How to Overcome First Date Anxiety

Your first date can be a real source of anxiety, especially if you’re just getting back into the dating scene. It can be hard to know how to behave and what kind of activity you should choose. Fortunately, if you remember a few basic tips, it’s not difficut to have a successful, enjoyable first date that leads to many more. Here are some things to keep in mind if you have dating anxiety.


  • Remember why you’re there. It’s easy to forget that the first date is a way to find out about one another and to determine whether you want a second date. The best first dates are the kind that let you get to know one another. That means that movies and shows where you sit passively in the dark don’t work as well as trips to a book fair, picnics in the park, or other more conversational activities.
  • Find out what you have in common. When your first date involves an activity or hobby that you and your potential partner both share, you know you’ll have something to talk about. These dates offer you the chance to make a connection right away. That’s something more generic dates can’t provide.
  • Don’t be afraid of groups. If spending a lot of time alone with someone you don’t know well seems intimidating, consider joining a group activity like a tour, wine tasting, or club outing. This allows you to interact without feeling pressured.
  • Keep meals casual. While dinner and a movie may be the stereotypical first date, it often ends up encouraging more intimacy than some people feel comfortable with. If you’d like to have a meal during your first date together, consider having lunch or just sharing a cup of coffee. Combine the date with another activity, such as sightseeing, that gives you something talk about and prevents uncomfortable silences across the table.
  • Stay in public. Many first dates involves near-strangers. This can leave individuals feeling uncomfortable and even unsafe if you take your date somewhere very private. Keep your activities public until you know one another a little better. Have a friend or relative give you a call after the date to ensure your safety.
  • Admit to feeling anxious. Almost everyone has a little dating anxiety. Letting your date know that you feel nervous isn’t an admission of weakness. There’s a good chance that he or she feels the same way!
  • Remember that it’s all about the journey. It’s easy to view dating as an exercise with a clear goal at the end. If you make this mistake, however, you could end up sabotaging your efforts to find a partner. Don’t assume that a single date will make or break your relationship prospects.
  • Avoid high expectations. Everyone wants to have a good time on their first date, but expecting the experience to be perfect can contribute to dating anxiety. Even if you’re not sure things went well, consider a second date or be willing to move on to another potential partner. Never let one date decide things permanently.

Overcoming dating anxiety can be tough, but it’s worth it in the long run. Use your first date to learn more about your potential partner and don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Even if you feel a little worried, things will usually work out for the best.

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