How to Make a Good First Impression, to Get a 1st or 2nd Date!

first impression

Have you ever wondered how you can make a good first impression so you can get a 1st or 2nd date?

Good first impressions matter as modern dating is highly superficial, judgemental and there is so much pressure put on that all-important first meeting.

Maybe you have gone on a date and thought you nailed that great first impression, only to be ghosted! You couldn’t stop thinking wtf……, especially after the date seemed to go so well.

It leaves you mystified and thinking if only they had taken the time to get to know you!

The sad truth in the superficial world of dating is that people don’t take the time to get to know you before they judge you!

That’s why first impressions matter so much! Your behaviour and the things you say in the beginning, that can just be a simple comment, can actually ruin that valuable first impression.

Why?

Because of something called cognitive bias! Cognitive bias is the lens people see your actions through. When you create a good impression they see you through a positive lens, yet when you make a poor first impression they will judge you through a negative lens. The information you get early on impacts how you interpret information about the person as time goes on. You end up seeing what you expect to see.

Unfortunately, singles tend to jump to quick conclusions and false labels.

The three main reasons a first impression hasn’t led to a 1st or 2nd date are:

  • The person was ‘nice’, but boring.
  • They asked interview-like questions. Problem with this is it only gets facts instead of creating an emotional reaction. in the other person.
  • Poor presentation and social skills

6 Tips to improve your First Impressions

1. Virtual First Impression

Your first impression can happen before you have ever met irl. Blame technology, where you can be judged online before you meet face2face. With the rise of catfishing and fake profiles, singles will often look you up online to make sure you are who you say you are and to find out about you. They will look at your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn profile as well as finding out what a simple Google search will come up with.

As a Relationship Coach, I have seen singles cancel dates they had arranged because of what they have found online. It is all too easy to make false assumptions based on photos or views found on a Facebook page.

Remember the cognitive bias I mentioned earlier? This applies to your online presence. Your online presence will either allow someone to see you through a positive or negative lens. For example, if you look like a positive, confident or warm in your photos your date will see you that way.  If you look like you are always at a party drinking they may think that is all you do!  That you are the ‘party person’ and not up for anything serious, creating a negative perception of you.

Time to have an objective look at what someone will find when they look you up online and make changes if they are necessary.

Tip:  Don’t rely on your own opinion, get several people of the opposite sex to look at your social media to give you their honest impression. This is important as we are often unable to be objective about ourselves! Maybe you feel you look cute in a photo, yet it shows you as arrogant or shy rather than the warm and friendly person you are. I also recommend you get your friends to choose your profile picture, as people will check out SM to make sure it matches your dating profile.  

2.What you Wear Matters!

Zoosk surveyed 6,646 members and analyzed more than 34,579 profiles to find out how much what you wear affects your dating success. They found that your fashion choices will have a big impact on your dating success.

In fact, 94% of women said dressing nicely on a  date is a MUST! The survey also found that bad style could be a deal-breaker, especially for women. 

Whether you like it or not your clothes matter when it comes to the first impression you make. If you are not sure what to wear, it is an area I can help you with.

Oh and again remember that people will judge you on what you are wearing on your social media – so review the image you present to the world. 

3. Better Questions

Most conversations start with some sort of general question, like: ‘How are you?’ The problem with this question is that it tends to only get an automatic answer, like: Fine, thanks!

 It’s boring and doesn’t generate the first impression you are looking to create.

I want to tell you that ‘fine thanks’ is the enemy of human connection!

To create a good first impression, you need to create an authentic, deeper connection. Instead of your standard, good thanks take some time to think about what how you can answer and what you want to share with the other person that is real and that builds a genuine connection.

Here is an example for someone who loves and values health and adventure.

 ‘How are you?’ answer ‘I’m great! The reason I am feeling great is that I am excited that I have bought the paddle board I have always wanted. I am looking forward to exploring where I can try it out.’’.

What this does is make that early conversation about one of your genuine interests and can be related to one of your values, in this case –health and adventure. This allows the other persons first impression to show you are active and enjoy adventure.

I recommend that you lose the superficial questions where people slip into automatic mode! It is time to ask better open-ended questions as you will have more chance of getting a better response.

4. A Boring First Impression

To make a good first impression you need to stand out for all the right reasons. Did you know that 90% of singles are bored online? They are tired of the same old approach, questions and boring conversations!  

To stand out you need to just get a little bit creative and bring back the fun to your conversations. Lose focusing on the outcome and bring back banter, having a laugh and having fun it gets better results. It also prevents dating burnout.

Too many times people lead online conversations with ‘How are you” or ‘Tell me about yourself’! Or say tell me about yourself or use interview-style questions that just get information rather than allowing a compelling connection. All these types of questions do is end up in bland conversations or being ghosted.

I see many men avoid being boring by getting into sexual innuendo or comments. Unfortunately, this doesn’t build a connection or make a woman feel safe. To find out why, watch this quick video – Talking about Sexual Comments. Ladies the video will also give you insight into why guys do this.

Here are fun, random questions you can ask to start an online or offline convo:

  • ‘ If you had to choose one, which would it be, Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving? If you received this message and you don’t like the options you could say ‘Hell no, I would rather…….’
  • ‘What has made you laugh until you cried?’
  • ‘What song do you have on repeat on your playlist?’
  • ‘Name one thing that you just couldn’t live without?’
  • ‘In your opinion what’s the hardest thing about adulting?’
  • The divisive question, ‘Aisle seat or window in an aeroplane?’
  • ‘Would you rather be the best player on a bad team or the worst player on the best team?’
  • ‘What’s the last thing you did for the 1st time?’
  • ˆBring your best joke, I’ve got prizes)’

5. Be Likeable it Makes a Good First Impression

Everyone wants to date someone they like, so it’s important to raise your likability factor! How do you do that when you first meet someone?

 It comes down to the conversation you have with the other person Instead of focusing on what you are going to say, focus on being genuinely interested in the other person.

 “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to impress the other person or show them how good you are. It often has the opposite effect. Whereas when you are actually interested in the other person it creates that good first impression you are looking to create.

Research has found that when you ask thoughtful, curious questions (rather than interview like questions) it will create an emotional connection.

Use open-ended questions as well as questions that build on the other person’s response. If someone has told you something, you could respond with ‘That sounds so interesting, can you tell me more about it?’ This shows you are really listening to them.

That good first impression happens because of how the other person feels when they talk to you. Good impressions aren’t factual, based on what you say, they are always emotional based on factors you can’t see and are all about the feelings you bring out in the other person.

Being really listened to is rare and makes the other person feel valued, seen and heard.

6. Body Language Creates the First Impression

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about the right things to say when you first meet someone? I want to let you know it isn’t as important as you think!

Why?

Because only 7% of a first impression is made up of what you say! That is a really small percentage! The other 93% is made-up of the tone of voice and the body language.

If you meet someone and have your shoulders slumped, eyes looking down and arms folded it will give a poor first impression. Why? No matter what you said the other person will see your body language as a sign that you don’t believe in yourself, that you aren’t friendly or open. The crossed arms can also be a sign that you as closed off or defensive.

It is important to have confident and open body language when you first meet someone.

I recommend that you stand up straight, shoulders back, arms uncrossed and smile. This will give a good impression. It will show that you are warm, friendly and open.

Your body language also has a direct effect on how you feel. If you don’t believe me try it!

I want you to try this simple exercise. First, stand with your shoulders slumped, eyes cast down, arms crossed and frowning. Notice how that makes you feel

Now stand up straight, shoulders back, arms uncrossed and smile.

Notice how different you feel! The way you hold yourself can instantly change how you feel. There is even research to back this up! I recommend you watch Amy Cuddy’s Power Pose YouTube video.

Conclusion

First impressions are powerful and you can make yours work for you, instead of against you.

If you want some to improve the first impression that you give or even have receive honest feedback, why not book in a coaching session?

Debbie

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What Singles Really Think