My friend Maria calls me, on average, about half a dozen times before a first date. She asks for help on what to wear, how to act and what to talk about on her date. She worries that the guy won't be husband material...and she worries that he will be husband material (therefore, putting tons of pressure on herself and her date).
What Maria and those of you who experience first date jitters must remember is that it's just a date! (Remember that this service is very appropriately called It's Just Lunch). First dates are all about potential - they are simply an opportunity to figure out if you would like to learn more about the person ahead. Or not.
Here are three simple things to keep in mind the next time you feel anxious on a first date:
•Worry less about impressing your date - let your date impress you.
Focusing more on the other person leads to a better date for two reasons: One, there is less pressure on you to perform perfectly or to be utterly entertaining and irresistible. Two, people notice when you notice them. A big complaint that I have heard from women after a first date is that the men they went out with did not put their focus on them, ask questions or listen well. Your date will notice if you are genuinely interested in what she has to say. Just make sure you are contributing your own experience and thoughts to the conversation so that you are not conducting a job interview on your date!
Don't decide how you should feel about the person you're out with until you learn more about who she is. Don't skip ahead in your mind and figure out whether or not she's girlfriend or wife material. Try not to second guess everything that comes out of your mouth or anticipate the next thing you will say every time she speaks. In other words, stay present. When you stay in the moment on a first date, you are more likely to have fun and to follow your instincts. You will also make a better impression since I promise you are not fooling anyone if you are camped out in your head!
•Highlight your passions.
Ask your date questions about the best trip she ever took or what she loves about the city. Share your passions with her. When you keep the conversation upbeat and share what you are interested in, you are more likely to make a connection. People light up when they talk about things that they care deeply about.
On a first date, if you remember to be curious about your date, stay in the moment and highlight your passions, you will appear charismatic and confident, which are two of the most attractive qualities you can exhibit on a date. You may psych yourself up and then realize the other person isn't a match for you. A date is simply an opportunity to spend time with someone new and see if there's potential for more. Remember, a first date is all about possibility...not pressure.
Andrea Syrtash is a dating and relationship expert, advice columnist and author of the new book, "He's Just Not Your Type (and that's a good thing)". Andrea has made Google 'hot trends’, ranking in the top 100 things googled on particular days between 2007-2009. She has no idea how that happened, but appreciates the (very postmodern) honor. For more visit www.andreasyrtash.com