Post Digital Love:Part II

Competence and Confidence

By Dan Friend

This part two of the Three Part Series Post Digital Love

Competence and Confidence

Competence and Confidence are the secret sauces of dating. Like peanut butter and jelly, both are good by themselves, but when they come together to form something greater than the sum of their parts.

Competence without confidence is like the genius kid in math class who always knew the right answer but was too shy to raise his hand.

Confidence without competence is when someone on a plane is having a heart attack on a plane and you scream for a doctor and a handsome man jumps up and bellows “I’m not a doctor but I play one on tv!”


So what do I mean by competence? Competence is the ability to perform work or a task correctly and thoroughly. Confidence is a subtle often over look quality in dating. People often only notice competence when it is lacking. To give you a better understanding think of someone who is incompetent. Think of that guy at work who is bad at his job and wasting your time. You don’t like this guy. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s frustrating and annoying. Don’t be this guy.

The best way to build competence is to practice. Practice, practice, practice. A lot of this practice will come through the experience you get from dates. However to get some more I highly recommend going on a “practice date”. A few days before go to a restaurant which you are planning to eat at with your friend and make a man date out of it. This will get you used to the vibe of the place, what’s good on the menu and the service and attitude of the wait staff.

I like this strategy so much that I have a few go to “1st date spots”. I know the food is great, the servers are friendly, and vibe is relaxed. It’s nice to go to a place where the server or owner recognizes you as long as they don’t as they don’t inquire about the “sweet girl” who you were with last week.


You probably saw this one coming. If you’ve ever looked at any dating or any romantic advice column ever you’ll see that confidence is on of the qualities that both men and women look for in a partner. If competence is being good at a skill then confidence is knowing that you are good at a skill. Knowing that you’ve mastered that skill and that you have nothing to prove. It’s an inner knowledge that is resonated out towards other people. People love confidence because it looks like you know what you are doing, like you have everything figured out. And people in their 20's have nothing figured out.

Building your confidence comes with building your competence. If you know you can do something you will be much more confident. You can also fake confidence, like the famous saying, “fake it till you make it”. Ultimately however, the person who was faking it can’t hold water to the person who has made it. So once again, practice, practice, practice.

Another trick to confidence is being relaxed. Do you remember in high school when you are having difficulty with your stroke or technique your coach probably said something along the lines of “relax, stay loose, or simply breath”. Being relaxed helps with your follow through. If you are relaxed you are more likely to push the conversation a little bit more, come up with a quip a little bit faster, and laugh a little deeper. When you are relaxed, it helps you date feel relaxed.