I clenched my trembling hands together and buried them deep within my lap, as my nerves continued to intensify within me, I reached out to grab the glass of white wine in front of me. ‘Perhaps, all I need is a drink. I thought to myself. My right hand gently grazed the side of the glass and to my horror, I watched in what only can be described as slow motion, my glass tipped over and the contents flowed across the table, gaining momentum as it neared the edge of the table, then created a waterfall-like feature on to my date, Ben’s lap. This moment became a catalyst which ignited a series of comical chemical reaction style fumbles and clumsy misadventures. At one moment during dinner, Ben* told me a really humorous story about his new puppy, while laughing at his story, I accidentally propelled a piece of chicken out of my mouth and across the table which conveniently landed on his shirt. How did the lovely evening end? On the way out of the restaurant, I tripped over a coke can which sprayed and frothed up all over his shoes and the bottom of his trousers. Ironically, Ben decided that he either didn’t want another date with fabulous, clumsy me or couldn’t afford the associated dry cleaning costs and never called me back. When did things really start to go wrong? Is there a cure for first date jitters?
As I reflect upon my disastrous date, I fail to recall very little or no pre-date preparation. Pre-date preparation is evidently a tool that enables me to keep control of my nerves and empowers me to be the best possible version of myself. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Preparing for a date is certainly no guarantee of an amazing first date but can be a perfect cure for first date jitters. I have a confession to make, first dates terrify me, but as a dating blogger, I am definitely pro-dating and over the years, I have slowly developed a no fail jitter free date routine; I am naturally and an introvert, so practice and planning are essential for me. I don’t always take my own advice but the majority of the time I do prepare and I embark on a first date feeling confident, playful and sexy.
1. Spend time preparing your date outfit.
I like to pass my pre-date time in my bedroom trying on dresses and creating outfits, then I send pictures of my outfits to my friends by text, who vote on what I should wear. It’s a fun game that makes me feel confident and encourages me to feel a little animated as well as building up an element of fun. A date should always be fun and playful, preparation for a date should be exactly the same.
2. Just Dance.
I love to blast some feel good music through my iPhone and I dance out my nervous energy. I love to dance and I use dance as a form of escapism; nothing else seems to matter when I dance. It’s the perfect tool to calm my nerves and to gain a little perspective. Dancing is also another medium which enables me to engage with my inner playful and flirtatious self.
3. Have a drink.
If I still feel nervous, I have a small glass of white wine but not so much that I smell like alcohol or are a little tipsy walking to the date. Alcohol gives me a euphoric feeling and takes the edge of my nerves. I was once so nervous pre-date that I bailed last minute on a perfectly great guy and I did this a few times before I learned that all I needed was to have a sip of white wine to take the edge of my nerves. I was out with my best friend at a theatre production in Sydney, I was enjoying the moment, I had an orange juice and vodka on the rocks, I met a gorgeous guy and I engaged in a flirtatious conversation with him. I felt confident and playful, no nerves or awkward clumsy me; I was the best possible version of myself.
4. Practice makes perfect.
My best pre-date ritual is to take the time beforehand to think of interesting conversation topics, to practice my sexy or flirtatious face in the mirror. I have also extended this ritual to my pre-date traveling; On the way to meet my date, I talk to as many people as possible and I try to make the conversation light and playful. In consideration of my naturally reserved nature, I also practice engaging in body contact with the people I speak to. If I’m talking to someone in line at a coffee shop, I place my hand on their arm. I usually do this to start a conversation, I’ll place my hand on their arm and ask them to do me a favour, like passing me a bottle of water, or asking them where they stand on the tea versus coffee debate. It sounds absolutely crazy, but it’s something I’m still terrible at even after countless dates and a few relationships; I need to practice letting people in my personal space. It’s something that I always need to be working on.
The whole purpose of a pre-date routine is to ease your nerves and to work on your dating skills that need attention and to eliminate any time spent thinking about potential what if’s; The most important thing is to be present and enjoy the moment. You should attend a date feeling playful, excited and optimistic, instead of anxious, nervous and panicked. Do you have a pre-date routine? Let me know by using the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you.
Photo Credit: dcisgoingtohell.com
*name changed for privacy