Our advice for successful dating

Article 12

How to make a great first impression

Never underestimate the importance of those first few moments. Love at first sight may be rare, but first impressions can make or break your success on a date, where you may only have a short time to decide whether or not to see each other again. A strong first impression could even help to shape the pattern of your subsequent relationship.

Some people have a knack for turning heads as soon as they enter a room. What's their secret? They're not always conventionally good-looking, but they have a warm confidence that makes people gravitate towards them. It's that confidence that gives them such immediate appeal.

Confidence is like a muscle: it wastes away when you don't use it. If you're newly single after a long relationship, your confidence may be low., In previous relationships you may have found that your identity and social life were bound up in your status as a couple. Venturing out alone and meeting new people for the first time in a long may seem like a daunting prospect, but the good news is that you can still make a fantastic first impression without a bedrock of natural confidence. Use our guidelines to help you get a good response when you meet people, and gradually your confidence will grow.

Create the illusion of confidence

Confidence is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If at first you don't have any, pretend that you do – and when you notice how much better people respond to you, your real confidence will get a boost.

Watch your body language

Body language is the most powerful way to create an illusion of confidence. Hold your head high, relax your shoulders and smile. This will instantly make you more approachable and eye-catching. If you smile and make eye contact when your date first sees you, you've already forged a personal connection and put them at ease.

Dress for success

Choosing the right clothes for a date is about much more than making a statement when you walk through the door. If you wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, you will seem more attractive because you'll feel happy in your skin.

Don't go over the top with scent, make-up or designer labels, but do brush up and dress relatively smartly, even if you're meeting at the pub. It speaks volumes about the way you see yourself, and your date will be flattered by the fact that you made an effort.

By the way, if you're struggling to choose between outfits, go for the red or pink one. A recent study found that ladies and gents in red or pink were rated as more attractive and high-status by the opposite sex.

Arrive on time

Lateness in itself is not a deal-breaker, as long as you call or text to let your date know when you'll be there. One way to reduce the chance of a good date is to turn up flustered, grouchy and wracked with guilt. If you're held up, apologise with dignity, deliver a winning smile and offer your date a drink.

Get the conversation flowing

Your date will immediately warm to your company if you're a good talker. Awkward silences aren’t much fun for anyone, so come armed with a few relevant questions and conversational titbits. You want your date to go away thinking that they could have talked to you all night.

Good dating conversation takes a bit of forward planning. Before you head out to your date, re-read their profile and remember what drew you to it to help establish a personal connection. If you make your potential partner feel interesting, they're far more likely to be interested in you.

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