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Kick up your confidence: 4 ways to overcome first date terrors

Kick up your confidence: 4 ways to overcome first date terrors.

So you let your co-worker set you up with his cousin. You've agreed to meet at what turns out is a favorite restaurant for you both. So far, so good, but you haven't met face-to-face yet — and that's the part that makes you break out into a cold sweat...

...Your friend from work assured you that he's made a perfect match, but you'd rather skip ahead to the second or even third date. By then the awkwardness has passed and you're starting to get to know each other enough to be a bit more at ease.

Until the invention of a time machine, there's nothing you can do to bypass the dreaded first date. Fortunately, there are ways to kick up your confidence a notch or two. Take these secrets to heart in order to radiate immense confidence and ensure that you'll get to the second date and beyond.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors are prone to shining a light on the imperfections you're already obsessing over: that shiny, new blemish that cropped up on your forehead just this morning, the three extra pounds you've been trying to shed from your midsection and the cowlick your mother finds adorable. But Dr. Diana Kirschner of Psychology Today advises daters to compel the mirror to use its powers for good instead of evil. Dr. Kirschner says you should find all the things right with you when you look in the mirror, such as your dazzling smile, how amazing you look in blue or how fab that new haircut looks on you. Pick your favorite feature and focus on it for 10 minutes right before leaving to meet your date. The mirror exercise will cause a positive shift that will amplify confidence.

Dress for Success

People who dress with confidence are poised to project self-assurance. Take time choosing what you'll wear on your date. Wear something you know you rock, even if it means a quick shopping excursion to pull the look entirely together. Dress confidently from the inside-out, too. No tattered or boring underclothes on the big night. Girls should slide into cute and sexy lingery from a fun under-things boutique like Yumdrop.com. Guys will get a boost of confidence, too, from wearing something hot under their regular clothing, such as a pair of red-hot silk boxers.

Talking Points

Dates progress more smoothly when you have something to talk about. You'll appear self-confident if you arrive on your date with something to talk about, according to Dr. Stuart Fischer's article on eHarmony.com. If you were introduced by a mutual acquaintance, use that connection to your advantage by finding out a few details such as your date's hobbies and areas of interest you may share. You only need to have few topics in mind to get the dialogue started. Once it gets going and you start getting to know one another, the conversation should flow effortlessly.

Remember, You're Dating a Human

It's easy to put someone you don't know on a different level than yourself. If you think they're out of your league physically, financially or intellectually, your confidence will take a dive. Your date sitting across the table or in the adjacent theater seat is just as human as you are. He's nervous, he's got emotions and he's likely as obsessed with impressing you as you are with him. Make use of the old adage and do unto others. Treat your date as you would like to be treated. You'll both be able to relax when you realize that you're dating mere mortals.

Henning Wiechers
has been observing the UK dating market since 2007. He is among the top opinion leaders in the industry.

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