Define your intent.
Everyone has a different reason for ‘subscribing’ to dating. Sometimes it’s to meet someone new, socialize with those who have similar inclinations, and then explore any possibilities further. In some other cases, it is about an enjoyable evening with someone new. Also, a date could be a simple excuse to go dine at this new joint that opened up across the lane. In any case, it is important to have a line for your own self. That way, in case you feel anxious at any moment or stand a chance to get drowned in the other direction, you will have a point of reference to go back to.
Trim those cocky bits.
If you often get told how over-confident you are, it is important to use that to your advantage on the date. Throw in some self-deprecating humor, laugh on yourself at relevant points. It makes one appear easier to approach, and easier to connect with. And of course, knowing your negatives is not so bad after all!
Keep an inventory.
…Only this one in your mind. Remember all the dates that went well, good people you met in the process, long-term associations you established. This will help ease your anxiety and remind you that not all dates are meant to end in a disaster. In case your mind is tricking you out of the dating zone, don’t let it.
Be your best self.
Everyone has their own flaws, but they need not be displayed right on the first date. It is important to put your best foot forward when you meet them. Listen to the music that reassures your faith in yourself. Take time to pick your outfit. Plan how you would drive the evening ahead. Watch yourself in the mirror a little longer. Just let go of anything that holds you back, and date with all your sanity in place.
Prefer genuine interaction.
Think of Dating as a Meeting. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean something romantic, and it better not do. Take time to understand the other party, and their likes and dislikes, judge why they are how they are, be understanding enough to withdraw if they don’t feel too comfortable going deeper in a conversation. Before anything else, prefer a genuine chat with them, which is lighthearted and casual.