How to be confident on dates

How to be confident on dates

Dates can be an intimidating social setting, let’s be honest. Especially if you’re new to the dating game or recently single, the thought of putting yourself in an environment with a stranger is a really big deal and totally out of the ordinary. When I first started dating, I was not confident with it, at all. If someone suggested a bar I didn’t like, I wasn’t the type of girl who would suggest an alternative and I didn’t feel confident enough in my own voice to share alternate opinions. And you know what? That sucks. It’s not a great place to be as if you land a second date, it will only continue.

Dating confidence for me, came with practice, but here are the things I wish I’d known when I first started dating.

Pick your setting carefully
If you’re arranging to go out and you’re feeling apprehensive, get in there first with a location suggestion. It makes you appear confident and proactive, plus you can choose somewhere familiar – perhaps a local pub where you know the bar staff or the cafe where the barista knows you by name. Being somewhere that you’re comfortable in will put you at ease. I wish I’d known this before I spent a first date in Yates – sticky floors and being surrounded by hen parties is not the date atmosphere anyone needs.

Spend time getting to know your date
If you want to talk to someone for three days or three weeks, that’s entirely up to you. The right person will understand that meeting a stranger obviously comes with risks and they will want you to feel as happy as possible in their company, so won’t mind having a chat on the phone prior to meeting.

Choose the right outfit
Taking yourself entirely out of your social comfort zone is tough, so don’t make it worse by wearing something you’re not 100% in. As I’m fairly casual at the best of times, I tend to go for skinny jeans, flats and a nice top (if I’m feeling particularly wild, I might even go for something that isn’t stripy), but wearing whatever you feel best in will really show.

Have an idea of what to talk about
I wrote a post here about dating conversation starters, but having a couple of things to ask them about will mean you can keep the conversation flowing and also put them at ease. This should be a two way street but if they’re feeling as nervous as you are, there could be some awkward pauses.

Fake it
Yeah, I know, we shouldn’t be bullshitting completely on first dates and I wouldn’t recommend making up an entirely new personality like you might when you get hit on by a creep on a night out (other people do that too, right? RIGHT?!), but faking confidence can make it come more naturally to you. Even little things like recommending a drink, proactively complimenting your date’s outfit or aftershave or being the first to start the conversation all make you come across as confident even if you don’t feel it on the inside.

So, they’re my tips to feeling confident on a first date – what do you think? Are there any tips you’d add to that list? Let me know in the comments!

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