If you have not dated for some time, finding the confidence to start dating can be extremely difficult. This is particularly true if due to your life circumstances you have prioritized responsibilities (such as your career, education, caring for others, financial issues, health issues) and pushed to the back of your mind your identity as an individual seeking a full life that includes love, sexuality and partnership. Perhaps you have almost given up on having the life you would really like to have.
To increase your hopefulness and confidence, you need to recognise that you are not alone. Most people who are not already in a secure relationship have times when they feel worried and insecure about dating, and the potential for rejection, hurt and humiliation. However, you are (probably) no longer a teenager and you can expect to meet people who for the most part are sensitive and mature adults. Your dates will be completely different experiences to superficial experiences of dating you may have had as an adolescent.
Everyone who signs up for online dating is exposing their vulnerabilities, wearing their heart on their sleeves and admitting to being alone and wanting this to change, so your date will likely have many of the same worries that you do.
Do look your best for the date as this will increase your confidence – get a new haircut and clothes if you like. However, it is the personality that shines from within that is the basis of a mature relationship, so concentrate on relaxing and enjoying meeting another human being who is in the same position as you…