Creating great first impressions
Creating positive and lasting first impressions is an important part of a first date. Confidently presenting yourself in a good light is the first step to meeting someone and starting a new relationship. There are a few simple steps you can take to take the stress out of meeting for the first time and presenting the best, authentic you when going on a date. Here’s how you can make a good impression, on a date and in any circumstance.
1. Show up on time
You may not have done it deliberately but regardless, arriving late on your first date isn’t the way to create a great first impression. Even though most people will be polite and not make a big deal about it, being on time demonstrates you care and take the person you are meeting seriously. To ensure promptness, I tell my clients to not schedule the actual time of the date on their smartphones but the time they need to leave their home or office to make it at the agreed time.
It will also help to incorporate 10-15 minutes grace time in your calculations to avoid unforeseen circumstances like traffic or parking. If you do arrive late, don’t pretend it doesn’t matter. Apologize right away and let them know this won’t be a regular thing, then move on and enjoy the date!
2. Dress your best and in what’s appropriate
While looks alone can never hold a man or woman in a relationship for the long term, it does give you an edge if you dress your best for your first date.
For men, I recommend a good jacket or blazer and shirt, even in summer. It gives you a posh, classy look and a robust first impression that women like. I can’t tell you how many of my female clients complain that men show up shabbily dressed on dates without taking interest in their appearance. A good shave is also highly recommended.
For women, a feminine dress, long earrings and open hair are never out of fashion. You don´t want to show up “too sexy or revealing”. Though that may contribute to your sex appeal in front of men, it won’t help you build a real emotional connection with them. Both men and women should dress sharp and crisp and wear what is appropriate for the occasion. Don’t arrive in sandals at a high-end restaurant or walk into a coffee shop in a ball gown. Look fabulous but dress suitably.
3. Pay attention to your perfume
Smelling good is a turn on for both men and women, and an easy way to make a good first impression. If you take two minutes to put on your favorite perfume before showing up on the date, you´re going to get brownie points. But you want to be remembered for the right reasons – don’t overdo it in your excitement. If you go over the top, that intense smell of too much spritzing can be counter-productive and turn your date off rather than bringing them towards you.
4. Skip the interview format and be adventurously intimate
Most dates don´t connect because they interview each other with the same questions every time: “What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? Where do you live? What did you study?” While its normal to want to know some of this about the person, if that´s all you´re talking about, then you´re not really connecting at a deeper level.
I recommend you ditch the interview-style questions and instead ask deeper, thought-provoking questions that will make them stop and reflect: “What is your biggest fear in life? What makes you cry in films? When was the last time you laughed and couldn’t stop?” Not only will you be fostering real intimacy, you’ll also likely set yourself apart from other first-dates they have had recently and create a more lasting first impression.
5. Listen Intently
Both men and women set out to give the best impression of themselves but most of us go about this the wrong way. We talk and talk about ourselves from achievements to our family relationships, hobbies, work, travels, and so on. Don’t. Your date will feel turned off when all you are doing is talking about yourself and showing no curiosity about them.
This goes for both men and women. If you’re only talking about yourself and not showing any interest in what your date has to say, you’ll be viewed as self-involved and this is not attractive to anyone! The bottom line here is to speak about yourself but make sure you’re staying curious and listening closely to what your date has to say. Being genuinely interested in another person is an appealing quality to practice in relationships, not just on first dates and when trying to make a positive first impression.
6. Don’t go beyond two drinks
Not to sound like a mommy here but this deserves a place on the list: Don´t go beyond the two-drink mark on a first date, no matter how much fun you´re having. First impressions are called first impressions for a reason and you don´t get a second chance to make them.
Amazing men and women can be particularly sensitive around how much their date drinks. Quite simply, when it comes to drinking, take it slow because first dates are about making a mark! Stay focused on finding out who they are. If you stay aware of this piece of information, it’s going to help you build a lasting impression and possibly secure you many more real dates.
7. Allow yourself to flow
Keep an open mind and allow yourself to naturally flow on a date. If your date asks to take a walk, go for it. If your date prefers going into an ice cream parlor vs. your favorite waffle café, allow them the indulgence.
Too many times we can have rigid expectations around what a perfect date may look like. Having the ability to be flexible and going with the flow can be a powerful and attractive quality to exhibit. It will also allow you to let loose and have more fun when you´re not going into a date with pre-conceived notions around how it “should” look, but instead flow with what it actually looks like.