Relationships: 5 Easy Steps to Overcome Anxiety on First Date

Congratulations! You’ve turned your online message into a real first date. Now, don’t let meeting someone offline turn into a big, scary ordeal that you start regretting before you’ve even shaken hands. Yes, it can be intimidating to meet up with a total stranger, but by following a few simple steps you can turn any stressful date into an easy-going interaction in no time. Here are 5 easy steps to overcome anxiety when meeting someone offline: Step 1. Phone First Make sure you talk to your new date online for 10-20 minutes prior to deciding to meet up in person. This way you get a sense of who they are based on your communication with one another. Anyone can be charming and personable behind a computer screen, but only by speaking to one another can you decide if you get a good sense about a person or not. While you can’t completely base your decision on vocal tonalities, you can tell if someone is completely socially awkward, egotistical, or has lied about something in their profile in just a few minutes on the phone. Many daters are opting to skip this step in favor of a text but texting doesn’t show you intonation, social skills, or chemistry. Step 2. Give the Details Tell your family, your friends, your neighbor, anyone you really trust the details where you will be meeting your date and the date’s contact information in case of emergency. It doesn’t mean you have to immediately accuse your date of being the next Ice Truck Killer off of Dexter, but it is highly recommended (and plain old street smart) to let those who know you best know where you’ll be and who you’ll be with so you have some piece of mind in case they turn out to be a bad seed. Step 3. Dress to Impress Think about the outfits or accessories you’ve worn in the past that have gotten you the most compliments and choose one or two of those pieces to wear together. Try your first date attire on and take a picture of yourself to send to a friend for a second opinion. Make sure to do a sit-down test in this outfit. Since you’ll be meeting for drinks (see Step 4) on your first date, you’ll most likely be sitting the entire time. Which means your date will only be seeing you from the ribcage up. So if you think your killer shoes are going to be the belle of the ball your first meeting, think again. Conversation-piece jewelry, shirts, blouses and lapels can help spur small talk when there is a lull. Step 4. Just Do Drinks When meeting someone offline for the first time, always connect in a public location for just one or two drinks – no more! So whether it’s a latte at the local coffee shop or a glass of merlot at the wine bar downtown, the whole point of this encounter is just to see if there is enough interest for a second date. Daydreaming about your future wedding will just make your first date more stressful. All you need to think about is getting through a ONE-HOUR conversation. Leave the first date feeling like it’s in the middle. If you leave wanting more of the other person, chances are the feeling will be mutual. Step 5. Come Prepared You must plan ahead before meeting someone offline. Think, in advance, about questions that will tell you more about the person, but also make sure they remember who you are as well. Ask interesting questions that relate to their profile. If they said they like to travel, ask about the best place they have ever went on vacation. If they quoted the Beatles, ask about their favorite song and why they love it so much. Not only will you learn more about this person than what they do for a living or how many siblings they have, but you will have a more colorful and memorable date. Instead of being nervous about meeting someone offline, you now know how to overcome your anxiety by planning ahead. Try to look at this brief first encounter as simply a conversation with a new friend and if nothing else it’s a chance to hear someone’s intriguing original story.


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