If you could wave a magic wand, would you like to be more self-confident with dating?
As a dating coach I hear every day from people that if they could snap their fingers and possess one quality it would be confidence; but what does being more self-confident really mean?
“Just be confident!”
People say this phrase A LOT but a little bit like, “Just be yourself!” this dating advice may leave you thinking, “Well, that sounds great but how do I achieve it?”
I love to work with people in a way that’s hands on and practical, so today I’m going to be giving you 4 great ways to build your dating confidence.
Self Confidence Tip 1 – Learn How To Stick To Your Boundaries
The best thing for your self-esteem is keeping your commitments to yourself. Of course we are all only human, however dating can be a great area for you to start putting yourself first, and really sticking to your boundaries.
A dating boundary is what treatment you will and won’t accept from others.
When I talk about boundaries I mean that you start to build up a clear expectation for how you want to be treated in dating, and you stick to that.
Tip: If you’re single now this is a great time for sitting down, and making a list of how you want to be treated in the future. Does the other person plan your first date? How do you react if they cancel twice in a row? Think about this now before you start seeing someone you like!
A common dating pitfall is when you meet someone you really like you will suddenly want to give them top priority in everything, and in doing so perhaps forget about yourself, your friends and your pre-existing life. When a person you like comes along it’s too easy to start slowly dropping your boundaries because you want to see them or keep them interested.
Dal had been excited about seeing Andy all week – she had kept glancing at her WhatsApp waiting on him to confirm their Friday date. Late Friday she received a message, “I know we were meant to meet this week, sorry! How about next week?”
Even if you’re not looking for a serious relationship, you always want to date people that value your time. In this scenario when you feel disappointed you’re going to want to move the date to the next week. However, in doing so you collapse your boundary for how you expect to be treated and this will ding your self confidence.
Instead you want to be brave and send that, “I’m actually pretty busy, maybe another time” message and JUST LEAVE IT.
This will initially feel a bit scary, but I promise you’ll feel your self-confidence increasing as a result of really valuing yourself.
Self Confidence Tip 2 – Never Think “They’re Out Of My League”
As soon as Chris saw Rishad at the party he wanted to say hello to him, but instead found himself retreating into his normal friendship group (drink in hand) justifying “he’s way out of my league…”
I don’t like the phrase “they’re out of my league” (who makes these leagues?!)
Comparing yourself to others is another mindset trap you can fall into that will affect how self-confident you feel. Instead of thinking that someone is so attractive/smart/successful that they would never be interested in you, start to value yourself. Think: I’m kind/funny/caring/cute/witty and if we’re supposed to connect then they will think as highly of me as I do of them.
Giving yourself the opportunity to meet people, and not holding yourself back, also helps your self worth. Start to adopt the mindset, “I don’t know when it’s going to happen, or in what form, but I know I will meet someone great for me.” So that the next time you see someone you like (whether that’s through off or online dating) you respectfully take the chance to see if they’re open to getting to know you too.
Don’t second guess people, remember your self worth and give them the opportunity to connect with you – because as the famous phrase goes, you do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Self Confidence Tip 3 – Competence Equals Confidence
Bethany felt down today. She couldn’t believe that another potential romance hadn’t worked out – “It mustn’t be in my stars to find love”, she thought.
I am a big believer that love isn’t something that just does/doesn’t happen to us.
I know that after your self-confidence has taken a knock it’s easy to have a few duvet days where you feel thoroughly fed up and like meeting someone is just not something you were ever destined to do.
Whilst I think we are all allowed a few wallow days, after this I want you to pick yourself up and start making a plan: having a plan of action is one of the quickest ways to break out of a funk and start restoring your self esteem. Instead of allowing that “I’m destined to be single” to creep in – I want you to get practical on this task and start to think, “Okay, I’m going to accept I’m the common denominator in my dating experiences, and I’m going to really work to create change.”
Also remember being single can be such a fun, rewarding and exciting time in your life – never forget to cherish this and don’t give your commitment to someone all that quickly! Both being single and being in a relationship have their positives and challenges but it’s down to you to enjoy both experiences.
Getting practical and growing your dating competence could mean you get some great new profile pictures, that you become more active at making the first move, or maybe that you take a mini time out from dating to give yourself time to really relax.
Start seeing dating as something you can learn about and improve on- you really can make your own luck.
Self Confidence Tip 4 – Have Higher Goals Than Just Dating
When you’re not feeling your most self confident it can sometimes feel like if you could just meet someone, that it would make your life a whole lot better.
Dave came in from a long day at work, and his flat was quiet. He wished things had worked out with that last woman he was seeing…
Great dating experiences are often a natural by-product of you leading a life that’s fulfilling with or without a romantic partner.
Instead of looking to someone to improve your life, building real self-confidence with dating comes with creating a life that’s attractive and purposeful on your own terms.
Whether that’s volunteering, going out to meet new friends, taking up a hobby, or finally starting that part time business; it’s these areas of your life that will bolster your sense of achievement and self-esteem.
Your ideal state of mind is “I’m having such a great time right now, it will take a special person for me to want to make that commitment to them.”
It also means that when you meet someone new they don’t jump right into pole position in your life, and instead they grow into your life, adding to your happiness – but not creating it. That bit’s down to you!