How to deal with dating and early relationship nerves

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by Debbie Harrower

Ah, dating and possibly the start of a new relationship….

Exciting, beautiful and terrifying – all at the same time (even for the most confident person).

‘Learning’ a new human and letting them in to your world to ‘learn’ you, is not easy – I don’t care what anyone says.

I don’t know about you, but, I am not too keen on all the ‘firsts’. I way prefer the ‘comfy stages’ of a relationship.

But, no matter what you do, there is no getting around the early, awkward stages of a relationship.

You simply have no choice but to go through them, or, remain single (and celibate)  for the rest of your life.

Read on to find out how you can better cope with your next round of ‘firsts’……

First date jitters

So, you’ve met a cute guy at the club and the two of you ‘clicked’. You’ve exchanged numbers and have been chatting up a storm the whole week. Now, he has asked you out on a date and you are super nervous.

Why?

Well, let’s break this down. For starters, you were at your most confident self at the club thanks to a few glasses of wine. This means the conversation flowed, you were funny and felt totally sexy.

You also start to wonder if he really was ‘all that’ or was he just “wine-fine” (ladies version of beer goggles). What if turns out to be creepy?

What if he is not as cute as you remember? What if you guys have nothing to talk about?

Must you split the bill or let him pay?

What should you wear?

The number of things and imagined scenarios that get played out in your mind is crazy. But, rest assured, ALL women go this.

How can you shake all these ‘what if’ nerves?

If you are concerned about your safety, which, let’s face it, is a VERY valid concern – just let someone know where you are going, who you are going with and the time you expect to be home.  While it might be rude to sit and text while you are in the company of others, there is nothing wrong with excusing yourself to go to the bathroom and just popping your friend a quick message to let her know things are cool.

Another option, is to go in your own car. I have done this a few times and although I feel like I am in more control, I have preferred the times where I have let the guy fetch me. Arriving together feels better for me, but you must do what feels right for you.

I personally don’t recommend having a drink before he fetches you, but many of my single friends swear by a small glass of wine while they are getting ready. If you feel this will help you too – go for it. But remember – just one small glass. NEVER get tipsy or drunk before a date.

Your worries about if he was as cute, funny and smart as you remember? You can bet he is wondering the same about you. So, just let that go and take it for what it is – two people who met, liked each other and are now going out for dinner. If you don’t like him, you never have to see him again but you are losing nothing by going.

If you are worried about not knowing what to talk about and the possibility of facing one or more awkward silences. Relax. There is always, and I mean – always!, something to talk about to anyone and everyone.

I believe that if a man invites a woman out, that he should pay –  especially on the first date. So keep your purse in your bag. If he asks you out again, that is when you offer to split the bill or you pay the whole thing. If he suggests movies, you can offer to get the popcorn and coke while he buys the tickets.

When it comes to what you should wear, the best advise is to just keep it simple. Don’t over think things and don’t try on a bazillion different outfits.

Evening date: Wear your favourite jeans or a pair of tights  with a top that you feel good in and you are set.

Lunch date: Wear an outfit that you would normally wear to lunch with your friends. If that’s a maxi-dress with sandals / shorts or skirt and a vest or jeans and a t-shirt. As long as you are comfortable and feel good.

First kiss

Depending on how well your first date went, you might have actually covered this ‘base’ already. But, if you are more conservative or the first date went well but didn’t end in a kiss, then this special moment is still to come.

What are some of the things we worry about?

What if he doesn’t like how I kiss OR what if I don’t like the way he kisses?

It’s been so long since I last kissed someone – what if I have forgotten?

The bottom line is this…

The first kiss is more than likely NOT going to be a perfect, movie-style smooch.

Sometimes, you get lucky and it all works out, but other times, it’s not that great. And you know what? That should not be a problem. Take into consideration that he too might be nervous and worried.

NEVER judge someone on their first kiss.  Remember, you are ‘learning’ each other. If he consistently kisses like a washing machine or is a bit of a slobbery kisser but you really like him, you can speak to him about it. Tell him and show him how you like to be kissed.

If you don’t tell him and give him the chance to try make it work, you could be letting a really good guy go for a silly, totally fixable reason.

Meeting family and friends

When a guy is serious about you, he will waste no time in introducing you his family and friends.

The biggest concern here, is ‘what if they don’t like me?’

Throughout life, you are going to meet people who either like you or they don’t. His friends and family are just another batch of people.

Of course you want them to think you are amazing and the best thing that has ever happened to him. And, if they do – fabulous! But, what if you are faced with a mean sister / jealous friend  or a mother who thinks you are not good enough for her son?

One word. Acceptance.

At first it will upset you. Maybe even drive you up the wall with worry or anger.

You will wonder what effect this will have on your future. Like, ‘do I really want a monster-in-law’?

STOP!

Just stop all the crazy thoughts. Not everyone has to like you and think you are wonderful – that includes your partners family and friends.

If you like him and he likes you – don’t let anyone get in the way of that. Talk to him about the friend or family member you feel is not happy with you being around. See what he has to say about it and take it from there.

It might mean you having to call the person who has the problem and speaking to them. Let them know that they don’t need to like or approve of you and that you are okay with that. But they should respect the fact that their friend / son / brother does like you and you like him and that they should out of respect for him, show respect to you.

Whatever you do –  stay true to what you believe in, be yourself and always remember your manners (no matter how mean someone is being to you)

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