Dear Men

You've got to up your game!

Did you know that research has shown it only takes between one tenth of a second and 7 seconds to form an opinion of someone? Making a good impression on the first date is crucial if you want a second, and eventually a third!

You've really got a short window to do the best you can, so here's some helpful tips to get you ready for that big day, and some big no no's when the time arrives.

Appearance is Everything

The girl of your dreams has dressed to impress, her hair is gleaming, and she’s even got a new French Manicure for the big first date. The sweet smell of her perfume is subtle but sends you wild.

You, on the other hand, have rocked up in your ripped work jeans, dirty boots, and you've still got paint on your neck! Remember those seven seconds? They're already gone.

Blonde man and woman standing close to each other with their hands behind their backs glancing at each other and smiling.

Making an effort on the first date not only makes her think, “WOW! He's really gone all out!” but will give you a confidence boost as well, which will put you at ease.

Everyone (even men) like looking and feeling good, so go get a shower, scrub off that paint, polish your Sunday sliders and remember to iron your shirt. You don't need to look like the elite, but following the basics of personal hygiene, clean clothes and a good aftershave will make all the difference.

Flight Mode

“Put that bloody phone away!”

“It will rot your brain”

“Can you not separate your phone from your hand for 5 minutes?”

Do these all sound familiar, from many a social event or family gathering and the shrieks of your parents when everyone was gathered round the table for Sunday roast.

Well, it's time to follow your parents' advice!

Ginger man and woman sitting close to each other in a cafe, the man holding his phone and woman leaning on her palm.

Technology, although great in the modern world, can really get in the way during some important events, and a first date is one of them! You agreed to go on a date tonight, what's happening on social media can wait a few hours.

Obviously there are valid reasons you may need to have your phone in sight or make a call, but make it known from the start. Otherwise, get it on aeroplane mode – you can catch up with your mates later.

Are you There?

I mean, yes, she knows you are there – you are sitting in front of her after all – but are you really present? Try not to pay too much attention to your surroundings, or zone out staring into space as she's talking. Your focus tonight should be her, and only her.

Listen, be attentive and give signs you are following her story and paying attention. If not, your date is going to feel like you are bored by her, which isn't a cue card for a second chance.

Ginger man and blonde woman sitting down, holding their drinks having a conversation while smiling.

Excuse me, waiter? *Clicks Finger*

There really is no excuse for rudeness. It's not hot on any level.

Doctors and Psychologists have even said, the way you behave yourself in a restaurant towards hospitality staff can make a difference in the possibility of a future relationship. If you can be rude to a waiter, who you don't know in any way shape or form, your date is going to wonder what you are like in social interactions with your friends – or even with them, once you get to know each other a bit more.

Blonde man and woman with their hands folded in front of them slightly leaning against each other and smiling.

It costs nothing to be polite, and trust me, finger clicking or talking down to your waiter will not get you brownie points, more than likely to embarrass your date than anything else.

The best way to think is if there is even a slight chance that what you are about to say or do could offend either your date or the staff, keep it to yourself.

Yes. No. Maybe.

You've been at the table now for almost an hour, but for your date it feels like an eternity. Trying to get any information from you is like getting blood from a stone. The man she got to know online has become but a shell of himself, giving yes/no and other one word answers.

Blonde woman with green bag and red trousers standing alone in front of a building looking at her wrist watch.

Nerves can get the better of all of us, especially on a first date, but it's important to try and give clear and full responses. Awkward silences are one of the biggest killers of first dates, so be prepared too, maybe even having some questions ready. If not, she's going to wonder if you are even interested in getting to know her. Don't let her feel like the conversation is one-sided and that she's wasting her time trying to get to know you better.

Me, Myself and I

So, everything I said in the point above, don't go overboard either. There's a fine line between being enthusiastic and open, and baring too much and not letting her get a word in edgeways. Remember, there are two of you here – and the conversation should be like a game of tennis, moving swiftly from one person to the other. Don't rabble on and interrupt too much. Nobody likes to feel like they are sitting in an episode of “This is your life”. If you see her getting distracted after you have been going on for a bit, take a breath and ask her a question as well. If you're stuck for some ideas, here are some foolproof first date questions you could use.

Once you've replied to her questions, another simple but always effective question is

“And what about you?”

giving her the opportunity to tell you about her or her opinion on the subject.

There are plenty of do’s and don'ts on your first date, but it's important to remember, you're both in the same position, with emotions and nerves all over the place, and the 'perfect date' is different for everyone around the world.

You've made it this far already, so enjoy your date and let things flow.