A study was conducted which said that first impression judgments are made within 12 minutes. In other words, 720 seconds. That’s it; you have a fifth of an hour to make the best impression you can on a first date while trying to form your own opinion as well. Many people can be on their best behavior for 12 minutes, but if you’re not careful, you could start to slack and end up making a poor first impression. Here are five tips for making sure you show your date your best self:
Show Up On Time.
Promptness is attractive. Being on time is the first sign of respect. It shows your date that you care about their time and that you care about the date as well. Don’t be late; it’s as simple as that.
Use Your Manners.
Forgetting your Ps and Qs is one way to turn someone off. From being kind to the waitstaff to showing appreciation to your date, saying “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are all important elements to being gracious. Don’t lose your cool if your order is wrong. The saying “A man will treat you the same way he treats the waiter” truthfully applies to all genders.
Don’t Act Garish.
Make sure you’re not flaunting your success when you’re talking about your accomplishments and avoid making tasteless jokes when you’re nervous. First dates lend themselves to awkward conversation and it’s easy to get caught up and become showy. Being forced to talk about ourselves is not easy for most people, but being humble is more impressive than any achievement. Find some go-to jokes to express your sense of humor without saying anything that can be construed as offensive.
Avoid Getting Too Personal.
Providing too much information or asking ultra-personal questions can be off-putting. No one needs to know about your family drama, your divorce, your job crisis or your other “baggage” on a first date, much less within the first 12 minutes of meeting. I know that first date conversations can be redundant, but they are a necessity. Finding positive similarities on a first date is good, while commiserating on negative commonalities is not.
Show Some Excitement.
Yes, it’s yet another first date. And yes, perhaps this is another date that will go nowhere, but you don’t know that yet and right now it holds all the possibility of turning into a second and third and fourth and so on. Go into the date with a positive attitude and a big smile. If you are already expecting it to fail, then it will.
Focus on finding out if there’s attraction, if the conversation flows well and if you enjoy being in each other’s company. There should be an ease even with first date jitters. And if you can, try to give your date more than 12 minutes before passing judgment – I’m sure you’d appreciate the same courtesy!