Going on a first date is pretty daunting, and when you haven’t met in real life yet, it can be even scarier.
With more than 300 million people using dating apps worldwide, many of us will have experienced that awkward moment when you meet face-to-face for the very first time.
It’s only natural for a million thoughts to run through your head.
Will I make a good first impression? Will there be a spark? Will they find me physically attractive?
The latter seems to be a big one for men too, according to new research – which has found that many would rather cancel a date all together than turn up when lacking in body confidence.
New research has revealed that men are more likely than women to back out of a date when they don’t feel or think they look tip top.
Expert tips for how to be more confident on dates
- Be the interviewer not the interviewee. Hayley Quinn, dating expert for Match explains: ‘A simple mindset swap is to worry less about what they’re going to think of you, and instead focus on what values you’d like to see in them. Let go of the idea of what you “should” be doing and learn how to develop a relationship at your own pace.’
- Don’t worry about awkwardness. Maria Sullivan, a dating expert at Dating.com, says: ‘If the conversation doesn’t flow naturally, if there are awkward moments, or if you feel that you just don’t click, it’s a sign they might not be right for you – and that’s OK. Instead of obsessing over and regretting any cringe-worthy first date moments, have a sense of humor and focus on moving forward.’
- Don’t be afraid to flirt. Maria adds: ‘You might think that complimenting your date’s appearance, outfit or manners is coming on too strong, but subtle compliments or flirting can help to put your date at ease and encourage them to open up to you,’
- Dress to impress. Dating coach Celeste Moore champions colour analysis – which is pairing up shades that suit your skin tone – to fuel confidence. She says: ‘When we are wearing the proper colour for ourselves we are adding natural colour to our skin, our eyes are brighter, and we are more noticed – in a good way.’
The survey, conducted by Wild Dose, found that over 1 in 10 men admitted they’ve cancelled on a date last minute when not feeling body confident due to stomach issues such as bloating and other IBS symptoms, compared to only 8% of women.
But these body confidence issues don’t just impact our physical dates – they also impact what sometimes comes after.
Men are more likely to make an excuse not to have sex with a partner when feeling self-conscious, with 25% of men revealing they avoid sex compared to 22% of women.
One in four men also admitted they often feel too embarrassed to use the toilet at work, while 23% revealed they feel self-conscious being in their swimwear on holiday while bloated.
But when it comes to overall body confidence men are far more likely to be generally happier with their bodies than women.
While 36% of men don’t feel body confident, a whopping 67% of women aren’t as happy or confident in their own skin.
As a result, 42% of women revealed they would change their outfit when lacking in body confidence, while just under a third would cancel social plans with friends.
But the issues that can cause a loss of body confidence like bloating and IBS affect nearly a quarter of us, so why are we so embarrassed about it?
In fact, nearly 1 in 5 men revealed they suffer with such issues, despite a male’s experience with bloating and IBS not being as widely spoken about.
Charles Instone, founder at Wild Dose, said: ‘Bloating can be extremely common and there’s no denying that gut issues can have a direct impact on a person’s self-confidence.
‘So much so, that men are clearly feeling the impact just as much as women when it comes to both their personal and professional lives.’
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