Getting out there in the dating world can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. You might be feeling the pressure of making a good first impression on a first date. Finally finding “the one” or simply conjuring enough interesting things to talk about with your date can seem hard. While the dating scene has changed quite a bit over the last decade with the introduction of online apps, there are certain time-tested principles that have stayed the same.
If you want to get out there, have a good time and maybe even meet your beloved, then keep on reading for the four first date tips that change the game (hint: it’s more about YOU than the actual date itself!)
1. Choose a playful mindset
Remember, a date is not a job interview so ditch the stress and overwhelm. This is an opportunity for you to be playful, have fun, and maybe even meet someone cool. Take the pressure off by re-framing this as a chance for you to check out who’s out there! Think of dating like going to your favorite buffet. There are so many options and it’s all about exploring what’s being offered. It’s exciting to see the different appetizers, entrees, and desserts that are available. It’s a laid-back, yet exciting mini-adventure – just like dating can be too!
2. Watch your words
All too often, I hear women exclaiming things like “all the good ones are taken, “I’m too old,” “I’m not pretty enough,” “dating is so stressful” and so on. When you focus on something repeatedly your brain will notice more situations and circumstances that validate those very thoughts and feelings.
This is called selective attention. Since there are so many things going on around you all of the time, it’s impossible for your brain to take it all in. Therefore, humans are more prone to noticing things that are already familiar and known to their subconscious mind. In a nutshell, your brain is designed to recognize patterns, which means that it will lock into noticing and validating those things that you think and say repetitively.
The words you choose to describe your life are designing your life – choose wisely!
3. Plan your “look” ahead of time
This is something you can do even before you have a date! Choose two outfits (complete with accessories and shoes) that you would feel amazing in. Pick some items from your closet that you feel confident, comfortable and sexy wearing. If you don’t have anything like this – consider buying something new. This reduces last-minute stress, creates a positive momentum around your dating experience and when you look good, you feel good!
4. Be authentic
Give yourself permission to be real. Let me be clear – being authentic does not mean losing your filter and saying whatever comes to mind without consequences. Rather, it’s about embodying the energy and essence of who you are. Sink into your body, be present and speak and act form your heart. This will reduce the anxiety that comes with the false notion that dating means you have to be someone other than yourself.
If you bring your beautiful unique self to the table, you’re more likely to attract someone that actually wants the real you rather than a made-up “first date” version of you. The only thing that we have control and power over is ourselves. Way too often, dating becomes entirely about the other person.
What will they think of me? Will I sound smart or funny enough? Will they think I’m good looking? Will they be easy to get along with? None of these things are in your control. Focus on your mindset and turning dating into a playful adventure that’s full of possibility – just like a kid in a candy store. If you’re feeling resistant to these ideas, ask yourself if these thoughts and feelings are serving or limiting you.