There’s a lot of mental energy that goes into a simple night out, and trying to create a fantastic first impression is bound to create some pressure. When you’re thinking about what to wear, what to say and what to think of him, establishing a real connection can feel like looking for true love on reality TV. Relax. Keeping a few simple points in mind can keep your heart out of your throat and open to possibility.
Put the spotlight on him
Focus on what you’re looking for, not what they see. Instead of worrying about what to say and how to say it, spend your time evaluating them and enjoying his company. Ask questions, and really listen to the answers. It’ll ensure you’re always connecting and help keep you from feeling self-conscious.
Play it cool
Be yourself. If the date isn’t all you’d hoped, make the most of it and be politely noncommittal about the issue of a second date. If you’re really into them, be personable but not effusive. Nothing will scare a date away faster than exuding too much interest too soon. If you like them, let it show, but reserve a little mystery for later.
There’s a difference between not being over-emotional and being clear about what you want. Assertiveness isn’t a bad thing. If that’s who you are, and he’s what you want, don’t be afraid to move in for that first kiss or let him know you’d love to see him again.
Avoid getting physical
If it’s a relationship you’re looking for, becoming physical your first time out probably isn’t a good idea. It just doesn’t give you a chance to find out what you want. Give yourself a chance to build some sexual tension before you spend it. Also, keeping your style attractive, but not overly suggestive can help keep the date about connection rather than hormones.
Plan for a good time
Try to center your date around something that will be fun no matter what. Dinner conversation can be delightful, but if you’re worried about sitting across a table from someone with nothing to say, try something a little more stimulating. A great concert? There’s always something entertaining going on and something to talk about later. Better yet, choose a more interactive activity, like hiking, rollerblading or bowling together. It will give you something to do to ease the pressure and plenty of opportunity to connect.
Everyone gets nervous – it’s at least half the fun. Getting ready for a date you’re psyched about can build up all kinds of exciting sensations and expectations. If you’re worried about yourself the whole time, you’re missing out on the whole point of a first date: testing the chemistry between you. Embrace those nerves, and remember that you’re probably not the only one feeling them.
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