How To Build Confidence Before A FaceTime Date, According To Dating Coaches
When you think of your typical rituals leading up to a virtual date, what comes to mind? Tidying up your apartment, putting on a cute new outfit, and pouring a glass of rosé for some liquid courage are just a few of the things that might be on your to-do list. The idea with all of these strategies is to feel as self-assured as possible — because whether you know it or not, confidence is sexy AF. Even if a virtual date feels strange, there are expert-backed ways to build confidence before a FaceTime date.
In addition to calming your own nerves, embracing confidence ups your chance of having a successful date. A 2009 study at Wake Forest University, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, enlisted 4,000 people between the ages of 18 and 70 to rate photos based on attractiveness. The results revealed that a whopping 75% of women and 90% of men favored the people who exuded confidence in their photos. Meanwhile, a 2019 Ipsos survey of more than 18,000 people across 27 countries found that for both men and women, confidence far outranks physical attributes (like facial appearance and body shape) in terms of what makes someone beautiful.
The bottom line? Confidence is something that's well worth working on before a virtual date — not only because doing so will help you to relax and enjoy the experience more, but also because it may help you to put your best foot forward.
"Confidence is important to have for any date much less a virtual date because you can't fall back on touch, which is so important when connecting with someone," explains Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking.
So, before you dial up your date, take a deep breath, hold your head up high, and give these strategies for a whirl.
Take your time getting ready.
Rushing around before your date can leave you feeling frazzled, which can take a blow to your confidence. That's why Trish Blackwell, confidence coach and founder of the College of Confidence, recommends leaving yourself plenty of time to get ready. It doesn't matter if your typical routine involves minimalistic makeup or an elaborate blowout — knowing that you can take your time and enjoy the process will put you in a more relaxed, and thus confident, state before your date. Blackwell previously told Elite Daily that her favorite pre-date tactics are doing some mindful breathing exercises and saying positive affirmations out loud.
According to Maria Sullivan, VP of Dating.com, "when you look good, you feel good" — so don't hesitate to wear a bold statement necklace, spritz on your signature scent, or even pop on some shoes that make you feel amazing.
"Even though they can't smell your perfume, or see exactly what you are wearing, you will feel great," adds Trombetti.
Do some research.
Look — virtual dating is a whole different ballgame, with all kinds of new considerations. So, no one is expecting you to be a pro right off the bat. To prepare for your date, Trombetti highly suggests watching some YouTube videos with helpful pointers on achieving the ideal lighting for FaceTime and doing makeup for video chats.
"Learn some makeup tricks so you pop on camera," says Trombetti, adding that HD foundation and translucent powder can make a big difference. "This will keep you from looking washed out and boost your confidence."
There are so many tutorials to choose from — like Kat Elizabeth's video on hacks that help you look better on FaceTime. By doing a little research ahead of time, you'll have a better handle on how to present your best self.
Remember the importance of eye contact.
In a 2009 study published in the journal Self and Identity, researchers found that participants with higher self-esteem broke eye contact far less frequently than those with lower self-esteem — showing that there's a link between confidence and the ability to hold your gaze.
Trombetti says eye contact is a simple but super effective way to exude confidence, but in order to do it correctly on FaceTime, there's one key thing you'll need to remember.
"Make a habit of looking at the camera (rather than their eyes) so it looks to your date that you are looking directly at them," she explains.
Have a mental rehearsal.
If you're an anxious person by nature (*raises hand*), gearing up for a date might involve thinking about every possible thing that could go wrong. Unfortunately, letting your imagination run wild and giving into those negative thoughts can seriously hinder your confidence. So, why not try using your imagination to picture how the situation could go well instead? Counselor and relationship expert David Bennett previously told Elite Daily that he recommends trying positive visualization before to boost your confidence before a date. By picturing your date going smoothly and successfully, you can keep your anxiety under control and put yourself in a better, more optimistic mindset.
"Believing the date will go well, will lead to a better outcome," explains Sullivan.
For example, if you're stressed about running out of things to say, Bennett advises not only imagining what that might feel like (spoiler alert: it's not as disastrous as you think) but also figuring out how you'll handle that scenario if it comes up. Trombetti recommends coming into the date with a handful of topics you can bring up — that way you won't panic if there's ever a lull in conversation.
Basically, all of these tactics will make you feel more prepared for any possible situation, thus making your confidence soar.
Phone a friend.
If you're feeling particularly nervous leading up to your FaceTime date, Sullivan proposes calling up a trusted friend to hash out your fears. Your bestie probably knows just the right thing to say to pump you up (because they see all of your amazing qualities firsthand).
"Talk through the date with them and get their advice," says Sullivan. "Sometimes, hearing positive tips and compliments from family and friends is just what you need to help raise your confidence before a date."
Break a sweat.
Sometimes, the best way to get out of your head is to get into your body. For that reason, Sullivan highly suggests doing a workout before you hop on FaceTime — not only because it might enhance your self-image, but also because physical activity can help to release those pre-date jitters.
To be clear, that doesn't mean you have to run 5 miles or do an intense HIIT workout to reap these confidence-boosting rewards. Even firing up a trending TikTok dance tutorial or taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood can allow you to clear your head and give you a much-needed boost before you get your flirt on.
Practice, practice, practice.
It makes sense that the more FaceTiming you do, the more at ease you'll feel on those virtual dates. That's why Trombetti advises scheduling a few low-key FaceTime sessions ahead of your next date. These virtual hangouts can be with a friend, family member, or another match from your app of choice. The point is simply to get the hang of what works for you while interacting over FaceTime so that eventually, it feels second nature to you.
"Not everyone is a whiz at this, so practice makes perfect," says Trombetti. "If you feel comfortable, that will give you more confidence."
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker
Trish Blackwell, confidence coach
David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert
Maria Sullivan, dating expert
Wood, Dustin, and Claudia Chloe Brumbaugh. “Using Revealed Mate Preferences to Evaluate Market Force and Differential Preference Explanations for Mate Selection.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 96, no. 6, 2009, pp. 1226–1244., doi:10.1037/a0015300.
Vandromme, Heleen, et al. “Indirectly Measured Self-Esteem Predicts Gaze Avoidance.” Self and Identity, vol. 10, no. 1, 2011, pp. 32–43., doi:10.1080/15298860903512149.