Making A Good First Impression

by Trish McDermott

There are no second chances at making a spectacular first impression. Those first few seconds of contact become a benchmark for every subsequent impression you make. We are a world in a hurry, an accelerated pace keeps us competitive, instant assumptions often lead to immediate decisions to accept or reject a job, a deal, or even a potential lover. In romance many of us, especially anyone who has been around the block, take a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach. Why second-guess the obvious? In just under ten seconds, enough time to read the first few lines of an email, glance at a profile or extend your hand and offer a friendly "hello," someone is forming a first and lasting impression of you. Is it a good one?

Your Profile As A First Impression

Your profile is a uniquely personal introduction. Think of it as equivalent to not only what you say when first meeting a potential date, but also what you are wearing, your posture, eye contact, the firmness of your handshake--even your makeup, perfume or cologne. While there is no one profile style that suits everyone, a charming, humorous, poignant, creative or otherwise distinctly unique approach may improve your results. Likewise, there are some general breeches of romantic protocol and self-expression that should be avoided. You wouldn't show up late, wear a soiled jacket, or chew with your mouth open on a first date at a fine restaurant, so don't behave inappropriately or to your romantic detriment in your profile.

* Use an uncommon or striking headline. Avoid boring demographic descriptions like "SF Seeks SM for LTR." Instead, have some fun. Be daring! Elicit an emotion! Express yourself!

* Proofread. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are as important as content. Think of the presentation of your message as a way of dressing for a date. While clothes don't make the man (or woman), no one wants to appear shoddy or unkempt.

* Say it with style. What you say may not be as important as how you say it. Play with language. Write poetry. Tell a story. Perform stand-up comedy.

* Be less-than perfect. Regardless of the style you choose or the language you use to express yourself, be careful not to extol your many virtues to the point of boredom, or even suspicion. No one can be that perfect. Your minor faults and charming inconsistencies make you human, interesting and approachable.

* Avoid sending up red flags. Don't whine, complain or drivel on about any problems in your life. Refrain from casting yourself in the role of the victim, the egregiously wronged, or the emotionally mortally wounded. Never use the word "desperate," or bring up war stories from past relationships. Be positive and optimistic. Chaos, depression and drama aren't attractive attributes.

Your Email As A First Impression

Your first email is like the beginning of a cocktail party conversation. Introduce yourself appropriately. Listen as much as you talk. Show interest in the other person. Be confident, but also genuine. Make eye contact. Connect.

As with your profile, first emails should follow basic rules for presentation and content. Experiment and find a style that works for you. Use the subject line like a headline, proofread, be creative, positive and genuine. Avoid anything canned or trite. Pick-up lines don't work and you will rarely make a good first impression, or get a response using one. First emails should always be individually written and work best when conversational in style. Mention something about the recipient's profile. Where did you sense a connection? Ask a question or two and include some brief information about yourself. It's OK to flirt or tease a little, even during your first contact, but keep things light and friendly.

First Impressions In The Real World

If all goes well, your spectacular profile and carefully crafted emails will eventually lead to a first date in the real world. Although you may feel as though you already know each other, you have yet to become familiar with each other's physical presence, and that can take some getting used to. First face-to-face encounters can be awkward or even shocking, regardless of the positive feelings you already have for each other.

You make your best real-world first impression by being calmly and confidentially yourself. Try to enjoy the nervous energy you are feeling. Have fun. Remember to smile. People are perceived as more attractive when they are having a good time. Your date will form an immediate first (physical) impression of you, usually in under ten seconds, based on some combination of these attributes:

body language
physical characteristics
smile/facial features
eye contact
perceived confidence
perceived comfortableness

Inside Information On Positive And Negative Impressions

Several hundred single men and women attending dating and flirting classes were asked to list the attributes they find attractive and unattractive in a potential partner. Below is a list of the most frequent responses. Although many of these attributes may not be immediately apparent, most will show up sometime during a first date.

Attributes Leading To A Positive Impression:
sense of humor
body language
conversational ability

Attributes Leading To A Negative Impression:
closed minded and judgmental
lack of manners
poor conversational ability
negative life attitude
lack of education
indecisive/without an opinion
lack of integrity
war stories from past relationships
whining and complaining
only interested in sex
power games and manipulation

There are no do-overs when it comes to first impressions, yet many of us fail to put our best foot forward during early romantic encounters. We want to be loved for who we are and are leery to "package" ourselves in any way. This is understandable, but not always realistic. Dating is a numbers game and, like it or not, dating occurs in a competitive environment. The next positive, first romantic impression you make may turn into life-long love--not a bad return on a relatively minor investment.

Take the first step towards making a great first impression. Create your personal profile at

Wedding Rings

Dating Advice Playing it Safe Online  How To Chat  Should You Relocate For Love  The Friend Barometer   The Chemistry of Love    Getting Past Our Fear Of Romantic Rejection Making A Good First Impression provides singles dating resources and dating advice to singles. 

Home | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Disclosure Policy 

Copyright 2008, All rights reserved.

Find Local Singles Groups and Events

Top Singles Cities Atlanta  Boston Austin  Baltimore Chicago Cincinnati  Cleveland Dallas/Fort Worth Detroit Denver Houston  Indianapolis Kansas City  Las Vegas  Los Angeles Minneapolis/St. Paul New York City  Miami/South Florida Nashville  Newark  Orlando Philadelphia  Philadelphia  Phoenix  Pittsburgh  Portland Raleigh-Durham  Sacramento  San Francisco Tampa/St. Petersburg  Salt Lake City St. Louis  Seattle/Tacoma  Washington D.C.  Toronto Vancouver Calgary  Edmonton Montreal Winnipeg   London, England /South East/ UK    Sydney, Australia

US Singles Cities Albany  Allentown Anchorage  Appleton  Ashville  Augusta  Bakersfield Baton Rouge  Beaumont  Billings Biloxi Binghamton Birmingham  Boise Brownsville  Buffalo Burlington Canton Charleston Chattanooga  Cheyenne   Colorado Springs  Columbia Columbus  Corpus Christi  Davenport   Dover  El Paso  Erie  Eugene  Evansville  Fargo  Fayetteville  Fort Collins Fort Smith  Fort Wayne  Fresno  Gainesville  Gary Grand Rapids  Green Bay  Greenville  Harrisburg  Hartford  Hickory  Honolulu   Jackson  Jacksonville  Johnson City  Johnston  Kalamazoo   Kenosha  Killeen  Knoxville  Lafayette  Lakeland  Lancaster   Lincoln  Little Rock  Louisville  Lubbock  Macon  Madison  McAllen  Melbourne  Memphis  Midland  Milwaukee    Modesto  Myrtle Beach  Naples    New Orleans  Ocala  Oklahoma City  Omaha   Oshkosh  Pensacola  Peoria   Providence  Provo  Pueblo    Reading  Reno  Richmond  Roanoke  Rochester   Saginaw  Salinas  San Antonio  San Diego  Santa Barbara  Santa Rosa  Sarasota  Savannah  Scranton   Shreveport  Sioux Falls  South Bend  Spokane  Springfield   Stockton  Syracuse  Tallahassee    Toledo  Tucson  Tulsa  Utica  Virginia Beach  Visalia  Waco  Wichita  Wilmington  Yakima  Yonkers  York  Youngstown   

Singles By State  US States Singles  Alabama  Alaska  Arizona Arkansas California  Colorado  Connecticut  Delaware  District of Columbia  Florida Georgia  Hawaii  Idaho  Illinois  Indiana  Iowa  Kansas  Kentucky  Louisiana  Maine Maryland  Massachusetts  Michigan  Minnesota  Mississippi  Missouri  Montana  Nebraska  Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico  New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio   Oklahoma   Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota  Tennessee   Texas Utah  Vermont  Virginia   Washington West Virginia Wyoming Puerto Rico Virgin Islands 

Canadian Singles Alberta  Calgary  Edmonton  British Columbia  Vancouver Manitoba  Winnipeg  Ontario  Toronto   Ottawa  Quebec Montreal   Quebec City   Saskatchewan Saskatoon   Regina  Eastern Canada  Nova Scotia

International Singles  London, England /South East/ United Kingdom    Sydney, Australia

Singles Blog Dating Blog

Copyright 2009, All rights reserved.