Make the first impression count

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First impressions are important in all areas of life but none more so than when you’re meeting a potential romantic partner. You‘ve been matched online, read each other’s profiles, conversed a little (or a lot), and you’ve both been building a mental image of the other person. When you finally meet you will immediately look for signs that this person resembles, not only their photograph, but also how you‘ve imagined them to be in stature, personality and so on.

Look your best

Even if you are only meeting for a quick coffee in the middle of a work day afternoon, it’s important to look your best. Paying attention to things like fresh breath, clean nails and ironed clothes show you are someone with self-respect. Small efforts can make a big difference to the impression you give.

Be yourself

This is the advice usually given to people going on a date but we would add a little – be your ‘best’ self. This means becoming conscious of your posture, your smile and your mind set. Unlike at a job interview, you can’t pretend to be something you’re not on a date. Any pretence will be exposed if you get into a relationship but we all have aspects of our personalities that are more attractive than others.

Turning up in a grumpy mood because your boss has cut your pay, or sulking because your soup is cold might be you being ‘yourself’, but it’s not your best self.

Self-absorption is not attractive. You need to be able to leave your troubles at the door for the duration of the date and focus on the person in front of you. People who are attractive, charming and charismatic are usually comfortable in their own skin. Enjoy your date’s company and be attentive to their thoughts, needs and opinions rather than be wrapped up in your own.

Body language

80% of communication is non-verbal so it’s worth being aware of what your body language is saying about you. Your posture and stance are the first things your date will notice, they reveal a lot about your personality and how you feel about the date. Folded arms, crossed legs and looking at the ground give the impression that you are closed or nervous. Making eye contact, showing a genuine smile, keeping shoulders back and your arms and legs unfolded will help make you look welcoming rather than defensive. Give a handshake or kiss on the cheek, whichever seems appropriate, but do make some physical contact on welcoming your date.

Put away your phone

If you arrive to the venue of your date early it can be tempting to pull out your mobile phone and get busy on it while you wait. If you do however, your date’s first impression of you may be of someone who hates even a few minutes alone without something to occupy them.

What are you thinking?

What you think about this date, and dating in general, will be conveyed in many conscious and unconscious ways. Try to adopt a positive and open attitude even if you have had some bad experiences in the past, it doesn’t meant that this is going to be one of them. It is hard to hide a negative attitude, bitterness or cynicism – even the brightest fake smile won’t disguise them. The only way to really appear to be positive about the date is to be positive about it.

Imagine what a great first impression you would make if you approached every person you met with the attitude that they had something important to teach you. The truth is that every date does, even if it’s just learning what you don’t want in a partner.


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