The Real Reason We Get Nervous On Dates, According To A Dating Expert

That first date where your goal is to both make the best impression possible and also get to know the person you are dating, can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone. You want to look your best, sound relaxed and intelligent, turn on the charm, and make it all seem effortless in the process.

Even the second or subsequent dates, when you're not yet in a serious and committed relationship, can be anxiety-inducing as you're still not sure what impression you've been making and also aren't sure if this is the right person for you just yet. With all that's hanging on those first few times you're hanging out with someone new, nerves are perfectly normal. However, the reason you feel those nerves can go beyond the obvious. British life coach and dating expert Matthew Huffsey offers his expertise to find out why dating can be so full of angst.

Looking too far ahead can cause dating jitters

While first date nerves are normal, they can often be over-the-top and defeat what you are trying to set out to do — show your personality at its best and make an impression on someone you might be attracted to. According to dating expert Matthew Huffsey, who runs the website "How to Get the Guy" and hosts the "Love Life" podcast, nerves can also come from thinking too far ahead regarding someone you may or may not hit it off with.

Huffsey put himself in an imaginary dating situation when he tried to explain those dating jitters. "Why am I so nervous on this date?" he asks. "It's ok to have a little bit of nerves, but why am I now paralyzed? I can't be funny. I'm not charming. I'm not telling any interesting stories. I'm just frozen. Why am I that nervous?"

He then offers a precise answer: "Because I've gone way into the future as if the castle's already been built, when actually all it is is a fantasy set of blueprints."

How to calm dating nerves

If that first or second date is so important to you, do some things before the date to put you in a more relaxed state of mind, so you don't get frozen or caught up in planning a long-term future while sitting with someone you just met. According to Elite Daily, there are several things you can do to at least alleviate some of that anxiety.

If you're meeting someone new for dinner after work, give yourself at least 20 minutes of downtime in between leaving the office and heading out for the date. Going from one high-stress situation to another can get in the way of a good time. Elite Daily also suggests making sure to get in a workout the day of a date to calm those nerves. Once you're on the date, one glass of wine is just fine to take the edge off, but limit it to just one as you don't want to give an impression of yourself that's not the true you.