People who are looking for love often get hung up on how they should go about dating. The more they think about it, the less confident they become. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that lack of confidence undermines their chances of having positive experiences when they date, so then the whole concept of going on more dates becomes challenging.

While you shouldn’t go into a date without any thought or preparation, neither do you need to over complicate matters. Bear these ideas in mind before your next date.

Decide what you want

Dating is an exchange between two people. They both want something out of it, and in order for the date to go well, they both have to be prepared to give a little, too. If you don’t think about what you’re looking for, and what you’re willing to give, before going on a date, it may not go the way you expect. So think it through beforehand, and set boundaries you’re comfortable with.

Shine your shoes

While beauty is only skin deep and we are all more concerned about people liking us for who we are rather than what we look like, going out looking your best for a date will add to your self-esteem and confidence. You don’t need to change your wardrobe or book a three hour session at the hairdresser. Just make an effort to dress nicely for your date, and put on a big smile to go with what you’re wearing.

Watch for signals

We all send non-verbal signals to the people we meet every day. We can show ourselves to be open and friendly, or we can indicate that we’re not in the mood to talk to anyone. The same goes for when you’re on a date – you can get an idea of what they’re thinking but not necessarily saying out loud. Your body language will tell your date a lot about what you’re thinking and vice versa. Pay attention to how they hold themselves, how easily they meet your eye. Your instincts will tell you if their body language is backing up what they’re saying to you directly.

You need to be bold to find love

You may worry about rejection and there’s a lot of fear around throwing yourself into the habit of dating. However, if you’re too shy to meet new people, how will you ever find a partner? Remember that it’ll probably take a lot of first dates to find someone you’re interested in forming a relationship with, and some of those dates will leave you feeling dejected. Every one of them, though, is helping you to build up your confidence in new social situations. Grasp each opportunity and approach every new date full of optimism, leaving any nerves behind at home.