First dates can test the nerves of even the most laid back people. It's kinda part of the fun. The butterflies in the stomach, the constant checking of the phone and that slightly nauseous feeling you get before a first date is perfectly normal and why it's such a buzz.
But, fun and exhilarating as it is; it can also be absolutely terrifying.
If the mere thought of a first date leaves you sweaty palmed and dry mouthed, read these tips on how to keep your cool when dating someone new for the first time.
Use a date as the perfect excuse for a good old pamper sess! And if you're not that kinda girl and all natural is your thing, then make time for doing something that is relaxing and makes you feel good about yourself.
However, if the former is your thing then try to schedule in enough time before your date to run a bubbly bath, conduct a military style eradication of all your unwanted body hair and buff those limbs into smooth, polished submission.
All the while relaxing and feeling awesome while you belt out the latest big hit into the hair brush mic. It's impossible to feel too nervous when you know you look so good.
Don't nervously wait
Avoid this at all costs! Try and be organised with getting ready and give yourself enough time not to have to rush, but not so much that you're left with time to kill either.
Waiting is the worst possible thing for nerves. You cannot hope to feel calm and collected upon meeting someone if you've spent the past hour fretting.
Do something constructive with any extra time you have before the date by phoning someone, preferably a good friend or family member who will help to take your mind off feeling anxious, or stick on a Disney movie to wile away the time and sooth your nerves.
Practice deep breathing
Cultivate some inner calm before the date by focusing on your breath. It's a method that has been adopted for thousands of years and is a fundamental element to any practice concerned with developing your mental or physical capacity.
Find a comfortable seated position, listen to some relaxing music if it helps, close your eyes and focus on the air coming in and out of your lungs. Once your awareness is on your breath, then begin to focus on how the air is moving in and out of your body.
Is it long and deep and rejuvenating, or is it short, shallow and restricted to the upper regions of your torso. Gently start to lengthen your breath, breathing only through the nose and let your entire torso fill with the intake, ensuring all air has been released on the exhale.
Just a few minutes of this will calm your emotional state, do it for as long as you and the time will allow for. And, remember it's a practice which means the more you do it the better it gets.
Keep the focus external to you
Don't allow your thoughts to zone inwards and start scrutinising everything you say and do because you're nervous. Your inner dialogue is likely to be a lot more critical and negative when you're feeling on edge, so stop it. It's your mind, you have control.
Make a conscious effort to really listen to what your date is saying and be aware of your surroundings. You may need to constantly remind yourself of this, but that's perfectly normal. Your mind will be charged with adrenaline and therefore what you're thinking about will also have added emotional charge.
Focus this heightened awareness on things external to you, your date being the obvious one, but also your surroundings, as you don't want to come across as too intense.
Once you master your nerves, you can start to enjoy them as a slightly buzzy feeling that makes the atmosphere around you crackle with electricity.
Have fun with it!