First dates are exceptionally stressful for a multitude of reasons. The first date is where you get to make your first real impression and in a competitive dating scene a bad impression could be a dealbreaker.
You could say or do the wrong thing without even realizing it and the likelihood of this is made worse with the fact that you’re nervous. And the ironic thing about it is that that fact is going to make you even more nervous.
Even though you should realistically be viewing a first date as exciting and full of opportunities, it’s hard to ever truly shake those jitters, and the last thing you need is any extra reasons to be stressed. Extra reasons such as heavy traffic, for example.
Just thinking about it is probably giving you anxiety. You’re on the way to your date and you’re stuck in a line of traffic that looks like it’s never going to end. The prospect of leaving your date waiting for you while you’re still stuck on the road is terrifying.
But it’s essential in a situation like that for you to stay calm. Getting stressed while driving is a recipe for disaster, so don't play any online casino games Canada while you are driving. It gets even worse when traffic is heavy and there are dozens of people dealing with the same frustration.
Here’s a few tips on making sure you stay calm:
One thing that is so stressful about being stuck in heavy traffic when you have somewhere important to be is the fact that you have no choice but to sit there and dwell on the fact that you’re not moving.
As humans, when we have a goal we constantly need to feel like we’re progressing towards that goal or else we get anxious and frustrated. Even something as simple as making it to your date on time, all you need to do is drive to the location, but instead you’re sitting there.
Unmoving and helpless. The thing about anxiety in a situation like that, is that it is forcing you to think about the worst possible result. Instead of accepting that being a little late is not such a big deal, you are focusing on how badly your date might react.
It’s something known as catastrophizing, and if you want to prevent it you need to distract yourself. Accept that there is nothing you can do about it, and find things to occupy your mind so you don’t have to focus on the end result.
Listening to music would be good, but for a lot of us it’s difficult to truly focus on music as more than just ambience. A podcast or an audiobook would be a better option. If the traffic is exceptionally heavy you could even play a game on your phone, provided you are still aware enough to react to what’s going on around you.
Control Physical Reactions
In moments of extreme frustration and anxiety, we are generally pretty inclined towards reacting physically. This might just be shaking or heavy, uncontrolled breathing, but in serious cases we might feel like lashing out more violently.
Maybe hitting the insides of the car with your fists or feet, or even inching the car forward more than is safe for you to do so. You will become a danger to yourself and the people around you if you’re not careful to keep that under control.
Distractions are effective for this too, but if you can keep your breathing under control it will help you to think more clearly about the situation and to also loosen up your muscles and release some of the tension.
There are numerous breathing exercises you could do, and if you want something a little more effective, there are also a few different yoga poses and stretches which are actually quite well-suited to the car.
You can eliminate a lot of the potential stress of a traffic jam, by just acknowledging the likelihood of it and preparing yourself. There are a few specific things which can help to offset a lot of the stress.
First of all, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time. You could aim to try and arrive at the location about 30-40 minutes in advance of the scheduled time. This should allow enough time to accommodate traffic and if there is no traffic and you do arrive that early, you would have time to go for a bit of a walk to clear your head.
Another thing you could do is also plan a few different routes out so that if you end up stuck you could have a second option to redirect yourself to. Also plan out your distractions ahead of time. Have audiobooks, podcasts or music at the ready if you need it.
And if you are concerned about other driver’s getting frustrated and potentially acting out and what consequences this could have for your car, then be sure to have the right insurance. If you’re a teenager and driving in areas where traffic is very common, this is especially important.
Being 18 and going on dates, the right car and the right insurance probably isn’t something you thought much about, but it’s essential, especially if you are going to be driving with your date in the car.
If it does get to a stage where you are pretty certain that you are going to be late, then don’t just sit there in despair over it, get into contact with your date and let them know. It will feel awkward and embarrassing, especially since this is the first date, but it’s better than leaving them with no clue where you are.
If you explain the situation to them, they will understand that it’s out of your control, and if they don’t, then they’re just being unreasonable. And that would be a big red flag for this potential romantic pursuit anyway.
As soon as you communicate the issue, you will start to feel a lot of that stress lift so don’t wait on doing so. Clue your date in on the situation the first chance you get.
Provided you are not so disastrously late that the date has to be cancelled, the likelihood is that shortly after you arrive and you apologize to your date, you will forget all about the anxiety you had while stuck in traffic. So instead of panicking, just relax, inform your date about the situation, and look ahead to when you are finally together.