How a good self-care routine can help you with dating success
Ashley Ogawa Clarke helps us unlock our self-confidence by feeling, smelling and looking great
Sep 27, 2022
Ashley Ogawa Clarke is an editor and writer, and a consultant for Humanery. Ashley is the former Deputy Editor of MR PORTER, the online menswear destination, and has previously written for US Vogue, GQ Style, the Telegraph, and the Observer among others. He has been writing about men’s skincare for ten years, and is currently based in Tokyo.
Online dating in the modern world can be something of a battlefield; an experience full of ghosting, gaslighting and digitally enhanced hits to your self-esteem. It’s enough to make you turn your phone off and never swipe right again.
Still, it’s wouldn’t be remiss to say that the high majority of us want to find love. Or, at the very least, someone to watch the House of Dragon with when cuffing season arrives. Not to lay the platitudes on too thickly here, but you really do never get a second chance at a first impression, so it’s worth doing what you can to maximise the potential that anyone you take a liking to will reciprocate.
Fortunately for you, one of the best ways you can do that is with a robust self-care routine. But where to start? What if my fragrance puts my date off? What if I talk too much? What if the sex is terrible? Relax, young padawan and remember that some things are simply out of your control (and that Star Wars references probably won’t help matters). What is in your control, however, is how you feel and how you present yourself.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider, and some simple but effective ways to go about improving yourself, your space and your mindset – not just so that your date likes you, but so that you like you, too.
Better Self-Care Equals Better Self Confidence
Bolstering one’s confidence – especially in the dating game – is easier said than done, but there are certain quick and simple things you can do to give both your physical appearance and mental health a boost. As well as the obvious (and let’s face it, tedious) ones like hitting the gym more often and cleaning up your diet, there are less strenuous options too.
First, you’ll want to make sure your skincare is up to scratch. There’s a reason South Korean skincare is touted as the best in the world, so look to DEVONINE. The label makes a brilliant a green tea extract cleanser to wake skin up, which you can follow with its ‘All-In-One Solution’, a nourishing, non-greasy moisturiser that will have you looking ship-shape for your date.
Next up: your teeth. SmileTime and Polished London make oral health and teeth-whitening products that, after a few weeks of use, will leave you with pearly whites that are sure to charm your date. Studies consistently show that we view those with whiter teeth as healthier, wealthier, and more attractive – so go on, flash us a grin.
Be More Mindful When Shooting Your Shot
When dating, there’s likely going to be one thing on your mind more than anything else. Indeed, for what else does the dating app notification toll? Still, when things end up going well with a new person and you get around to making the beast with two backs, you’ll want to make sure – for both your own self-confidence and your partner’s satisfaction – that you have good, ahem, control of the situation. It’s not good for anyone if things end up boiling over too quickly in the heat of the moment.
Taking some time to work on and develop your own sexual wellness is nothing to sniff at, and fortunately there’s an emerging industry of tech out there that can help you become better in bed. The MYHIXEL TR is one such innovative solution; a piece of tech that you can have plenty of fun playing with, it’s a great way to build that all-important confidence and reduce performance anxiety when it comes to sex.
Make Your Space Fit The Mood
As well as making sure you look the part, you also need to make sure wherever you’re bringing your date back to is suitably groomed, too.
Making your space clean and uncluttered goes without saying, but there are other things you can do to enhance your space with home fragrance.
Avoid dousing your den with a bottle of Febreeze, but do enhance it with a scent diffuser, room spray, or candle to make it feel more welcoming. Margate-based brand Haeckels makes a selection of excellent candles with fresh and natural scents inspired by the sea that promise to subtly enhance the mood of your space without ever being overbearing. In other words, the ideal way to ensure the first impression of your home is a success.
We also recommend checking out YESforLOV, a French brand that makes intimate products sure to set the mood. The brand’s ‘Bewitching Scent’ candle doesn’t just smell good – it also melts into a massage oil. How’s that for a pleasant surprise? “It has an aphrodisiac fragrance that captures you, like a seductive tease for your nose,” says the brand’s founder Christian Palix.
Palix started the brand in order to reach men who “had the desire to find comfort and confidence within their romantic relationships and moments of intimacy,” he says. “The rule is simple: there should be no compromising between pleasure and comfort.”
Fill Your Bathroom Cabinet with Green Flags
You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, but you can tell much more about him by the contents of his bathroom cabinet. When your date is lucky enough to make it into your bathroom, it’s a sign things are probably going well; you don’t want to ruin things now, so make sure your cabinet is well-stocked with grooming products that don’t just work, but that show off your clearly excellent taste (you are perusing Humanery, after all).
Patricks never fails when it comes to packaging – the sleek, architectural designs would make an old outhouse look like a five-star hotel. And a handsome hand wash from Malin+Goetz is a foolproof addition to any bathroom sink.
Master Your Olfactory Aura
Considering it’s one of the main five senses, most men do pay nearly enough attention to how they smell. We’re not just talking basic hygiene after a sweaty gym session either, but the consideration you put into everything from your cologne to your deodorant.
The scent you choose will be personal to you, but generally, two spritzes will be plenty – your date doesn’t need to be able to smell your fragrance from across the table at a restaurant.
If all goes well and you’re lucky enough to have your date lying in the crook of your shoulder by the end of the night, you’ll want to make sure your armpits aren’t to blame them to catch an Uber home early, so banish any odours with a decent deodorant.
They don’t come any better than Patricks – the brand’s ND2, as well as boasting surely the sexiest packaging of any deodorant out there, has a cedarwood and violet scent that’s masculine without being overbearing, and is perfect for everyday. “We use Niodor as an active to make a natural deodorant that actually works,” explains the brand’s founder, Patrick Kidd. “It’s a brand new active that limits the growth of bacteria and stops the formation of body odour, with none of the nasty side effects that aluminium salts used in regular deodorants have.” That’s us sold.