They say that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Never is this truer than on a first date.
Ufortunately this pressure to shine on our first date can end us up in a frazzled and stressed mess! Luckily there are all sorts of ways to deal with your nerves, and impress your date. Here are some of the very best tips for banishing your nerves and making a great first impression…
Be on Time
First and foremost, be prepared. Arrive at your agreed destination at the right time, or just a few minutes early. Remember that your date will be just as nervous as you are, and that it’s no fun sitting there alone in a bar wondering if you’ve been stood up.
Arriving on time doesn’t just set minds at rest, however, it also helps to establish that you’re a polite, reliable and respectful individual. The kind of person who makes a great partner, in other words. This immediately gives you a leg up on the date before you even open your mouth.
Recent research which asked men and women about their greatest dating turnoffs found that unpleasant bodily smells topped the chart. More specifically, body odour and bad breath were the top two “no-no”s, though a scruffy appearance followed close behind.
This means that could be forgiven for investing in that new perfume or cologne to really impress. Oh, and don’t just brush your teeth, but go the whole way. That means flossing, scraping your tongue, and using an antibacterial mouthwash for fresh-breath confidence all evening long. And just to be safe , always carry gum!
Be in the Moment
Once you arrive at your date forget all about the worries of everyday life. Stop checking your phone every few minutes, and don’t go off and chat to a friend at a different table. Instead your goal should be to focus just on the date itself.
You’ll make your date feel valued and appreciated.Wwe all spend so much of our lives focusing on the less-important details, so putting your phone away for an evening can also make the date more enjoyable for you too.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact can have a near-magical effect on people. Just consider how you feel when you catch someone staring at you from a distance. More than likely they’ll come across as creepy or nosey.
At the other end of the spectrum people who never catch your eye appear overly shy, untrustworthy or even shifty.
What you want is the happy medium in the middle. Try hard to regularly make that connection with your eyes, which naturally demonstrates that you’re listening and fosters subconscious intimacy. That said, don’t be afraid to glance away from time-to-time, and don’t forget to blink to avoid looking like you’re on medication!
Smile (and be Fun)
Most of us are naturally attracted to positive people, who feel good about themselves, and make us feel good too. A great sense of humour tends to rank highly in the traits that we all find attractive, but jokes only tend to work well when they’re done naturally (not rehearsed lines).
No matter how nervous or stressed you may feel, therefore, try hard to smile naturally. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask great questions of your date. Make them feel comfortable and let them open up.
Also, don’t be afraid to be playful on your date, telling your best anecdotes and generally encouraging laughter throughout.
An honest compliment can go a very long way for breaking the ice. Seeing as you’ve both probably spent an unnaturally long period of time choosing your outfit, getting ready and deciding on what to say, a little positive encouragement can go a long way.
For the gentlemen among you, be sure you’re not being creepy. Try not to focus too much on your dates’ physical accomplishments besides a flattering “you look nice”. Telling your date that she has the best eyes you’ve ever seen (or worse!) is only likely to make them feel uncomfortable. Instead, try focusing your compliments on the stories they tell, the things they’ve done and so on.
The number one lesson to take away is that you need to be yourself. Don’t make claims that aren’t true, don’t tell stories that are fake. Be true to yourself.
The reason is simple; even if the date doesn’t go well at least you’ll know honestly what they thought of you as a person.
The most heart-breaking thing can be landing a fantastic first date, but basing it on a lie. You don’t want to start a potential future relationship on someone you’re not. It’ll only make for a very uncomfortable and disappointing conversation some months down the road.
So there you have it. Smell good, live in the moment, make eye contact and offer compliments, but above all else let your true personality shine through so your date really gets to now you as an individual.
This article was submitted by British writer Paige Hawin
Image courtesy of Nenetus @FreeDigitalPhotos.net