Ask an Expert: Justin and Annabelle, how do I overcome my dating nerves?
Q: I think I have figured out my dating issue: I get so nervous that I come across as very professional, almost like I’m on a job interview! How can I overcome my nervousness so people see the real me?
A: You're not alone! Most people can be nervous on a date, especially on the first few outings with someone they really like. It's OK to be nervous, the person you're dating is probably feeling that way too, but you obviously don't want to allow your nerves to get in the way of putting your best foot forward.
The general rule of thumb is to keep things light, fun, informal and, if it's going well, flirty Check out this for a handy list of dating and flirting tips. If you're adopting a very formal, professional manner, this probably will be a bit of a turn off for your date. My advice would be to take control of the circumstances of your next date and choose a place to meet that is as laid back as possible. The more relaxed the environment you're in, the more relaxed you'll feel.
Look the part and dress to impress, but in a more casual way – the way you dress can influence your state of mind, so give the business suit a miss. Suggest to your date that you meet in a relaxed bar and wear an appropriate outfit.
Have a drink or two, but whatever you do, don't overdo the alcohol. No more than one standard drink per hour and no more than 3 drinks in total. Getting drunk and slurring your words is a major dating no-no. If you find yourself in an awkward silence, prepare a couple of amusing anecdotes ahead of time and throw one out there, but steer clear of interview style questions!
A: Dating, especially first dates can definitely be a bit nerve wracking – particularly if you’re already self conscious and concerned that you have a ‘dating issue’.
Here are a few tips:
You’re always going to be more confident and relaxed if you feel like you’re looking your best. So make sure to overdress rather than under dress (heels and a glam party dress rather than a tee and flip flops) and maybe even push the boat out with a blow dry so you feel really hot. Personally, I always wore my best lingerie on dates. I think a woman always feels sexier and more confident in cute knickers, even if no one sees them but you!
Be interested in your date. Make sure to ask him questions – don’t always wait for him to initiate conversation. You don’t want to interrogate the guy (so it's best to avoid questions that may make him feel like he's being evaluated and judged), but if you participate actively in the conversation you won’t feel like you’re in a job interview.
Lastly and most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously and have fun. What’s the point in dating if you’re not at least having a bit of a laugh? Organize to have a glass of wine with a girlfriend before the date; there’s nothing like a glass of bubbles and a good girly chat to take the edge off your nerves!
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