First dates can be pretty nerve-racking. We can find ourselves plagued with fears and worries because we don't know what to really expect.
We experience fears of saying the wrong thing, of being rejected, and of, simply, just messing things up early on when we don't really intend to. We may be in a place where we've been disappointed and have experienced a lot of heartbreak in the past so we just really want to be sure that this time we do things the right way.
So in order to tone down those first-date jitters, here are five questions you must ask yourself before you go on that first date:
1. Am I limiting myself with expectations? So are you going into this first date with these expectations that he needs to be "tall, dark, and handsome," making at least $100,000 a year, and/or work out at least five days a week?
The trouble with having all these expectations is that we start judging and rating the person based on all these superficial things rather than who the person truly is. And, frankly, who the person truly is deep down is ultimately going to impact your relationship and potential marriage with them so much more then all of those other things. All of those things can easily change and evolve in time but who the person is and how you connect with them is the only thing that's sustainable.
So if you find yourself with some of these expectations, then be aware of them and make the conscious effort to go in with an open mind -- all expectations aside.
2. Am I coming in with an open heart? Is this your first date after your divorce or a major breakup? Is a good portion of your day still spent thinking about your ex? If so, then you probably want to take some time to really try to heal and let things go before the first date.
Frankly, it's not really going to be fair for the person you are going on a date with if you're still all bitter over "that-loser-ex-boyfriend." If you're still hung up, you are not going to be as open and present with the person you are going out with. They could find themselves more investing in the relationship later on then you are, or you could find yourself bringing unnecessarily baggage into the new relationship that is just going to cause problems.
It's better to simply take personal responsibility for your own broken heart and do what you need to do to heal and let things go. If you find it challenging or if you feel you may bring in some of this baggage into the new relationship, then simply be open and honest and tell your new love interest so they know what's going on.
3. Am I looking for someone to complete me? So are you on a rebound and just wanting this new guy to fill that void in your heart from your heartbreak? Are you simply bored with life and want someone to give you the love and happiness that you desire?
Here's a newsflash: The only person who can give you the love that you truly desire is you. Nobody or nothing else. Just you.
So be sure that you have things in your life that you find love, joy, and happiness from. Maybe it's a group of friends, a class you're taking that you're passionate about, a new project, or your job. Find something -- and even if you don't really love something that you're doing in your life for yourself right now then find something that you can really infuse love into.
The more you create love in various aspects of your life, then the more attractive you will be, which, in turn, will create more love in any new relationship you pursue.
4. Do I really love myself? Do you see yourself as attractive? Do you feel confident in your own skin? Do you acknowledge your own needs? Do you focus on your own self-care?
If you're hesitant about expressing your true self to the world, you don't feel that you're very attractive, and you're not sure what your own needs are then being in a relationship is only going to make things more difficult.
Start up a self-care routine -- start doing yoga regularly, work out, be in-tune with your body to know when you need to rest or not, eat healthier, wear cute dresses so you feel more attractive, or get a haircut or try a new hairstyle. Focus on doing things to really love and take care of you.
5. Who am I? Or, perhaps, the better question is: Who do I really want to be in life? What are your interests? What are you passionate about? Who do you see yourself as being 10, 20, or 30 years from now? Are your actions today in alignment with that vision? If not, then it's time to make some changes so that this new potential love interest can see just how amazing you really are.
Out of these five questions, which one do you feel that you most need to work on? Share it in the comments below!
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com. Her mission is to help women tap into the love that they possess within themselves to create more loving relationships in their lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.