11 Things A Confident Woman Does On First Dates

When it comes to dating, even the most confident people can find themselves feeling insecure, anxious abut random questions that run the gamut from “Do you like me?” to “What the hell do I have stuck in my teeth?” It doesn’t help that dating has a unique capacity to shred one’s self-esteem, and if you’ve been burned before it can be hard to put yourself out there. But we can all take a page from the confident women of the world who approach the dating scene as they do the rest of life: with a bit of courage, strong sense of self worth, and a healthy dose of humor.

Being confident doesn’t mean that you never feel unsure of yourself, nor does it mean that you have to be hyper-aggressive in pursuing what you want. It means that you know who you are and are unapologetic about it; you have enough faith in yourself to know that you can handle awkward or embarrassing situations; and you feel secure enough in your own desires to pursue them. All of that is easier said than done, of course, but confidence isn’t an “either/or” thing — we can all strive to have a little bit more of it, one date at a time.

Keep reading for 11 things that a confident woman does (and doesn’t) do on a first date:

Initiates the date.

A confident woman doesn’t wait around to be asked out — if there’s someone she wants to get to know better, she makes the first move. She knows that the worst thing that will happen is that the person will say “no.” Rejection isn’t fun for anyone, but a confident gal knows that it’s worth taking the risk — after all, she might just get a “yes.”

Chooses to wear something that makes her feel comfortable.

I’m not suggesting that confident women wear pajamas on dates (although if that’s your thing, OWN it. You might just find your PJs-loving soul mate). But they do wear clothes that make them feel confident, good about themselves, and comfortable in their own skin. They don’t feel pressured to conform to a random ideal of women on dates should look like, and instead wear whatever makes them happy.

Is herself.

When we’re dating someone for the fist time, it’s natural to want to present the best version of yourself to your potential partner. A confident woman does that, too, but she’s careful not to cross the line into changing who she is for someone else. She sticks to who she is, and doesn’t worry about fulfilling someone else’s expectations.

Doesn’t trash her exes.

A confident lady doesn’t spend a first date trashing partners who came before. She wants to use the date to get to know this new person, not spend an hour ripping apart other people. In fact, a confident woman tends to avoid trashing her exes altogether. Even when discussing past relationships that were unhealthy or generally terrible (in situations more appropriate than a first date), she’s willing to acknowledge that relationships and people are complicated — and that not every past relationship ended because her ex is Satan incarnate.

Doesn’t obsess about whether her date likes her.

A confident woman doesn’t waste time worrying about whether her date likes her. She’s working from the knowledge that he or she accepted or initiated the date in the first place, so she safe in assuming her date likes something about her. She also has enough sense of her own value to know that she’s awesome, and that if things don’t end up working out with the date, it’s not because there’s something wrong with her.

Is a good listener.

A confident woman goes on a date because she’s actually interested in getting to know her date, so she asks questions about his or her life and perspective and — here’s the important bit — is interested in the answers. She talks about her own life, too, but makes sure that her companion feels like his or her point of view is valued.

Pays! (Or goes Dutch).

Deciding who pays for a date is a tricky thing, and I don’t think there’s one “answer” that all confident ladies need adhere to. My totally subjective feeling is that whoever initiated the date should pay, especially the first few times you go out with someone. Going Dutch is also a good option, especially if it’s not quite clear who asked whom out.

Initiates the kissing (if she wants to).

A confident woman isn’t afraid to make the first move when it comes to the proverbial goodnight kiss (or, er, whatever else). She doesn’t worry about seeming to forward or bold — she figures that if her date wants to kiss her back, he or she will be glad she took the first step.

But also refuses the kissing (or any other physical contact) if she’s not feeling it.

A confident woman says “No, thank you” to hugging, kissing, and anything else if she’s not into it. She doesn’t let her fear of awkwardness or of offending her partner pressure her into doing something she’s not ready for or is simply not interested in. If her partner judges her for it, she sees that as a sign that he or she is an asshole and is simply thankful she dodged a bullet.

Has condoms with her.

Often the onus falls on men to provide condoms, but a confident woman protects herself. Even if she doesn’t plan on having sex on the first date, she has condoms with her because when it comes to dating and sex, she follows the boy scout motto: Be prepared.

Doesn’t assume it’s her fault if things don’t “click.”

Some dates just don’t work out, and a confident woman accepts that. She does her best to learn from her experiences, but she doesn’t assume, if a date doesn’t go well or her partner doesn’t want to move forward, that there is something deeply wrong with her. She recognizes that not all potential couples have chemistry and doesn’t let that damage her own sense of self worth.

Images: Chris Sardegna/Unsplash; Giphy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

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