Although most of us would feel that the onus is on the man to impress the woman during a date, the responsibility is shared in today’s dating climate. And ladies, impressing your date does go beyond wearing the right dress or shade of lipstick! Embrace the nerves and uncertainty of first dates and increase your chances of a second date with these hints!

Say Hi to Their BFFs

Possibly the single biggest focus of any new relationship is how well a couple can get along with each others’ friends and family members. If you are interested to know more about the people in your date’s social circle, asking him about them outright may make him feel uncomfortable.

To prevent this, relationship expert, Dr. Karin Anderson Abre recommends starting by asking your date how his friends would describe him. This question also provides him a ‘safe’ vantage point to describe himself from another person’s point of view.

Likewise, to find out if your date will be a good match for you, it helps to talk to his friends and get an alternative perspective.

Do your best to maintain a balance, though. Attempting to forge ‘lasting’ bonds with his friends too soon may come across as being invasive and trying too hard. Worse, you wouldn’t want your date to think that you might be interested in dating his friends! Casually ask his BFFs for their opinions on what he likes to eat, or his favourite cafe in town; demonstrating an interest in his welfare and that you value their input.

When you show your date that you can fit into his social circle and are well-liked by his friends, he will be impressed by your initiative and resourcefulness!

Pay for Dinner

It’s a commonly held stereotype that men should pay for dinner, especially on the first date! Such stereotypes aren’t rigid, so it’s time to bend it! To make a favourable first impression, show that you are not fixated on such long-held stereotypes dictated by societal norms.

So, on your next first date, offer to take care of the check. Your confidence, generosity and independence will impress him, and give him the message that you are someone reliable who can shoulder their share of financial responsibilities.

Most men would be quietly impressed, but would insist on footing the bill anyway!

Do Something Together

Doing something fun together on a date can be a rewarding experience. It helps to find out what your date likes and dislikes to ascertain if you would be a good match.

For example, financial planning and investments are hobbies some may enjoy. If your date is someone who thinks that financial planning is important, you will definitely impress him by bringing this mature, yet potentially thorny topic up for discussion.

Do proceed with caution and only take it further if both parties feel comfortable discussing money matters.

An easy way to break into this topic would be to start off light. Try: “How did you plan your spending for your last vacation?”, which will come across as polite and interested. To allow the conversation to flow naturally, you can encourage him to share his spending habits by talking about yours first.

If financial planning isn’t suitable conversation fodder, try making new memories with your date! Try a new activity or sport; new experiences are a great way to learn more about each other. Your willingness to try something unfamiliar and potentially leave you open to embarrassment will create a stronger bond and develop trust.

Pick Colours You're Often Complimented on

Now that you’ve got the activities sorted, are you struggling with what to wear for the date? Start with recalling which of your past outfits garnered the most compliments from your friends.

Lisa Morrison, a dating expert and matchmaker at It's Just Lunchrecommends against showing too much skin and applying heavy makeup on your first date. Looking natural and minimal is strongly recommended for first dates. To make your date a pleasant experience, wear something comfortable. First dates are not the best times to wear a new dress or shoes that might leave you squirming and fidgeting the whole night!

If you are meeting your date after work, be prepared in advance. Try throwing a jacket on over a casual dinner dress and switch out your usual bulky work bag with a clutch. This ensures that you are office-appropriate while armed for a night on the town.

In the evening, you can leave your jacket in the office. Your date will be impressed with your effort, and you will be dressed for the occasion!

Positivity Is Like a Magnet

One of the more prevalent traits of likeable people is radiating positivity. Being positive also has numerous health benefits and can be put to good use on your first date!

Try talking about how well your week went instead of launching into a barrage of complaints. When he reciprocates by sharing about his week, show a supportive attitude and adopt a non-judgmental stance. It may take some practice, but the key is to remain genuine as your attitude could be a real turn-off if you come across as pretentious or patronising.

When phrasing your thoughts, try to avoid self-centred or condescending statements like “I like classical music, everything else is not refined enough for my tastes”.

Instead, try “Personally, I enjoy classical music. What about you?”.

A willingness to embrace a different point of view demonstrates an understanding nature and your ability to keep an open mind, traits which most people would value in a potential partner.

In summary, the important thing is to dispel those butterflies and make each other feel comfortable and valued. Armed with these handy tips, you’re well on your way to a second date and more!

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