Surviving the Perfect Date

How to Keep Your Cool When You’re Falling Fast

A good date is hard to find . . . which is why finally meeting someone amazing can be just as stressful as it is thrilling. Here are some ideas to help you keep your wits about you the next time someone wonderful wanders into your life.

That’s why when we finally come across one, it’s hard not to turn into a frantic, blabbering idiot. There is no high like realizing that the person sitting across from you is someone you might actually like to be with . . . someone who gets you, someone you admire, someone who thrills and excites you. And there is no panic like the sudden realization that you’re not sure what this amazing person thinks about you.

More often than not, this is because they’re not sure either; they’re still getting to know you. So before you overwhelm them with sentiments of adoration, here are some tips to help you keep your confidence and your cool during that first amazing date.

Admire, Don’t Adore

Yes, she probably would look beautiful sleeping in your work shirt with the morning sun streaking across her face. And no, there really isn’t any blue in the world that’s as blue as the perfect blue of her eyes. Nevertheless, now is the time for keeping such sentiments tucked away to be relished once you’re back at home. While this person is still across from you, focus on what you admire in her as an individual—not as your almost lover. This first date is about introductions and getting to know one another. The surest way to muddy that process is to distract yourself with dreams of all that could be.


Sit Up Straight

Body language talks, and if you find yourself spending most of the date leaning far into your date’s personal bubble, it’s time to check your posture. A little leaning is good, as are occasional arm touches . . . all those warm, little gestures that say you’re interested. But constant leaning—especially when you’re date is not reciprocating—communicates neediness. But also beware of the opposite extreme; you don’t have to be distant. Just keep your touches warm instead of sweaty, your body engaged but not desperate.


Remember Why She’s Into You

If your confidence hits shaky ground, remember that this woman chose to come out with you tonight. And likelier than not, you know why. She or a friend probably mentioned that she loves your wild ambition or she jives with your love of old school video games. If you haven’t already talked the subject to death, find a smooth way to bring it up so you can see her eyes light up over you. If the topic has been covered, just remind yourself that there’s already at least one thing she loves about you. It’ll make you sit up a little taller in your chair.


Keep It Conversational

When nerves kick in, you’re likely to take the conversation one of two ways. You’ll either interrogate him in an effort to show your interest, or you’ll take over the conversation in a mad rush to reveal all the details about yourself that will inspire him to fall madly in love with you. Both are to be avoided at all costs. Conversation—much like the relationship you will hopefully develop with this person—is all about give and take. You don’t have to keep careful score of how many questions you’ve asked and how many you’ve answered; just be aware of what your instinct is and make a conscious effort to balance it out. If you’re an impulsive interrogator, remind yourself to reveal some things about yourself here and there. If you’re a rambler, be sure to ask a few questions.


Leave Before You Want To

This one is never easy. But it’s smart. If you’ve just met someone amazing, you’re probably game for a late night conversation (maybe more) that ends when the sun comes up and results in one of those deliciously bleary-eyed days when you can’t seem to regret the night before, no matter how angry your boss is to find you asleep at your desk. That scenario is probably your preference. But if your date is still feeling you out, she doesn’t want to spend all night curled up in your arms. She wants to go home and get in bed, happily recalling the evening’s best moments as she falls asleep. Keeping her up till all hours because you’re so into her is not romantic. It suggests that you’re too eager to rush the late night phase of the relationship to concern yourself with her personal comfort. When she starts yawning or casually mentions her busy day tomorrow, offer her a sweet goodbye and go home. Worst case scenario: she’ll wish you’d stayed longer . . . and that will only make her more eager to see you again.


When all is said and done, remember that that frantic thrill in your gut is a good thing . . . and that this person is out with you because something about you gave her a thrill. All you have to do is remind yourself that it’s still early in the game. No promises will be made tonight, so just relax and enjoy good company.

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