How important are first impressions on a date?

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Very very important!

Studies have shown that we all make split second assessments about someone’s trustworthiness , sincerity and competence in the moment we meet them. Actually within tenths of a second . We assess whether we have an interest in getting to know them better or not . And it’s all done before we utter a word of “hello”.

Then once that first impression is set , because of what’s known as the anchoring effect and confirmation bias they are not so easy to change, even in the face of later evidence to the contrary.

Our brains are highly skilled at these immediate unconscious assessments . Scientists have found in studies using brain scans that in the first seconds of a date, our posterior cingulate cortex which we use to assess the value of objects, works in tandem with our amygdala which processes social nuances , to sort all the available information about the person you are meeting , almost all non verbal , and summarise that into a score – a first impression.

Showing your best self to others before you even say a word really matters.

So how does one make a great first impression and  show your best self?  Here are the four most important tips to consider :

1) Don’t be late !  Being late never creates a good first impression.  Are you disorganised, or don’t you  care enough about the person you are meeting? You usually arrive a little flustered and apologetic and on the back foot . Get there early. Sit down and take a moment to be present, ready to meet someone special.

2) The clothes maketh the man and woman !  Research has shown that women are more attracted to men wearing high status clothes  ( vs medium and  low status clothes ) . They rate them sexier , more intelligent, successful, popular and better relationship material .

So powerful is this effect that eighty five percent of women find men who are dressed up, as sexier and smarter than men with a lot of money.

What sort of clothes are we talking about? A suit or a soft  jacket and a fitted shirt is classic high status. ( and for women the sexiest colours are black or blue with a hint of red. )

A poll of women after dates found that 3 out of 4 men were considered underdressed for a date .

For women the message is the same . Studies have shown not surprisingly that men find women who are dressed up to be more attractive . In particular high heels , the colours red and black , and a bodycon dress that shows off your waist to hip ratio.

3) Make eye contact immediately on meeting! Sounds easy but you’d be surprised how many people look away a little shyly . When you are fully present for that first moment with your date , they rate you as more attractive, confident and trustworthy . It forms an important connection.

4) Don’t forget to smile ! Smiling is shown to send a psychological signal of altruism which equates to trust . Smiling at your date in the first second you meet them makes you more approachable and trustworthy in their eyes, more worth getting to know .

Heartmatch – enabling fabulous relationships

At HeartMatch our passion is to enable fabulous relationships . This means finding you great matches. It also means drawing on the most practical, science based dating advice to help you put your very best self forward when you are meeting your someone very special.

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