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How to Make the Right Impression On the First Date

I am going to begin by repeating a story recently told to me by a male colleague regarding his first date with a girl he met online. He is generally a great guy who does very well dating but on this particular evening he did almost everything wrong. I will then give some tips and tricks for making the perfect impression on the ever important first date.

This following is the story from his perspective:

The First Date Story

“I was chatting with this girl I met online. I was not overly excited about her looks but she seemed fun so I agreed to meet. She had to drop off her son at her ex husband’s house so she suggested a sushi restaurant near his house at 7PM. I agreed.

At 5:45 I was getting ready to get in the shower and she called. For whatever reason she had to go to her ex’s house early and wondered if I could meet at 6. That was not only physically impossible but I also still needed a shower. I agreed to do my best to be there at 6:30.

I pulled into the parking lot at 6:29. She told me she was seated and I went in to meet her. What a pleasant surprise. She was beautiful and fun. She also had a glass of wine and three dishes in front of her- mostly consumed. I ordered a drink and we talked for a bit and eventually ordered more food. At that point things were going well.

The food arrived and she tore into it like ‘a wolf on a bunny.’ I was relaxed and taking my time getting to know someone new and be out of the house enjoying myself. She asked if she could be excused to the restroom and I agreed.

Something must have been off with the fish because she was gone a minimum of 15 minutes. When she returned she sat back down and began eating again. She finished her wine and within 2 minutes her phone rang. Her “distressed son” was having some sort of emergency.

After a two minute call she hung up. “I just don’t know what to do” she kept saying.

“You need to go take care of your family- that comes first” I responded.

“Are you sure?” she said.

“Of course” I replied. I then began laughing hysterically.

“What?” she said.

“Well clearly it looks like you just went in the restroom and called your friend to give you an emergency bailout” was my response. She did not like that at all. Picked up her things off the table. Exchanged pleasantries and she walked out. She said she would call but clearly that did not happen. What a disaster.”

My friend is a handsome successful man with an incredible personality that does very well on the dating scene. Who knows- maybe he had an off night. Maybe she was just looking to score a free meal. This was very out of character and it got me thinking about the importance of making a positive and genuine impression on first dates. Not all first dates are going to be perfect but here are some first date tips to ensure you maximize your odds of a successful encounter.

Be On Time

This is a no-brainer. BE ON TIME. Nobody wants to sit nervously waiting while you finish watching SportsCenter. When you agree on a time leave early so you are waiting when your date arrives. In the rare case you know you will be late- ie. Unforeseen traffic- communicate this to your date as soon as it becomes apparent that you are going to be late. The first rule however is simple- be on time.

Make a Plan and Act Genuinely Excited

There is nothing worse than the old “what do you want to do?... I don’t care what do you want to do” back and forth that occurs when nobody wants to look pushy or make up their mind. Have a plan agreed on beforehand and stick to it. Find an activity that you both enjoy so you can get to know one another in an atmosphere that makes you

both happy and comfortable. Things may change throughout the evening so be ready to go with the flow but start off with a plan to do something you both enjoy.

Listen to Your Date

It is very important to ask questions and listen. Do not interrupt with your own stories no matter how relevant they may seem. Let them know that you value what they have to say and are genuinely enjoying learning more about them.

This does not mean do not speak or rapid f

ire questions. Let your personality shine but take the time to listen and get to know your date better. If things go well your date will ask questions and listen to your responses in return. You can often gauge their interest by the questions they ask.

Honesty is the Best Policy

When you are asked questions it is important to discuss things that genuinely interest you. This will be reflected to your date and make you appear genuine and passionate.

Contrast that with speaking off the cuff about how you enjoy activities simply because you think that’s what your date wants to hear. This rarely works as they can sense that you are being disingenuous. Being honest will build trust and lead to deeper bonds and you get to know one another.

That brings us to our most important first date tip...

Be Yourself

There is no point in being someone other than yourself. You are just setting up thin walls that are bound to come crashing down in the future. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen relationships end due to lies that were told on the first date. You have spent a lifetime becoming who you are. Show it off. Be confident and honest about the person you are and who you want to become.

I hope these tips help on your next date. In the end be confident and honest. Do not apologize if viewpoints do not always agree. This leads to good discussions and finding common ground. In the end both people grow together. Smile frequently and show interest in your date and the person they have become. Do not get nervous- go out there and enjoy the opportunity to spend time and get to know a new person.


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