I think we can all agree that first dates can be a little nerve-wracking. Whether you met through mutual friends, on an online dating app, or at your local coffee shop (the dream meet-cute, if you ask me), the jittery feelings before the main event are always there. Spending a couple of hours with someone you just met is a very vulnerable act after all. You’re not only trying to figure out if you like each other, but also contemplating what questions to ask them, who’s paying, what to order, or when to call it a night. But let’s not forget first dates should also be fun! So how do you let go of the jittery nerves and go into a first date confident and open? It’s all about mindset.
because periods CAN suck less
Your mindset can be the make-or-break factor in having a great date. We’ve all experienced the date who unloads their bad day on you before the drinks have even been ordered, and no one wants that. Going into a first date with a great mindset won’t necessarily weed out the bad dates, but it will allow you the grace of not being phased by them, and even better, to truly connect on the good ones. Read on for some first date tips and rituals to try to get in the right mindset before your next rendezvous.
Taking a moment to connect with yourself before a first date sets you up to feel good about the conversations you’ll have and the questions you’ll ask, and there’s no better way to do that than by meditating. Meditation is the ultimate mind-body connection, and when you take five or ten minutes to meditate, you are re-centering and sending signals to your brain to relax and trust yourself.
There are lots of ways to meditate before a date. For example, the Superhuman App has a “Getting Ready” guided meditation and the Unplug App has a wide array of guided meditations to choose from, or you can do a walking meditation or guided journaling. However you meditate, by taking that time to reconnect with yourself, you can go on a date feeling more open to connecting with others.
Affirmations can feel a little uncomfortable at first, especially if they are not part of your routine. But words are powerful, and when you repeat an affirmation enough, you start to believe it. Some affirmations to try before a first date include: “I will trust my own intuition,” “I am a complete person on my own,” “I am open and full of good energy,” and “I can leave whenever I want to.” I like to think of affirmations as secret weapons you can pull out whenever you need them. Say them before, during, and after the date. They are great little reminders of your boundaries and how amazing you are.
Manifest a great date
It may sound a little cheesy to manifest a great date, but hear me out. Manifestation is the act of turning your thoughts into a reality. Now, it’s not as simple as just wishing for a great date and hoping it comes true. You have to intentionally live out your dreams in your day-to-day life. In a broader sense, manifesting a great date might look like getting clear about the kind of partner you hope to have one day, then writing down those characteristics and being intentional about the people you choose to date after that. It could also look like letting go of any preconceived ideas of the type of person or relationship you want or should have and being more open to the people who come into your life (a Charlotte and Harry situation here for all the Sex and the City fans). Manifesting a great date really breaks down to manifesting a great love life, and when you live openly and intentionally, you allow yourself to have both.
Set clear boundaries
I’ve always disliked the phrase, “You have to kiss a few frogs before you meet Prince Charming,” because you actually don’t have to kiss any frogs if you don’t want to. Before you go on any date, get clear with yourself about what your boundaries are, and then don’t be afraid to be open about them. Boundaries are there to make us feel safe and comfortable, and whoever you are dating should be respectful of those boundaries. And if they aren’t, then they’re probably not a good fit.
Taking some time before each first date to set clear boundaries makes navigating any situation that may arise on the date easier. For example, you’ll already know how to answer questions like, “Do you want to come back to my place?” or “Can I kiss you?” You should also feel fully in your power to change your boundaries as the date progresses or for different people. They are your boundaries to set and change as you like.
Create and practice a “getting-ready” ritual
Part of the reason we feel so nervous about first dates is because of the pressure we put on them. There’s the pressure to look your best, be outgoing and fun, all the while deciphering if they are “the one,” or at least worth going on date #2. This makes dating not only nerve-wracking, but also exhausting, and the whole point of dating is to have fun. Creating and practicing a “getting-ready” ritual before a first date can help ease some of that pressure. Your ritual should be something you enjoy doing that helps you relax and get in a good mindset before going on a date. Maybe your ritual involves a Bravo show and your go-to cocktail while doing your makeup or simply a cup of coffee and a kickass playlist.