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TaraRichterDatingCoach2Dating is a lot more enjoyable and relaxing when you are being yourself; there is no need to put on a show. If you try to be someone you are not, you’re never going to attract someone you will be happy with for a long time.

Easier said than done though, right? It can be overwhelming to go on a date with someone new, but it’s essential to make sure you do not let your anxiety get the best of you. Before your next date, try stating positive affirmations about yourself. For example: I am intelligent and confident; I deserve to be loved; I’m ready to accept love into my life; I deserve happiness.

The most important conversations you have are the ones you have with yourself. Make sure there are no negative thoughts in your mind, especially before a date. If you feel one creeping up on you, immediately replace it with something positive.

Below are a few simple tips and tricks to help you appear cool, calm and collected on your date, no matter how nervous you may feel!

  • Make eye contact; it indicates self-confidence.
  • Sit up straight and be attentive. Nothing is worse than being on a date with someone who has no interest in being there (and no problem showing it).
  • Focus on what they are saying. Even if you decided within the first five minutes of meeting this person that they are not right for you, they still deserve your respect. Maybe you could develop a friendship, maybe not. But at the very least, you can at least get decent conversation.
  • Keep conversation topics light and positive; if you two develop a connection there will be plenty of time to dive into politics and religion debates, but the first date should be about getting to know one another without the pressure or worry of offending the other. Talk about hobbies, sports, your job—anything that you would be comfortable talking to your boss about.

It’s good to have a general idea of what you want in a partner before you begin dating. Write down 5-7 qualities in a partner you absolutely must have (aka your non-negotiables). I suggest that number because if the list is too long it becomes unrealistic. No one is perfect, and relationships are about compromise. But if you don’t have a defined idea of what qualities are important to you, you could end up changing yourself for your date.

Trying to be someone you are not is exhausting; don’t ever lose your identity. Be yourself and be confident that someone will love you completely for you.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.