Going on a first date can be nerve-wracking. You’re meeting the other person for the first time and you have a rough idea of who they are, or so you think. Things could go great… Or not, right?
We don’t blame you for overthinking this. Dating isn’t easy.
If you’ve decided to put yourself out there to meet someone you’ve been talking to for a while, congratulations! Here are five science-backed first date tips to help you ace that first date with confidence.
1. Look groomed and healthy
When you meet someone for the first time, you have about 27 seconds to make a good first impression on your date even before you speak.
From that same study, the top three factors that formed a bad first impression were: smelling bad, being arrogant, or dressing poorly. If you don’t already take grooming and freshening yourself up seriously, then this is your sign to do so.
Research also shows that both genders find physical indicators of sexual health desirable in a person. These indicators include shiny hair, clear skin and bright eyes.
So if you want to make a good first impression, wash your hair, freshen up, and slap on a little moisturizer. You don’t have to put on a facade, but looking like you actually put some effort into your appearance would definitely add a tick or two in your date’s books.
2. Watch your body language
3. Have something sweet
4. Put yourself out there
Psychology studies found that individuals are perceived to be more likeable after they make a mistake, this is known as the Pratfall effect.
This means that you shouldn’t stress out too much about being the perfect date because it is likely that your mistakes and imperfections will make you seem more human and likeable.
But make sure that the slip-ups aren’t happening all the time, and that you’ve established a decent amount of rapport first to avoid seeming unreliable.
Another study found that to be seen in a positive light, you can share personal information about yourself, instead of hiding it. Even if the information is potentially embarrassing.
We take this to mean that there is power in being vulnerable, in sharing stories about yourself and in putting yourself out there if you want to connect with your date. However, we’d be cautious about sharing too many embarrassing stories – you’d want to also hear some of theirs.
5. Show an interest in them
This brings us to our next point. You can apply all our tips so far, but that’s only half the work. You’ll also need to show interest in them.
Science backs this up. There is a phenomenon known as reciprocity of liking where people think positively of others when they know that these individuals have also expressed positive opinions of them.
So in short, show your appreciation for them and that could, in turn, cause them to have an interest in you before the night ends. Of course, you should be genuine and only do so if that’s how you really feel.
The unpredictability of a first date situation can often unnerve even the most seasoned daters because you can’t quite tell how a date is ever going to go until you’re on the date itself.
If you’ve been having butterflies in your stomach or thinking about canceling that upcoming first date because it’s been too long since your last date, we hope we’ve managed to convince you, with the help of science, how you can make it a more enjoyable first date for the both of you.
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