Securing first dates has become easy thanks to the multitude of dating apps. But the rest of the job is up to us. And its not quite as easy.
First dates can be exciting, but they are nerve wracking too. How can we know what to do or say when we know so little about this person? We can’t truly win someone over after one date, but we can absolutely lose our opportunity at a second. Therefore, the stakes are high.
The dilemma becomes even harder when we consider a paradox of dating: the more we like someone, the more nervous we become. And nervousness does not help our cause.
It turns out that the most effective strategy is both hard and easy; its to have no strategy. In having no strategy, we gain confidence and relax into being our normal selves.
We gain confidence by not having to perpetuate a shtick. This doesn’t mean we become boring. It means we now have the luxury of clear thinking. With a quiet, peaceful mind (and body) we can express our thoughts. We can describe in detail our crazy adventures and life aspirations.
The advice to be yourself is clichéd. But like many clichés, it turns out to be true. There’s many ways to help settle our anxious brains. Some (like meditation, reading, and going on many dates) can take a long time.
But one quick, easy way to gain confidence on your next date is to simply slow down.
Listen more than you talk. Maintain eye contact. And when it is your turn to contribute, speak slowly and more deliberately. All this screams self-confidence to our dates, and that’s perhaps the most powerful trait of all.
Sure, being funny helps. Physical attraction is important too; though, we can relax about that since they already swiped right, remember? But more important is mastering the art of making someone feel comfortable in your presence.
Many of us will have different goals for dating. This isn’t about finding your future spouse. Or your next one-night stand. This is about human connection. Its about feeling normal (or, gasp, comfortable) talking to another human being.
Every business depends on connection. All works of art depend on connection. Dating is no different.