Being confident attracts the other like a magnet. This can be practiced at home, just like a role-play for an interview, in order to make the best impression. Here are some mistakes to avoid on your first date, to help you along your quest.
The first date should be a pleasant, memorable one, seen with pleasure by both persons. Everyone tries to make the best impression possible, to hide certain moments filled with anxiety, but often the emotions betray.
Pay attention to how you dress
At the first date, it is recommended that you spend a little more time in front of the mirror than usual. However, the impression you create on first eye contact will say a lot about you.
Even if you don’t care about fashion or clothing styles at all, physical appearance and clothes matter.
Of course, you have to be clean and have tight clothes, but above all, you have to wear the right clothes for the first date you are attending – whether it is in a restaurant or at a social event or something more relaxed.
Be careful what you choose: clothes, makeup, jewellery, watches, shoes, handbags and accessories or even the way you style your hair and try to wear something you feel comfortable in.
For example, if the shoes are too tight or wear heels that you are not used to walking on, it is guaranteed that your head will only be on the pain in your feet, not what you are going to talk about. Dress so that you feel good in your skin but at the same time, respect the dress code of the event.
Be on time
Being late is a habit that many people have and it is a lack of respect to make the other person wait for you. Sometimes things that aren’t in our control happen.
To avoid this, try to leave home early at least on the first date, because you may lose confidence right away. It is a sign of good manners and respect for the other person that should guide you to be punctual.
Prepare in advance for the first date
This means to gather as much information as possible about the person you are going to meet and about the specifics of that first date.
Try to find out – without being a stalker – what are the persons’ hobbies and what she/he likes in order to start a conversation that is not boring. Remember his/her name, occupation, the name of his/her pet when they mention such things. It is a way to show that you paid attention to what the other said.
There is nothing more embarrassing than to repeatedly apologize to the interlocutor for not remembering his/her name or, worse, to say another name. Also, if you’re not too experimented in this, you can have a look on a beginner’s guide to a perfect date, so maybe you find out more about how to do it.
Be a gentleman/gracious women
Just because modern women like to be independent doesn’t mean they appreciate it less if you behave nicely. Also, a good man would like his partner to be gracious and mannered.
Correct posture and body language go beyond the rules of sitting with your back straight and having a firm handshake to convey that you are a determined person – although these should not be ignored either.
When you first meet a person, keep an open posture (do not cross your arms or legs because these are defensive movements), lean almost imperceptibly in front of or towards the person when you speak and do not be afraid to take up as much space as you need at the table.
A clever move is to give up the habit of touching your face too often, to place an object in front of you, as a barrier between you and the other person, to blink excessively or to stay too close to the interlocutor.
Remember that, like you, everyone has a comfort zone, a personal space and you would not like a virtually unknown person to invade it.
Words like “please“, “excuse me” or “thank you” can do wonders; they are signs of impeccable manners. To follow the rules of good manners, learn to listen to others without interrupting them in a rude way, wait your turn, be patient and, very importantly, be punctual.
Moreover, think carefully before you speak or react. Also, talking on the phone, texting or any other occupation while talking to someone is not multi-tasking: it is multi-rude and can cost you the second date.
Pay full attention to the person you are talking to.
Compliments and speech
Women like compliments, so if you pay more attention to her hair, neat hands, almond eyes, etc. you will find reasons to make her happier. At the same time, it is not recommended to overdo it.
Too loud a tone of voice conveys the fact that you are extremely nervous/agitated or childish – especially if you are used to finishing declarative sentences as a question, raising the tone towards the end of the sentence.
Basically, you signal that you have little knowledge about the subject under discussion, no matter how good you are. On the other hand, a much too thick voice conveys the fact that you are authoritarian, emotionless, undecided or cautious.
In addition to the look and clothing, the voice is one of the main aspects that contribute to this first impression in the first 7 seconds.
You must be aware of the way you speak and the tone of your voice. If you speak quickly, take a deep breath before starting and try to take short breaks between the sentences, otherwise you will look like an emotional or selfless person.
Don’t slow down your pace too much either this could make you sound like a monotonous person because and seem that your mind is elsewhere.
If you are not sure how your voice sounds in the ears of others, record yourself as you speak and then listen. You will be surprised at how different your voice sounds from how it sounds in your own mind.
Give up interjections like “ah“, “hmm” and other phrases that express hesitation. Words matter more than you think!
Positive and convincing words have the advantage of opening many doors, making people feel more comfortable and, in the end, wanting to be in your presence.
Look him/her in the eye
Turn off your phone or, at least, put it on silent, block email notifications or instant messages, if you have an address book and a pen in your hand do not write hieroglyphs or who knows what scribbles.
Be careful, focus on the person you are interacting with.
It’s kind of hard to know someone when they don’t even look you in the eye. So try to make eye contact with him or her. Pay attention to what the other person is saying, otherwise he or she will feel unimportant and ignored.
Don’t talk about your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and other sensitive subjects
Even if it comes to your previous relationships, don’t go into details, don’t talk about the one who left you even when you were making your wedding plans and don’t miss any swearing or expression. The man/woman may be scared.
Avoid whining even if before you reach the first date a driver blocked your way and took your parking space or in the morning you woke up because the neighbors started to drill holes in the wall next to your head.
Instead, adopt a positive attitude, open and oriented towards those you talk to. Avoid denials, approach any situation from a positive perspective and be clear.
Prepare a short speech about yourself in advance, in which you will say who you are, what you like to do and what you expect from a relationship. This information will help your date to better understand you, ask you questions and develop interesting discussions.
Don’t try to be someone else
It’s tiring and you won’t be able to play your part to the end. Be yourself.
If you do not know the answer to a question asked by your date, admit it. There is nothing shameful to admit, not everyone was born learned.
The ability to admit your weaknesses and informational gaps tell people that you are aware of yourself and can trust your sincerity.
Most likely, a first date will not last long enough for the other to know you in-depth.
Don’t forget to smile. There are many reasons to do so.
A smile makes you a more positive, open and pleasant person. It helps your date to relax and convey confidence. If you are frowning or too serious, people tend to sit back because you tell them that you are nervous, authoritarian and they should be alert.
Moreover, it allows you to effectively relate from the start with an unknown person, regardless of the culture they belong to. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is perceived as a positive signal around the world.
And, even if you don’t expect it, smiling, you improve your mood. When we smile, endorphins and serotonin get released into the body, making us happy, even if we weren’t before.
Who pays the bill?
The code of good manners says that the man is the one who will offer to pay the bill. Although, this rule is not always followed on the grounds that men are frustrated that they have to pay.
Do not forget that you are on your first date and the first impression matters. As a woman, if you feel independent you can ask to split the bill.
Extra tip: If you are a woman, do not, underline: do not order expensive food or too much food. It is a rude gesture because the good manner code says a man is expected to pay the bill.