Modern dating is hard enough thanks to the evolution of social media and superficial swiping apps, but it’s even more difficult if you are, let’s say, a little more on the awkward side of the social spectrum. Even the idea of going on a real date can seem absolutely terrifying.
What do you talk about? How do you keep him from thinking you’re not the weirdest human being on the planet? These are all reasonable questions and ones that I have more often than I care to admit, but getting back out there doesn’t have to be this awkward nightmare we make it out to be. These are just a few tips to help make your next date less uncomfortable and who knows, you might even have fun.
1. Get there first and have a drink.
One good way to shake off some of those pre-date jitters is with a little alcohol. Obviously, don’t go tossing back 6 shots of tequila and expecting things to turn out well, but try a light cocktail or glass of wine to warm you up. Then you’ll have a little liquid courage on your side, but not so much that you make a mess of things.
2. Go somewhere you’re familiar with.
A first date can be intimidating enough and going somewhere completely new can make an unfamiliar situation even more stressful. Ask him to a restaurant or bar that you’re used to, maybe even one where you are acquainted with the bartender. That way you can feel more relaxed and if things get weird, you can run to your trusty bartender for advice or more alcohol.
3. Wear something cute, but comfortable.
Picking out your outfit can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of a date. Try to find a middle ground, don’t go too fancy (try to avoid heels unless you’re comfortable walking in them) and don’t dress down too much. You want to feel cute, but not stiff or uncomfortable. Wear something that makes you feel like your best self.
4. Have a friend text you during.
Hopefully, the date will be going well enough that you won’t be concerned with your phone, but in the case that you hit an awkward lull in conversation have a friend text you something supportive. Maybe a “Relax, you’ve got this” or a “Take a deep breath, get another drink, and be yourself.” It may seem odd, but a little positive reinforcement can go a long way.
5. Fake it ’till you make it.
Having confidence in yourself, especially in a potentially awkward situation can be difficult. That’s why I always follow the rule “Fake it ’till you make it.” If you’re not already feeling like a rockstar, pretend like you are. Maybe even give yourself a pep talk before you leave the house. I know it sounds weird, but it can really help to boost you up.
6. Offer to pay, but don’t argue with him.
When it comes time to pay the bill, it’s totally okay to offer to pay or even split the cost. He will most likely thank you for the gesture, but decline and insist that he pay. If this is the case, let him. Don’t get into an awkward back and forth argument because it will just make both of you very uncomfortable.
7. Own your awkwardness.
One of the most important things to remember is that you have to own your awkwardness. Trying to hide it will make you feel like shit and probably be even more awkward. It’s part of who you are and tbh, many guys find it adorable. Just be yourself and if they can’t hang, maybe they weren’t worth your time anyway.