How To Boost Your Confidence In Dating

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Our relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr (@drpamspurr on Instagram and Twitter) gives her tips on how to feel more confident when you're dating.

A large part for dealing with dating has to do with your confidence.

I come across so many fab men and women who are riddled with a lack of confidence. That leads to feelings of inadequacy and fearfulness about so many things including that important topic of finding the one for you. So here are some thoughts on boosting your confidence and increasing your date-ability!

Your Confidence Generally

First off, think of your confidence as like building blocks for the rest of the way you feel about yourself and life. If your confidence is low, it has a knock on effect throughout your life. And confidence can be knocked in many ways. You might or might not have had much confidence pretty much all your life. But by increasing it you can face everyday hurdles, challenges and disappointments, especially when it comes to dating where everyone faces disappointments.

Where does your confidence come from?

It starts developing when you're a child and carries on being boosted - or knocked - throughout life by different experiences. You might’ve been lucky and had parents who nurtured your confidence. They helped you feel good about yourself and weren't over-critical or judgemental. 

Or you might’ve had parents that didn't help you develop good levels of confidence - to be fair to them, often without meaning to do that. This can mean that the negative or difficult things that happen to you, have a greater negative effect then if you'd started with a high level of confidence. 

But for all of us, as we grow up, other things start to influence our lives - experiences at school, with friends and partners, and at work, etc. Our confidence can be affected for the better or worse. 

How to boost your confidence now?

There are lots of little tricks you can use to start boosting your confidence from today. Having once conducted research on confidence, self-esteem and body image, I know how complicated our feelings can be, but equally how small steps can develop into big changes. And especially when you head out in the post-lockdown world of dating, things can feel complicated.

Top tips to build your confidence: 

* Dump your internal devil! 

You know that nasty little devil that ‘chatters’ away to you? It tells you that you're no good, you can’t ‘do it’ (whatever ‘it’ is), that you’re unlovable, etc. Stop it in its tracks. Challenge yourself every time you have a negative thought like, "This person I’m meeting for a date won’t think I’m good enough!" Substitute it with a positive one like, "I'm going to be myself, have fun and hope for the best!" Research shows that practising "negative thought stopping" in this way has a fantastic effect on your confidence. 

* The silver lining effect!

The same applies to seizing hold of a "cup half full" attitude rather than being dragged down by a "cup half empty" one. Do this by reminding yourself of the positives in your life, every day. The choice is yours - you can identify the "bad" things that happen to you - letting them get you down every day. Or you can use the "silver lining effect" and recognise that even in bad circumstances there are good things like lessons to be learnt.  

* Drop the "if only" attitude!

You know what I mean, when people drone on about, "if only I had a boyfriend, if only I had more money, if only I was slimmer… my life would be better" and suchlike. You can wish your life away - or you can get real by dropping the "if only" belief system. This’ll help you appreciate what you have *now* rather than dragging you down.

* Use "feelgood" tricks!

Definitely try using "feel-good" tricks like singing your own anthem (that favourite song that always lifts your mood) or try visualising a happy memory when you’re not feeling confident. Visualising a happy memory reminds you that whatever problem or difficulty you're facing - or the nerves you’re now feeling heading to a date – isn't how life always is.

Good luck and happy dating, Pam x 

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