The first date can be a nerve-wracking experience for a whole plethora of reasons, but the main anxiety which most face before a first date results from the desire for it to go well. Whether someone has recently come out of a messy divorce, whether they have been off the dating scene for a while, or whether this is their first date with someone they have met through an elite dating agency, everyone has their reasons to be anxious, but they are all borne from the hope that the encounter is an enjoyable one. Here are some top tips to channel those first-date nerves into something productive and to ensure a pleasant and memorable first date.
1. Do Your Homework
One of the biggest fears of anyone going on a first date is the dreaded awkward silence. Staring into a wine glass or down at one’s shoes whilst desperately searching for something to say is one of the aspects of a first date that most people dread. In order to avoid this and rid oneself of the anxiety which is related to awkward silence, it is important to do a little homework. Whether being set up on a blind-date by a friend, or whether meeting through an exclusive introduction agency, the chances are that there will have been some correspondence between both parties in the run up to the date. Emails, text messages or voicemails can all be looked over in order to find key conversation starters which might help to ignite the spark on the date. From movie tastes to amusing anecdotes, finding something to draw upon from past correspondence can help to dispel first-date nerves and minimise the chance of awkward silence.
Feeling good on a date can often come down to something as simple as looking good. For men, this could be something as simple as buying a new pair of cufflinks or new shoes, whilst for women, going to a nail salon beforehand, or buying a new perfume can help to give them a sense of confidence. Clothes should be comfortable on a first date; tottery heels for women or too-tight shirts for men don’t allow the wearer to fully relax, and can contribute to a tense and forced atmosphere. Being prepared can also equate to being emotionally ready for a date. Messy divorces or recent break-ups can cause something of a relationship hangover for many people, so seeing a counsellor or relationship guru beforehand can help those going on a first date to feel ‘relationship ready’.
3. Topics to Avoid
As well as coming up with some conversation starters based on past correspondences, it is also wise to bear in mind that there are certain topics which shouldn’t be mentioned on first dates. Talking about exes, whilst inevitable at some point if the first date goes well, should be avoided during the first encounter, as should any amusing anecdotes about recent dates or romantic entanglements. This could make the date feel like they are simply the latest in a long line! Politics and religion are always thorny subjects, and avoiding heated debate is always recommended. Simply bearing these no-go areas in mind can help to create a more relaxed atmosphere and will help any lingering nerves to dissipate.
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