Whether your first date is totally blind or with someone you've met a thousand times before, the scariest part is that there are so many potential outcomes. That causes a lot of uncertainty leading up to the big event, and it's only natural to feel a little anxious in response to that (even if you don't have a diagnosed social anxiety disorder). So, on a scale of "mega chill" to "completely shook," how are you feeling?
If you're nervous, you might be tempted to cancel the date. And, granted, that could temporarily relieve your stress. But it won't make your next first date any easier. In fact, the more dates you make yourself go on, the less scary they'll eventually feel — a pattern that's true of many phobias and anxieties, explains Lena Aburdene Derhally, MS, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist who focuses on anxiety and relationships.
But, after you've decided to go through with the date, how do you quell your nerves while you're getting ready? The truth is that power-posing, texting your friends for advice, or taking a quick shot for liquid courage will only get you so far. For more helpful suggestions, we talked to Derhally about a few tangible things you can do and topics you can focus on that will make you feel a little closer to the chill end of the scale. Have fun — and, seriously, you've got this!