How to build your dating confidence according to MAFS UK expert Mel Schilling

Singles are ready to date and find love, but are struggling with self-confidence according to new research in collaboration with eharmony. For six in 10 singles, first dates are now even more stressful than public speaking, a job interview or money worries, with most people finding that their anxiety peaks just under two days (42 hours) beforehand.

Building up your confidence to start dating after a tricky 18 months is all about learning from past mistakes, trusting your instincts and staying true to yourself. I’ve provided my five go-to dating mantras for boosting self-confidence to help you get back out there on the dating scene.

You’re here to find a partner, not a project

A lack of confidence (47%) is a clear issue for those looking for love but it’s important that you find someone who can meet your needs. These might be anything from how often you see each other, to having shared relationship goals. If your new partner isn’t on the same page emotionally, don’t waste time trying to change them. You’ll end up exhausted. Move on and find someone more compatible.

Accept that bad dates make for great stories

Two thirds (64%) of singletons admit to first date nerves. My clients often tell me they worry they won’t fancy their match or simply fear the conversation won’t flow. But who doesn’t love a bit of a disastrous date story? Think of bad dates as a great opportunity for sharing funny anecdotes with your friends afterwards. Besides, numerous studies show that a sense of humour is one of the most attractive traits!

You’re worth more than a “hi, how are you?”

“Hi, how are you?” is a lazy way for someone to reach out to you and eharmony’s site data shows that these types of messages overall lead to a 35% drop in response. You deserve to be with someone who actively shows interest, engages with you and makes you feel intrigued about where your relationship could go.

Don’t paint red flags green

Stop painting red flags green as these will only come back to bite you. If you’re spotting red flags but are actively choosing to ignore them, you’re on the road to heartbreak. If the person you’re dating is truly compatible with you, you’ll know because the conversation will flow, your values will completely align and you’ll feel secure.

Nearly one third of singles fear rejection (27%), are concerned about their physical appearance (19%) and feeling ‘out of practice’ (19%) when going on first dates. If somebody reinforces these insecurities then let them go.

Values come from people you love, they matter

It’s important when dating to stay true to your values, which really mean your moral compass, and your view on things like dating etiquette and how you treat other people. We are most influenced by the five people we choose to spend the most time with, so choose your matches (and friends) carefully. Slipping into negative dating patterns is something that nearly half (46%) of singles admit to. But you don’t have to stay stuck.

Negative dating patterns include failing to get back out there due to confidence issues (17%), having unrealistic expectations (12%) or going for looks over personality (8%). Drop those rocks and embrace the adventure.
More information about Mel Shilling’s dating mantras can be found on Instagram.