When it comes to getting back out there and dating, there are a lot new possibilities, new dates, new people, new romance, and new memories and while that can present a lot of excitement it can also elicit considerable anxiety! Or at least that has been the case in our experience, especially when it comes to first dates! When we have a first date or we are getting back out there, aka post pandemic dating, we often feel that anxiety creep up on us no matter how many first dates we have been on (which in our case is a lot)! This is why we wanted to share some tips, because we can imagine that if we have had enough exposure to first dates and still have anxiety that for those who are just getting back out there that the process may seem overwhelming. So today we are discussing some of the tips that we have shared with each other, have received, and have learned from our personal experiences for consideration to hopefully help ease some of those first date nerves!
1.) Use the Dating apps: As we have discussed in a previous dating and relationship post, we are proponents of dating apps! Of course with everything, there are pros and cons and yes we have dealt with dating app frustration but it is the best way for you to have access to the dating pool and to see what is out there. This is an excellent choice, too, for those who don’t know where to start or how to meet other singles– within a few minutes of setting up a profile you can start the process all from the comfort of your own home!
2.) Stick to drinks or a coffee date: There is a reason why we reviewed the best spots in Dallas for a first date solely on the best bars for grabbing drinks – because, in our opinions and experience, grabbing drinks is the most ideal and usually the most suggested idea! We can not say enough for this suggestion when it comes to helping ease some of that first date anxiety because drinks is a small commitment and knowing that you are only obligated to sit and talk for one drink is way less demanding of your time and way less of commitment than sitting down for a potential multi course dinner date! Drinks is enough of a date to get a good sense of the person and has the possibility of turning into more– ordering apps, checking out another bar, or just ordering more rounds.
3.) Have a friend get ready with you/ call a friend before: This is the biggest thing that has helped the two of us over time- making sure we tell a friend prior to our date and having that friend either hang out with us before the date, maybe meeting up for dinner before the date to ease us into that more social mood! If you have a roommate, talking with them beforehand is another way that you can distract yourself and ease some of your anxiety or at the very least get you into a social mood! For those of you who are like us, sometimes when we are getting back out there and it has been a while since a first date, our fight or flight mode is triggered and we come so close to wanting to cancel the date hours before but we haven’t done that because we always resort to the last minute stress text or call to a friend who talks that anxiety reaction down. So if you have a friend or roommate who is willing to hang out beforehand, take advantage of that as they can be the person who quite literally forces you out the door but if you don’t give a friend a call and talk with them prior to the date- any distraction is helpful!
4.) Choose a familiar place: There is nothing like the first date anxiety combined with the anxiety of walking into an overcrowded cluster F of a bar alone. So the combination of the two can be too overwhelming to deal with- which is why we highly suggest picking a bar you are familiar with! Eliminating as many unknowns as possible can help decrease anxiety – knowing the setting, the area surrounding you, the type of crowd, etc. can help alleviate those “what if” thoughts that cloud your sense of judgement! This way you can remove the extra factors out of the equation so that you can just focus energy on getting to know your date!
5.) Having a plan: Okay so this sounds less than romantic but we rarely go into a date without a backup plan. More specifically, we usually mention the early morning wakeup call that we have that next day to put it out there that we may have to cut the date short- so that if we don’t feel a connection we can respectfully exit after one drink! This way you can be sure that if worst comes to worst, you do have an out- but let me assure you this has rarely happened, ever, but just to ease the overthinking that anxiety gives us when going into new situations- having a plan helps ease our minds!
Last but not least- we try to just focus on the point of the date which is just two people getting to know one another to see if they are a match! 🙂