Ever wonder why it feels like your head is spinning with idiotic thoughts on a first date? Normally you’re an amazing conversationalist, but suddenly you’re having trouble stringing two thoughts together? Well, blame the hormonal soup created by your brain when the scent of romance is in the air. Dating is supposed to be a positive and exciting adventure – new people, new experiences, a shot a love – but if you’re tongue-tied and frozen, it may be a recipe for disaster.
Biologically speaking, the anticipation of romance unleashes a flood of chemicals in your brain. The mix of serotonin, dopamine and hormones creates somewhat of a break from reality as your priorities get rearranged and the pursuit of joy shoots to the forefront.
You may be so excited that you come across as completely spaced out, unable to communicate your excitement in a way that’s coherent or approachable. While no one person is affected by this altered state in the same way, it’s safe to say that we’ve all played the fool in love when our hormones get the better of us.
For example, when we’re infatuated with someone, we often latch on to banal commonalities that any sane person would find pointless. “You’ll never believe it! We both love pizza and think puppies are the cutest. It’s like we’re made for each other!” This overflow of joyful brain signals tends to put our dates on undeserved pedestals, because we’re only able to see the good in them and perceive everything as special and magical.
If we’re early into a relationship, we also have a tendency to pick up on the habits of our new mates – good or bad. You may find yourself spending too much time on Netflix if it’s a routine of your beau’s. Or maybe your new lady has inspired you to start making your bed every morning. We take those feelings of connection wherever we can find them to keep the happy vibes flowing.
If you find your brain and ability to make conversation on a date floating away, take heart. There are ways to control yourself so that you can put your best foot forward. The most important lesson is to be aware of how you’re feeling. Often, you can realize when you’re feeling flooded with excitement or anticipation.
Identify the stress (rapid heartbeat, swimming thoughts, etc.) and put a concentrated effort into taking a breath and trying to tether at least one appendage to reality to ground your thoughts. Of course an open and eager approach to dating is a wonderful outlook – but don’t let your emotions get the better of you and your conversational skills.
Humor and self-deprecation can also be great equalizers. Simply letting your date know that you’re nervous because she is so beautiful can get the feelings of anxiety out of the way while conveying a genuine compliment that is endearing. And remember – a few beats of silence won’t kill the date. If it gives you the time to say something meaningful, your perceived discomfort will be worth not putting your foot in your mouth!
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