Conveying confidence to a date makes a huge difference in their impressions of you and can make your time together more enjoyable.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain self-confidence while dating without becoming arrogant.

1. Speak up or speak less. If you are someone who is more shy and reserved, I suggest you speak up on dates. However, if you’re someone who is quite talkative, I recommend you listen more and speak less. Stick with middle ground. A person who either holds his tongue or speaks up even if he is shy shows he has inner control. That inner control naturally exudes confidence because your are showing that you can handle a variety of situations and being your best self.

2. Overcome eye contact anxiety. How often do you look at your date? Do you tend to look away or down while talking? Do you stare your date down because you don’t know how long to hold eye contact? Eye contact is especially important because the eyes convey a wide range of emotions, one of which is confidence.

So on your next date, try holding eye contact while speaking. If just glancing, hold for 2-3 seconds.

3. Know how to answer basic questions. Make sure you can answer the following basic questions with ease:

  • What do you do?
  • Tell me about yourself. (Which translates to the dreaded, “Who are you and what are you about?”)
  • Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
  • What are you looking for?

You’ve probably heard these questions dozens of times, but many people do not have good answers. When I mentor clients we work on being able to answer these questions easily, without getting frustrated, and we try to make the answers interesting. For example I’ve heard the usual, “I’d like to meet a mensch, someone who is sweet, kind and intelligent; you know, all the normal things,” or “I’d like to be set up with someone pretty and smart, who has a good job.”

You want your answer to be interesting and memorable, differentiating you from others. “I’m looking for someone who is a deep thinker but not too serious and who is not only personable but knows how to make others feel at ease,” includes a lot of detailed, specific information articulated well. It also gives me a visual of what you are looking for.

I suggest you work on your answers with a friend and practice giving them until they come naturally.

 

4. Reveal yourself. When asked what you’d prefer to do on a date, have you ever held back and just answered, “Anything is fine”? Has anyone ever made a comment like, “I love traveling, don’t you?” to which you responded yes, even though you can’t stand traveling and were silently screaming NO? Being agreeable has its place, but in terms of confidence I find it’s best to err on the side of revealing yourself instead of hiding who you are. Dates want to get to know you, see your personality and learn about your preferences. Have the confidence to reveal yourself, own up to your preferences, share who you are.

5. Ignore your inner critic. We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. While on a date, it’s not time to work on yourself. It’s time to enjoy your date. Your inner voice may creep in to tell you that you said something wrong, or that you don’t look well put together. Ignore that message! Hang onto your confidence, refocus yourself, and pay attention to your conversation. Tell your inner critic that there will be plenty of time post date for self-evaluation.

Dating can take a toll on your confidence. Don’t fall victim to lack of confidence, rather let your confidence shine, and put your best self forward.