couple_drink_tea (1)Dating can be a scary thing, and going on a first date with a new love interest can be even more nerve-racking. The sweaty underarms, the butterflies in your stomach, and the anticipation of events going either wonderfully well or horribly wrong all loom in your mind. Take a breath, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding all of the symptoms of first date anxiety, our love experts at Cupid’s Cronies have compiled a list of 5 essential tips for a first date, that every dater should know.

Read these tips and enjoy your first date. (Dating should be fun after all!)

1. Prepare For The Night

Deciding what to wear on a first-date is always difficult.

We recommend dressing to impress, but also to be comfortable.

Don't wear those fancy shoes that you never go out in because they are one size too small! Instead of focusing on your date, you'll be thinking about those two blisters forming on your heel.

Secondly no, by comfortable we do not mean going on your date straight from the gym. Dressing to impress = backing away from the sweatpants, hoodie, and yoga pants section of your closet even though they are comfy and warm. Conversely, do not dress too provocatively or your body will be the only thing your date focuses on.

You want him or her to recognize your great personality, the way you laugh, and the genuine beauty you possess.

Choose a classic outfit that projects to your date the fact that you take care of yourself and deserve respect and positive attention.

Lastly, one note to the ladies- when deciding on your makeup look for the evening, less is always more.

The first thought that should come to your guy’s head when he sees you is “Wow, she is such a natural beauty”, NOT, “Wow, her makeup reminds me of a clown that scared me as a child”.

Your date wants to see what you actually look like. He should be able to recognize you when you have no makeup on later down the road.

2. Manage Your Mindset

Couple BowlingDon't let the nerves get to you.

Remind yourself that a botched first date is not the end of the world; in fact there is a good chance that you can get a second date even if it doesn't go well. Or, if it really goes that horribly awry, it makes for a hilarious story later!

This isn't like a job interview where you only have one shot to make a good impression. Keeping your nerves at bay will help you enjoy the night and show your best qualities.

One way to do this is to simply SMILE. Sounds easy enough, but there are actually several proven reasons that this simple task will help you on a first date…

According to a study in Yale Scientific, the physical act of smiling affects the neural processing of emotional stimuli and in turn activates the happiness circuitry of our brain. So, if feeling stressed about a deadline at work or sad about your sister getting engaged before you, just SMILE! Your date will appreciate your happy mood, and you are bound to have a much better time.

Also, people who smile are proven to be more likely “to connect, belong, and have substantial relationships”. In other words, don’t inwardly channel Mr. Grouch, even if you’ve had a bad day.

3. Create Conversation

One of the most uncomfortable moments on a first date is can be the dreaded awkward silence.

Avoid this with the third first-date tip: have conversation material.

This doesn't mean you need to script out your entire night.

Instead, have a few funny anecdotes handy and some intriguing questions to ask your date. Brush up on the news and current events to keep the conversation flowing.

However, beware of the topics of religion, politics, or other very personal, heavy topics. Keep it light!

Also, turn your phone OFF. Better yet, leave it in the car or your purse and do not, by any means, take it out.

Believe it or not, the mere presence of a phone affects our relationships.

A recent set of studies conducted by the University of Essex showed that “simply having a phone nearby, without even checking it, can be detrimental to attempts at interpersonal connection”.

In the Essex study, pairs of strangers were asked to rate the quality of their relationship with the other while discussing meaningful topics. Researchers found that “relationship quality was worse, participants felt less trust, and felt their partners showed less empathy” when cellphones were present.

Overall, you want to foster closeness, connectedness, and interpersonal trust when on your date, and a cell phone distracts you both from these goals.

If anything, use your phone BEFORE your date to look up conversation topics and current events. Then stash it away!

4. Do Not Bring Up Your Exes

This is a BIG no-no.

It should go without saying, but it’s a very common mistake. What does your date really think when you bring up an ex?

This lose-lose situation can only have two outcomes…

If you end up trashing your ex, you will (a) look like a jerk and/or (b) sound like a pitiable woman (or man) scorned.

If you rave about your former partner, describing him (or her) as an angel, then your date will (a) wonder what is wrong with you to have lost this magical person and/or (b) think you are still obsessed/in love with them.

If your date asks you about your ex(s), simply address the topic politely by saying “I’ve grown from my past relationships”, and, “We can certainly talk about that at a later time”. Then, lightheartedly transition the subject of conversation to focus on the present, your date, and you.

Even if it seems like a funny story or a good conversation filler, save this topic for future dates. You and your date will be spared certain discomfort.

5. Be Your Best Self

couple_enjoying_beer (1)Don’t let the stress of dating and impressing someone change the way you speak or act.

If your date doesn't like you for who you are, you're better off learning that on your first date.

Dont try to be too cool, too outgoing, too anything! Let your true characteristics shine through.

Take it from dating expert and author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match, Amy Spencer, who wisely states, “The whole point is to be liked and appreciated for who you really are, not who you want your date to think you are”.

People can pretty easily pick up on false advertising if you try to be/act/portray someone you aren’t. The truth will come out eventually!

Relax, be your best, authentic self, and see where the night takes you.

 

Cheers to Dating!

Do you have any other first date tips? Any stories? Please share them with us below!