15 Tips for First Date Nerves

Feeling a few too many butterflies in your tummy right before what sounds like a promising first date? Don’t worry.

We’ve all totally been there. And, we’ve got you covered with some of our best tips for calming those anxious butterflies right down. 

Whether you’re someone who would call themselves an anxious person or not, you’ve probably felt first date jitters at one time or another. 

Maybe you’re like me(aka: someone who texts their best friend a trillion times just before you’re about to meet up with your date). Yes, I am definitely guilty of introducing myself to a date while in the midst of fumbling with my phone as I try to jam it into my back pocket— exceptionally smooth, I know. Or maybe, you’re all about making a list and checking it twice to make sure you’re as cool as a cucumber when that cutie you’ve been chatting up strolls on in.

Three women laughing amidst flowers on a sunny day

Being nervous when meeting someone new, in any situation but especially a date, is incredibly normal and nothing to stress over. Dating can be a little scary because putting yourself out there isn’t always easy. But  dates should be fun and relaxing.

So here are some of our favourite tips for chilling out before a hot date. 

1. Plan a date that makes you feel safe and comfortable

Dating is tricky, and planning dates can be stressful too. But it's important to make sure you plan a date that you're both comfortable with and will feels safe for both of you. 

So if you're horribly afraid of heights and your date wants to go the highest rollercoaster at the amusement park, even if you’re okay going on some of the smaller rides, still mention you're uncomfortable with the big ones. Be comfortable enough with the things that bother you to tell someone: “Hey, I can't do this”, because having different boundaries than a first date or a future partner is okay. 

Man and Woman hiking in the forest

2. You came into this date with nothing, and it’s okay to come out with nothing 

Listen, you came into this date as just your awesome self, and it’s okay to walk out of that bar, cafe, or bowling alley by yourself. Finding the right person takes time, and it’s okay to pay your own bill and go home if you’re not feeling it—it leaves space for that right person.  

3. Get Support

Sometimes we need a helping hand. We all have that one friend who knows exactly what to say to make you feel like a million bucks (thank you for that friend—we love you) So text or call that friend to psych you up! Think positive. A tiny ego boost never hurt anyone.

Three women with legs up laying on a bed in a sunny room with light coloured walls

4. Pamper yourself 

Get your spa on. 

Better yet invite some friends over and have a spa day before your date if you can. That way you’ve got your pep squad, you’ll be soothed and smooth, and you know you’ll be looking fine for sure.

5. Try to be aware of your nervous habits

Sometimes the best thing to do is to be aware of what you do when you’re nervous, so that you don’t feel as self-conscious on your date. 

If you fidget on dates, then try not to wear any jewelry you might fuss with. Or maybe you’re a nail biter (like I was). Sometimes when I knew I was going to be doing something that would make me nervous, I would go out a few days before and get my nails done (I recommend gel nails), and that actually helped prevent me from biting my nails.

6. Take a moment to yourself 

At some point, before you’re on the date, take a moment to reflect. 

It’s just a date. 

Woman wearing a light blue sweater with light blue nail polish pouring colourful tea

Sometimes I find that setting a personal goal helps, like “On this date, I am going to have fun and order my favourite drink.” And, if the date doesn’t go well, who cares? You’ll probably never see this person again anyway. And, if you do, then laugh it off. 

Now you both have a funny story. 

7. Shake it off, literally 

Do something active, go for a quick run, or lift some weights. Physical activity, like working out, can help distract you from your nervousness. And, thankfully it can also really help you feel better emotionally if you’re not quite feeling like your usual self.

Two similing women doing push ups on a boardwalk in a clear day.

Pro tip: Make sure you don’t overdo it at the gym because you don’t want to be sore or tired on your date if it can be avoided. 

Oh make sure you have enough time to shower, and get ready before your date.

8. Play some tunes

We know that music makes us feel good! So make the best of it and hit up Spotify and jam out your favourite tunes. 

Feeling a bit nervous on your way to your date? Plugin your headphones and let the music play. When you get there, ask your date what kind of music they like as an ice breaker.

Woman listening to music with headphones, smiling on a beautiful sunny day

9. Make a list

Some of us are planners or are just visual people. 

If writing something down gives you comfort, then go for it. 

If you’re like me and you have some go-to conversation starters, write those down because writing stuff down actually helps us remember things better just in case you have an itsy bits brain fart staring into someone gorgeous eyes.  

It happens. 

10. Just Breathe 

If you’re nervous and you know it, just breathe. It’s a classic. If you tell someone you’re nervous, ten to one, the first thing anyone will tell you to do is concentrate on your breathing. 

Blonde woman breathing in the air while standing amidst red, coral and orange hanging flower plants


Because it works. Close your eyes, take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then let out through your mouth. Repeat until calm.

11. Have a snack

Sometimes anxiety can make you lose your appetite.Unfortunately (because you may have been craving the tacos that now sit in front of you).

Woman wearing floppy hat and striped white and blue tope with white jeans holding an icecream cone in front of an icecream truck

So if you’re not hungry before a date, that’s okay, but try to eat a little something because you don’t want to feel sick from not eating enough or be so hungry by the time dinner arrives that you wolf down your food in the first five minutes. 

12. Own your feelings 

Feeling nervous? Own it. 

There is nothing wrong with being nervous on a date. Besides, nearly everyone has felt nervous on a date at some point in their life, so it's super relatable. 

Laugh about it, have fun, and focus on getting to know the person you're with rather than worrying about embarrassing yourself because you're a little nervous.

13. Remember nerves are normal 

We get it. Being nervous sucks. Sometimes those butterflies in your tummy feel more like wasps. But it's also a normal part of life that everyone lives with. You aren't weird for being nervous on a date. You got this. 

14. Be able to laugh at yourself 

Two women sitting on a bench in front of a white wall with the sun shining and trees

We’ve all done something a little embarrassing on a date because we’re a bit nervous before. 

Don’t sweat it. Laugh it off. If you did something funny even if by accident the person across the table might chuckle. 

That’s okay. Share the moment, live a little. 

15. You’re not alone 

Let me repeat that, you’re not alone. First dates can be intimidating, but try not to worry about it. You might be nervous, but remember that more than likely the person meeting up with you feels exactly the same way. 

Try to remember that you’re only human. That means you can’t be perfect all of the time, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Don’t let your nerves get the better of you. Try out these tips and keep those butterflies at bay. 

Happy dating!

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