It’d be great if dating and flirting were easy and something you could approach with excitement and nonchalance. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You want to make a good impression on your potential love-interest, yet the very act of pondering how the other person perceives you can make you less confident! Below are four tricks for making a great first impression whether you’re cruising the pick-up scene at a bar or on a first date.
1. Have great eye-contact.
According to Leil Lowndes, author of How to Instantly Connect with Anyone, eye-contact signifies “honesty, respect, interest, intelligence, candor and confidence.” But what makes eye-contact good? In a word: length. You need to look at someone long enough to actually connect with them, not just a brief flicker here and there. Lowndes recommends a few strategies for maintaining continuous eye-contact. Think about the exact shade of his eyes, count the number of times she blinks, note the shape and asymmetry of his eyes.
2. Use the almost-touch.
Touching the other person on the arm or the shoulder is a standard flirting technique. The physical contact indicates interest and comfort. But Lowndes suggests something else: the almost-touch. Reach out like you’re about to touch him but stop before you do. This works on men (“their fantasies go wild wondering what it means”) and women (“she may appreciate your affection but can’t accuse you of being too forward.”)
3. Be eager and enthusiastic — to a point.
Here’s a dilemma: How do you come across as interested in someone without seeming overly-interested? Let the other person speak first, then match his level of enthusiasm. That way you won’t sound disinterested or desperate. This works well on a first date or when someone introduces you to someone else.
4. Make a good last impression.
The way you say good-bye might be even more important than the way you say hello. Studies have shown that when people think about a past incident they’re more likely to remember the way they felt at the end, even if it’s significantly different from how they felt during the event.
To create a great last impression, advises Lowndes, don’t just say good-bye. Instead, say a full sentence that includes the person’s name. Something like, “It was really great to meet you, Tom.” Or “Amy, thanks, I had a really good time.” Be warm and friendly and speak with at least as much energy as you did when you said hello.