What you look like.
First off, know that you wouldn't be on this date if the other person didn't already find you physically attractive. And if you're stressed about pit stains or a random zit or the tragic fact that you misplaced your favorite lipstick and had to settle for a different color, please don't worry. The truth is that we all get in our heads about how we look... and that means we're less likely to notice what others around us really look like. Do a quick mirror check to make sure there's nothing stuck in your teeth, then swagger into your date. You're hot. You got this.
If you spill your drink.
Who cares? No one's gonna judge you for this. If you feel bad about spilling a drink that your date paid for, there's an easy solution: Clean up, then offer to pay for the next round.
If there's a lull in the conversation.
It happens to everyone, especially when you're two people who are just getting to know each other for the first time. You might feel more comfortable in this scenario if you take a few minutes before your date to mentally stash away some go-to questions. (Feeling stuck? Ask if they have any fun travel plans this summer, if they've seen anything great on Netflix lately, or if that adorable dog in their dating app profile is theirs.) It's also totally cool to not rush into filling that awkward silence — you don't need to pull the entire weight of the conversation. Let your date ask you a question once in awhile, too.
No matter how awkward you might feel, remember that your date is probably wrapped up in their own head about how awkward they feel. You two can get through this — maybe even together.
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