A lovely and lasting first impression is absolutely within your control.
Etiquette may be defined as the behaviors conducive to proper social conduct, but this practice has less to do with using the correct dessert spoon or knowing how to call your waiter. More importantly, it involves setting the stage that leaves room for both of you to shine from scene to scene. To do so, take note of these first impression cues to take your first date from appetizer to dessert.
Bring Positivity to the Table
After chatting on the phone for a week or more, the two of you are looking forward to taking things offline for the first time. When you both finally meet, you hug, grab seats, and then he asks you about your day. But before you open your mouth, ask yourself if you’re about to share the positive highlights or dump a load of drama on him.
If you’re both meeting up after a day of work, the last thing he needs to hear is a nonstop rant about your manager Sally’s vendetta against you or a myriad of other issues going on in your life. It seems innocent to us, but to him it communicates that you’re uptight and not at ease. This could even give a hint that your life is out of control. And for a man who's dating seriously, this could close the curtains on a future together.
Take about 10 minutes of your pre-date prep time to clear your mind of the day’s woes.
It’s one thing to be real and genuine. It’s another to serve all of your problems on a platter as the first course.
Instead, come prepared with positivity. Just like you freshened up before your first date, take about 10 minutes of your pre-date prep time to clear your mind of the day’s woes so you can emerge energized and focused on the time you’ll spend together. Relieve any remaining workplace tension with a favorite herbal tea or listen to a positive podcast on your drive to your date spot.
Don’t Overindulge during Dinner
Yes, the appetizers are delish and the wine menu is popping. But making this date about the flavors you’ll savor leaves little room to pay attention to him. Overindulgences can take form in many ways – from eating until you’re absolutely stuffed to getting too cheery with the Chardonnay. You should most certainly enjoy your meal, but remember – what’s most important is the person sitting across from you. Real talk: While probably paying for dinner, no man wants to feel like an easy meal ticket on the first night.
So that you can work on taking your first date to the next stage, consider noshing on a salty, high-protein snack or a light meal ahead of time. This will prevent you from feeling famished and allow you to focus on forming a wonderful new connection.
Give Gratitude, Receive Kindness
In today’s social scene, men often get the short end of the stick, being unfairly blamed for being “toxic” or whatnot. And while he doesn’t deserve a pity party, the one thing every good man expects is appreciation. If he’s holding the door, pulling a chair out for you, picking up the check, and escorting you to your vehicle, then you have a gentleman who has more than earned some gratitude. If you’re truly appreciative, the words “thank you” should be easy to say.
If you’re truly appreciative, the words “thank you” should be easy to say.
The wrong way to approach his generous gestures is to insist that you do everything yourself. Putting up walls – perhaps due to a past relationship – leaves him no room to express his respect for you. Plus, you’ll risk giving the wrong impression that his kindness isn’t worthy of you. Resist the inclination to be Miss Independent by allowing him to treat you like a lady.
This isn’t about feeding his ego or other negative dating notions. After all, if you gave someone a gift and they returned it to you on the spot, imagine how you’d feel. So never feel ashamed or anxious about receiving kindness.
Dress To Impress? Rather, Dress for Success
Instagram feeds have us thinking that Met Gala makeup should be worn 24/7. (Let’s hope this trend ends soon!) If you’re getting to know a guy for the first time, overdoing it with full foundation, lashes, and an intense contour could introduce him to your desperate side instead. There’s certainly nothing wrong with a simple cat eye or a bold lip, but a softer, more natural look will get the nod of approval over fleeked out brows and a fully baked face.
The same theory applies when you’re throwing all of the dresses on your bed, deciding which is the best to wear. Simply consider the environment and being your natural, most beautiful self. Follow this guide to select what outfit flatters your silhouette the most, or take cues from fashionable French women for a cute and casual vibe. So put the skin-tight bodycon dress back on the hanger. (It’s not time for that yet.)
The idea is that overdoing it causes him to feel pressured. And while the first thought might be that you’re dressing for yourself, remember that he’s trying to tune into you and the signals you give him. And because men tend to process things visually, decide whether you want your look to say “take me now” or “let’s take our time together.”
Stay Friendly Until His First Approach
There’s little femininity in forcefulness, and when you’re in his company, there’s much to be said about setting a steady pace, especially when you’re just getting to know each other. That said, getting forward and frisky too soon assumes too much about him – that he’s even interested in going that far. In some cases, taking away his natural inclination to lead can cause the potential for a stable, long-lasting relationship to fall flat. So for a first encounter, friendliness is the best policy.
There’s little femininity in forcefulness.
Don’t Rush, but Don’t Linger
Every great date must come to an end, even if the conversation is getting good. But your stage exit needs to be tastefully done, as rushing the occasion is just as bad as hanging around for too long. Avoiding this awkward dance around the clock is easy – simply communicate what time you’d like to start heading home. After all, if the connection is strong, this first date won’t be the last.
When it comes to first dates, femininity wins in the end. These virtues – positivity, temperance, prudence, gratitude, and simplicity – are the most important etiquette rules you’ll need to help him draw close to you. Remember that these moments are less about “you and him” and more about achieving togetherness.
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