How To Have Confidence On A First Date

First dates can feel like job interviews sometimes — what with picking out the right outfit to wear, making sure you say the right things, and trying to keep your vibes good and your spirits up. And, as with job interviews, it’s important to go into a first date with confidence. Here are 5 tips for how to have confidence on a first date.

1. Wear your favorite outfit.

And I do mean your favorite. Make sure you’re comfortable but more importantly, ready to rock the hell out of your date. If sky high heels do that for you, throw them on. If it’s your well-worn pair of jeans, go ahead, as long as they couldn’t double for sweatpants — we don’t want to get too comfortable. The key is to dress for how you want to feel. And you want to feel confident. So dress well. And, above all, dress for you. Maybe a ladies’ magazine told you that all guys love short dresses with platform heels, but if that’s not you, don’t wear those. Wear you.

2. Go to a familiar place.

Sometimes the best way to ease first date jitters is to go to your version of Cheers — where everybody knows your name (or at least, your face.) By going to a familiar location, you’re introducing a sense of comfort into your date, almost as if you were going on a date at your home. And if you know the person and you’re most comfortable at home cooking instead of going out, then go ahead and invite them to your place for dinner. Writer/actress Amy Sedaris does that, and you can’t go wrong by her. Be aware though that your date could misinterpret this as “come to my place for sex”, so if you’re not going for that, pick a neutral but well-known place (well-known to you.)

3. Have icebreakers at the ready.

And I don’t mean the gum (ha ha ha). As with a job interview, you should brush up on your date — know a little bit about them. I’m not saying go into full-on stalker mode, but give their Facebook profile a cursory look. That way, if you get stuck during the date, ask them what it was like growing up in New York. Of course, this could backfire if you’re not already Facebook friends — they might get weirded out — so have some other questions at the ready. Something fun and silly, like, “What’s your favorite guilty pleasure music?” I went on a date with a guy who suggested we play “The Question Game.” We each took turns asking each other questions, ranging from a variety of topics, and we had to answer truthfully. It was a little contrived, but ultimately fun. And the drunker you get, the sexier the questions become — boom, instant flirting.

4. Drink — but not too much.

You want to be careful about drinking on a date. Too much and you look like you have a serious problem. Too little and the other person might feel awkward about drinking. (Of course if you don’t drink for whatever reason, this step doesn’t apply to you, and I’m not saying that you need alcohol to get through a first date, but I am saying, it helps.) Then again, most of my advice boils down to, “Pour a glass of wine” or “Order a martini” so this could be just me, but I do feel that relying on the oldest social lubricant known to man isn’t a bad thing, as long as you don’t overdo it.

5. Give yourself a pep talk before you go.

I’m fully aware that this may sound totally ridiculous, but it can actually help to give yourself a pep talk in the mirror before you head out there. It’s totally natural to be nervous before a date, so remind yourself — out loud — why you’re a great catch. Tell yourself that you’re a good person and offer interesting things. List those things. List what’s great about you — go ahead, write it down. Then when you’re feeling weak, read the list. It sounds lame, but it works!

What’s your advice for having confidence on a first date?

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