First Date 101: Making a Good Impression

The dating scene can be stressful and overwhelming and knowing how to make a good first impression on a date can sometimes seem like rocket science but there are lots of simple things you can do before, during, and even after a first date to help create that all-important great first impression.

Before the Date

Preparation is key, so follow these tips beforehand so you can go into your date feeling confident.

Try not to text too much

It’s totally normal to exchange some basic getting-to-know-each-other texts in the run-up to your date and this can help you figure out how likely you are to get on when you meet in person. However, it’s important not to get carried away. After all, a first date is about getting to know each other and you may end up with some awkward silences on the day if you haven’t got anything else left to ask.

Some people also have a completely different texting persona to their real-life personality and you may be disappointed when you’re confronted with the reality. Keep pre-date messages to the basics and discussing when and where you’ll meet.

Wear something that makes you feel great

You want to go on a first date feeling like the very best version of yourself and as confident as possible so do what you can to make that happen by choosing an outfit that makes you feel fantastic. Whether that means a full face of makeup or none at all, hair up or down, dressed to impress in cropped trousers to show off your figure or wearing something comfortable and casual, it’s about what makes you feel good rather than what you think will impress your date.

During the Date

It’s easy to let nerves get the better of you on the day/night but these tricks can help your date go smoothly.

Have some topics in mind

To limit the number of awkward or uncomfortable silences during your date, go with some conversational topics in mind. This can be something as simple as talking about where you’re from and your hobbies to discussing your favorite films, books, music, or TV shows. If you’ve been traveling recently, that can be a great topic of conversation and open up questions about where they’ve visited or where you both might like to go in the future.

Listen and respond

Some people get overly chatty when nervous and find it hard to know when to stop talking. Or you might find it difficult to concentrate on what your date is saying if you’re worried about how you look or if you have something in your teeth.

Practice active listening to show your date that you’re interested in what they have to say and are paying attention. The trick is to listen whenever your date speaks and to respond with follow-up questions or a related point. If you’re worried about mishearing or misinterpreting you can also summarise and repeat back, for example, “Did you say your family was from London?”

Be yourself

You want your date to like you for who you are, not a false impression you’ve created of yourself. If you’re not honest about who you are and the things you enjoy (or not) it will only cause problems later on so always be truthful.

After the Date

The date was a huge success – but what are you supposed to do next?

Follow up

Don’t worry about how long to leave it before getting in touch- if you had a great time, it’s never too soon to say so, even if it’s on your way home from the date itself. You should also follow up with anything specific they mentioned on the date, for example, if they suggested a film or book and you follow their recommendation, then drop them a line to let them know if you enjoyed it.

Ideally, you want to make a plan to meet up again so if your date is responding positively to your post-date messages, then go ahead and suggest a place and/or time. We’re all busy so try not to take it too personally if they don’t reply straight away. On the other hand, if they stop replying altogether then you’ll know that they’re not the right person for you. It can be hard to read signals via text message alone so don’t be scared to ask for clarification if you’re not sure. A simple, “would you like to meet up again soon?” can go a long way.

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