MAFS Australia expert Mel Schilling on overcoming first date nerves

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Married at First Sight Australia is always explosive but series eight took it to another level with affairs, gossip galore and gaslighting accusations. Nevertheless, at the heart of the E4 reality series is a mission to find “the love” which usually starts off with a first date. MAFS UK and Australia expert Mel Schilling has launched a campaign with eharmony to help daters get back on the scene with confidence. has exclusively spoken to Mel who has dished out her top tips for those who suffer from the first date jitters.

Top 3 ways to overcome first date nerves

Use the COVID-19 lockdowns to your advantage

Mel believes people have lost their confidence when it comes to dating thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

With everyone being forced to keep apart on-and-off for more than year, singletons have grown out of the habit of going on dates.

But the MAFS Australia star doesn’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, post-pandemic is the perfect opportunity to “reset your mindset”. 

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Mel explained: “One of the positive things about having the pandemic inflicted on us, is that it has created this moment in time.

“What I find really helpful from a mindset perspective is to say ‘this was my pre-COVID dating behaviour and this is going to be my post-COVID dating behaviour.

“‘Draw the line under the sand and all those bad habits, those negative patterns, the tendency to always date the bad boy or the unavailable woman, I’m leaving that stuff behind and starting a brand new slate.

“‘This is the new me, this is how I’m going to date post-COVID.'”

Get clear with yourself

“What do you want out of the dating experience? What is your dating goal?” she asked.

“It sounds really simple but I find a lot of people don’t take the time to find this and therefore get a little lost along the way.

“Making sure your destination matches the strategies or the tactics you are using to get there.

“So for example, I often work with people who say ‘I really want a committed relationship, I’m ready to meet the one.’

“Yet, their behaviour is counter-productive to that so they are just going to bars and having hook-ups and for me, that’s a bit like saying you want to run a marathon but in your training process, jumping hurdles in order to get there.

“If you are ready, then you really need to be engaging with sites like eharmony which gears towards relationships and capability and the deeper stuff like personalities and values and so on.”

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Form a Dating Club

Mel says one of the best pieces of advice she learned was from one of her clients.

This was to “not go at it alone” and start a dating club with your single friends.

She explained: “Go out on your individual dates, set it all up, ‘Ok everyone, Friday night, 5pm, we are all meeting someone in this area for a coffee, 7pm date’s over, we meet up at this bar for a debrief and a cocktail together.’

“From a confidence perspective, it definitely boosts the safety factor, everyone knows where everyone else is and you’re all meeting up afterwards.

“But it also stops that over analysis, the over-thinking of ‘oh did I say the wrong thing? Do they like me?’ which we often do post-date.

“By coming together, you can inject some humour into it, laugh at yourself a little bit, get other people’s perspectives and really stop you from getting into that over analysis mode.

MAFS Australia will be back for more as it has already been renewed for season nine.

Mel as well as the other experts John Aiken and Alessandra Rampolla are expected to return as well.

A release date hasn’t been revealed just yet but season nine should be out sometime next year.

Mel Schilling’s confidence-boosting mantra videos are ready to watch on eharmony UK’s Instagram page.

MAFS Australia is available to watch on All4.

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