How to Keep Worry from Capsizing a Date

How to be calm during a dateDoes self-doubt get in your way? Does it take some of the fun out of dating?

For me, one of the hardest things to see is wonderful women who doubt themselves.

They can’t see all the qualities they have that would make a man fall in love.

They worry about how they come across. They chastise themselves for messing up. They just want to do everything perfectly, so he’ll fall for them and they’ll have a shot at happily ever after.

One of my hardest challenges is to convey a new mindset to dispel worry.

Because worrying causes more problems than it solves, especially on those first few dates.

It’s natural to worry, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

Worrying takes you out of the present moment and puts you in your head. It makes you self-conscious, which makes you more likely to stumble and make mistakes. It makes you tense up, which can cause you to speak faster and louder than normal.

That’s not even the worst part.

The worst part is that tension is contagious.

He’ll pick up on your tension. He’ll start to feel it, too. He’ll become uncomfortable. He’ll start to worry that he’s doing something wrong to make you so uncomfortable.

And the whole date is pulled toward a less genuine level of connection between the two of you.

All of us, men and women alike, put so much effort into a first date. We make sure we’ve chosen the ideal place to meet. We make sure our appearance is perfect. We practice saying witty things in front of the mirror.

Then, when the time comes to actually meet, we blow it. We’re so nervous and anxious that we stick our foot in our mouth, spill the water glass, say something offensive when we were trying to be funny, and slink away at the end of the night without suggesting a repeat.

This is not a gendered problem. Men do it, too! (And probably more often.)

So how can we keep worries from destroying a first date, both for you and for him?

There’s a simple solution:

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The Emperor Has No Clothes (And There Are No Dating Rules)

rules for datingIn case the story is not common where you live, the expression “The emperor has no clothes” is from Hans Christian Anderson’s fable The Emperor’s New Clothes, published in 1837. It was one of my favorite childhood stories (at least the Mickey Mouse Version with pictures was).

Anderson’s story reveals the foolishness of a vain king who was preoccupied with his status and appearance. A pair of swindlers took advantage of the king’s character weakness by explaining they could weave a fine cloth that could only be seen by people who were fit to be royalty (or people who were fit for office).

The king paid a high price to have a suit of clothes made from this wonderful fabric, so he could test which of his courtiers was unfit for office. When he couldn’t see the imaginary clothes the swindlers made for him, he pretended he could see them to avoid the appearance of being unfit for office himself. As he paraded the new clothes through the streets, the onlookers all pretended they could see the clothes, trying to avoid being the only one to reveal their unworthy status.

A young child, who didn’t see the point of pretending, announced, “But he has nothing on!” That burst the bubble and people began laughing, revealing they did not see any clothes either. The king was too vain to admit his error, continuing the procession as he attempted to maintain his dignity by pretending nothing was wrong.

It’s not at all uncommon for men and women to ask me about various “rules of dating.” They want to know the proper etiquette for various unique situations. They hesitate to talk openly with their partner because of a fear of revealing their ignorance regarding “the rules of dating.”

Are there any rules of dating?

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