Prepare for a First Date with These 3 Simple Tricks
In my last post we talked about picking the best location for a first date, and how you can use location to help make your first date a success. This time around, we’ll talk about how to prepare for a first date.
So, we’ll assume that you’ve got a great location lined up and your reservations have been made. Now we’re coming down the home stretch. Let’s take a look at some things you should do, and not do, in the hours before your big date.
You Are What You Eat
What you eat while you prepare for a first date might not seem like a big deal. Who cares, right? But slow down; there are actually some important things to think about here. Keep in mind that the cardinal rule of first dates is “don’t freak out.” Your goal is to come across as being calm, confident, and in control at all times. And what you eat plays a big part in that equation.
Caffeine. It seems like a good idea to many of us before a big date. The thinking is, “I’ll just drink one RedBull for a little boost.” Or, “Just one cup of coffee so I’ll have plenty of energy.” But you need to be very careful with the caffeine when you’re about to make an important impression on a girl you want to impress. If you come across as being jittery, nervous, or wired – you will certainly not look calm and confident. Just the opposite.
If you’re feeling tired because you didn’t get enough sleep or you had a hard day at work, then a little caffeine might be in order. The key phrase here is a little. Green tea would be an excellent choice. The next step up from there is black tea – which has more caffeine that green tea but less caffeine that coffee. If you’re thinking about drinking a caffeinated soft drink instead, think twice. Here’s why…
Sugar. Eating sugary foods – or any other type of highly refined or processed junk foods – is a really bad idea if you’re trying to prepare for a first date. When you eat junk food, your body does certain things to regulate your blood sugar. One of the things it does is release adrenaline into your blood. Adrenaline is associated with your primal “fight or flight” response – and that is the last thing you’re looking for when you prepare for a first date.
Do eat something before your date, by all means. You don’t want to show up starving and start cramming food into your face as soon as you arrive. But choose something without refined sugars and carbohydrates for your snack. Nuts, trail mix, or even a protein bar with oats as the primary ingredient. Eat something substantial, but not so much that you won’t be able to eat during the date.
Prepare for a First Date Like Gandhi
One of the most important parts of appearing confident is regular, controlled breathing. If you’re gasping for air in between words, you’ll look like you’re struggling to keep your cool. Nothing could be further far from the “calm, confident, and in control” that you’re trying to project.
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a first date is to practice deep, controlled breathing. It might sound simple, but it’s extremely important. Controlled breathing actually serves two purposes when you prepare for a first date.
First, it’s great practice. If you “get into the groove” with controlled breathing before your date, it will be easier to maintain your calm during the date. Think of it in terms of muscle memory – you’re like the on deck batter, swinging a weighted bat. But instead of developing muscle memory for your triceps and forearms – you’re developing “muscle memory” for your lungs and nervous system.
Secondly, deep breathing actually makes you feel calm and confident. Just the act of doing some deep breathing exercises actually causes physiological change in your body and brain. In this way, you can force yourself into a calm and collected state before your date begins.
If you do yoga, that’s perfect. But don’t decide to start doing yoga on the day you’re trying to prepare for a first date. If you regularly practice meditation, that’s great. But don’t think that you’re going to master the art of meditation in the hours before your date. Yoga or meditation would be ideal – but if you aren’t already familiar with either of those techniques, then it’s better to keep it simple. Just do some simple deep breathing exercises (google it). Do several repetitions in the hours leading up to your date.
Practice in Front of a Mirror
This one might seem pretty cheesy. But it’s also probably the single best thing you can do to prepare for a first date. You can do this in front of your bathroom mirror if you need to, but it’s much better to set up a mirror at your dining table to simulate the conditions of your actual date.
Pay attention to your posture, your breathing, and your overall appearance. Participate in an imaginary conversation with your date. Any time you find yourself feeling nervous or looking uncomfortable, take a step backward in the conversation and try again.
You can think about questions that she’s like to ask you and practice your responses. But it’s much more important to think about the questions you’re going to ask her. Think of several non-threatening, open-ended questions that you can use to keep the conversation flowing and about her. The right questions start with “why,” “how,” and “did you.” Think of questions that allow her to talk about anything that makes her feel happy and secure.