Dutch courage, right?
You’re going out with someone you really REALLY want to get to know better, and your nerves are shot. Your bed is mounded with discarded outfits. You just want to look great and wow his socks off, but equally you want to dive into your bed fully clothed and pull the covers over your head, ruining your perfectly styled hair and giving you an excuse to bail.
Every woman has her own pre-date ritual, some more successful than others.
For many of us, every date has to start hours in advance. A shower or bath, stray hair removal, selecting the right outfit, carefully applying makeup, the perfect blow-out. The ritual is both soothing and empowering. It reminds us how much we’re in control of the details.
But the best pre-date rituals don’t just make you look great. They tackle nerves as well.
Putting on a playlist that pumps you up. Getting girlfriends to come over for a second opinion. Maybe a few drinks to take the edge off.
But there’s a better way to get in the right mental space for a date. You don’t need friends, the right playlist, or even a bottle to get you in the mood.
All you need is a mirror.
Self-help legend Louise Hay popularized the notion of mirror work.
All you do is look at yourself in the mirror and repeat affirming phrases like, “I love you. I really love you.”
Sounds easy enough, but most of us feel enormous resistance to the idea of standing in front of a mirror telling our reflection how fantastic she is. We feel stupid. We feel vain, grandiose. We burst out in nervous giggles.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
Mirror work can get you ready for a date better than “Raise Your Glass” on repeat.
Because the worst part of any date is that self-conscious hit when you see him REALLY looking at you.
You wonder what he’s actually seeing. Is he noticing your immaculate contouring or those earrings you spent a fortune on? Is he noticing that stray hair that would not fall into place? Did he even notice the shoes, given the pain you’re putting yourself through to teeter on four-inch ice pick heels?
Well, look at yourself in a mirror, girl.
THAT is what he’s seeing.
Forget the eyeliner. Look at your eyes. Are they tired, red, unhappy, stressed?
Forget the lipstick. Look at your lips. Are they tight, thin, pinched, turned down?
We communicate everything we’re feeling through our face, particularly around the eyes and lips.
Microexpressions, which you can’t control, clue in an astute date as to any disconnect between how you’re acting and how you’re really feeling.
So, leaving aside the effects of your artistry for a moment, what’s the face in the mirror telling you?
That you’re tired? Nervous? Not entirely happy about the whole thing?
Then it’s time for a modified version of pre-date mirror work.
Look at yourself in the mirror, and force yourself to ignore that tiny eyeliner smudge or forehead wrinkle or red spot still visible under the concealer. They don’t matter. He won’t care.
Instead, look yourself in the eyes and say to yourself, “I love you. I really love you.”
It might feel weird. It might not feel true. So do this next.
Think about all the fantastic things about your life. All the things you’re grateful for. All the things that make you feel so damn lucky. Say out loud: “I’m so lucky.” Then sneak a peek in the mirror—any shift?
Now think about the fact that your life is pretty awesome. You probably don’t stop to appreciate it enough. There isn’t much you would change. It’s YOUR life; you created it, and you’re still creating it. If you don’t have something you want, life’s not over yet. You’re on a journey to magnificence. Say out loud to yourself: “I am on a journey to magnificence.” See a smile yet?
Now think about everyone who loves you. Your family. Your friends. Your pets. People from the past as well as the present. All the love you’ve ever experienced. All the lives you’ve touched.
And consider that this man’s opinion of you is really quite paltry and unimportant compared to all that. This is just one evening, a mere droplet in the sea of life. If it doesn’t go well, so what? You’re loved. You will always be loved.
Look at yourself in the mirror again. Notice a difference?
Did you see some of those stress lines disappear? Are you—gasp—even more beautiful than when you looked at yourself a minute ago?
Because what you forgot, in that mad rush to beautify every inch of your body, is that how you’re feeling attracts him most of all.
A woman in a loving state is irresistible to a man.
The glow of love is like catnip. (Which explains why you get hit on more if you already have a boyfriend. It’s not Murphy’s Law; it’s the irresistible allure of a well-loved woman.)
Consider who he normally end up with on a date:
Stressed, pumped-up women who’ve spent hours trying to make themselves look perfect so they can make this date perfect so they can prove they’re perfect for him.
Wouldn’t he rather be with a woman who spent a mere 30 minutes on her makeup but an hour doing something that made her feel happy?
Mirror work produces fast results, but you can do something else instead, something that makes you feel warm, happy and relaxed inside. Watch something funny. Do yoga. Look at family pictures. Sit outside in the sunshine and soak up the serenity.
You won’t even need Dutch courage for your date, because everything you need is already inside you…
In that calm, peaceful heart where there’s nothing but joy.
Like this topic and want to learn more?
Discover what Your Brilliance expert author James Bauer has to say about using “love triggers” to boost that loving glow.