You might remember Serria Tawan from her stint as Playboy’s Miss November 2002. Now the former playmate is in her 30s, recently married, and ready to dish up some love advice. She says, “I want you to win and I’m going to give it to you straight.” Read more from her at serriasays.com, and her Date Report column Dating Advice From A Playboy Bunny.
I really enjoy dating and love all of your advice, but I’m still a bit insecure about myself. I get nervous on dates, and extra nervous if I’m really attracted to the guy. Once I start babbling, it’s all down hill from there.
When you get nervous, how do you regain perspective? If the conversation seems to start dying out, how do you liven it? Do you ever feel like you’re not interesting?
Since I get so nervous, I prefer group dates. Do you have any ideas about that?
Being nervous is normal — everyone gets nervous on dates. Some of my prettiest, most confident friends have told me that on their first dates they were so nervous they couldn’t eat. The poor guys probably thought they were starving themselves. Nope fellas! It’s nerves.
Insecurity is normal, too. One thing that boosts my confidence is acknowledging the truth — I’m not the prettiest, smartest, funniest, fastest, slickest, (insert adjective there) girl in the world, but I still have lots to offer my husband, friends, loved ones and even you! I don’t have to be the best in the world, just the best me. When I meet someone who is better than me in some area, I admire it openly and move on. I’m incredibly confident because I’m not competing I’m existing and enjoying each moment. Do you know how many men you can get just from that, alone? Confidence is sexy as shit.
Can you do that? Can you accept that you are not the best at everything but know that you are pretty good at most things and that none of it matters anyway? It doesn’t. There are no special police checking for your shortcomings. We are all allowed to exist exactly how we are. Yippee! Thank goodness!
It sounds like you think you have lots to prove on dates. You have to be entertaining, interesting, keep the conversation going and confident. I’m exhausted for you! When you get nervous it’s because you are thinking about yourself and the results that you would like to happen. Stop! Just get back in the moment. Focus on where you are, admire the location, the food, your drink, the football game, your friends, and become present. You are in your head, probably analyzing like we ladies tend to do. It’s just a date and you’ probably won’t marry him, but still try to find out what’s great about him.
Conversations on dates can sometimes feel awkward because we think that a date isn’t successful if we aren’t talking each other’s ear off. When I was single, a successful date for me was a date where silence was okay. Try the 30-second Compliment Game. It’s easy to play. Whenever the conversation fades for 30 seconds or more start the opening with a compliment followed by an open-ended question.
- “This bar is really sexy, you did an awesome job selecting it. What other places do you like to go?”
- “This drink selection is incredible. If your ordered for me what would it be?”
- “You look really nice, I like your eyes they are (insert descriptive word). Have you always looked the same? “
Always try to compliment something physical about your date like his hair, teeth, clothes, skin, smile, body, something. Be generous with the compliments, but also sincere.
In regards to interesting, being interesting is overrated. When people try for interesting they end up going on and on to get “oohs and aahs.” Let that happen organically, instead of focusing on being interesting, be interested. Find out about the person without interrogating, and focus on present not the past. We want him to feel important throughout the date. What will determine if you go out with him again is the way you make him feel. Doing these simple actions will make him feel liked which leads to being asked on a second date, while on the first. SCORE!
Group dates are unpredictable and I don’t care for them. What if the guy likes one of your girlfriends more, what if you don’t get to speak to him that much, what if he feels shy? Try for the one-on-one date until you know the guy and then once you have established something, then bring him around your friends. FYI the boyfriends/husbands of your girlfriends will talk about how many guys you bring around them; just FYI.
The Bunny Tail (The bottom line, what you should do next):
Remember that the guy is nervous, too. For your next date, try arriving to the restaurant or bar a little early and having a drink alone. You might be able to meet someone else, and you will become more comfortable as your surroundings become more familiar.