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First impressions: The First Date

The key to ANY good first impression is the thought and effort readily apparent to the other party. This is especially true for a first date. This doesn't mean you have to spend loads of cash to impress (or create a whole new face with your make-up for that matter). Although a first impression is an investment, it's not a financial investment. Breaking the bank won't "buy" you true love in this situation. Being meticulous about how you present yourself is the way to go. Here are 5 key pointers that will help you make the most of your first impression on a potential mate.

1. Your attire should reflect your personality.

How you lead is usually how your date will follow. Admit it, we're always judging a book by the cover so make sure your "cover" says what your mouth and body language may lack. (I wouldn't overdo it with any one message, though). I like to sprinkle a little sexy, edgy, and conservative all in one outfit and have people figure me out. Sometimes we're at a loss for words on the initial meeting with new people, so a good safety net is a conversation piece accessory. For example, I have a pair of long dangling earrings that look like 2 blinged-out safety pins. These never fail to start a conversation everywhere I go (welcomed and unwelcomed).

2. Conversation is KEY.

Maybe you're shy in general, but everybody opens up when they talk about things they love or are passionate about. (Please God don't let this "thing" be your ex! This is a complete NO-NO.) Steer the conversation toward your passion by first asking the person about their passion. Make sure you're not just waiting your turn to talk while they explain. Take in what they are saying and insert when necessary. When it's your turn, recap their answer here and there to let them know you were listening and interested, but give your most genuine answer. (Note: Don't go overboard talking about yourself and stay away from "heavy" topics.)

3. Braggarts aren't attractive.

Some people are innately braggarts, but this attitude should be shifted more toward confidence and less boastful in nature. Use your braggart energy to show that you're confident in yourself and not that you're "so much better than" everybody else. Confidence is attractive and boastfulness is NOT. Nobody wants to feel like their getting into a relationship with a jerk of any kind.

4. Manners take you a long way.

Old fashioned manners can go further than some other efforts. Being polite will not only be attractive, but most likely help your date open up and feel more comfortable. Break out the please and thank yous if it's not already a habit. (*For guys: Remember chivalry isn't dead. *For women: If he's trying to chivalrous, let him be great... sheesh!) Also, know that this applies to not only your date, but the people you interact with during the date. One of the biggest turn-offs is watching a man I'm with be disrespectful to servers or anyone around us. It's disgraceful!

5. Insert Humor (my personal preference)

I love to laugh and I immediately like people that make me laugh. Not everybody is a comedian, but everyone is capable of finding humor in something, right? Flex your funny bone when you can to lighten the mood. Don't overdo it or "reach" to be funny. It may just come off as weird or lame.If you go too heavy on the jokes, your date may question your maturity or think you lack the ability to take things seriously.

Of course everybody's different and will expect different things from you, but these hacks will get you closer to the second date than you think.These aren't the end all, be all rules by any means, but they'll get you on the right track. Go be great!

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