You’ve been swiping for days when you finally spy someone who sparks intrigue. After a few flirty messages, you’re ready to meet up for the first time. There’s nothing more exciting than the butterflies you feel when you’re about to meet up with a person you might really be into.
Unfortunately, for many of us, those butterflies can quickly transform into a swarm of bees.
Love isn’t for the faint of heart. But that doesn’t mean you should delete your apps, adopt a litter of cats, and embrace your future alone!
Instead, follow these five simple steps to feel confident on your next first date.
#1 Pick the Right Locale
You don’t want to drive for forty minutes just to exchange small talk and a few awkward smiles with a first date. What if they turn out to be a dud?
Negotiate with your potential partner to choose a locale that works for both of you. For best results, don’t forget to:
- Pick a location that’s equidistant from both of you.
- Double-check that you can take a reliable form of transit to get there. If you’ll be drinking, make sure you won’t have to drive yourself back home.
- Consider going somewhere for coffee or happy hour rather than lunch, dinner, or an all-day hang. Since you don’t know the person yet, planning a shorter date can prevent an awkward mid-meal departure.
- Choose something affordable. You don’t want to spend your night at the opera with someone you hate! There are plenty of fun, unique first date ideas that won’t break the bank.
Once you know where you’re going, start getting ready!
#2 Treat Yourself to a Self-Care Day (or Afternoon)
You want to look and feel your best on your first date. Even if you only have a few minutes to get ready, take care of yourself throughout the day to make sure you feel great when you arrive.
Try out the following self-care activities:
- Eat a breakfast packed with superfoods.
- Get your game face on with vegan cleansers. Don’t forget to moisturize!
- If you have time, treat yourself to a great massage or manicure.
- Have your hair done (just don’t make any major changes in the week before the date).
#3 Check the Dress Code and Menu
Next, make sure you’ll feel comfortable once you arrive at your chosen locale.
Not sure what to wear? Let the venue guide your options. Scroll through photos on Instagram to make sure you don’t feel overdressed. If you’re coming straight from work, pack a change of clothes.
In addition, there’s nothing more stressful than realizing your date will leave you in debt. Decide on an ordering strategy so that you can stay within your budget. Don’t forget to check the menu in advance to make sure it can accommodate any dietary restrictions you may have.
Want to seem spontaneous? We won’t judge if you spend a few minutes pretending to browse the menu!
#4: Pack an Emergency Kit
Broken bra straps. Bad breath. Missing buttons.
Phenomena like the above can leave you feeling nervous and frantic before your date.
If you want to feel extra prepared, pack breath mints, a sewing kit, and a water bottle.
#5: Give Yourself Permission to Leave
Hopefully, you’ve shown up to your date feeling fresh, confident, and ready for love.
Just keep in mind that it may not go according to plan. Some people use really misleading profile pictures, while others have personalities miles away from their messages. You showed up wanting to impress your date, but if they don’t impress you, you have every right to prioritize your own feelings!
Whether you can tell from their body language that they’re just not feeling it, or simply need to call it a night, give yourself permission to leave.
Having trouble finding a natural pause? Here are some ideas:
- Make a plan with a friend in advance. Text them when you’re ready to leave and have them give you an “emergency” call. It’s a classic trick, but it works every time!
- If you ever feel unsafe, some appsinclude an emergency or panic button.
Even if you’ve had a great night, it’s always your choice when to end it. If they’re truly the one, they’ll understand you need to get to bed.
Finding the Right Fish in the Sea
Like anything else, dating takes practice. Whether you’re newly single or a dating veteran, nerves are inevitable.
As long as you take steps to soothe yourself and keep your eye on the prize, dates will become less stressful over time. Just remember that the right person will make you feel completely at ease almost as soon as you sit down.
We’re wishing you good luck on your big date!