The Top 10 Things Singles Worry About On First Dates — And How To Ease The Nerves

First date jitters are real, but there are things you can do to make it better.

If you've ever been on a first date, you've probably had a case of first date jitters. But don't worry, you're not alone. In Match's  latest annual Singles in America survey, the online dating company found that 89 percent of singles get nervous before a first date. Not only are you in good company, but your date is probably nervous about the very same things as you.


According to Match, these are the ten things singles worry about most and least on a first date, and what you can do to feel better. 

These are the top 5 things singles worry about the most on a first date:

1. Being disliked by their date

Both men and women stress the most about being disliked by their date. Interestingly, more men worry about this more than women (50 percent compared to 44 percent). While it's understandable to stress when you want to impress your date, remember it's only a first date. When in doubt, be yourself! The right person will like the real you. 

2. Disliking their date

Almost as much as they worry about how their date will feel about them, singles worry about liking their date. While these two things might be unsurprising, it's interesting that daily social media users were found to be 24 percent more likely to be nervous about being disliked by their date than non-daily social media users. If you're worried about being liked by your date, that's completely understandable, but you shouldn't do or say anything out of character just to be agreeable. Put your best self out there, and if a first date doesn't like the real you, that's really useful information to have, and you likely won't want to be seeing them again anyway. 

3. Not having anything to say

Match found that 35 percent of women worry about blanking and having nothing to say on a first date. Generationally, nearly one-quarter of millennials are also more likely to be nervous about not having anything to say, according to the annual Singles in America survey.  If you're worried about falling silent on a first date, come prepared with a few first date questions to get the conversation started and flowing. 

4. Being found unattractive

Many singles want to look their best on a first date, especially online daters who want their in-person appearance to match their dating profile. Match found that online daters and daily social media users are 38 and 36 percent more likely to be nervous about being found attractive by their date, respectively. If you're online dating and/or posting on social media regularly, don't worry too much about stacking up to a picture-perfect version of yourself. They swiped right for a reason, so as long as your pictures are recent (within the last six months), your date will definitely recognize you. 

5. Saying the wrong thing

While women get nervous about not saying anything, men typically worry about saying the wrong thing (37 percent). Again, millennials (23 percent) are the age group most likely to worry about saying the wrong thing to their date. Every single wants to put their best foot forward on a first date, but if you've accidentally put your foot in your mouth, turn the conversation around with a thoughtful question for your date

On the other hand, these are the 5 things singles worry about the least:

1. Who will pay/attempt to pay

While most singles don't sweat the small stuff like paying the bill, when they do, women tend to worry more about who will pay (10 percent) than they do about arriving on time (8 percent). This most likely has to do with traditional gender roles prevailing on first dates, though Match found that millennials are 61 percent more likely to get nervous about who will pay/attempt to pay on a date than any other age group, probably because they're the generation that often conforms the least to those gender roles. When the bill comes, it's always good etiquette to offer to pay, regardless of gender identity, and it's just as polite to accept and thank a date's offer. 

2. Arriving on time

Everyone should do their best to be punctual for a first date, but sometimes, an unexpected obstacle can intervene. According to Match, men worry more about arriving on time (14 percent) than who will pay (7 percent), the exact opposite of women. If you're five minutes late for a date, that's no big deal. If you run into traffic or get caught up at work for a longer span of time, however, let your date know you're on your way so they don't worry that you've stood them up. 

3. Choosing clothes

When you're getting dressed for a first date, it might suddenly seem like you have nothing to wear, especially if you're a millennial who worry about choosing clothes more than any other generation (nearly 24 percent ). To ease this anxiety, take some time to go through your closet and pick go-to outfits for casual, intimate, and formal first date settings. Then, no matter where you're meeting your date, you'll always have the perfect ensemble to match. 

4. Sexual expectations

Perhaps unsurprisingly, women are 1.6 times more likely to worry about sexual expectations on a first date than men. Again, we can trace this back to traditional gender roles and that outdated adage about getting the milk for free before you buy the cow. While there are tons of good reasons to have sex on a first date, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, the only thing you should worry about is doing what feels right for you. 

5. Level of attraction to their date

Despite the amount of pictures available to online daters, they're 40.1 percent more likely to worry about whether or not they'll be attracted to their date. If you find yourself on a first date with no physical chemistry, it's perfectly OK to recognize that. While you shouldn't write off a potential match on looks alone, a healthy sex life is important in a romantic relationship. So if their personality doesn't attract you either, don't force yourself to go on a second date. After all, everyone (including the person you're not attracted to!) has to kiss a few frogs before finding the person who makes them feel "happily ever after."

Cover image via Huy Phan on Unsplash


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