Be Yourself

Surviving the First Date

By Yvonne Stegall

First dates are a nightmare for many people. Even going on a date with someone you know, rather than a blind date, can still cause havoc when it comes to nerves. You suddenly feel like you need to impress someone else, and all of your insecurities, no matter how small they are, start to rear their heads.

Part of the problem is that you put too much emphasis on impressing someone else and trying to be what you think that they want you to be, instead of just working on being yourself. Nothing is more annoying than going on a date with someone that seems really nice and courteous, only to find out they are normally a little less kind and never hold the door open for old ladies. Instead of falsifying who you are on your first date, don't be afraid to at least let a little of the real you shine through.

Go with Your Own Style

It can be really easy to try to up your game when it comes to going out on a first date, and do something drastic to change your look. However, such a change can really make you feel less comfortable on your date, which isn't conducive to a good first date.

Obviously, if you normally wear jeans and a t-shirt and you're going to a nice restaurant, you may want to spruce things up some. However, you don't want to get your long hair cut just because she said she prefers guys with short hair, and you don't want to wear something completely inappropriate if he plans to take you to an amusement park -- like a pencil skirt and a bustier.

There are limits to what's good to wear on certain types of dates, but you also want to make sure that you are doing what you can to look like you, and to feel comfortable while you are getting to know this new person.

Act Like You, On Your Best Behavior

Just the same as you don't want to completely change your look, you also don't want to completely change who you are just to be a better date. Sure, if you swear like a sailor you may want to cut down on the cuss words while you are eating dinner in the fancy restaurant, but that's just common sense.

Think of it as being yourself when your parents or grandparents are around. You can still be you, but you can do it toned down. This way your date still gets to know you, but maybe a little bit of a watered down version. Gives them a chance to be prepared for the rest of you if that first date goes well.

By being yourself you will also come off more comfortable in your skin, more than likely. And, it will help make your date feel more comfortable too.

Pick a Date That Suits You

Hopefully the person you're going out on a date with has something in common with you already, so you can pick a date night that works for both of you. If you are both adventurous you may want to go someplace for rock climbing, if you both like music a concert may be the perfect date, or if you both prefer a quiet date for talking you may just opt for a coffee date. 

The first date can always be something simple, just a chance to get to know one another and decide if a more comprehensive date is worth the time to plan. And, on that note, next week you will learn about some of the best ideas for first dates, depending on what the two of you enjoy doing and what type of date you're hoping to accomplish (relaxed or carefree, fun and adventurous or quiet).

Published February 19th, 2016

Yvonne Stegall is a professional freelance writer who got her start in music reviews. She managed to build on that love of writing and became editor of the music magazine she did reviews for. Since then, Yvonne has gone on to write on many subjects, including health & wellness and beer.