The process of finding a prospective partner can be fraught with nerves, especially if you’re shy by nature. So how do you overcome this to meet the man or woman of your dreams? Learning how to deal with nerves on a blind date will enable you to enjoy meeting new people, free from the anxiety that often arises in such situations.
It’s totally natural to feel apprehensive but there’s plenty you can do to help alleviate these feelings. Read on to find out why you feel so nervous before a date and discover how to counter it, so you can enjoy the experience.
How to deal with nerves on a blind date
You’re all set: you’ve picked an outfit, planned your route and worked out some conversations starters. But your stomach is in knots, your palms are sweaty and you’re slightly shaky. You may have prepared practically, but your mind is full of worries - will they like you, will you like them, will you be able to eat anything and will you stutter when you try to speak?
You’re experiencing first date nerves. And it is completely normal. The person you’re about to meet may well be feeling exactly the same. However, these feelings can be debilitating, and for some, stop them even going on that date or getting ‘out there’ and meeting new singles.
How do you not get nervous on a blind date?
Nerves aren’t all bad, and they’re natural. It’s almost impossible to eradicate them completely, and you don’t need to. Instead, think of it as managing the nerves and keeping them under control. To not be nervous at all is a big ask, and can feel impossible. Focus on what’s achievable. Start small and gradually decrease the physical symptoms of nervousness using some coping mechanisms and calming techniques.
How can I be confident on a blind date?
Confidence has a lot to do with your nerves. If you are someone who struggles with self-confidence in general life, then it may be worth spending some time to overcome this as a separate task. This will have a great knock-on effect in your dating life.
Confidence is attractive and it can be faked. In fact, the more you act confident, the more you’ll start to believe it. Body language is an easy place to begin. Put your shoulders back, stand or sit tall, have a firm handshake, smile and be sure not to avoid eye contact.
Soothing first date nerves
If your mind and body is relaxed, you’ll be more likely to feel confident and self-assured. Here are some techniques you may wish to try.
Download a daily podcast to follow a routine of mindfulness. This will enable you to focus when nervous and feel calm.
Meditate. Similar to mindfulness, a practice of meditation gives you an overall feeling of wellbeing, with a clear mind. This helps reduce anxiety, perfect for pre-date. But it is something you need to do regularly to form the habit.
Take some yoga classes. Working your body and mind in unison brings increased calm.
Try running your fingers over your lips. This sensory act helps to activate the parasympathetic system, responsible for rest and digestion (as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, which produces that ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline-fuelled response.)
Listen to some classical music. Your heart rate will synchronise with the music, slowing and helping your body to achieve a more peaceful state.
Do some breathing exercises. Again, this restores your natural calm and counters those nerves.
First date anxiety
It can also help to think about and identify what exactly is making you anxious. Here are some more pointers to put your mind at ease, when it comes to common causes of nerves.
Meet somewhere public and tell someone where you’re going. Remember, you don’t have to do or say anything you’re not comfortable with while you’re on that date - and you can leave whenever you want to.
Work out how you’ll get there and how you’ll get home. Pick a venue that’s easily accessible by public transport and/or car. Don’t go for a remote setting.
Don’t be late. This is a regular cause of pre-date nerves.
Plan your outfit in advance, so you’re not stressing about what to wear at the last minute.
Have some questions ready to ask them. This avoids awkward silences and blanking.
I’m nervous for date with a guy
There can be specific anxieties that arise for men and women. We have lots of great tips for dating. Check out these for women - many of the pointers are just as relevant, whether for a speed date or blind date.
I’m nervous about the first date with a girl
If you had a successful speed date, you’ll be moving on to a first date. Guys often worry about how they should be and act on a date with someone they don’t know or have never met. Read our tips for men and you’ll feel much more confident and ready to go.
Hopefully, this advice will help you achieve a more relaxed and calm approach to dating. Meeting new people can be really fun and very exciting. So do try and enjoy it and who knows, your blind date might just turn out to be ‘the one’.
How do I calm my nerves before a second date?
Remind yourself of how much you enjoyed the first one and of how you were nervous then, but it went well enough to get a second date. The person must like you to be seeing you again, so keep that in mind and increase your confidence.
Why do we get nervous before a date?
Nerves are the feeling we get when we experience a primal ‘fight or flight’ response. We mistakenly feel that the stakes are higher than they are, resulting in increased adrenaline flow, higher blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and fast breathing.