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lightbulbnow's avatar

I am SO nervous for a date on saturday. My anxiety is starting to interfere with my life. How do I calm down?

Asked by lightbulbnow (4points) October 14th, 2009

I have a date on Saturday with someone who I have been interested in for a long time but don’t know very well. I’m super excited, but also extremely anxious. I’m shaking all the time. I can’t sleep. I’m sort of nauseous. I keep thinking about what I want to say, or questions I should ask, or how I can make good conversation – instead of focusing on more important daily tasks (like work). This usually does not happen.

To put it simply, this sort of stress is having a negative affect on me. I wish I could flip a switch and just chill out, but I can’t. Maybe the good people of Fluther can lend me some perspective or provide me with tips on how to relax – not only so I can go on with my life, but so I don’t come across as a babbling fool on our date from all of the pressure I keep building up.

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27 Answers

dunkin_donutz's avatar

You sound like me. Drink chamomile tea or take some passionflower herbal extract. They can help calm the nerves.

deni's avatar

Well just realize that it’s just a date and if you don’t act like yourself he/she may get the wrong impression. Really, even though your being excited is a good thing, it could make a negative impact on the date. If you think too far ahead and try to plan everything out it will just be awkward and sound weird and…meh…so just chill out, drink some tea, take a bath, think about how excited you are but don’t overthink it.

Dog's avatar

Go out and exercise. Run a couple of miles or do a great cardio workout. It will calm you.

inkvisitor's avatar

Maybe if you try to look at it more casually – not a date, but just friends having coffee?
What are your date plans? Are they casual? Think about how you met and what you have in common, too.

As for immediate help, I think I’d have a couple beers for lunch :)

loser's avatar


aprilsimnel's avatar

First take a deep breath. Then another one. And another one. Have another one for kicks. And then remind yourself, He’s merely a man, a human being like me and not Apollo McHotty on a pedestal. I’ll be myself on this get-together and I’ll be OK.

Repeat as necessary. And seriously, on the date, just get him talking about himself by asking a few open-ended questions and you’ll be fine. Answer his questions about you honestly. You’ll be OK.

Blondesjon's avatar

Two words. . .Jagermeister.

se_ven's avatar

Make sure you’re prepared. Preparation about something important always helps me relax. Write down a couple talking points and things you want to know about the person. Are you planning the date? Make sure you have the where’s and what’s figured out.

Try to keep a mindset of going out and having a good time, and not put too much pressure on it.

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve been in that same exact situation and thought I was going to go absolutely nuts beforehand. The afternoon of that first date, I spent three hours on the phone with a friend who tried to talk me into calming down. It worked out, though, and 32 years later it is still working out.

Give us some idea of your age and life situation and also whether you (and your date) are male or female. That will help us orient ourselves to your particular case.

deni's avatar

@Jeruba awwww :) what a heartwarming little tidbit :)

Jeruba's avatar

Aw, thanks, @deni. I just saw it as empathizing. The first two hours of the talking-off-the-ledge phone call were largely wasted because my friend thought what I wanted was coaching on how to seduce my date, and the more we talked, the more frantic I got because the feel of it was all wrong. When he finally understood (my friend was a man) that I was really interested, he exclaimed, “Oh, you’re serious!” and took a different tack. And then he really was helpful.

Val123's avatar

Yes. Deeeep breath! Also, if you’re scared you’re going to babble, don’t say anything at all! Or say much less than you might want to. If it turns out to be a comfortable situation, you’ll relax and be able to have a normal conversation. Good luck!

timothykinney's avatar

@lightbulbnow You better not be my girlfriend.

Actually, I have no indication whether you’re even female, so I’ll just turn around and walk out now.

veronasgirl's avatar

You need to start by taking a few deep breaths and calming down. This isn’t a big deal, it’s just a date. It’s just an opportunity for you to get to know this person a little better. Approach this from that perspective and recognize that making yourself this nervous and upset isn’t helping you. Keep yourself as busy as possible until the date, you won’t be able to completely shut out the nervous thoughts, but you can keep yourself calm enough that this doesn’t completely consume your thoughts. Recognize that the calmer you are, the more normal conversation you can have, and the better you can get to know each other. Good Luck!

galileogirl's avatar

It will probably have a negative effect on your date too. You need to settle down and be yourself. If things click then all is well, if they don’t then you know the chemistry just wasn’t there and not because you were acting all phony and rehearsed.

nisse's avatar

For the date, if you feel you have nothing to say, just pick up on whatever he/she is saying and ask positive follow up questions (like “oh wow how’d you get into that”) and try to be honestly interested in what he/she has to say, once i realized people will talk about themselves for as long as they can (They will talk FOREVER as long as you act interested, and think you are a great conversationalist and friendly too) i’ve never had any problems with dead silences.

And by the way, dating is such a wierd concept, why dont you try not to do any more “dates”. I feel just the concept of dating makes for such a formal and stiff meeting. instead try to do some fun stuff together that you like – movies, skateboarding, watching a cool movie, go have a beer, whatever as long as it’s not a “date”.

Also i definetly dont agree with the above poster who said that you should “plan” your date.. This will definetly make you nervous when things start not going according to the plan. Just ask questions about the person and the conversation will go fine.

Finally, and this may come off as wierd/discusting, but if you are a guy (and possibly if you are a girl), you could masturbate before your date (i’m not trying to be rude).. It sets you in to a more relaxed state and maybe you wont be so concerned with the outcome of the date.

Jeruba's avatar

It will help if you focus your attention on the other person more than on yourself. Think about making him or her feel comfortable and relaxed. How will you put him or her at ease? Take your mind off your own nervousness; thinking about that only makes it worse.

xzlslazcarter's avatar

just be yourself, there is opportunity don’t blow it

Janka's avatar

You obviously like this person a lot. Try to feel your tension more as excitement and less as anxiousness. Whenever you feel anxious, try to consciously think “Yay! On Saturday I will have get to spend some time with So-and-so!”, instead of “Oh god oh god whatever shall I say/do!”—and then let the thought go, and do something else. Like your work.

It is quite rare that people are offended by realizing someone is excited and happy about the chance to spend time with them, either, so I would not worry overly much about it showing. Usually we take that as a compliment. And if you are really interested in them, asking them questions about their work, life, opinions, whatever, should be quite natural, right? So no need to worry about what to say, either.

You are really looking forward to this event, and it makes you jumpy. That’s normal. Just enjoy the ride.

eonblue's avatar

Someone told me once about dating new people, well if they like you great, if they don’t like you, that’s great too. A few years ago I went out with a girl that was kind of a blind date. I thought we hit it off really well cuz we hung out almost the whole evening and she could have easily come up with any excuse to cut out early or at least after an hour or two. Well guess what, no phone call, no nothing. Never heard from her but oh well! Nothing lost. Nothing gained. Kind of like going to Vegas and winning $500 you just bet.
So re: your anxiety, don’t set any expectations for yourself and just be yourself. The best thing you can do for yourself is be as confident as you can. Get some exercise in the day of will get you in good spirits and ease the anxiety. Then be slightly unhealthy and have a few drinks if your nerves are still on the fritz! If your anxiety spans more than the date itself and general social situations you should address the underlying issue…. I think a lot of us are guilty of that… anxiety comes from…somewhere. When they find out, I hope to receive a memo. Good luck!

wundayatta's avatar

I think you should enjoy the feeling. It means that what you are about to do matters! You don’t often feel that way in life. You don’t often come to potential turning points that are so obviously potential turning points. Be nervous. Enjoy it. Anticipate. Lose sleep. It will be over all too soon.

xzlslazcarter's avatar

there is one song i strongly recommand to ya” lose yourself”, eminem’s

Jeruba's avatar

So, @lightbulbnow – how did this turn out?

sophillyk's avatar

you have to be yourself! Listen to some girly music to make you feel confident, wear some killer heels, if he doesn’t like what you have to offer then he isn’t right for you. Laugh at all his jokes and enjoy the nervous excitement of something that could be. It’s fun! You’ll probably enjoy yourself more than you think.

proXXi's avatar

If you are unable to get a handle on your anxiety by the time of your date don’t try to hide it.

Just tell him you’re nervous and smile. If he’s a decent person he will understand and be considerate of your state. He will do what he can to calm you if he cares about you.

Pandora's avatar

Sounds like you really like this person. I would suggest in the mean time to go to a gym or work out at home some of that nervous energy. Your probably nervous because your afraid you won’t meet their expectations and your expectations of them is already high or you’re afraid you’ve might’ve build them up to high and you’ll be disappointed.
You need to look at this date as one of many in your future. And to realize that if nothing becomes of it that at least you may develop a new friendship that you will value in your life.
Look to be friends first and just condider yourself lucky if things work out. And believe that if nothing else and it doesn’t work out that you will find someone who finds you special. If you do have high expectations, knock them down a bit or you will disappoint yourself.

cbbg's avatar

Just trying to keep things in perspective—everybody makes a fool out of themselves at some point and it’s those experiences that keep us humble.

For example, I fell down KERSPLAT in the street once, in front of a bus stop full of people, like an EPIC fall, scraped my hands and knees and bled for the rest of my 20 minute walk to work. I felt like the biggest doofus, first of all, but then I became anxious. I couldn’t shake the embarrassment of it for well over a week. Then, I slowly started collecting other “eic fall” stories from folk around me and the stress gradually dissipated.

Think of the worries you have about your date in those terms—everybody is feeling them, even the person you’re going out with! Don’t get stuck into repetitive thinking where you keep worrying and imagining the worst case scenarios. Think about how fun it will be to get to know someone new. Even if you do embarrass yourself in some way, your date will see you as a human and if you manage to handle that (hypothetical) situation with grace, I think s/he will be even more impressed with you. Nothing is cooler than a person who can handle a flub-up with grace and a sense of humor.

Good luck and have fun!

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