Dating can be some scary business. You may have a carefully crafted self-portrayal, but it can easily crumble when mixed with occasional self-doubt, a tendency to jump to conclusions and vulnerability. However, confidence can serve as your foundation throughout dating, from great first dates to harsh rejection. Here’s how to achieve that resilient state of self-assurance and always win at this dating game.
1. Boost Those Endorphins
Endorphins give off those happy highs and jolts of euphoria — similar to that romantic butterfly effect during a really great date. Cosmopolitan magazine (the classic authority on love and dating for the modern gal) highlights exercising and taking a group fitness class as top ways to prompt endorphin-induced pleasure.
And not only does working out release this happy hormone, but it can also have a positive effect on your appearance. Feel better? Look better? Confidence naturally radiates.
Find a type of workout or exercise activity that you love and could even share with a new love interest. Hiking, a cycling class or training for a marathon are great activities for new couples to (happily and confidently) do together.
2. Explore Beyond Your Comfort Zone
There’s a lot of pressure in the dating game. You’re being judged as a potential partner, and it’s not easy. But confidence can help make it less difficult, during the good and bad times. Confidence will help attract a good match. And confidence will help you if it doesn’t work out.
Develop confidence by getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Talk with someone you don’t know at your next social event, recommends Steve Errey, confidence coach and Lifehack contributor. Try something new. Go out to eat alone. Overcoming a fear leads to self-pride and self-confidence, which can help you win in the dating game, whether you find someone great or discover something great about yourself.
3. Avoid the Comparison Trap
If you give in to the power of comparison, you’ll never be able to truly love yourself or someone else. Jane Bolton, a certified contemporary psychoanalyst, licensed marriage and family therapist, and certified life coach, puts it bluntly —comparing yourself to others will wreck your self-esteem.
The quickest and easiest way to feel terrible about yourself is to compare yourself to your “more successful colleague” or “more beautiful friend.” Comparisons distort your sense of self and devalue your worth. Focus on yourself and embrace your unique qualities. You are your own barometer for worthiness, no one else.
Bolton emphasizes that comparing is a choice. Practice self-love and nurture your strengths, so someone else can love you and support those strengths as well.
4. Create a Supportive Environment
Whom do you feel the best and happiest around? Is your home a sanctuary where you can find comfort, relax and recharge? Exposing yourself to positive surroundings (whether it’s friends who have your best interest at heart or a decluttered living space) help to cultivate your greatest self and grow self-confidence. Family and friends should adore the true you.
Decluttering is freedom. Rid your life of toxic relationships infected by competition, contempt or undermining behavior. Downsize your belongings and eliminate clutter in your home. These now stress-free spaces are open for you, unveiling confidence and new possibilities, perhaps love.
5. Invest in What’s Meaningful
Confidence won’t attract or sustain a relationship, unless it’s authentic. In other words, working out or facing your fears should build raw, genuine confidence within your core.
Social media tends to be kryptonite for people seeking instant validation, admiration and gratification for the ego. Self-promotion and narcissistic tendencies on social media only perpetuate a false sense of self-confidence.
You may be artificially filling your ego with flattering photos and digital likes. But do these people matter? What purpose does this validation serve? Validate yourself. Invest in yourself and invest in quality, meaningful relationships. Discover and do what you love, and find validation in that passion.
6. Go Easy on Yourself
You’re human. And this means you’re going to let failure or rejection bring you down. Disappointments will dishearten and even disassemble this confidence you’ve worked so hard to achieve. When it comes to dating, he may stand you up. She may not be interested. And it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself — but then pick yourself back up because you built a strong, confident foundation. You dug deep and worked for it.
How can you bounce back confidently? Find the silver lining, celebrate little wins (they’re there if you look) and remember you owe it yourself to love who you are and show you off.