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First Date Panic Attacks

Updated on June 18, 2011

A lot of people describe first dates and the few that follow as an interview type situation. You do and say things and gauge the reaction for attractive and compatible qualities.

But I, on the other hand, think that the first few dates are more analogous of when you go swimming: before you jump in you put a toe in the water to see how warm/cold it is. The first date, and the next three or four, are that toe, testing the water. If it's cold you don't dive in, if it's hot you'll proceed with careless abandon, if it's the temperature you thought it was, then you might dive in, wade in, or just not be as excited about swimming as you thought you'd be.

For compatibilities sake the both of you need to react the same way to the water (the attraction factor of the first date). Hot or not? Exciting or dull? But most importantly, listening or talking?

If you're an avid talker and the guy doesn't know how to actively listen then the combination of the two of you just won't work, not matter how attracted you feel, it's a one way street... he's just not going the same direction you are.

Also keep in mind that because you feel a connection does not mean it goes both ways, even if the guy seems to respond well to you. There are clues that you should try to notice as the date progresses:

He does not continue conversations, tries to change the topic or just becomes unresponsive;

About half way through the date a definite end time is mentioned by him, in some way;

There is no (seemingly) accidental, (but mostly) intentional touching of the back of hands (touching the back of your hand with the back of his hand is usually an indication that he wants to hold your hand) or an attempt to put his arm around your shoulders or waist. If he is avoiding such contact then you are already judged to be a "cold fish" and pursuing any further contact will allow him to either warm up and behave better or push you into a situation (sexually) too fast, too early.

Panic attacks, or deep-seated worry, happen normally because you do like the guy but have the strong feeling that things are not going well.

To get past this rush of emotion concentrate on the activity at the time. Talk about something that happened to you today, that maybe almost caused you to cancel.

Put some words together that help to explain your fear about him and move on from that bad place. Understanding what is happening to you during these first date panic attacks are the best way to put them away from your thinking.

First date rules that you have to remember are:

Be an active listener, not a bossy talker. Follow the conversation, even though it's just the two of you, and ask leading questions that start with "What do you think about..." and "Did you ever..." and other questions that will lead to a descriptive answer from the other person, never ask yes or no questions unless it has to do about ordering off the menu!

This is not an interview! Too often first impressions are wrong, give the person a chance to prove themselves as a "whole" person, not a thin slice of your first impression. Not to say that you should ignore your gut instincts and let yourself be led into unsafe situations but give the guy the opportunity to be "The Man" and prove himself as a real man, not a jerk or player.

Have fun! Even if you already have decided that this isn't the person you want to continue to date, don't become a sour puss on the date. Have fun, be polite and make a graceful exit without any future promises. We're not children, we don't have to lie to anyone about anything.

Remember, at the end of it all you are always changing the future. His, yours, everyone that you come into contact with.

Don't let disappointment rule your life, there will be other first dates until you find Mr. Right.

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