Is there anything more exciting or terrifying than a first date? No other event is so full of hopeful potential as well as awkward dread; It’s a weird thing to be sure. And then there are the “first date tips” that usually revolve around what to wear and what to eat (or not eat because – patriarchy) and a whole host of other superficial bullshit that doesn’t actually help you establish a connection (if there’s even potential for one). So, what the hell are you supposed to do?
1. First off you need to notice how you feel with this person. I know you’re probably worried about the first impression you’re presenting, but so many people forget this is an opportunity for you to verify if you vibe with him too. Are you excited? Nervous? Tensing? Do you feel emotionally heard? I’m not saying he should double as a therapist, especially this early in the game, but can he carry on a mutual conversation that leaves you feeling seen? Remember, this is an opportunity for you both to see if you like each other on the most basic level.
2. Ask what they’re looking for, in terms of a relationship. If they freak out and act like you’re too clingy, well, question answered…and also run. It’s not like you’re proposing marriage, but if he’s got an issue with you inquiring if he wants a monogamous relationship vs casual sex, eh, he can’t handle either. Go to therapy, sir.
3. On the other hand, don’t interrogate him. This isn’t a police shakedown, you’re there to get to know each other a little better. To see if you want to keep getting to know each other better. You can calm down. In fact you should- calm! the! fuck! down!
4. Don’t let the conversation become one-sided. I know people go one of 2 ways when they’re nervous, like when they’re on a first date. Are you a motor-mouth or do you clam up? Either response is less than ideal when you’re trying to get the lay of the land of a new potential partner. Try and recognize which category you fall into, and react accordingly. Either way, I suggest just taking a damn deep breath.
5. Don’t roll right into your deepest darkest trauma- at least wait until you’ve finished the appetizer. But in all seriousness, again this is just to see if you could ever know him enough to trust him with all the shadow work you’ve been doing. Trauma bonds are not hot, and if you go in too hard and fast with the deep stuff, that’s what you’re going to establish. No thanks. Trust is earned over time, as is access to the hard things you’ve had to overcome.
6. Last but not least, and I know this is cliche, be yourself. If you start taking your personality cues based on what he says he likes, have fun pretending to like beer and baseball for the rest of your life. You want him to love you for YOU and vice versa, and frankly, it just sounds exhausting to constantly have to be someone else and pretend to like things you hate.
Look, at worst a date is an opportunity to meet someone new, and good practice for dating in general. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your new best friend? Maybe he’ll be a wretched human, but hey, it was a free meal. At best though, you just might meet him. The one. And you’ll never know if you don’t get comfortable putting yourself out there. It’s always an opportunity for connection on some level; and, that is never a waste of time; and it’ll be a lot less painful if you stop psyching yourself out or putting undue pressure on the process. Just enjoy the ride.
Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were! Or head over to my website to learn more about how we can work through your relationship journey together.
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See you back here in the next one!
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”