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Ace a First Date


Follow these 5 sensory tips to ace that important first date and leave a lasting impression!

By Linda Rains

ou finally scored a date with that brunette you’ve been eyeing for weeks. After playing it smooth with flirty emails, the occasional compliment, and lingering glances, somehow you managed to work your way in. Good for you. But now, the real work begins.

Dollars mean little and name-dropping even less on most first dates. If you believe it’s these superficial distractions that wow your date, you’re wrong.
At all costs, resist sharing bad jokes, even during those awkward silent moments.
Yes, lavish meals and local celebrity friends may impress at first, but the lasting impressions are those that affect the senses. Believe it or not, even a minor mishap could be fatal. So follow these five sensory tips to ace that important first date.

The look of love
The first impression is all about sight. So skip the grunge and go for khakis or at least a decent pair of jeans without holes. Even if you’ve opted for the casual movie date, it’s always better to overdress than underestimate. If your shirt is stained, toss it aside. You may think it blends, but unless it’s covered, it’s impossible to miss. Got a huge crease from collar to waist? Take a moment to heat up the iron. Before exiting the car, check the teeth and hair, and make certain you’ve removed all tags from any new articles.

Be especially scent-sitive
Women, listen up: Many scientists say that men have a keener sense of smell. So hold back when spraying the scent—because knocking him out from five feet away is generally not a good way to start a date. Men, please don’t pick this night to try a new antiperspirant. And, never ever kick off the shoes in an effort to relax—even a slight whiff of feet will undermine your romancing efforts.

Watch your mouth
At all costs, resist sharing bad jokes, even during those awkward silent moments. Save the x-rated stuff for the boys, and the male bashing for the gals. Political debate is another no-no for most first dates, as are conversations about sensitive current events. You’ve got no clue where your companion stands on these issues, and the last thing you need on a first date is an
If you followed your meal with coffee and/or drinks, be sure you’ve got your breath mints on hand.
argument. Be careful how you address the server or how loudly you laugh at the bartender—remember your date is listening, too.

Touchy-feely
There is nothing as powerful as human contact to let someone know you’re interested. So if you’ve made it this far and your first three senses are right on target, use this most potent weapon wisely. But first, pay careful attention to the parts of your body that are likely to make contact: hair, lips and hands. Never grope your date (of course!). Instead use subtle cues — a gentle nudge, casual touch of the shoulder or elbow, quick grasp of the hand — to hint at your interest.

Do you have good taste?
At the end of this first date, you’ll be glad you went garlic-free. In fact, it’s probably best to avoid spices entirely. If you followed your meal with coffee and/or drinks, be sure you’ve got your breath mints on hand. When you move in close for that goodnight kiss, you want your date to think about how hot and spicy YOU are, not the Mexican entrée you enjoyed earlier.


Linda Rains is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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