3 Tricks To Make First Dates Less Awkward
How to Relax Before a Date
It's common to get nervous before a big date, especially if that date is with someone you really like. The hours before a date can be even more nerve-wracking if it's your first date with someone. Those nervous hours can be difficult to get through, and if you get too anxious, you can start your date off on the wrong foot. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to calm yourself down, take your mind off the situation, and start your date off feeling prepared.
Calming Yourself Down
Take deep breaths.A simple way to calm yourself down is to take some deep, slow breaths. There are many deep breathing techniques that can help calm you down. One that it is simple to remember is to breath in while counting to six, hold the breath in for six, and exhale for a count of six.
- Deep breathing reduces the effects of stress by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate.
Get some exercise.Obviously you don't want to work up too much of a sweat right before your date, but if you've got some time to spare (and shower), getting some exercise is a great way to relax yourself before the date.
- Even a quick walk around the block or a few trips up and down a flight of stairs can cause your brain to release chemicals that can help ease your anxiety.
Play some music.Playing some music that makes you feel good is a great way to relax. Play some of your favorite songs, and maybe dance around a little. That way, you get some exercise too!
- Another approach is to pick out some very soothing music. Research shows that calm, soft music reduces stress and anxiety. Music with the sounds of nature incorporated into the recording may be particularly helpful.
Take a bath.A bath is another great way to relax yourself before a date. The warm water will help relax your muscles and ease tension. As an added bonus, you'll be all cleaned up for the big date afterward!
- Adding some epsom salts (available at any drugstore) will make the experience more relaxing. Epsom salts are a gentle muscle relaxer.
- Consider lighting some scented candles to make the bath even more calming. In particular, medical research has shown the scent of lavender to have calming effects.
Drink some tea.Taking some time to sip a warm beverage can be very relaxing.Likewise, some herbal teas are thought to have soothing effects when smelled or sipped, such as:
- Passion flower
- Valerian root
Massage yourself.Many people "store" stress and anxiety in their necks or shoulders. If you can get a professional massage to work this stress out, great. However, even just a couple of minutes of rubbing these areas yourself can work wonders.
- Some people also find gently massaging a pressure point along the crease between the wrist and palm, straight down from the pinkie finger, produces a calming effect. Try rubbing gently with your thumb for a few minutes.
Try meditation.It may seem like a strange way to prepare for a date, but meditation can be a powerful way to relax. Close your eyes and try to clear your mind.Focus all of your attention on your breathing.
- You can also meditate by repeating, either mentally or out loud, a positive phrase, such as "I feel at peace," while keeping your mind free of thoughts and worries.
- Like deep breathing, meditating can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Used regularly, meditation can actually change the pathways in your brain in a way that can make you more resistant to stress and anxiety in general.This could be good news for future dates!
Use positive thinking.Remind yourself that you have many good qualities that other people (including your date) are likely to appreciate. If it's helpful, make a list of those qualities.
- Give yourself a compliment, such as "I'm really funny," or "I have beautiful eyes."
- Remember that your date is probably as nervous as you are, if not more so!Your wouldn't have said asked you out or said "yes" to your invitation if he she didn't like you, too.
Distracting Your Mind
Watch TV.Another way to relax before a date is just to try to take your mind off of it. Fill your thoughts with other things. One way to do this is by watching some TV or a movie, or even just some videos on the internet.
- Watching something funny can be especially helpful, as laughter is thought to ease tension and reduce stress.
Read a book.A book is another great tool for occupying your mind. Pick a novel that will really hold your attention. You can pass a few hours this way and hardly even think about your date.
- Make sure to pick something that will really engage you. A book with a topic or writing style that doesn't keep you interested won't be of much help.
Call a friend.Talking to a friend can be a great way to either distract you or calm you down. A conversation with a good friend can really keep your mind occupied. Reaching out to someone in your social network can also reduce stress.
- In addition to calming your nerves, you might also get some good last-minute advice for your date.
Do a puzzle.A puzzle that makes your brain work is another good tool for taking your mind off your anxiety. Do a crossword, a sudoku puzzle, or any other kind of brain teaser that interests you.
- Try to pick a puzzle that's challenging enough to keep your mind from wandering, but not one that is so challenging that you get frustrated, as this can add to your anxiety.
Plan ahead.Like anything else in life, you will probably be less stressed out about your date if you feel well prepared for it.One thing you can do, if you are the one planning the evening, is to make sure you have everything planned out well in advance.
- For example, if you are going out for dinner, make reservations in advance. Have any travel arrangements taken care of. Buy those movie tickets online, so you don't have to worry about it selling out. All of these mean one less thing you have to worry about.
Clean up.Take the time to get yourself extra clean. Nobody wants to worry about body odor during their date. Don't forget the importance of dental hygiene for fresh breath.
- No matter who you are dating, a little extra effort is always appreciated.
Dress well.Dress nicely and appropriately for your date. You want to look your best, but you don't want to overdo it either. You'll look silly wearing a tuxedo to a pizza restaurant.
- Dressing well can also help boost your feeling self-confidence.
Practice some icebreakers.Are you worried about what to say on your date? Many people get nervous and don't know what to talk about on first dates, but if you plan some "icebreaker" questions in advance, you'll have some conversation starters ready that will also help you get to know your date better.
- Keep in mind that a date is supposed to be fun. Try not to get yourself too stressed out before hand.
- Remember that your date is already predisposed to like you. Otherwise, he or she would not be going out on a date with you in the first place.
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