Restoring Your Confidence After a Date

Just have a date that didn’t go so hot?  Don’t let that get you down.  Here are some tips that will help you get confident once again, so you can get back in the saddle and have a much better date next time around.

Focus on the positives

If you want to get confidence back after a bad date the first thing you want to do is refocus your mind.  Instead of dwelling on all the things that went wrong or all the areas you messed up start paying attention the parts of the date that went well.  Take out a pen and piece of paper and write down at least three things you feel good about from the date.  Include why you feel good about them and what those things mean to you (this will get you feeling more positive and empowering emotions).

For example, maybe you can be proud of the fact that you even had the courage to ask this girl out in the first place.  Maybe there were a few moments where you really enjoyed her and her company.  Or perhaps you can be proud of the way you handled a negative situation with class.  There are no doubt plenty of positives you can gleam from the date.  It may just take you a few moments to find them.

Reinterpret the meaning of the date

Instead of viewing this date as a disaster view it as a learning experience.  In addition to writing down the things that went well on your date, write down the things you learned that you’ll change/improve on for next time.

Putting these thoughts on paper does a few things: For one it gets them out of your head so you don’t wind up obsessing about them.  It also makes what you learned more concrete.  By defining exactly what the problems were and what you can do about them you’ll be more likely to get confident in your ability to improve those areas in the future.

Talk it out

Sometimes you might not know exactly what went wrong, or what you should do better next time.  Other times the bad date can nag at you so much that writing doesn’t stop the flood of negative thoughts swirling around in your mind.  In either case one of the best things to do to get confidence back is to talk the situation out with people you trust.

Your female friends in particular are likely to give you great insight into what the problem may have been and what you can do differently next time.  But if you really want to get to the bottom of things, you can always contact the girl you dated and ask what it was that made the wheels fall off.  Now the key to doing this is to be genuinely curious about her experience and interested in her feedback.  You don’t want to argue with anything she says, defend yourself, or do this with the hopes that she’ll give you another shot.  This exercise is all about getting a deeper look into what it’s like for women to be out with you so you can learn from their experience.  (By doing this you may sometimes learn that the reason the date went poorly had very little to do with you at all!)

Aside from that, you can also talk to your friends about the terrible dates they’ve been on.  Hearing others talk about how they’ve gone through similar situations will make this feel like less of a big deal.  Instead of being this terrible event, it can almost be like a badge of honor.  A brutal situation you lived through that makes you part of a (very large) club of people who have had similar experiences.

Get busy meeting other women

If you want to get confidence don’t dwell on the past, focus on the bright future ahead of you.  Put yourself out there and give yourself ample opportunity to meet other women.  Sign up for online dating.  Download some dating apps.  Sign up for meetup groups or local activities (like a dance or improv class) and meet women/friends through those avenues.  Host a little get-together and have your friends bring their friends so you can expand your social circle and have more chances to meet women that way.

The more you get out there and see the world as being full of attractive, single women, the easier it’s going to be to bounce back and get confidence after a bad date.  You won’t care that things went poorly because you’ll know there are so many opportunities ahead of you to have better experiences.

Get confidence through other activities

Along with getting busy meeting women you also want to get busy doing other activities you enjoy that get you feeling good.  So get out there every day and exercise.  Invite your friends out for fun activities.  Spend some time on that side-business you’ve been building.  Pick up that instrument or hobby you used to love but stopped doing.  Staying active and doing things you enjoy is going to change the way you feel about yourself.  It’ll improve your mood and get you to see yourself in a better light, which is going to help you get confidence again.

The activities you do don’t even have to be as involved as some of the suggestions mentioned above.  Merely spending an afternoon crossing stuff off your “to-do” list (sending those emails you’ve been putting off, clearing out your inbox, etc.) can be a simple yet powerful way to feel productive and accomplished, which is going to help you get confident and feel better about yourself.

Brian M - author of 191 posts on The Art of Charm

Once he realized attraction was something he could learn, Brian spent way too much of his free time studying and practicing everything he could find on the subject. He stumbled across The Art of Charm podcast and eventually signed up for an AoC bootcamp. Excited by the progress he's made in his own life since the program, he decided to start writing for AoC to help other guys do the same. By writing about interpersonal dynamics, he’s finally able to put that psychology degree to good use.

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