Confidently Face A First Date With These Tips And Tricks

No matter how confident you go through life, dating can bring out the worst in your self-esteem, especially during first dates. Whether you've just gotten out of a long-term relationship or you've been single for just about as long as you could remember, experiencing dating anxiety is extremely common. According to Pew Research Center, 67% of singles in America classified their dating life as "not too well/not well at all" and 75% said it was "very/somewhat difficult" to find people to date in the past year.

Even with the rise of matching technology such as dating apps and websites, navigating the world of dating is extremely complex. With each swipe left and right, your dating pool is larger than ever. But it can also quickly become tiring, and you may be losing hope of ever finding the right one for you. Once you finally do get past the pleasantries of messaging back and forth with a potential partner, the stress and anticipation of a first date sets in. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prepare for the dreaded first date — look your best, feel even better, and enter the possibility of a new relationship with confidence, using these tips and tricks.

Kick dating anxiety to the curb by wearing something you love

Having confidence on a first date starts with the perfect outfit — But before you scour the depths of your wardrobe looking for the right outfit, remember that the perfect outfit is relative to what makes you feel good. Some people feel their best in a skin-tight mini-dress, while others enjoy the comforts of a trouser and a fitted blouse. When looking for your perfect first date attire, check in with your senses. Does the material of your dress make you feel silky and smooth or uncomfortably itchy? Do your shoes scream "sexy goddess," or are those the sounds of your arches crying in pain? Don't sacrifice your comfort for fashion: even if you look great on the outside, you won't come off as cool and confident if you are totally uncomfortable in the outfit you're wearing.

If you're looking for specific pieces that are always a good go-to on a first date, consider the activity you'll be doing while getting to know your boo. Dinner and drinks is the perfect occasions for your LBD and a sensible heel, while a movie date or a more active night on the town might call for your trusty jeans and a cute satin crop. When in doubt, wear red – Science has discovered that red is perceived as the most attractive color, with humans linking red clothing and makeup with romance and seduction.

First dates aren't the best place to try out a totally new style (or a super old one)

While it is important that you show off your personality and unique style upon your first meeting, there are a few things you really shouldn't wear on a first date. First, don't reach for your trusted hoodie and sweatpants — they might make you feel warm and cozy, but that's not the vibe to strive for on your first date. Your signature loungewear should wait until you are official and you and your boo have gotten comfy cuddling up on the couch watching your favorite new binge-worthy series.

Another common first-date fashion mishap is trying out a brand-new outfit or aesthetic. Your first date isn't the best place to try out the brand-new leather pants that may or may not stay buttoned all throughout dinner, or that viral wrap dress you aren't quite sure how exactly to re-fasten after going to the bathroom. Wear something you know you feel comfortable and confident in while staying true to your personal style. Just because you saw your favorite influencer rocking a trendy grunge look doesn't mean you should switch up your signature preppy wardrobe for black lipstick and a fake nose ring. If you're worried that your date might not be interested in you if you wear what makes you feel your best, you should be looking for a new date, not a new dress.

Feel your best before the date begins with these self-care practices

If you find yourself biting your nails and pacing around your house in anticipation of your date, try refocusing your energy on self-care practices. There's nothing that a hot shower and a skincare routine can't fix, especially after you light a candle and throw on your favorite feel-good playlist. Meditation, exercise, and positive affirmations are all great ways to manifest a great date and remind yourself what a catch you are.

Creator @kristietaylorr, who specializes in dating and self-love, shared her favorite tips for feeling confident on a first date on TikTok. She reminds her followers that the anticipation leading up to a first date can be excruciating. If your date isn't until 8 pm and you start getting ready at 4, there is plenty of time in between to psych yourself out while worrying about all the things that could go wrong. She recommends "doing something you love right up until you leave for the date, like reading your favorite book." You can also catch up on your favorite show, indulge in your favorite treat, or call a friend and vent to them about your worries. Odds are, they'll remind you how awesome you are and make plans to eat ice cream in your PJs together if things go sideways on your date. These pre-date activities will allow you to relax and take your mind off of the upcoming interaction, while staying focused on channeling your happiness.

Questions to fill the silence on your first date

Some first-date awkwardness might actually be a green flag, but no one wants to sit in total silence with a stranger. Rather than scrambling to recall the details they put in their dating profile or rely on discussions of the "crazy weather we've been having," try developing a few simple first-date questions.

Science of People gathered a collection of first-date questions rooted in scientific evidence based on communication styles and compatibility metrics. They found that certain questions worked best when they are open enough to encourage unique responses, while focused enough to gauge the connection between the two parties. One of our favorite questions was, "What does a typical day look like for you?" This is more direct than the typical, "What do you do for fun?" or "Tell me about yourself," because it gives the responder an outline to fill in, sharing their daily routine and schedule. This also allows the asker time to identify any red flags in scheduling or daily activities that may not blend well. Other interesting questions include, "What sort of vacations do you like to take?", "What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?", and "Tell me about your closest friends." These are all non-traditional questions that skip the pleasantries of small talk and get into the nitty-gritty of getting to know someone.

Remember to be authentically yourself

After you've found your perfect date night outfit, indulged in a lengthy getting-ready routine, and charmed your potential bae with interesting questions and flirty banter, it seems like nothing else could go wrong. After all, the hard part is over, you had a great first date, right? Unfortunately for many of us, the post-date glow fades quickly, and we soon forget the confidence we had while on our date as we sit and wait for that text saying, "Thanks for a great night." It's easy to fall into the trap of second-guessing every little thing that you did and said on a first date. But before you agonize over the smell of your perfume and the way you ate your dinner, think about how your date actually made you feel.

Did your date reciprocate your interesting questions? Did they listen when you talked about your career, your family, or your interests? Did you get a sense that they were someone you could have fun with or someone you could trust? Instead of focusing on what they might have seen in you on your date, analyze how you felt about them. Too often, women try so hard to be the version of themselves that a potential partner needs, they tend to forget about their own needs. Remember to look at the bigger picture.