how to be confident

Dates don’t always go smoothly. And it’s easy to understand why. You’re distracted by your nerves, you’re stumbling through small talk and you’re constantly trying to figure things out. “Does that mean she likes me?”, “Am I making her nervous?”, “When am I supposed to kiss her?”.

Yes, it can all get a bit overwhelming at times. But you can have easier and consistently more successful dates by understanding what to expect on a date and how to deal with it. It will make you feel much calmer and in control. So if you’ve been asking yourself how to be confident on a date, here are five things that you need to know.

By feeling good, you’ll make her feel good

Nervousness is contagious. Too often, guys let their nervous energy bubble up to the surface and burst into the atmosphere on a date, making the woman across from them anxious too. This happens all the time! Have these tips in mind to prevent the first date anxiety and help keep your inner voice and nerves in check:

  • Abandon the idea that your date could be ‘the one’ – this notion puts way too much pressure on the situation, creates significant expectations, and it invariably leads to you acting less natural.
  • Be more present in the moment – deliberately pay more attention to what your date is saying and her body language. These required observations will automatically turn down the volume of the voices in your head and enable you to be more engaged and present.
  • Practice small talk – if the only time you’re meeting and talking to new people is on dates, then you’re going to need to go on a lot of dates to get good at the art of small talk. Rather, strike up conversations with anyone and everyone you can throughout your day. Think of small talk as a skill that needs practice and training. The more you partake in it, the better you will become, making date conversations smoother and more enjoyable.

When it comes to making her feel good, take heed of Maya Angelou’s words of wisdom: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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When you’re having fun, she’ll have fun too

Want to make her feel good? Have some fun and enjoy yourself. Just like nerves; fun, laughter and happiness are contagious. We’ve got a couple of ways to make your dates way more fun:

Do things you enjoy doing

Pick activities for a date that are similar to things you normally do in your free time, and then invite her to join you. That’s a date, simple as that.

For instance, if you like good food, go to a food market. If you like nightlife, go bar-hopping. If you like sports, go to a game or play a round of tennis, etc.

At the very least, ditch the boring and unoriginal notion of going for coffee, dinner or a movie for a first date. There’s only so much fun that you can have while you’re stuck sat opposite each other in a café or at a stuffy restaurant.

Instead pick something more interactive, engaging, and stimulating for you to do together. To get your creative juices flowing, here are some of my favourite date activities:

  • Going for a stroll – through a park, by a river or alongside a beachfront. One of my favourite walks is along London’s Brick Lane, to check out the hidden gems of street art that are so plentifully shared.
  • Rock climbing – I love the sport and am good at it, so I get to enjoy myself while impressing the pants off my date. Other activity-based date ideas include ice-skating, dance class, ten-pin bowling; basically, anything that gets you up and moving.
  • Food market – food markets are a feast for the senses! The amazing sights, sounds and smells makes them a perfect location for engaging and memorable dates.
  • Gift shopping – I wouldn’t let shopping consume a date entirely, but I’d definitely drop into a gift shop if passing by to pick up a humorous card or gift for a friend or family member. It shows thoughtfulness and generosity, while also multitasking.

Be flirty and playful

Most guys aren’t playful enough on dates. All too often, the focus is on ‘getting to know her’ which turns the conversation into a dull exchange of facts, instead of a light-hearted and fun interaction.

I’d rather have a flirty and effervescent exchange about nothing, than have my date give a detailed, but dull account of her life story. I’m pretty sure she’d prefer the same too.

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Here are some simple ways to inject more fun into your dates and make them truly memorable:

  • Have fun answers to common questions – next time you’re asked what you’ve been doing lately, have an entertaining anecdote ready to share. When you’re asked what you do for a living, have a fun take on your job, such as “I paint timeless works of art, with Microsoft Excel as my canvas,” instead of “I’m an Accountant.”
  • Touch, tickle and tease – interact with your date physically and playfully. Show your mischievous side, be silly and make her laugh. Playfully tickle her, poke her in the ribs or gently shove her as you’re walking side by side.  These flirty acts, when executed well, bring a playful vibe to your interaction, help her grow more comfortable with your touch, and pave the way towards sexual intimacy.
    When you’re having fun together, she’ll enjoy herself and your company even more.  She’s also likely to feel more ‘chemistry’ towards you and perceive you as being more attractive.

Build attraction

Women generally decide whether or not to pursue a relationship within the first 25 minutes of being on a date. Therefore, you must put your best foot forward and be ready to convey your most attractive qualities quickly.

For a primer on the most attractive qualities that women look for in men, familiarize yourself with these points:

  • Confident body language – for better or worse, your body language will reveal exactly what you’re thinking and feeling. Women are instinctively good at reading these signals. So, breath slowly and deeply, and smile gently.  This will help you be relaxed, happy and even more confident.
  • Sense of humour – a good sense of humor is a HUGE turn on. Have some fun stories and answers to common questions ready, so you can drop them into your conversation at the right time. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. Try to lightly make fun of yourself. This shows humility and self-assurance, and it’s endearing.
  • Ambition and achievement – women prefer guys who take control of their lives and seek action. From an evolutionary perspective, these behaviours suggest these types of men are better family providers. Be ready to talk about your ambitions and favourite life challenges. Downplay or don’t mention how much you dislike your job and that you’re too lazy to do something about it.
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Once your date feels attracted to you, she’ll take a greater interest and want to get to know you better. These feelings of attraction lead nicely into the next phase of your date; building a connection.

Create a connection

Once you’re having fun and your date feels attracted to you, it’s time to start building a connection. This is how you get to know each other on a more personal level. Studies have shown that asking and answering deeply personal questions accelerates the bonding process and helps to quickly build a deep and powerful connection. A few great example questions are:

  • What’s the favourite thing that you own and why?
  • Who’s your best friend – what makes them special?
  • What’s the kindest thing that you’ve ever done for someone else?
  • What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you this year?
  • If you were going to take me away for the weekend, where would we go?

Build sexual tension and kiss her

Once she feels attracted to you and you’ve established a solid personal connection, it’s time to really amp up the sexual tension.

There’s a ‘play it by ear’ approach, where you test the water by intensifying eye contact, moving closer to her and touching her more. If she doesn’t back away, or if she starts moving closer and touching you back, then you’re in a good place. If she doesn’t respond; build more attraction and connection. If you feel confident she’s into you, move in to kiss her and she’ll likely encourage it and kiss you back.

When you break it down, there are five things that need to happen during a date, or over a series of dates, to start successfully building a relationship.

It’s helpful to have this basic knowledge of how relationships are formed so that you can better understand what you’re doing on a date and what you need to do next.

By knowing and applying this framework, you’ll start learning on how to be confident on a date and in control when out with a woman. Soon you’ll find dates to be much more relaxed and enjoyable, for both of you.

Rick is a new-school romantic and dating strategist. For over a decade he’s trained nice guys in the art and science of attracting awesome women. His approach helps men uncover their most attractive qualities, and to build their confidence and dating skills with women.

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