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Recent research shows first impressions are more important than actual facts. That means whatever someone thinks of you at first could actually supersede things they learn about you at a later date.
“We judge books by their covers, and we can’t help but do it,” said Social Psychologist Dr. Nicholas Rule, of the University of Toronto. “First impressions continue to assert themselves long after you know relevant information about a person.”
The important thing to note here is when you meet someone, that first bit of information is very powerful and could be the deciding factor in their opinion of you. Going back to Rule’s book cover comparison. How many times have you picked up a book and made the decision to read it or not based on those brief seconds of analysis?
When you realize first impressions in dating have a similar power to influence a potential partner, you will be able to make better ones. If your goal is to meet a quality partner to spend your life with, then every good first impression increases your chances of finding one.
Below is a list of five things that will help you make a good first impression in dating.
When it comes to dating, you often have very little time to actually attract someone. Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania studied data from more than 10,000 speed daters and found most people make decisions about a person’s attraction within the first three seconds of meeting.
Think about it. Three seconds! What can a person really know about you in three seconds?
In reality, it doesn’t matter because they are the ones making the decision. You are just making the impression, and if you are one of the unfortunate ones who made a bad one, you have just lost a dating opportunity.
Outside of the speed-dating world, studies find it takes about one hour for a woman to decide whether or not she wants to date a man again. A man decides in 15 minutes.
So what does this time crunch data tell us? It tells us when it comes to attracting a partner, you want to look your best and present yourself in the best way as quickly as you can. Because once those first few moments have come and gone, it could be too late.
I know there are plenty of you out there who may have a trouble with this one. I mean “fashionably late” is a real term after all. Some might even argue when you show up early or on time, you are coming across as too eager.
The fact of the matter is when you are late to a date (or any meeting for that matter), you are basically saying “My time is more valuable than your time.”
Since first impressions are so important and hard to change, when you start off by making a potential mate wait for you, in my opinion, you automatically are starting off with a negative.
Think about it. If you are late and the person spends the first part of the date thinking about that fact, he is not spending the time thinking about how great you look or how much fun he is having. Why take the chance?
One of the biggest turn-offs during a date is negativity. Studies show happiness is contagious, and potential dates find it hard to walk away from happy people. It’s important to keep the conversation positive.
I recommend in those early moments to try engaging in only happy conversations. Discuss topics that make you and your potential partner smile or laugh. Maybe it’s a story about an exciting vacation or personal accomplishment? Or maybe it’s questions you ask them that bring out similar tales of joy?
Whatever it is, you want to be authentic and engage the person with positive language in body, mind and soul. When it comes to attracting people in those first few moments, the fact is a smile really does go a long way.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to first impressions in this instant gratification 21st century dating world, it might be worth more like a million.
Not only do you want to dress to impress, but you also want to match your clothes for the setting. If you are going to a beach location, that is different attire than a fine Italian restaurant. Every detail of your appearance matters here and should fit the time, place and occasion.
In my Conscious Dating Program, I teach about a dating principle called “Like attracts Like,” which basically means what you put out to the world is what you draw in. When it comes to making a good first impression for a potential partner, wear something that fully represents you and what you are looking for.
The best advice I ever received when it comes to dating was if you want someone to like you, just ask them questions about themselves. Why? Because people like to talk about themselves, and when it comes to making a good first impression, a couple of simple questions upfront will do the trick.
Think about it. Have you ever been in a social situation and someone just went on and on talking about themselves? What did you think about that? If you are like me, you probably found it off-putting.
Get in front of the problem — don’t become it. Once your few initial questions are asked, and a good first impression is made, then the connection can run its natural course as either positive or negative.
The goal for you should always be a simple one: never lose out on a chance to make a good first impression.