First dates are stressful, even for people with a lot of experience in the dating arena. You’re often so worried about making a good impression that you forget to be yourself. Your nerves make themselves plain to see, and you leave kicking yourself for having blown yet another romantic opportunity.
It does not have to be this way. The first thing you need to do is relax. Only by remaining calm and confident will you successfully see your date through to a successful conclusion. Then, once you have learned to calm yourself down, you can consider constructive, harmless ways to make a good impression on that smiling person across the table.
The first seven seconds represent the most important moment in any first date (and maybe the most important moment in your life, if the person ends up being “the one”). It’s during this initial glimpse the other person will make their first judgement. The best way to make this first impression a positive one is by dressing for success. Going over the top could look strange, but you should err on the side of overdressing. Picking something elegant (like bodycon dresses), in addition to accentuating your features, will show the other person that you’re taking the date seriously. Just be sure you wear something that’s comfortable, as well. You don’t want to spend the entire evening sweating or itching in super tight clothes.
If you leave your date sitting around waiting for you, then you’ve already ruined your chance to make a good first impression. They’ve likely spent the anxious minutes resenting you, a person they’ve barely even met, for putting them into such an uncomfortable position. This means that when you first walk in, they’ll look at you as the person who has so rudely forced them to sit around and worry. You might be able to dig yourself out of this hole over the course of the evening, but you are much better off simply showing up on time to avoid the problem altogether.
It’s worth remembering your table manners if you want to make a good first impression. Try to avoid talking with your mouth full, and always put that napkin on your lap where it belongs. This will show the other person that you’re refined and capable of mature, serious interactions. Don’t worry about coming across as too cold or rigid. If everything goes well, you will have plenty of plenty of chances to show off your more relaxed living room manners down the road.
No one likes a boring first date, and the best way to make a date a total snoozer is by resorting to the same cliché topics. Talking about the weather, the traffic, or the time of year will only make the minutes drag on. This is your opportunity to show the other person who you are while learning about them, and you need to take full advantage of it. Ask them about themselves and listen intently to their answers. Talk about yourself in bold, honest terms. Give your true opinions about public affairs, and don’t be afraid of serious topics. After all, if a relationship with this person develops, you’ll want it to be based on a true depiction of who you are and what you believe.
While it’s important to show interest in the other person and learn what you can about them, you shouldn’t let the date turn into an interview. Invite them into the conversation and do what you can to foster a bit of give and take. If they’re not asking questions in response to your own, considering introducing a new topic of conversation that doesn’t involve either of you. If you insist on asking question after question, you’ll only intimidate the other person, especially if they’re shy or quiet by nature. Nobody enjoys an interrogation, even if it occurs in a nice restaurant.
Remember that the other person is watching you intently, doing everything they can to form an opinion of you. They’ll be looking for insights into your persona with every move you make. Keep this in mind as you interact with the wait staff at the restaurant. Even a bit of coldness (and certainly any amount of rudeness) could convince your date that you’re not such a kind person. It’s never enough simply to treat the person across the table kindly. You need to be sweet and courteous to everyone you encounter throughout the evening.
Saying another person’s name is one of the best ways to establish trust and a lasting connection. There’s a reason salespeople are trained to use your name repeatedly as soon as they’ve learned it. You can use this same tactic on a first date. You are, after all, also in the business of selling something: yourself. Beyond that, hold off on giving nicknames or pet names right off the bat. This will take some judgement, observation, and listening skills. If a guy’s name is Robert and you start calling him Dick without a cue from him that he is ok with that, it might color his opinion of you. Likewise calling someone named Candace by the name Candy could be unwelcome depending on their personality. The consideration and respect you show someone by catering to their name preferences will show them that you are sincere.
When you’re on a date with another person, it’s important that you give them your respect and attention throughout. They’ve set aside a few hours of their life to take the opportunity to meet you, all in the hope that it could lead to a lasting romantic connection. The least you could do is pay them a bit of attention. This means your phone should stay in your pocket (and preferably switched off) for the duration of the evening. Anything less will make the person doubt your integrity and manners.
No two dates (and no two people) are the same, but there are still plenty of ways to make a good impression under almost any circumstances. Here are some tricks to consider on your next first date. If you put these tried and tested techniques to good use, it just might be the last first date of your life.