The days before a first date can be exciting, but sometimes, those pre-date butterflies can feel like a lot. If you’re feeling nervous before a first date, there are plenty of ways to potentially quell your anxiety. Read ahead for some tips on how to calm first date nerves so you can show up relaxed and ready to enjoy yourself.
Why do first dates make people nervous?
A large part of pre-date nerves could relate to the uncertainty that comes with a first date. In fact, many people can experience situational anxiety during unfamiliar social interactions (1). This makes sense: You’re just getting to know a person, and you don’t know exactly how the date will go. This fear of the unknown might leave you feeling nervous. With a little preparation, though, you have the power to transcend that nervous energy and shift to a lighter mood.
Planning a stress-free first date
A flexible plan can quiet some of those first-date jitters. Here are a few dating tips for planning a fun, low-stress meet-up.
Meet in the middle
Try saving you and your date the hassle of a long commute – instead, find a location that’s easy for you both. Picking a location between your neighborhoods can level the playing field. If you’re meeting for the first time on neutral ground, there might be less pressure. This way, you can keep the mood easygoing for a great first impression.
Keep it low key
A first date doesn’t need to be elaborate. You can minimize some of those first-date nerves if you keep it casual.
Some people may find it less daunting to meet during the day for an activity like lunch or a stroll through the park. A brief drink or coffee date can also keep the mood light since you’ll know you don’t have to stay too long. And if you really hit it off, you always have the option to extend the date. Either way, a low-stakes first date can keep you in a state of comfort and relaxation.
Don’t break the bank
You don’t need to spend on an extravagant dinner or expensive entertainment to have a good first date. The important thing is planning something that gives you and your date a chance to connect. Even something as simple as getting ice cream can create room for a magic moment.
Find somewhere you can chat
A first date is all about getting to know each other, so pick a spot where you can talk. A classic dinner or drinks date can make it easy to focus on the conversation. If you’re unsure what to talk about, pick somewhere like a museum or botanical garden where your surroundings can inspire the conversation. It’s a great opportunity to impress your date and create moments of wow.
Choose a fun activity you both enjoy
Part of the fun of a first date is learning which common interests you share. Plan your first date around something you’re both passionate about. If you’re both film buffs, go to a movie and discuss it over drinks afterward. Doing something you both enjoy can cut down on stress and keep the mood fun. To set the tone for a lighthearted date, choose an atmosphere where you can both shine.
Try something new
Sometimes, it can help to embrace the unfamiliar territory that comes with a first date. Dating should be fun, so why not turn your first date into an adventure?
Pick a unique activity like a rock-climbing class, or embrace your inner child with a trip to the zoo. Doing something that sparks your sense of wonder can shift your perspective for a carefree first-date mindset.
7 Ways to calm first date nerves
Being nervous about a first date is normal, but there are plenty of methods you can try to help those anxious feelings subside. Here are some tips to help you stay calm and feel comfortable as you get ready.
1. Try to stay positive
It can be easy to play out the worst-case scenarios in your head before a first date. But it’s possible to find comfort in the unknown too. There’s just as much likelihood that your date might turn out to be the best-case scenario.
Be your own hype person and try to focus your thoughts on what could go right. If you’re nervous about making an impression, remind yourself of all the qualities that make you great. After all, they agreed to the date because something piqued their interest. A small change in perspective can make all the difference in soothing those anxious nerves.
2. Take a mindful moment
To center yourself before a first date, take a few deep breaths and focus on the present moment. A mindfulness practice like meditation can lower your heart rate and blood pressure (2). In addition to reducing physical stress, giving yourself a moment can help you take a step back. A meditation practice can help you reframe your nerves as feelings of excitement.
You can settle into a mindful state with the help of soothing audio or gentle lighting. The BlissRadia smart light can calm your mood with soft, colorful lighting. With brightness and timing controls right from your phone, you can set the tone with the push of a button. It can be that easy to transport yourself to a world of relaxation and approach your date from a peaceful state of mind.
BlissRadia Smart LED Mood Light
From desktop to bedside, light the way to concentration, stimulation, or relaxation.
3. Treat yourself
Indulge in your favorite treats or enjoy a home spa experience before your date. Finding joyful distractions can take the edge off and put you in a happy frame of mind. Pampering yourself can be a great way to find tranquility amid your pre-date anticipation. Take the time to find whatever you need to create a serene space.
4. Call a friend
Your friends are there to hype you up when you need it the most, so turn to a trusted confidant to discuss your pre-date worries. They may be able to offer helpful advice, or at the very least, lighten the mood and make you laugh. A text or call to someone close can go a long way in transporting you from a state of worry to a place of comfort.
5. Get moving
Physical activity can have a tremendous impact on your mental health. Studies have shown that even a minimal amount of exercise can reduce feelings of anxiety (3). To ease first-date tension, try to hit the gym or go on a quick walk beforehand. You can also work out those first-date nerves with your own private dance party to your favorite song. Just a little joyful movement can instantly change your environment and lighten your spirit.
6. Leave extra time
Feeling short on time can add to those already existing first-date nerves. Try to plan your day so that you have plenty of room to get ready and arrive on time.
It’s easier to stay centered if you’re not trying to beat traffic or running to catch a train. The more time you leave to get to your date, the better chance you’ll have at arriving in a relaxed mood. A little extra time can go a long way in transforming your mental state.
7. Know that the other person might feel the same
You’re not the only one getting ready for this first date. It can help to remember that the other person might be just as nervous as you. Keeping this in mind can help you stay grounded. From there, you can focus on staying relaxed and creating the right mindset to show up as your best self.
Soothing music or lighting can especially help cultivate a cool, composed mindframe. The Sky Lite Evolve, for example, can transport you to another world in an instant. This galaxy projector light can help address pre-date jitters with calming nebula clouds of color and romantic starscapes. With control options from your phone or voice assistant, this smart light can keep you feeling laid-back and carefree as you get ready. This way, you and your date can focus on enjoying each other’s company and creating awe-inspiring moments.
Sky Lite Evolve: Smart Galaxy Projector
The latest evolution in smart galaxy lighting.
Relieve first date nerves with BlissLights
Experiencing stress before a first date is perfectly natural. There are plenty of ways to quiet those anxious voices so you can stay cool and collected and enjoy getting to know your date. Relaxation tools like BlissLights’ gentle lighting can help put you in the right frame of mind for a great first date. Browse the BlissLights collection now to find lighting that will transform your first date jitters into peace and calm.
- Murnan, Amy. “Situational anxiety: What it is and how to cope.” medicalnewstoday.com, 2022.
- Nunez, Kristin. “3 Ways to Meditate for Better Sleep.” healthline.com, 2020.
- Reed, Paul. “Physical Activity Is Good for the Mind and the Body.” health.gov, 2021.
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