Here are our top 10 dating tips for building your self-esteem.
1. Recognize your insecurities
Are you self-conscious about your appearance? Do you worry about what to say when you first meet your date? And what to text them to ask them out (and after you leave)? And if you shouldn’t have said or done that thing...?
These stresses could be stemming from insecurities. You don’t need to fix yourself or do anything about it, though (unless it’s causing you severe distress). Just acknowledge them and know that even the most self-confident among us all feel insecure from time to time… and some of us feel insecure way more often than others.
2. Accept your “flaws”
On a similar note, remember that no one is perfect. Everyone has imperfections, and they’re ultimately what make you you. It’s super charming when someone is unapologetically confident about who they are and what they bring to the table — flaws and all.
It’s easier said than done, but accepting this about yourself (and your date!) — and that we’re all just imperfect people trying to find happiness and pleasure — might help you feel less judgmental and much better when diving into the reality of dating.
3. Do things that bring you joy
Do what you love on AND off dates. This can boost your happiness, and your self-esteem, as a result. The happier you are, the more confident you’ll be.
This includes going on dates that align with your interests, too. If you enjoy playing sports, play mini-golf or go ice skating. Love to go out to eat? Bring your date to that new restaurant in town you’ve been wanting to check out for apps and drinks.
4. Consider seeing a therapist
This isn’t the most fun tip on the list, but it’s still important to note. Therapy can help you overcome issues related to self-esteem and give you skills to boost your esteem if you’re having a hard time on your own. Talking through your concerns and learning coping strategies can empower you to be more confident on dates and be more conscious of insecurities, too.
There’s no shame in seeking help. It could actually be one of the best things you ever do for yourself and your dating life. (It is for me!)
5. Wear what feels good
Express yourself in ways that help you feel most confident, on and off dates.
Ditch the heels or dress shoes if that’s not your vibe. Rock the clothes and hairstyle that suits your style and showcases your unique personality. Skip trying to come across as “hot” and get more in tune with what makes you feel cool, sexy, and truly yourself. When you feel your best, you look your best.
6. Know what you want
Set solid intentions. This means you’ll want to know the type of person you’re looking for and pick the type of date you enjoy most.
Going on dating apps and into dates with a clear idea of what you want out of them is a sure way to boost your confidence. When you know what you want, you can better navigate situations and relationships with ease, which will feel good and come across as confident to potential partners.
7. Be honest if you’re nervous
One thing that has personally helped me when going on a date with someone new is telling them that I feel excited but also nervous. Communicating your feelings is empowering and lets you avoid the whole “play it cool” game. Because nothing is more awkward than trying to keep calm when you’re not very calm... at all.
This is also a great way to gauge how this person navigates vulnerable moments. If they shame you for feeling nervous, that’s a red flag. If they validate your feelings and offer reassurance that all is well, they’re likely a supportive partner. Plus, they might also be feeling nervous, so being open first could lead you to start off on a transparent note and being able to help each other through it!
8. Live in the present moment
News flash: You don’t have to figure everything out right this second. You don’t have to find an ideal partner today or plan for your future wedding tomorrow.
Feeling like you need to get everything together ASAP can stress you out and lead you to feel insecure about the current situation. Try to stay mindful and present in the moment as much as you can. There’s no rush. Enjoy what’s happening now.
9. Stop comparing yourself to others
Nothing is better at killing your confidence like a classic game of comparison. Comparing yourself to other people (whether it’s friends, family members, strangers, or your potential partner’s exes) probably won’t do anything but bring you down.
Try to focus on yourself, be yourself, and stop wishing you were more like other people when you’re already enough as you are. Believe it or not, while you’re wishing you had another person’s job, style, or skill set, some people out there might actually be wishing they could be more like you.
10. Lean into your strengths
We all have weaknesses. It could be beneficial to work on them, but leaning into your strengths is an excellent way to feel more confident.
What unique qualities do you have that make you an ideal date and potential partner? Are you kind and caring and usually offer the best advice? Do you ask mentally stimulating questions that make people reflect on important topics? Or do you know any super cool facts that the average person may not? Reflect on these questions to start.
When you’re secure in your sense of self, you naturally attract people who are secure in theirs. That’s why boosting your confidence while dating can help you find better partners and enter healthier, happier relationships. We hope these tips help you become more confident and have more enjoyable successful dates.
Once you're ready to jump into the online dating pool, we've compiled a list of the best online dating apps and services to find true love.