How to Make First Impressions Count

You only have a few seconds to create a first impression when meeting a prospective partner so don’t waste it.

In the online dating world where we can all scroll through hundreds of potential partners we make that initial judgement in even less time.

The first hurdle is your online dating photo. While you have no control over the likes and dislikes of the person viewing you, how you present yourself can increase your chances.

The staff at OKCupid catalogued over 7,000 profile pictures analysing what worked and what didn’t. Their article identified the usual expectations but also some interesting differences. In addition, numbers of views (such as with the cleavage shot mentioned below) didn’t necessarily convert into messages – well not those likely to lead to a meaningful relationship!

Best for Women

  • flirting with the camera
  • holding the camera above your head  (the myspace angle) is the single most effective type for women
  • a cleavage shot (this improves with age – well at least until you’re 32) but then the messages
  • for messages, look conversation-worthy rather than just sexy.

Worst for Women

  • flirting away from the camera
  • drinking in picture

Best for Men

  •  looking away from the camera and not smiling
  •  if you’ve got great abs show them (but the effectiveness of this decreases with age – after 31 forget it)
  •  with an animal or doing something interesting

Worst for Men

  • flirting away from the camera
  • dressed up to the nines
  • these examples

Admittedly successful flirty faces depend on a certain level of attractiveness but if all else fails smile.

When it comes to actually going on a date whether it’s from a dating site, app or a blind date arranged by friends or family, again those first impressions will make a big impact as to how successful – or not – the occasion might be.

Here are a few tips –

Be on time 

What is so important about timeliness? If someone doesn’t have enough respect to be on time for a first date – without a very good excuse and having kept the other person updated - then would you be willing to count on them for anything else? By being on time you’re placing an importance on the occasion and sending out that message.

Make an effort 

Since “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” prepare yourself for your first date so you make the best impression you can. Make an effort with your appearance – be clean, well groomed and dress appropriately.If you’re meeting at the beach or gym, turning up in a suit saying you’ve got a business appointment later is not going to hack it.

Remember that your date is coming to meet you because they are interested in you just as you have indicated you are interested in them. A bunch of flowers never goes amiss or

It’s not just about appearances either. Think about what you will say to your date and try to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. A little preparation goes a long way and if you show you’ve learnt about something they’re interested in (even just to mention that you were pleased their football team won) it helps create a more positive impression of you as a future partner.


Even if feeling nervous about the date. They may be nervous too. And a warm smile can help break the ice. We respond to people’s facial cues – if you’re frowning or looking miserable or angry – then it’s unlikely the date will get off to a good start. If you keep those expressions throughout your date, it’s unlikely there’ll be a second opportunity.

Be polite and attentive

This is your first meeting so put on your best show. Listen and react to what is being said. Pay attention by smiling at appropriate points, nodding and responding. Having your mobile on or even worse taking or making a call (unless an emergency) is simply rude. It sends out the wrong message and reflects badly on your manners.

Making eye contact is important too. It helps build the connection between you and can move the date into flirty territory. It also makes you seem more open and trustworthy.

Behave appropriately

Just as dressing appropriately is important, so too is how you behave. Shouting, burping, swearing, farting, singing our loud unless at a heavy metal concert and (yes, we know life’s unfair) you’re a man will also be unlikely to get you to next base.

No second dates are guaranteed and that decision may factor in things you are not aware of and have no control over. But by making the best first impression you can, you have already sent a clear message to your prospective partner that you think they are worth the effort.



Best Ever Love Life



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