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First Date Nerves: 18 Ways to Not Be Nervous For a Date & Feel Calm

It’s totally normal to have a case of first date nerves. But, it’s just a conversation, that’s all! Learn how to not be nervous for a date and shine!

first date nerves - nervous for a date

First date nerves are terrifying, don’t you think? You’re nervous, you’re scared to say the wrong thing, you’re worried about talking too much, not talking enough. Then there is the possibility of those awkward silences. Why do we put ourselves through these things?

Because it’s necessary to get to know someone and perhaps meet the love of your life!

Of course, even if this person doesn’t turn out to be The One, they could be a great new friend to add to your list or could be someone you simply don’t want to see again.

However it works out, learning how to overcome first date nerves and learn how not to be nervous for a date will allow you to relax and enjoy the process. It’s possible, trust us!

What you should realize—a first date isn’t a job interview. Not everything hinges on this one particular event.

It’s entirely possible to have a terrible first date and then end up together forever! It’s possible to have an amazing first date and part ways soon after.

[Read: How was your first date really? Why honesty really matters]

How to not be nervous for a date – first date or any date!

We’re only human; even your date is human. So, it’s natural for us to feel nervous ahead of a first date, but there’s a way to learn how to not be nervous for a date. Reduce those nerves and anxiety to have a better and calmer first-date experience.

It’s time to lose the jitters *at least some of them* and start enjoying your dating experiences. You’re about to learn some helpful ways to reduce your dating anxiety, so you can actually get to know your date without any distracting thoughts or feelings.

S, if you’re struggling with first date nerves, or general date nerves, let’s look at a few ways you can be less nervous on a date and make things easier. [Read: The 7 stages of first date panic and how to calm them]

1. Arrange the date yourself, so you can choose somewhere you’re comfortable with

It’s very nice to have someone arrange a date for you, but you’ll have no idea where you’re going or what you’re going to be doing. That’s going to add to the anxiety, and it won’t help you to overcome first date nerves.

For that reason, you do the organizing, even if they’re the one who asked you out. Then you can choose somewhere that makes you feel at ease and comfortable. [Read: 20 hugely false dating myths you must banish from your mind forever]

2. Choose a date that is a little shorter

If you’re super nervous, choose somewhere that gives you a fixed amount of time.

For instance, a coffee date in the afternoon is likely to be far shorter than meeting someone for dinner and drinks at night. There is a lot less pressure there too.

3. Wear clothes that you’re comfortable in

When you’re getting ready, choose something that makes you feel comfortable and confident and that will help to relieve those first date nerves pretty quickly.

Don’t attempt to knock them out with a super sexy outfit if you’re constantly fidgeting and feeling uncomfortable. You won’t be able to relax. [Read: How to make sure you’re a good date… every single time]

4. Understand that you’re not the only one who is nervous

Your date is going to be nervous too, so don’t assume that you’re the only one.

As mentioned, this isn’t a job interview or anything particularly important, it’s just two people meeting up. Keep reminding yourself of that, and your first date nerves should start to disappear.

5. Just admit you’re nervous

A great ice breaker is to just say “I’ll apologize in advance if I talk too much, first dates make me really nervous.” You’ll be able to laugh it off and you’ll both relax. They’ll probably admit that they feel the same!

By doing that, you’re getting the elephant in the room out of the way, and you can start to simply chat. If you have an awkward silence and feel nervous during the date, just laugh about it! [Read: Intriguing conversation starters for a casual coffee date]

6. Pamper yourself a little before your date

If you spend some time getting ready and doing all the things you like to do, e.g. having a long hot bath, listening to your favorite music, choosing your outfit carefully, and doing your hair, you’ll feel more relaxed and more able to just enjoy the date.

Being relaxed also helps to reduce your stress levels, which is never a bad thing to overcome first date nerves and jitters.

7. Avoid making the date huge in your mind

Okay, we understand, it’s hard to do, but remember that this isn’t anything majorly important in your life. You’ll move on from it and carry on with your life regardless of whether it went well or not.

If you really like this person and you’ve been waiting to go on a date with them for a while, it’s hard to see it as nothing important.

It’s not all about whether they like you, it’s about whether you actually like them after you’ve spent time talking to them too. First date nerves are a natural thing, but it’s vital you don’t let them overtake the fact that this is just two people meeting up. [Read: 13 signs of a great first date to calm your mind and get excited instead]

8. Avoid drinking too much

If you’re somewhere which serves alcohol, you’ll probably be very tempted to have a glass of wine or two to relax yourself.

If you can handle it, go for it, but remember that drinking too much on a first date is a) a bit embarrassing, and b) likely to lead to you saying or doing something you wish you hadn’t. Just reel it in a little and be aware of what you’re doing.

Very often, it’s incredibly easy to get carried away and order a few drinks more than you can handle. And you won’t even realize it until it’s too late!

Think how you would feel if your date had far too many drinks and made a fool of themselves in front of you. Would it give you a great first impression of them? Probably not! [Read: 30 perfect things to talk about on a first date when you’re feeling tongue-tied]

9. Just be yourself

It’s hard to let your walls down and just be yourself when you’re meeting someone on a first date. But it’s important that you try.

How can you know whether they enjoyed spending time with you for real if you weren’t really your authentic self due to first date nerves?

Do a few deep breathing exercises before you meet them. Focus on just enjoying the date and be yourself. You’re a wonderful human being, and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t enjoy their time with you.

It’s the single best way to reduce first date nerves! Honestly, if they like you, that’s great and if they don’t, that’s fine too. There will be countless more who do! [Read: 14 signs you’re ruining your first dates unknowingly]

10. Ask yourself why you’re so nervous

Why are you feeling anxious? It’s important to ask yourself where the anxiety is coming from.

Maybe you’ve had negative dating experiences in the past, and this is creating new anxiety in you. Whatever it is, dig deep and try to see where it’s coming from. [Read: Are you sabotaging your happiness unintentionally?] 

11. Don’t do drinks or dinner dates

If you’re nervous about awkward silences or having the date turn into an interview, don’t do dinner or drinks.

Grab a coffee together and go for a walk, watch a sports game, or go to an art gallery. Do things that are activity-based; that way, you have something to talk about.

12. Practice self-care

On the day of the date, doing something you really enjoy for an hour or so. Watch your favorite show, play a video game, read your favorite book, or spend an hour practicing a new makeup technique!

Do things that give you a spring in your step, so you can build your excitement up and mask your nervousness with it.

After all, nervousness and excitement are two emotions that are very closely related and they almost feel the same – you just name them differently depending on your mood! [Read: 20 ways to perfect your first date conversation]

13. Don’t talk about the date wth too many people

Mentioning the date to other people will hype it up. And if you’re nervous, this isn’t what you want to do. Talk about it with someone you trust, and that’s it.

When you talk about it with too many people, they’ll give you advice, usually contradicting advice, and will confuse you. [Read: 42 first date tips for girls to completely awe and dazzle your date]

14. Be mindful of your feelings

During the date, you may feel yourself getting nervous, and that’s okay. Take a deep breath and try to be mindful of how you’re feeling and what you can do at that moment to help yourself calm down.

Remember, we’re all human; we’re all flawed, and we’re all nervous in an awkward situation. All you have to do is flow with it. [Read: The best dating advice for men – 27 tips to boost your dating game]

15. Think of your date as a friend

All good relationships start with friendship. You need to become friends with your date.

And if the chemistry is there, it has the potential to bloom into a romantic relationship. To help with your nerves, think of your date as a friend.

16. Do a workout that day

You have some pent-up energy you need to get out of your system. So if you’re wondering how to not be nervous for a date, get your sweat on with a good workout.

It’ll help release any stress you have in your body and bring in those positive endorphins. And that’s what you want.

17. Permit yourself one glass of wine

Remember what we said about not drinking too much, but a glass of wine won’t hurt if it steadies your nerves. But, go easy on the wine.

Have a glass of wine and take a breath. Too much alcohol is a big no-no on first dates; however, one glass of wine can help you loosen up and relax.

18. Take a deep breath

You need to take a deep breath. We know it sounds a little cheesy, but it works. Breathe in through your nose, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then release the breath from your mouth.

Do this a couple of times, and you’ll feel yourself calm down instantly. [Read: 15 things to do on a first date to make sure your date falls for you]

How to keep your perspective when you’re feeling nervous during a date

First dates have always been nerve-wracking and always will be, but it’s vital that you keep everything in perspective.

The success of your life doesn’t hinge on this one date!

You might come out of it and never want to see the person again because it’s shown you that they’re really not a great person. Or, it might show you that you’ve met someone you want to get to know a little more. First date nerves are just part and parcel of the process.

Hollywood movies show us these rather unrealistic depictions of first dates. Then, we assume that we’re going to be swept off our feet by someone who we’ve just spent time with, having not known them beforehand. It doesn’t happen like that. [Read: 18 things you have to avoid doing on your first date]

It’s time to see dating as an adventure

Some of the most successful and wonderful relationships we’ve witnessed started off as slow burners.

The first date wasn’t anything spectacular and there were no major fireworks; the love simply grew over time. Perhaps that is what it will be like for you, or maybe you’ll simply end up as friends with this person. The fun is in finding out!

The more dates you go on, the more you’ll be able to relax. But it all comes down to mindset.

If you approach a date with a panic-stricken feeling in your gut, you’re never going to relax or enjoy it. Approach it as a fun meeting between two people, and who knows where it may lead? If it goes nowhere, so what – at least you had a night or afternoon out!

[Read: Do you having dating anxiety? How to calm your first date panic mode]

When you experience first date nerves, just do your best to go with it. See the date as something fun, rather than piling on the pressure. Enjoy the process!

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...