The hard part is over. You can breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing that your date is set, she or he said yes, and now that you know you aren’t staying home alone this weekend, you can sit back, relax, and let your first date take care of itself.
Or can you? While you shouldn’t get worked up over your first date (stop and breathe, you can do this, trust…it’s all going to be OK, no, better than OK), keeping a complacent attitude about it won’t do you any favors, either. Here are a few things you should definitely keep in mind to make it a success.
Your date already likes you—he or she said yes, right? So smile. Be yourself. Laugh when something is funny. Keeping your confidence throughout your date shows that you love yourself, you are a great person and that you’ll make an even greater mate.
Nourish your body before your date by taking some deep cleansing breaths.
And if you are going to dinner, keep in mind that even though you may both love food, this date is about connecting, not so much about the food. So eat a gentle, moderate meal at the restaurant so you do not feel bloated and in pain. Take a walk before your date, and practice more deep breathing to calm yourself.
If it helps, keep an affirmation in mind throughout the evening and repeat it, just to yourself, when you’re feeling anxious. Try, “I am a loving person. I love myself and am deserving of love,” or, “Confidence radiates from me. I love being me and [insert your date’s name] likes me for who I am.” Experiment with creating your own.
Being confident doesn’t mean being arrogant. Bragging about how hot you are, how many deer you’ve shot, or how many hearts you have crushed are not going to win you any points. Besides, he or she can see how hot you are already—and firearm use and hurting others are probably not great first date topics to begin with. You want to ensnare your date, not scare your date.
This doesn’t mean to show up on your date wearing overalls (unless your date involves milking a cow or fixing a tractor; then, by all means, bib yourself up). Wear something that you know you look amazing in (that blue top that really brings out your eyes would work nicely), but not something you would go ballroom dancing in (leave your old prom dress in the closet where it belongs).
Be sure to select a venue that’s casual, too—while you probably don’t want to nab a McSomething in the drive-thru, don’t go to the most upscale joint in town, either. You want a relaxed, casual atmosphere where you can get to know each other—and not worry about pronouncing the hors d’œuvres correctly.
Being casual also means going easy on your date. Even if you think he or she is the most dazzling thing since ‘Moulin Rouge’ and you want to scoop him or her up in your arms, sing a wildly romantic montage of Elvis Presley and Michael Bolton medleys, and proclaim your undying love… please, don’t do that! If you come on too strong, they will either run screaming, file for a restraining order, or hit you with a taser gun.
Just be casual. You can give compliments—if they are sincere. You can be excited, animated, and definitely interested (see below), but don’t propose marriage.
While this one may be the simplest of the three C’s, it can be the most difficult to follow. If you’re nervous on a first date—as most people are!—you may end up talking and talking and talking… and suddenly, you realize that you’ve bombarded your date with your audio autobiography and they have either fallen asleep, left the building, or decided to take the bartender out instead.
Care about your date. Listen to what your boss has to say, ask questions, and be attentive. Share your own stories and thoughts, but don’t monopolize the conversation. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you are feeling like you are talking too much; gently turn the conversation back to your date. Ask, “So how do you feel about [something relevant in the news is good or/ whatever you were just talking about]?” If your date doesn’t really have an opinion, try changing the subject.
Finally, don’t judge your date for being awkward or for stumbling over the conversation—he or she is probably just as nervous, if not more so, as you are.
By following the 3 C’s, Confidence, Casualness and Care on your first date, you are sure to have a fun time! And hopefully create a lasting memory you will look back on fondly as your relationship grows more intimate. Unless, of course, you did decide to fix that tractor. I don’t make any guarantees with that one.
Laura Fenamore, CPCC, is an Advice Blogger for mylifecompass.com, a personal development company for women. Laura is a gifted Body Image Mastery Mentor and a celebrated speaker, lecturer and teacher to thousands of people worldwide. Laura’s company, Body Image Mastery, is devoted exclusively to helping people find balance in their lives and learn to value the home they get to live in – their body. Her vision is living in a world where health and body image are celebrated.