How to make a good first impression

10 November 2015

Learn how to make a great impression on your first date with these easy first date tips.



Whether we like it or not, first impressions count and nowhere is this truer than on a first date, and this is particularly true when meeting someone you have met through online dating.

It only takes a moment to observe someone’s clothes, hair and facial expressions. From personal presentation to conversation, body language and manners, here are six first date tips to ensure it will turn into a second date.

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Make sure your clothes are clean and presentable

You might feel the most comfortable in your baggiest jeans and T-shirt, but it’s possible to be comfortable and look presentable at the same time. For a first date, make sure you’re wearing something flattering and appropriate for the venue and occasion. Plan your outfit the night before and make sure it’s washed and ironed well ahead of time.

Visit our style and beauty section for great tips on looking good

Focus

When you’re on a date, leave your phone in your pocket or handbag. You should be paying attention to your match, not a gadget. Let a friend or family member know it’s going well when your date takes a bathroom break but otherwise, don’t be distracted. 

Likewise, if your date starts to check their phone, offer a gentle reminder that you came to talk to them, not watch them message someone else.

Be polite and courteous

Leaning forwards in your chair and maintaining eye contact is a surefire sign you’re not only interested in what your date is saying but that you’re confident, too. Body language communicates a lot on a first date so think about what yours is saying. 

As well as staying off your mobile phone, make sure you’re really listening and participating in the conversation. Be polite and courteous, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what your date is saying about something.

Read our guide to understanding body language

Relax as best you can

Of course, it’s nerve-wracking being out with someone new but try to relax. Sit back in your chair every now and then, pause and take a breath before you speak and you’ll immediately feel more controlled and calm. Small silences are fine – too much talking can make you sound even more nervous than you are. Leave room for your date to speak and ask questions.

Read our tips for getting the conversation started on a first date

Take it easy on the vino

It’s easy to overindulge on a first date. You’re both nervous, worried about saying the wrong thing, and a little tipple or two can help take the edge off. However, drink too much and your loose tongue could cause you more trouble than you anticipated. Take it slow and let your own personality shine through.

Try to avoid looking nervous

Playing with your hair or sleeve can make you look coy, but do it too much and it just makes you look nervous. Remember, your date is probably trying just as hard as you are to avoid doing anything that makes them look uncomfortable. Try to catch those nervous twitches and stop them before they happen. 

More importantly, have fun! There’s nothing more attractive than someone who knows how to laugh and enjoy themselves.

For more first date tips, learn the dos and don’ts of online dating with our guide to first date etiquette

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.