I exclusively listen to alt-synth-core from the early-to-mid 1980s, therefore you probably don’t like the same artists I do. “What about you?”
The most traditional, pointless dating advice of all time — which you’ve almost certainly heard numerous times from your mother, magazines, and self-help books — is to just “be yourself.”
This advice simply does not work in practice. In the competitive world of dating, you must construct an enticing prospect of yourself and make a strong first impression.
Set your intention ahead of time.
Nicolino suggests that instead of focusing about what you want from the other person, go into the date thinking about what you want for yourself.
“Would you like to meet someone new?” Do you want to have a fun evening out? Is this simply an excuse to explore that new sushi restaurant?” She inquires.
“Setting an intention grounds you, and it gives you something to fall back on if you start feeling anxious in the moment.”
Setting an intention also demonstrates that you know what you want and go after it – which is incredibly appealing. Because you’ll know what you want from the evening, you’ll be able to mold it more precisely.
However, this isn’t a sales meeting, so remember to relax and enjoy yourself.
“Just remember to breathe,” Nicolino advises. Staying in the present moment is what keeps you from overthinking or being self-conscious, if that’s where your brain normally leads you.
Do you enjoy masturbation? Awesome!
If you don’t fall asleep immediately after an orgasm, O’Reilly recommends masturbating before leaving the house. “Self-pleasure and self-esteem are positively correlated, so reach down there and give yourself a hand (or two),” she advises.
“When your body performs for you, whether through daily tasks, physical fitness, or sexual pleasure, it tends to make you feel better about its appearance and function.”
So, aside from a little fap before you go out, make sure your daily routine includes lots of exercise for frequent self-esteem boosts.
Needless to say, if you’re staying in for some post-COVID virtual dating, be sure you didn’t start the video chat by accident. That may require some explanation.
Self-deprecating humor (in moderation) balances arrogance.
Maybe you’re already a self-assured, A-type personality with a long list of accomplishments to wow even the most exacting suitor. Close friends may affectionately refer to you as “a little extra.”
How can you achieve an appealing and harmonic mix of confidence without being arrogant? A little self-deprecating humor might help.
As my roommate puts it, “Make fun of yourself before someone else can.” A lighthearted quip can help break the ice and keep you from coming across as a complete jerk.
But, Nicolino warns, don’t try out your amateur stand-up routine on a date since bathing a situation in humor isn’t the best aphrodisiac. Furthermore, it gives the impression that you don’t take yourself seriously, so why should they?
“Self-deprecating humor is acceptable in moderation — and I mean moderation. “As in, one or two jokes,” she clarifies. “It’s easy to go from seeming easy to connect with to being easy to pity, and pity is not the vibe you want to infuse in a date.”
Negative self-talk, in which you actively talk yourself down both internally and out loud, will only make you feel crummy and make your date feel nervous.
Keep track of compliments
If, on the other hand, you struggle with self-esteem, write down praises you receive throughout the day (and give yourself five while you’re doing it).
“Most of us dismiss compliments without giving them a second thought, and in doing so, we miss out on valuable opportunities to boost confidence and expand our sense of self,” O’Reilly says.
“The next time someone compliments you, take a moment to absorb it and jot it down.” You train yourself to cherish and retain good thoughts by writing down what others say they like about you. When you write something down, you activate cells in your brain known as the reticular activating system (RAS). According to experts, this may aid in the filtering of crucial information.”
Looking in the mirror and expressing out loud five things you appreciate about yourself can assist before a date. Focusing on favorable qualities rather than insecurities or perceived flaws will immediately boost your buzz.
(It may seem corny, but try not to smile while saying “I have a shapely butt.” You can’t help yourself.)
Confidence is appealing, so find a method to put your insecurities aside for the evening.
Because if you tell someone enough times that they are “not pretty enough” or “not smart enough,” they will begin to believe it. O’Reilly suggests a confidence-boosting strategy that may work better for you:
“Think back to a time when you felt powerful. It could have happened in a boardroom, a classroom, or on the dance floor. Visualize that moment before a significant date, presentation, or meeting to increase your confidence.”
Use logic to overcome nervousness.
When you’re sweating profusely, holding hands isn’t that romantic. Create some mental space, relax, and enjoy the situation.
It can be beneficial to identify the root of your anxiety and examine it objectively.
“If your nervousness is intense and linked to a harmful cognitive distortion (as in, you’re plagued with thoughts like my date is going to hate me and every date I go on is a disaster),” adds O’Reilly. You should not feel desperate before a date.
“Consider dates that were not disasters. Create a mental library of the wonderful experiences and interactions you’ve had on past dates in order to develop a more realistic thought. This can lead to thinking such as, “It could go well, so I’ll keep an open mind and just enjoy the experience.”
Essentially, you should amass a collection of good references — something you can point to and say, “Hey, I didn’t totally make this up.” Look at this talk, I made that person laugh so hard.”
Every time your internal monologue enters one of these spirals, it creates a narrative. And you have the option of making it a positive spiral that feels fantastic or a bad spiral that ruins your entire evening. Choose a side.
Yes, you should wear a clean goddamn shirt rather than something crushed on the floor. Despite the fact that the crumpled version is more “authentically you.” Nobody wants a scumbag to show up to a date, especially TLC.
There are no Snap filters to make you look 10 times hotter than you are in person. So, yes, it’s worthwhile to straighten up and put on something nice.
“You don’t want to mislead a date, but you do want to present the best version of yourself,” adds O’Reilly. While you shouldn’t go out and buy a complete new outfit based on what you think your date might like (that’s stalker-level creepy, and no one loves that), it’s acceptable to consider their taste and make tiny changes.
If you know their Instagram handle, you should check it out ahead of time. This is just another way of getting to know your audience. You can learn about your date’s interests, likes, and possible fashion choices.
You shouldn’t fully alter yourself to be more appealing to the other person, but if you notice that they always wear black jeans and you happen to own a pair, there’s nothing wrong with wearing those instead of your blue pair (unless you really despise wearing black jeans).
Dressing nicely for your date, regardless of what color jeans you wear, demonstrates that you care about both your own look and the event itself. And this will make whoever is sitting across from you feel special.
Maintain a good attitude – and, yeah, keep it light.
Dating is supposed to be a fun method to meet new people. You may have some skeletons in your closet, but your first meeting isn’t the time to discuss your personal issues.
Maintain a casual tone throughout your introduction. They want to associate you with good times, not bad ones. Of course, if you’re searching for long-term love, they’ll eventually need to understand and feel comfortable discussing the heavier stuff. Just not over drinks.
Excessive information might be seen as demanding and off-putting. And, while some people are snobbish about small chat — “Oh, it’s so fake, I prefer genuine interaction.” — if you’ve mastered it, you can gently determine if you’re interested in someone.
(You know, without pouring your guts all over the place and ruining the mood.)
Pose a slew of questions
You may pretend to be like spending time in the bush if you meet someone you truly like who is outdoorsy — even if the closest you’ve ever gotten to nature is drinking mojitos on the beach.
And, to be honest, this isn’t always the worst strategy – if you’re open to trying what they’re into, you might find yourself exposed to experiences you’ll appreciate. This may be the beginning of you learning that you genuinely enjoy kayaking, or whatever.
But there is an easier way: simply bombard your date with questions about their interests. People enjoy talking about themselves, and you won’t have to pretend to know something you don’t, which can be unpleasant.
“If someone you’re super into is into something you don’t give a fck about, you can still ask them about it,” Nicolino explains. “What makes them like it?” What benefit do they gain from it? What effect does it have on them? Instead of trying to bullsht your way through a conversation about something you know nothing about, you’ve just created an opportunity to genuinely get to know and connect with this individual. Which is never incorrect. And who knows, maybe you didn’t realize how intriguing 18th century Welsh cheesemaking is.”
(However, Welsh cheesemaking is a contentious subject, therefore approach the subject Caerphilly.)
Make certain that the questions you pose are open-ended. This entails asking why as well as what — not “how often do you go kayaking?” “How does it feel?” “I’ve never been in a kayak, how does it feel?”
You want thorough responses and feelings to your queries, not one-word answers. Then you may use their responses to elicit additional questions and, hopefully, a second date. Curiousity about someone is a huge turn-on.
Concentrate on what you enjoy about them.
Perhaps your date chews with their mouth open or is a chronic foot-tapper who openly admits to listening to Nickelback on repeat.
If you get instant no-chemistry signals (or worse, red flags), don’t go on another date or cut your first one short.
However, if the person only has one or two bothersome habits, try to keep an open mind. There could be a genuinely great person in there, one whose wonderful characteristics outweigh any bothersome actions.
So resist the impulse to be judgemental or harsh, even if you’ve already had three mimosas at breakfast.
(With the exception of Nickelback, which would be a deal breaker.)
However, keep in mind that you do not have to settle. It’s easy to jump into a relationship merely because someone reciprocated your love, but that’s far from the only thing you should look for.
Only you know what truly makes you happy. Remember that not every date is a search for The OneTM, and that you can still meet interesting new people and have fun.
Do your dating research.
One-liners are so retro, and not in a nice, opening-level-of-Sonic kind of way, but in a horrible manner. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a pick-up line, you know how creepy it can be.
Instead of asking creepy questions, ask entertaining ones. To get to know a date, I like to employ ice breakers or games. My favorite tried-and-true inquiry is, “What kind of tree are you?” “How come?”
The big takeaway is that people usually pick a tree and list good qualities and characteristics that they believe they possess and are proud of.
Small takeaway: You know what sort of tree to get them for their next birthday (and planting a tree is always a good gesture).
You can avoid awkward silences by stating your favorite “dad joke” and asking theirs, or even asking them what their favorite snack is to consume while binge-watching “Dawson’s Creek” on Netflix (hands down, coconut Oreo thins).
If you’re nervous about a date, prepare a list of solid questions ahead of time to give yourself opportunities for discussion if your conversation naturally breaks down.