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Pre-Date Game Plan

You’ve braved the first few steps of the dating game, and now it’s time to start meeting in person.

Hello, first date jitters!

If you’re feeling WAY outside your comfort zone…

Welcome! You’re not alone. 

First dates live well outside of everyone’s comfort zone. Which is why it’s critical to set yourself up for a WIN with a mindset and strategy that’ll ground you in the center of yourself, and embolden you to put your best foot forward. You’ve got this!

Below, you’ll find a curated list of winning pre-date practices, divided into 3 basic categories, so you can custom build your own personal pre-date game plan. 

  1. Clean It Up!
    • Show up as your best-smelling, best-groomed true self. Confidence is elusive if you don’t feel like yourself. But still. Make an effort to look your best!
    • At a minimum, shower, shave, and wear clean clothing. If these aren’t regular practices, then skip any/all, but be clear about it in your profile. (Guys, a well-groomed beard is totally fine, of course, but it’s best if your profile pics match any facial hair you “wear” to the date. Shaving other areas of your body (chest, back, legs, etc) can boost your confidence, if you have a lot of unwanted hair growing here, there, and everywhere. If you’ve been single for a while, you may have “let things grow” for a while. Consider cleaning up the forest! 
    • Wear clothing and accessories that show an aspect of your personality. Choose something you love! Your favorite color, your favorite vibe, something that celebrates a feature of yourself that you genuinely like. The goal is not to impress your date, but rather, to show him/her a little something that’s true about yourself. How you dress is a perfect way to give someone a peek into your unique personality, without having to say a word.
    • Feel free to make a little extra effort on your hair and makeup (if that applies, and feels good to you) but generally, don’t go so far out of your normal routine that you feel like someone else. 
    • Don’t forget your hands, when it comes time for grooming. Well-manicured nails, no matter your preference for polish or not, make a good first impression.
    • Ask a trusted friend to help you, if you need a little extra boost of confidence!
    • Smile! Don’t forget to brush your teeth and floss. Pack mints or gum to keep your breath fresh. Hopefully, you’ll be sharing some good laughs.
  2. Heart (Emotional Energy)
    • Consider some exercise, day of, to get the extra adrenaline out of your system. (Don’t go overboard! A jog, if it’s in your routine is fantastic, but a brisk walk or a little yoga will do the trick too!)
    • Ask yourself What do you most want to feel going into your date? Energized? Or Calm?
    • For calm: Take a hot bath or shower, incorporating lavender or other calming scents. Meditate. Breathe. Journal.
    • For energy: End your shower with a cool burst or dance to your favorite song.
    • Create a music playlist that matches the mood you need:
      • Builds your courage + psychs you up 
      • Cultivates confidence
      • Calms your body + mind
  3. Mindset
    • See each date as an opportunity to learn a new skill: how to go on a date. This is an incredibly useful skill to have, and it takes practice to get the hang of it. Odds are you can expect to have quite a few “first dates” so, each date is practice. 
    • Check your expectations. Brene Brown has a little acronym she uses for “first times”: FFT’s. (You can google FFT’s and even listen to Brene’s podcast on the topic.) 
    • Take the pressure off of FINDING THE ONE. Look for what you can learn, and every date is a win. See it as an opportunity to meet someone interesting. 
    • Honor the courage it takes for both parties to put yourselves out there. Put on a playful attitude, and meet the vulnerability of it all with a light-hearted sense of humor
    • Remember! Your date’s in the same boat!

Shower and Clean clothes are non-negotiables. If you don’t know this, for the love of god, you’re not ready to date.

By Molly Blue Wilder


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