First Date Nerves. They plague so many of us! If only there was something we could do to keep them under control? In this guest post, my friend the Gay Dating Expert Jonathan Welford offer us all, gay or straight, some excellent tips on bolstering our confidence and beating the first date nerves…
We’ve all been there, first date nerves, you think you like someone and those butterflies in your stomach and speeding around in you guts reaching the speed of sound. Your palms are getting sweaty, you worry about every component of the date. Getting there too late, missing your train, not finding the meet up venue, being too early, being stuck for something to say. Will he want to sleep with you, how do you feel about meeting the man who you could be spending the rest of your life with? Heck, going to the dentist for root canal work with no anesthetic seems more appealing than the stress you are going through.
Yep, we’ve all been there, some to less or more degrees than this. So what to do? What to say? So many doubts, concerns and fears bubble up like a pot left unwatched on the stove.
Okay, deep breath, time to take control.
Yeah yeah, I hear you complain, all so easy, you’re an expert, sitting in your ivory tower, smug in the knowledge that you’ve got a husband and haven’t got to go through first date nerves again.
Hear me out, we all have first time, first meeting, first something or other nerves. We go through it every day, but we deal with it then, so a first date is no different to going to a supermarket for the first time.
Dating is like shopping in a new supermarket, they have very distinct similarities. Most the produce will be laid out in a similar way, and you should be able to glide through the dating process as you would pushing a trolley down the aisles. Standard first dating questions are as straightforward as picking your fruit and vegetables, the everyday products like tined goods and dairy are the getting to meet you questions, choosing a meat joint and the cut puts the substance to getting to know you, and the stable household items such as the detergent and other cleaning products indicate who they are and their belief systems. You may even look to go down the liquor aisles, pick out something fizzy or a wine with a fuller flavor.
It’s down to you if you want to do a supermarket dash and run for the ten items or less queue to take the goods home there and then, or if you want to ponder your purchase you can make more time choosing what you put into your trolley.
My supermarket analogy, should have calmed you down a little, so lets get some basics sorted. A first date is a first date for both parties, no matter what your motivation for the date, the start of a relationship or someone you can have a bedroom work out with, for both parties there will be an element of nerves. Some show it more than others.
So the top tips for first daters.
- Have your wardrobe thought out, something well fitting (just because your pulling top bought you a load of luck four years ago doesn’t mean that it will do the same now) Wear something comfortable, stylish and accentuates the positives of your body shape. If you are fidgeting around and unnecessarily self conscious because you’re wearing something uncomfortable will only make you feel bad about yourself. Dress appropriately to the surroundings, if you’re meeting in a high end cocktail bar turning up in sneakers and a tracksuit isn’t really a good look, neither is wearing a suit and tie for an informal beer in a bar.
- Know where you’re meeting, how to get there in adequate time and the general layout of the area, you will feel more relaxed if you know what’s what about your location. Think back to when you first started school the first few days getting lost in endless corridors were soon forgotten when you got the hang of things.
- Have a few conversation openers ready, human interest stories in the news, current events. Try to avoid politics and religion, as this can cause friction rather than harmony.
- Ask questions, but it’s not a quick fire round, ask open questions which prompt discussion, when, why, how, what, who, where questions are the best, anything that results in a yes or no reply is a conversation killer, unless you’re getting on so well the question is “Shall we get the bill and take this back to mine?” Save questions are, “What sort of food do you enjoy?”, “Where did you go on holiday last?”, the usual “Where do you live? What do you do for a living? Where did you go to college?” are expected and normally safe questions to ask.
- If you’re being set up on a blind date by a friend, ask questions about your date, likes dislikes, if it’s an internet hook up then his profile will have interests and hobbies that you will be able to look up on and have some content to discuss. Also remember it’s not all down to you, this is a two way process, he should be asking you questions too, so have answers to the questions you have to ask him. Also having a few amusing anecdotes and stories is good to break the ice.
- Things to avoid discussing (along with religion and politics) is ex’s, this can be a dangerous area and can open up a tin of worms.
The more prepared and comfortable you are the better, a good tip for first dates which I cannot stress more is, have a time period set up for the first date, I don’t mean have a countdown clock with a siren wailing when the time is up. If things are not going well you have an excuse to bail, but if things go swimmingly then you can always pretend to reschedule the appointment you had so you can spend more time with him.
All the above will make you feel much more confident, as you will feel secure in your surroundings, in your conversation openers and in the way you look. There is no perfect first date, it differs from person to person; but when you find the chemistry is bubbling away and those butterflies in your stomach are floating on air rather than doing the top gun impression then you know that you’re on your way to a good… second date.