So you’ve got your fantastic new dating profile,you’ve got photos you love, you’ve been chatting online with a few people and now it’s time to take things offline and actually go on a date!.

Your mind fills up with negative self talk. You’re thinking of all the reasons it’s going to be the worst date ever. You think you’ll have nothing to say. You’re embarrassed, shy, terrified….all of those things come flooding into your mind. I know. We’ve been there too.

Confidence is key right? Yet, how can we be confident when it’s the last thing on earth we’re currently feeling?

Here some quick tips for getting your dating confidence back in time for the big date!

TIP 1 – Let go of expectations – it’s just a date not a marriage proposal. Learn to be in the present moment. Stop worrying about whether he’s going to get on with your friends, whether you think you’ll get a second date, whether she could be your +1 at your friend’s wedding in 6 months time…..STOP! Let it all go and enjoy the present moment. Make eye contact, watch him and listen whilst he’s talking, there’s no hurry. Notice what colour lipstick she’s wearing or the colour of his shoes. Be completely aware of your surroundings, taste your food, use all your senses. Enjoy everything about the moment you’re in. Confidence comes when we’re happy to be fully present.

TIP 2 – Be yourself – if you’re nervous, it’s okay to say so. It makes you look more confident because you’re prepared to show your vulnerable side. Being authentic is the ‘show don’t tell’ who you are. Be you, in all your imperfect glory. You know what? Some people will love it others won’t. Some will get you, others won’t. And that’s okay AND as it should be. You’re not looking for someone who doesn’t get you, right? Being true to who you are is the best place to begin.

TIP 3 – Ask lots of questions, be interested, really interested in your date. It’ll take the pressure off you to ‘perform’ and loosen you up because you’ll get so into the conversation when you’re really truly listening to the answers to the questions you’ve asked. They’ll feel like they had the best date…we all love talking bout ourselves and allowing someone to do all the talking is a great way to relax and then we find when it comes to us we are much more at ease.

TIP 4 – Enjoy and have fun – lighten up a bit! Know why you’re online dating! It’s for fun, friendship, connection, relationships isn’t it? So making sure you’re prioritising fun and enjoyment in your dating will make you more confident. Place the focus on how much fun you’re going to have and you’ll step into your confidence. If making small talk over a coffee sends you into a spin make sure you plan an activity date where you can both be doing something and getting to know each other. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been when we’ve been side by side doing something else.

TIP 5 -Wear your very best feel good clothes that are guaranteed to boost your confidence. Even if we’re not big into clothes or how we look I think it’s important to show our very best side when we’re out dating. Get the haircut, trim your beard, wear your favourite piece of jewellery, whatever it is that’s going to make you feel good. You want to be able to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror as you pass and think, ‘hell, yeah’!. I always wore my lucky leopard print sequin Converse on my first dates! I always felt great in them and even wrote about them in my profile. It was a great icebreaker.

TIP 6 -Watch your body language – it speaks volumes even before you open your mouth. This is an area you can fake it ’til you make it. Arms folded, body hunched, avoiding eye contact are all signs of lack of confidence. Instead, stand tall, make eye contact, sit back, briefly touch your date’s upper arm. AND SMILE! You might be quaking inside but on the outside you’re going to look calm and confident. The more you practise the better you get and then your brain will catch up and believe you truly are confident. Simple!

TIP 7 – Give and receive compliments – giving someone a heartfelt compliment is such a great way to show you’re interested and confident enough to notice something special about them. It’s also important to be able to accept a compliment. Do you do that? Or do you throw it right back? “Your dress is really pretty, that colour really suits you.” “This old thing? I’ve had it ages…” How about graciously accepting and saying, “Thank you, I love it too.”? Accepting compliments shows that you’re comfortable in your own skin, a great sign of confidence.

TIP 8 – Get in shape to give yourself the best possible confidence. You know how bad you feel if you’ve been meaning to go to the gym, or keep up your running schedule or go to your weekly yoga class and not managed to do so, right? You know that you’re letting yourself down. You know that you could do better. Being in shape or at least working towards it is a great sign of self-confidence and self-esteem boost. You’ll feel good about yourself and that will shine out from you.

TIP 9 – Be your best friend – do you speak to yourself with words of kindness and consideration or are you your own worst enemy? Make sure you speak to yourself the same way you’d speak to your best friend. Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship of your life. Make sure it’s a good, healthy and loving one. When we love ourselves we are naturally confident.