It’s nerve-wracking trying to make a good impression when, by chance, you meet someone new in a noisy bar, but at least your eyes have met across a crowded room, and rested just a fraction too long, meaning there’s a spark of interest and there is ‘something’ about you the other person has noticed.
However, the online dating game is a totally different thing. Yes, you’ve been noticed, and yes unlike the strangers in a bar experience, you will have had the opportunity to chat before meeting up, you still haven’t been seen ‘in the flesh’ so to speak.
(Fingers crossed you’ll be seeing a lot more flesh much later).
But both those scenarios are reliant on a quick visual assessment, either in real life or on a screen. But in its rawest form as in, do I like the look of you?
If the answer is ‘yes’, and you have arranged your first date, then forget all the quite frankly obvious advice dating ‘gurus’ will dish out.
There’s more to making an impression than a waft of fresh breath spray and nice shiny shoes. If you want a second date, make the first date count. Let’s face it, you have but one chance and you don’t want to leave them looking bored rigid after five minutes.
It goes without saying, that to turn up to a first date having made little or no effort at all to look and smell fresh, is totally disrespectful to the other person. But give some thought to the surroundings, and where you’ve arranged to meet.
Generally, a first date is a coffee and chat, or a casual drink in a pub, with maybe a meal if you are lucky. Dress appropriately. This is not the time for a 3 piece suit, tie and pocket hanky; overdressing can be so intimidating and can make the other person feel that it’s THEM who has not made enough of an effort. But most of all it will make you look like a proper twat. There’s trying, and there’s trying too hard.
But the most important thing about a first date is how you make the other person feel. Follow these tips to make YOU memorable for them.
GIVE OFF A HAPPY VIBE – USE POSITIVE WORDS
OK, the traffic may have been a nightmare, and you may have been worried about being late, but don’t complain about there being nowhere to park, and making it all about you in your first greeting. Those are negative vibes. Be engaging, create eye contact and most importantly don’t be a dick!
So start by getting your smiley face on, comment on how good it is to see the other person, where would they like to sit, and ‘what would you like to drink’, is the way to go.
Be polite to bar staff and waiters, how you treat others is very indicative of the kind of person you are.
Be proactive, even if your efforts go unnoticed, bring crisps, nuts, and snacks back to the table with the drinks. Open the bags, and point some towards your date. If you’re feeling particularly bold order a basket of fries!
It breaks the ice and starts a conversation, which will lead to….. another conversation.
ASK – LISTEN – HEAR
Lots of people need to be led when talking about themselves. It’s really hard to offer up information about yourself without being asked the initial ‘how, what, when, where’ etc.
But full frontal, in-your-face questions, if not handled sensitively, can seem intrusive, and might come across as a bit like an interrogation, when you are just trying to get to know the person.
This is where the crisps and nuts option comes in handy as a conversation starter, which with luck, will help the chat flow naturally…
Opens the bag of salt and vinegar crisps and comments “my sister/mum/brother is virtually addicted to these. Have you got brothers and sisters?’’
Family talk always holds countless opportunities to get to know a person. Funny/horror stories will follow about holidays, pets and so on, which offers up more new topics.
Be interested, engage, listen, and most of all actually hear, so that you can recall the dog’s name/holiday destination later during the date. It shows that you have been attentive and remembered the finer details
Let this first date be all about the other person, you’ll get your chance to shine on the second date.
BE SELF-AWARE – YOU ARE NOT OUT WITH THE LADS
It’s great being the cheeky chappy amongst your mates, but they’ve probably known you for years, through good times and bad. This is a brand new person who has come into your life, and you into theirs.
You must proceed with caution. Your risque jokes or low-level piss takes ‘might’ cause offence. And this is not the time to drop an F-bomb or things could be over before they’ve even begun.
The truth is, you have to kind of adjust your mindset according to your date, and you might justifiably think, ‘why can’t I just be me’. But understandably, first dates make shy people very anxious, they make even the most confident of us feel a bit overwhelmed.
Appreciating and taking those feelings into account, and just toning down your own otherwise extrovert nature, will do you a huge favour in the long run. Don’t scare away the perfect partner by being a bit too full on, too quickly.
AND FINALLY – MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION
Isn’t it true, that your favourite restaurant is the one where you had your last meal?
People remember the ‘last time’ of most things.
So the last few minutes of your first date need to be your finest hour!
If you’ve enjoyed the date, and you’d like to see the person again, as you prepare to say your ‘goodbyes’, then you need to up your game and leave them with the good old feel-good factor.
(and actually, even if you never want to see them again, this still applies, but I agree, if they have been the date from hell, then you really couldn’t give a rat’s arse about their feel-good factor)
Help them on with their jacket, pull out their chair, allow them to walk in front of you, and thank the staff for their help as you leave. Hold the door open for them, and most importantly, offer to walk them to their car, the station, the bus stop (and wait with them), wherever, or if appropriate, get a cab for them and wait till it pulls away.
Reinforce that you’ve had a great time, thank them for meeting up, and you will be in touch.
A quick peck on the cheek is all that is really appropriate, if you’ve made a good impression, it’s not a bad idea to leave them wanting more!
If you’ve worked your magic, you should have made your date feel special, and they will have lots of nice moments to look back on over the coming hours.
ONE LAST THING
Don’t play mind games. Send a ‘lovely to meet you text’, (even if it wasn’t), and if you say you will be in touch, then make it within the next 24 hours or so. Even if there was no spark, don’t be unkind and ghost your date.
Likewise, if you do get in touch, and there is no response, don’t make excuses for the other person. Generally, it takes a few seconds to send a message, and the ‘I’ve been busy’ excuse is a piss poor reason for not replying.
Remember, if someone wants to, they will.
This post was kindly written by Jane at stupidlemon.com