If you’ve ever been nervous on or before a date, you know the terrifying, aching feeling you have in the pit of your stomach.
Will he like me?
Am I pretty enough?
Will he like my dress? My sense of humor?
What if I’m too tall, too short, too thin or too heavy?
Just some of the insane thoughts that cross our minds when first we meet someone. We’re so busy worrying about how we are going to come across that we completely forget that the person we are meeting just might be every bit as nervous or insecure.
But how about these thoughts:
Am I as good looking as her former boyfriend?
Am I successful and educated enough for her?
Am I funny and entertaining enough?
Will she ask why I’ve been single for so long?
And that’s just to name a few of the sabotaging, non-productive thoughts creep into his consciousness while he changes his socks, shoes and shirt three times to prepare for your date. Yep. That’s right. Men (even the most savvy, professional, and confident men) are as self-conscious walking into the restaurant to meet you, as you are going in to meet them.
Andrea is a reader of Sparks! and seems to have done a lot of great work arriving calm and collected on her dates. It’s the men she’s meeting that need some guidance.
I’ve been dating for a long time and something has recently been happening on dates that I find to be a barrier. I’m very practiced at coming to my dates as myself, but I find that men come to the date nervous. How can I a put a man at ease on a date? I feel like I won’t be able to connect with him if he is nervous, uncomfortable, self-conscious.
Thank you for your question, Andrea! I’m so happy that I finally received an email asking how to make a man relax on a date! All too often, women obsess over themselves and neglect the one key element to every successful date:
Providing the space for someone to relax, clock out, and feel confident and alive while in your presence.
The quickest way to get over your own shyness or jitters is to turn your focus outward. The moment you realize that we are all human, all connected on a soul-to-soul level, and that everyone has nerves, you’ll never go out on a date the same way again. With that in mind, here are:
Three Ways to Put a Man At Ease On a Date
1. Set the Stage With Your Greeting
When you’re meeting a man at a restaurant/bar or coffee shop for a first date, always stand up (if you’re there early) and walk towards him. Never make a man walk the long green mile to meet you. To him, it feels like walking for miles! Never shake his hand. Instead, reach out for a nice friendly hug. After all, it’s a date. You’re not meeting your new CFO.
2. Take Notice
When you’re really observing a man’s eye contact, and paying attention to the way he is breathing and moving, you’ll be able to see if he’s nervous. Your job at this moment (if you really want to see who he is behind the nerves) is to stop the mindless chatter, endless questions and small talk and verbally put your flag in the ground.
What does this mean? Being honest. Calling out whatever situation is in front of you. You might say, “First dates are always so nerve wracking. It’s nice to meet you and I’m so glad you’re here,” or “You’re just as good looking as I thought you’d be. I’m glad Chloe got us together.”
Think that’s too much or outside of your comfort zone? I’ve found it’s the number one reason men feel so comfortable in my presence when I meet them. I literally take care of them with the understanding they are nervous to meet me. It’s the same on your dates; Be compassionate and kind. You’ll quickly see the nerves simply float away.
3. Ask About What Matters to Him
Asking twenty questions that help you qualify whether he’s your dream guy or not just puts someone on the defense. Try asking him questions about what matters to him. After all, a date is not about qualifying someone. It’s about getting to know someone. And, if you’re really good at it, you’re the kind of person who knows how to naturally help people shine.
Help a man feel incredible in your presence by highlighting his strengths, rather than putting him in precarious, awkward moments where he’s forced to talk about things that are trivial to him or out of his range of interests. You may want to know his knowledge of wine, art and music, but those might not be areas of expertise to him.
Helping Someone Feel Incredible Creates a Lasting Impression
If you know anything about human relationships, we tend to want to be near the people who make us feel incredible. If you can get him focused on an emotional level, you’ll get him away from having to prove himself to you, which relieves the nerves. It’s a win win situation for both of you.
If you’ve been reading Sparks! for a while, you know that all of the advice I share with you is based on my seventeen years of meeting and working with some of the most eligible men in the country. All I can tell you is: people are people. You have nothing to prove on your dates, and neither do the men you meet.
Just get out there and enjoy the moments, the pregnant pauses, the mishaps, mistakes, the laughter and frustration — all the things that come with dating. After all, it’s a journey, not a destination! Enjoy the adventure!
Got any tips of your own to share? Would love to see them in the comments section!