Charly Lester, Blogger, Dating Industry Expert and Founder & CEO of The Dating Awards, reveals her top tips to boost confidence on a first date.
First dates can be pretty nerve-wracking, even for the most confident of people. Suddenly when you add the possibility that you’re meeting your future partner into the mix, your palms get sweaty, your mouth dry, and you can feel like your mind has gone completely empty.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And there are ways to boost your confidence.
- Get Chatting
A great way to inspire general self-confidence is to practice talking to strangers. The more comfortable you are talking to new people, the easier it will make the dating game. Challenge yourself to strike up conversation with someone on the Tube, or to exchange a few words with the next person who serves you in a shop. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, just get used to talking to random people, and responding to what they have to say.
- Strike a pose
Power poses are scientifically proven to give you a vital confidence boost. Get used to practicing some in private. Popular poses include the ‘Y position’ where you raise your arms up above your head, and the ‘superhero pose’ where you put your hands on your hips. Another great power pose is sitting back with your feet up on a table … though I wouldn’t recommend doing that in a middle of a date! Hold a power pose for a few minutes before a first date, or try out the superhero pose while you’re in the bathroom. And remember to always sit and stand up straight. Good posture not only boosts your mental state, it also makes you appear more in control and attractive.
- Find a power suit
Clothes can give us confidence. And not knowing what to wear can add an extra level of stress and worry to a first date. So build yourself a first date uniform. Work out which clothes make you feel comfortable, confident, and attractive. Whether it’s jeans and a shirt, or heels and a mini skirt, once you’ve found your ideal outfit, invest in a couple of different options. Now you have a first date uniform – which means getting ready for a date should only take a few minutes. Whatever you choose outfit-wise, make sure it fits well, so you’re not tugging at it, and that you are used to wearing the clothes. A pair of killer heels might look great, but if you have to take them off after half an hour, or you can’t walk properly in them, find something else to wear.
- Phone a friend
Good friends bring out the best in us. Chat to a close friend before the date. Even better – meet up with a friend beforehand for a quick coffee. Relax, chat, and help them remind you of all the reasons you’re an awesome person. Then go to your date in that same mood. Sometimes we forget how great we are, so if you there’s someone close you trust, ask them to write a list of all the reasons they like or love you. Tuck the list into your purse or wallet, and read it before you head out on a date.
- Case the joint
If you find yourself stressing about the logistics of a date, suggest a meeting place that you know well. Relax, confident in the knowledge that you don’t have to stress about how to get there, and that you know the menu, and where the bathrooms are. You could always visit somewhere you haven’t been before for the second part of the date. Adding a change of location during a first date can make you both feel closer, as it feels like you’ve already shared more experiences together.
- Have fun
Dating can often feel like a job interview, especially when you’re sitting opposite one another, asking questions over drinks or dinner. Avoid that awkward feeling by arranging a date, where you’re doing something active, fun, and side by side instead. Nervous people find it a lot easier to open up when they don’t have to look at the other person. So take a stroll around an art gallery, visit a zoo, or do something else you’ve been wanting to do. Feel like a tourist in your own town, and make the most of your spare time. That way, you’ll never have a bad date – even if you don’t end up fancying the other person.
- Rinse and Repeat
The easiest way to get comfortable with first dates? Go on loads! The more dates you go on, the more confident you will become. Get out there meeting people. You never know what might happen!