|This is the only real
solution I found to FDA.
Sometimes I complain because I don’t get asked on dates. But most times I complain when I do.
Why? Because right before a first date, I get extreme First Date Anxiety (FDA).
The kind where you make yourself sick enough that you think you’ll have to cancel. The kind where you say mean things to your roommates because you are ornery and they are the only ones there listening. The kind where you purposely don’t answer his phone call even though you’re pretty sure he’s calling because he’s lost and needs directions, just so that you can be the one in control and call him back. The kind where 10 minutes before you’re supposed to leave on the date, you start crying (unexplicably) and you feel super stressed so you run to your room, throw yourself on your knees and yell to the heavens, “Excuse me! I have to go on dates if I’m going to get married! So can you help me out here????” The kind where you then splash your face with water, retouch your make-up (because I dress up for first dates, at least) and hope the guy is late (thankfully he was).
Yeah. It’s all true. But I’ve heard it could be worse. I have a friend who would throw up before every date because she was so nervous. Another friend stuffs her armpits with paper towels up until the guy comes because she starts sweating really bad. And another friend really does make herself so sick she can’t go sometimes. So count your blessings, right?
But it’s still not cool.
I have tried various methods of dealing with First Date Anxiety. After my roommates informed me I was impossibly ornery right before going on a date, I tried silence. I tried not telling anyone I was going on a date and just randomly disappearing at 6 pm on a Friday night. I tried taking a nap or reading a book right before leaving. I tried being super open with all my friends about going on the date. But nothing seemed to work really well.
Let’s jump to the date for a minute. I actually do go on the date. I actually do have a good time. I am pleasant, genuine, funny, witty, etc. The guy is generally kind, friendly, opens my door, and laughs at my silliness. I don’t cry, I’m not emotional, I don’t tell jokes about his mom. I build the guy up and make him feel good. I almost always enjoy myself and I come home feeling fine about the date and chat with my roommates about every last detail. In most cases, I decide that if the guy asked me out again, I would go. (In most cases they don’t, but whatevs. Free dinner, right?) So what’s the big deal? Why do I freak out?
I have tried to determine the root of this anxiety. It is not narrowed down to only blind dates, although blind dates do intensify the emotion. It is not related to the unknown of how the date will go (although these questions are totes legit: Are we or are we not going to dinner? Will we accidentally run in to my ex-boyfriend? Am I going to meet his family?) It is not related to anything except for the fact that I happen to be a single Mormon gal who puts a lot of pressure on herself unnecessarily about dating. And that’s ok.
Before the last first date I went on, I was insanely anxious. I could not focus at work and I was on the verge of tears. I kept sending messages to my roommate saying “Do I have to go?” And finally I just said to myself, “Self, this is ridiculous. You have got to be normal.” But maybe I was being normal. Is first date anxiety normal? I didn’t know, so I googled “First Date Anxiety”. 34,700,000 results (in .26 seconds!).
Voila! First Date Anxiety IS normal and it’s actually healthy sometimes (at least according to eHarmony.com). I read these fabulous articles: “5 Tips to Reduce First Date Anxiety” and “Healthy First-Date Nerves“.
So I took the advice. I yelled “I hate dating!” I talked to my besty-bud Cheryl. I focused on how excited I was for the concert we were going to. I stopped telling myself I was a freak-o for being so nervous and instead thought, “Self, you’re pretty awesome and you are gonna look go-ood tonight!”
And it helped. Was I still anxious? Yes. But just realizing that I wasn’t some cray-cray person who should be in the looney bin, but that I was instead just like everyone else who gets nervous because of the unknown helped me out a lot. And I went. And we had a good time. And I didn’t throw up.
A few good tips and an acknowledgement that millions of other people feel the same way seemed to really do the trick for me.
So now what? Well, luckily, there are 23,900,000 search results for Second Date Anxiety.