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How to survive the first date: a guide

Tools to ease a pre-date nervy b

Dating can be nerve wracking, awkward, clunky, fun! It’s okay to feel all the emotions before meeting someone for the first time - it actually shows you’re excited about it, you want it to go well or you’re doing something new.

Before the first date, it can be helpful to take a step back and look at the current behaviours and patterns that may or may not be working for us. A little self awareness if you will. For when we enter a dating context, we want to feel safe, secure and hopeful - all of which are possible with a bit of self-reflection as to what you need, want and desire. So, before we deep dive into surviving the first date, scan over the below prompts for your pre-date exploration.

What's getting in the way between you and feeling confident right now?

How is not being vulnerable currently serving you?

What do you want? Touch base with yourself and consider your aspirations.

What other relationships are present? Consider whether there are any other relational dynamics at play - are you dating others, if so, when do you feel it’s important to discuss this with other/s?

Boundaries. What do you need to feel safe? Are there agreements, boundaries or requests you’d like to make? And what about your date, what are theirs?

What are your sexual health practices? If sex is on the cards, it’s important to discuss safer sex practices, consent, boundaries interests and desires - all the good and important stuff!

Comfort is key.

Whether it’s a go-to outfit or meeting at a spot you’re familiar with, consciously choose to enhance comfort when and where you can. If you’re stuck on a fit, go with something that makes you feel good and allows you to move and breathe with ease (essential).

A helpful reframe.

A first date shouldn't feel like a job interview (although you may experience a similar degree of nerves). Instead of asking “will they like me?”, switch to “will i like them?”. A simple wordplay to shift the ‘being chosen’ mindset towards something equal and mutually beneficial.

Panic stations.

If you’re on the verge of a nervy b pre-date, here are some tools to down regulate the nervous system and enhance inner chill.

Lengthen your exhale.

Take a deep breath then extend your exhale on the way out - this may look like breathing in for three counts and breathing out for sick counts, or whatever length feels right for you.

Take some time to anchor yourself to the present moment.

Feeling your feet on the ground, your bum or back on a chair, paying attention to sights/smells/sounds or taking a few deep belly breaths.

Loop back to our reframe.

View a first date as a new experience! Believe it or not - you may actually have fun! Not every date can be a huge win. If you’re not feeling it, that’s totally okay - be respectful and courteous with your date, and compassionate with yourself.

Give yourself a goddamn pep talk.

I’m fun, brilliant, interesting, loveable and really sexy.

I'm a bad bitch.

I can't wait for a new experience tonight.

I’m proud of myself.

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