If you're stressed out, normally, you'd take a nap, meditate, or roll out your yoga mat for a Vinyasa flow. The only time that regimen doesn't usually work is when you're getting ready for a date. It's 5 p.m., your date is meeting you downtown at 8, and you've got three hours to get ready and chill out. So, what do you do?
Dates are canonically nerve-wracking for obvious reasons — you may or may not be meeting the next love of your life — but unwinding doesn't have to be so time-consuming. It's more than likely that you already have a pre-date routine, one that involves a shower and thorough sift through your entire closet, but what if some of these steps were punctuated by easy rituals that are proven to calm your nerves and set the mood? Spoiler alert: a fancy fragrance is involved.
Call a Friend
Friends are built-in support systems who are only a call, text, or FaceTime away when your nerves get to be too much. Sure, a quick call to mom or sibling would work, too, but there's something inherently calming about talking to a friend and not a relative who might pivot the conversation to familial drama or, you know, when exactly you're coming home for the holidays. A friend can be that emotional support you need while also hyping you up. No one knows you better, so allow them to remind you of the catch you are.
There's a reason talking to a friend calms you down; in fact, your brain kind of loves it. While friends often play important roles in the best moments of your life, they're also staples in the not-so-good ones. Psychologically, having a friend inherently improves your self-confidence. Maintaining a friendship can significantly contribute to your self-worth and, by proxy, remind you that you're not so bad at meeting new people — people love you! Venting to a friend can also help reduce stress while boosting your overall mood, so they're basically the perfect remedy to those butterflies in your stomach.
While the pre-date call is important, that same friend can be the person you rely on in case the date goes horribly wrong. Having a friend on standby who's free to call you can be a helpful way to politely excuse yourself from a date that's, frankly, a snooze-fest.
Dance Out the Jitters
You don't have to be a professional dancer — or even reasonably decent one — to know that moving your body can be a therapeutic way to express your feelings. That "can't stop, won't stop moving" strategy is ideal ahead of a date. Why? Those butterflies are hard to tame, but a mood-boosting playlist should stifle them enough to get you dressed and out the door. After all, you're about to embark on a two-or-so-hour journey into the unknown — the kind of unknown that makes your stomach twist into all kinds of knots. So, dance it out.
La musique du jour? Well, that's entirely up to you. Jazz could put you in a calm, sultry mood, while a playlist of pop divas can revive that confidence you've been missing. This is a judgment-free zone, so if a vinyl from your favorite musical is what ignites a boost of serotonin, then so be it.
Set Your Mood With Scent
The goal is to make good memories on your date. And while that will likely involve the food you might eat, the wine you could uncork, and the deep, heartfelt conversations you're sure to have, those memories could also be defined by one other detail: your perfume.
Even if you almost never wear a fragrance on a daily basis, now is the time to break out the bottles. Smelling good on a date is a must, this we know, but why not make your scent selection more intentional for the occasion? Allow the fragrance — how it sits on your skin, how it wafts across the table toward your date — to do some of the talking. For example, if you wear Carolina Herrera Good Girl, an alluring mix of jasmine, cocoa, and almond, you're letting your date know you're bold, powerful, and sometimes play your cards close to the chest (who doesn't like a little mystery?).
Carolina Herrera Very Good Girl shares some of those same elegant and sexy qualities, but takes its olfactory effect one step further using notes like rose, vanilla, and vetiver to seduce the senses. Even if you're not much of a flirt, this fragrance is. Very Good Girl exudes main-character energy — it knows how to have a good time, and so does whoever wears it, even on awkward first dates.
Sure, sometimes, cancelling plans can feel good, but allowing your fear to take over is a decision you might regret later. Whether or not you're a person who usually swears by a routine, establishing a few handy pre-date rituals ahead of meeting someone new (or familiar — 'tis the season!) can help to prepare you for a night you'll never forget. So, put on your perfume, grab your wallet and keys, and put yourself out there. Worst-case scenario, you have a great story to tell your best friend. Best case? Well, that's up to you.
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Credits: Photographer: Matthew Zach; Art Director: Meg Konigsburg; Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi; Makeup Artist: Ashley Schultz; Hair Stylist: Aki Yamaguchi; Prop Stylist: Catherine Pearson; Producer: Cassie Doyle; Associate Producer: Hannah Lee