It’s 2018. Most singles are dating online. It can feel much simpler to strike up conversations and flirt with others there, than it does on an IRL first date. You might make bolder moves and feel more confident online since you have extra time to create a response and have an idea of what a person is like before you strike up a conversation with them.
Due to this change in initial conversations, it’s also tricky to navigate going from chatting online to dating in the real world. Dating in person is completely different than online since you don’t have the time to think of a clever response and the other person can catch on to your non-verbal cues. Real personalities truly come out. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to make this transition and impress others in person just as you do online, this post is for you. The following is a guide on how to keep your confidence as you make the shift from texting to meeting in person.
Always Be Yourself
It’s so easy to act completely different online than you do in person. There’s even an entire show dedicated to catching people who lie on their online profiles. To avoid coming off differently on the IRL first date, make an effort to be yourself in what you say and how you appear online to begin with. No one wants to go into a date thinking a person is one way, only to find out that they’ve been suppressing their true personality through text messages. As you find yourself getting into conversations online, reflect on how you’re presenting yourself and consider if this is the way you’d act with people you know in real life. If you find that you’re hiding your true personality or succumbing under pressure to act a certain way, adjust your communication to reflect who you truly are instead.
Chatting on dating apps while being authentically yourself will help you feel more confident when you meet that person in real life. Your match wants to date you in person now because they were intrigued by what you portrayed online. If the conversations you had on the app align with who you are, you can feel confident that this person will be equally intrigued by you on the date.
Your dating profile is likely done up beautifully, with some of your most flattering pictures and qualities out there on display to capture the attention of others. If measuring up to the best version of yourself that’s exposed on your profile is something that’s worrying you, do some extra pampering before your date. It should be clear that you’re perfect the way you are, but self-care is a sure way to help with your confidence.
While you’re getting ready for your IRL first date with your online crush, incorporate some additional steps into your routine. Do some exfoliating to make your skin softer or try out teeth whitening strips for a brighter smile in the hours before your date. Steps such as these don’t take too long and after taking this time for yourself, you’ll feel that much more confident. If self-image is something you regularly struggle with, try out some self-care habits that are more long-term, such as exercising or using hair loss products. Over time, tackling these insecurities will give you much more confidence in your dating life.
Calm Your Nerves
If you’re feeling quite nervous on your date, chances are that your date will notice. It’s understandable that you’d feel timid, but you don’t want it to overtake the date. Find a way to calm down a bit before you go out so that when you’re together, you’re not just venting about how nervous you are. There are plenty of methods you can use to relax, so find one or two that work for you and practice them.
Even before your head out to meet your date, there’s bound to be some nerves you deal with. Try chatting with a friend to get your mind off of them, or visualize the date going well and focus on those positive feelings instead. If you find the nerves are still present while on your date, there are some ways you can take care of that as well. One of the easiest ways to do so is to use a breathing technique where your exhale is longer than your inhale. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself to the bathroom if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. Once you’re able to focus on your date instead of your nerves, you’ll find more confidence in yourself and the date will run smoothly.
Work on Your Body Language
A large part of your confidence is displayed through your body language. Clearly, as you’ve only communicated with this person via texts or phone calls, they haven’t been able to experience all of your nonverbal cues. If you’re looking to demonstrate your confidence on your date, it’s a good idea to focus on how you present yourself. Body language tells a lot about a person, so pay attention to how you’re acting throughout the date.
If you’re hoping to use confident body language during your date, there are a few key actions you should pay attention to: eye contact, posture and tone of voice. Maintaining eye contact with your date gives them reassurance that you’re listening and interested in what they’re saying. It also shows your confidence when you’re the one speaking. Standing up tall is another way to give off the impression that you’re confident, since slouching signals to your date that you’re uncomfortable and closed off. Lastly, be sure to speak loudly and clearly enough. Nonverbal cues are not just about body language, it also includes the way in which you’re speaking. Nerves can cause you to become unsure and to speak quietly but, if you give in to these impulses, your date will have a hard time having an enjoyable conversation with you.
If you struggle with making the transition from online dating to IRL first date, it will help to find ways to boost your confidence. It feels so easy to act confident and sure over text but dating in person in real life is a different story. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find confidence in yourself and feel great on your first date with your online match.