So you know you want to date, but what does it take to be successful at it? To get the most out of dating, you need to present your very best self. Here are three characteristics at the heart of successful dating.

1. Confidence

How you feel about yourself is just as important as how you feel about the people you date. To be in the best frame of mind to meet someone new, you need to feel confident about who you are – where you are in your life, what you want, how you look, and what you have to offer. If you feel good about all of these things, you’re free to focus on building a rapport with someone else. Of course this can be easier said than done. But we’re all individuals, and everybody should feel proud and positive about what they bring to the table.

Human beings are drawn to people who own their backgrounds, personalities and interests, and who are open to exploring other people’s.

“Confidence is a major part of attraction.”

If you need reassurance about what you have to offer, ask your friends and family. The people you spend your time with will know exactly why you should feel confident about who you are, so let them help build up your self-esteem.

Inevitably it’s all about balance. Too much confidence can lead to an unappealing ego, and too little will leave you struggling to get things off the ground. But the right amount will make you the perfect date.

2. Authenticity

Successful dating happens when everybody involved is honest and true to themselves. People don’t want to meet a version of you, or a character you’ve created, they want to meet the real you. It can be tempting when you’re feeling nervous to create a persona that you think people will like. But instead you should focus your energy on finding somebody who likes you for who you are – and the best way to do that is by being yourself. Any kind of pretence is a waste of everybody’s time – and it won’t be long before your date realises you’re faking it.

“Life’s too short to pretend to be something you’re not.”

Think about how important it is to you that the person you’re dating is genuine, and make sure you give them the same experience. Authenticity and confidence are intrinsically linked. When you feel good about yourself, you’re not afraid to be honest about who you are. And the more honest you are, the more confident you’ll feel. Throw a good dose of both into your approach to dating and you’ll be onto a winner.

3. Purpose

To get the most out to dating, you need to know what you’re looking for. Sure, you know you’d like to meet new people, but why? Before you get started, think about what you want to get out of dating. Is this a research exercise to find out what kind of people and personalities you like? Or do you know all of that and want to start a serious relationship? Are you set on the kind of person you’d like to meet? Or are you feeling open minded?

“Wherever you’re coming from, it’s good to try and have a sense of purpose in mind.”

Most people like to date men or women with similar aims to theirs, so understanding yours will make it easier to work out if somebody could be a suitable match for you. Because when you know what you want, you’re much better placed to find it.

Struggling to figure out what you’re looking for? Read ONLINE DATING: WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?