Impress Him On Your First Date

Ladies, if you want to make sure your next date isn’t the last one, listen to these five guys about the behaviors that can wow a man or make him disappear. Then, try our tips for first-date success!

By Dave Singleton

adies, the good news is that you may not have to work so hard on a great opening line the first time you meet your date. Experts say that about 80 percent of all communication is nonverbal. The bad news is that if your appearance, vibe and body language are his criteria for evaluating your potential, you need to be aware of much more than
A girl’s overall style makes a huge impression on me.
how your hair looks or if your jeans make your butt look too big. If what you say isn’t as important as how you say it, prepare in a whole different way before making that crucial first impression.

Just to get this out of the way, another thing that counts when you meet Mr. Maybe is — cliché but true — the way you look. “Men are visual, and I can’t help it if my first impression is based on something other than her IQ score and fantastic personality,” admits Marylander Tim, 27. There’s nothing like hearing directly from guys on the dating frontlines to really help you understand some of the other key criteria for making a fantastic first impression. Here, we spoke with five men who reveal what attracted (and repelled) them most during initial encounters with their dates.

Before your next romantic rendezvous, read their stories and follow the accompanying tips to make a great first impression on your guy.

1. “The way she walked into the room bowled me over”
“A girl’s overall style makes a huge impression on me. When I met my girlfriend, I noticed how she carried herself, walked, talked and the energy she gave off. I just remember all of it making a big impact. Sure, I noticed her hair, body and other physical attributes. But my friends and I agree that a woman doesn’t have to be a supermodel. It’s her looks plus how she comes across.”
– Ted, 27, Washington, D.C.

Tip: It’s not just what you look like that attracts men. How you show off your attributes matters, too. If you’re feeling satisfied that you look your best, your confidence will radiate and attract others to you.

2. “She just wanted to date someone; she wasn’t really interested in me”
“In the first few minutes of our date, it was clear she hadn’t even read my online dating profile. She knew nothing about me. If you want to make a great impression, then be interested in me. Simple, right? I took the time to pay attention to what she’d noted in her profile — her travel history, work and hobbies. She didn’t do that. Worse, she didn’t even ask me any questions.”
– Michael, 31, Baltimore, MD

Tip: If you’re meeting an online match, make sure you paid attention when reading his profile and come prepared with a few relevant questions. During your conversation, hone your skills as a good listener by asking follow-up questions. “Men judge a woman less on her looks and more on how they feel around her,” says Evan Marc Katz, author of Why He Disappeared. If you pay attention to your date’s individual quirks, he’ll know you’re interested in him and not just bored and wanting to get out for a bit.

3. “She showed up in yoga pants looking like she was ready to hang out on the sofa”
“From the neck up, my date was tarted up with lots of makeup. But from the neck down, she looked like she was going to the gym. The
Sharing too much, too soon can overwhelm a guy.
fact that she put so little effort into how she looked for our date was a total turn-off. The way I see it is this: if she won’t make an effort to look as good as she can on our first date, I can only imagine how she’ll look a few months down the road when we’re hanging out and more comfortable with each other.”
– Jim, 34, Los Angeles, CA

Tip: It’s important to dress up for a date unless you’ve agreed to engage in some athletic activity on your first meeting. But dressing up doesn’t necessarily mean “tarting” yourself up. Looking a little glam is good, but try to avoid the makeup-spackled face and lacquered hair look.

4. “She didn’t look like her photo”
“When I showed up to meet her, she was much heavier than her pictures suggested and definitely several years older than her stated age. That made a terrible first impression. All I could think was, ‘this lady is a liar. Who is she kidding?’ If she’d lie about her appearance and age, what else would she hide?”
– William, 44, Durham, NC

Tip: A picture is worth a thousand words, and you don’t want your date’s first impression to be an essay on why he can’t trust you. There’s a big difference between lopping off a decade and forgetting to update your online dating profile when you turned one year older last week. Your photos should be current and your profile truthfully up-to-date.

5. “She was too intense”
“I walked into the restaurant and she jumped into conversation, was loud and aggressive, and talked to me with her hand on my arm like she was confiding in her BFF. In the first five minutes, I didn’t need to hear a condensed version of her last therapy appointment. I don’t know if she was just lonely or eager, but either way, her intensity made a bad first impression.”
– Jerry, 29, New York, NY

Tip: Maintain a little mystery. Sharing too much, too soon can overwhelm a guy. And remember, it’s important to pay attention to the flow of conversation so that you can develop a true rapport with your date instead of performing a monologue.

For the other side of the story, read How To Impress Her On Your Date.

Dave Singleton, an award-winning writer and columnist for since 2003, is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Visit Dave’s website and send your dating questions and comments to him at
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