Yes, we know that a history of failed dates can dampen even the most positive spirits. But like all aspects of life, we can’t just sit and wait for the good times to start rolling in. We need to look back and take lessons from the past and make positive changes, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. One or a thousand failed dates doesn’t mean you will fail the next one. Here are three things that will increase the chances of a successful date, bringing you a step closer to meeting the love of your life. And making this year, your year.

1. Make that first impression count

“You’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” Rings true in all facets of your life, especially when dating. According to Forbes, people will have a solid impression of who you are within the first seven seconds of meeting and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. Daunting isn’t it? So, no matter what type of week or day you’ve had leading up to the date, be sure to dress for the occasion (are you going for a casual coffee date, a walk along the beach or a fancy dressed up dinner – dress accordingly and make sure to put in effort on how you appear) and bring a positive vibe to the table. The first impression is about putting the best version of yourself forward whilst remaining authentically you. Research conducted by McGill University in Canada found that forming an accurate impression of an individual on a first date is important because people often rely on these impressions in deciding whether to pursue a romantic relationship.

2. Be engaging to keep them interested

First dates are nerve-wrecking even for the most socially equipped singleton. You are literally putting yourself out there – your personality, appearance and overall demeanour, in front of a stranger in the hopes of finding love. But how do you get to know your date without forcing awkward conversation, especially if you are quiet and have social anxiety? If you want a successful date, come prepared. Remember, people generally love talking about themselves.

Think of a list of engaging questions that can keep the conversation flowing. Most importantly, listen closely to their answers and be sure to ask follow up questions based on their response. The more interested you are in the person sitting across from you, the more interesting you become to them. Northwestern University Psychology Professor Dan McAdams studied what it takes to truly get to know someone. He created a list of thirty-six questions guaranteed to help you understand people on a deeper level. Here are a few of our favourites to use on a first date:

  • For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  • What would constitute a perfect day for you?
  • What roles do love and affection play in your life?
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3. Body language speaks volumes

You may already know that your body language – such as your posture and facial expression – can paint an accurate picture of what’s going on inside your head. But did you also know that this non-verbal form of communication can also increase your appeal and attractiveness on a first date? We like people who are like us. We look for similarities in others, the way they speak and their mannerisms to indicate if they have the same level of education, social background and values. If you can create a sense of similarity on the first date, you can increase your own likability. You can do this by mirroring your dates own body language to establish rapport and get them to trust you. This behaviour is called mimicry. Mimicry activates your date’s brain to prompt them to be more open—and makes you look more attractive.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a few tips on the most natural way to mirror your dates behaviour:

  • Vocally – speak in the same pace and tone as your date. It’ll almost appear as though you are in sync with each other.
  • Hand gestures – use similar hand gestures, but in a less exaggerated manner.
  • Posture and facial expression – if your date leans in whilst talking (this is a positive, as it indicates that they are interested in what you have to say!), make sure to lean in as well.
  • Keep a friendly face and sit facing towards them to show you are interested in what they have to say.


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