Yes, First Impressions Matter. So Make It Count.


First dates are like interviews. You’re tasked with impressing the hell outta someone, showing off your impeccably timed wit, infinite and poetic intelligence and all-around attractiveness. While a dream job may be on the table in an interview, when it comes to romantic encounters, you simply have to convince someone that you’re qualified to become their one and only. Nbd. Oh, and FYI? You have about five seconds to do it… four… three… two… one. How’d you do? Ok, so you’re not the best first-impression-maker. Your wit is ill-timed; you forgot to take hair cues from Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger (smooth ‘n straight. Always.); and for you, an interpersonal exchange isn’t complete without making at least one interaction supremely awkward. It’s cool. We can work with that.

They say first impressions are everything. While I’m of the thought that some things can be undone, why make it harder on yourself? Nail the first encounter, and you’ll walk away with a clearer head about how things went. Clear head = advantage, you. You won’t be overanalyzing about if he likes you, if that off-color joke inadvertently offended him or your dress was too much. You’ll just be focused on whether YOU liked HIM. After all, you’re not the only one on trial here.

How to not flunk the first date:

• Get your first-date ‘fit right. If you’re at a loss here, employ your most fashionable friend and promise unlimited amounts of favors if she will do you a solid and pretty-please take you shopping. Aim for sexy, not slutty; venue-appropriate; and show some skin, school marm. And sidebar: Your makeup should follow suit. If I can see my reflection in your opaque metallic eye shadow, you’ve gone. Too. Far.

• Walk in with a smile. A smile conveys confidence, a trait all men love. It says: You’re sure of yourself and you’re sweet. Damn, girl—I already want to date you.

• Ask him about him. A LOT. Listen, people like talking about themselves. It’s true—I know you have that friend/aunt/sister who yammers on about their life and “problems” and almost forgets to ask about you until the end of the convo. Don’t be her. Not on a first date. On a 911 call? Sure. But not a first date. (And let’s just hope your date doesn’t turn into a 911 call…) Spoiler alert: If he fails to return the favor, well, that’s just not the best sign. There’s a chance he’s painfully shy to the point of paralysis, but even as a best case scenario, that’s a bummer. You ever tried carrying on a conversation with yourself? Almost impossible.

• Keep it light. Don’t bring up the exes, daddy issues, mommy issues, marriage, Campaign 2012 (although, I guess that could be debatable. HA.), and general negative-Nancy-ness. Have a good time. You’re just here for the adventures.

Ever notice that you always land an offer from those job interviews you didn't really care about? Apply a similar approach here. Arrive as your best self, but don’t over think your plays. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt: They already want you because, let’s face it, you’re pretty awesome.