7 Things Your Date Notices About You Immediately

Want to make a good first impression? This is where you should focus your energy.

Meeting potential romantic interests can be flirty and exciting, but it can also make you feel anxious and insecure — so it’s easy to get in your head.

You might be the type of person who stresses about every minute detail of your appearance, personality and turns of phrase. But why waste energy worrying about things your date probably won’t pick up on, let alone care about, anyway?

Below, dating experts and daters reveal the things your date is likely — and unlikely — to notice right off the bat. Read on for their thoughts:

1. Your body language.

According to dating coach Damona Hoffman, the way you position your body will signal to your date whether you’re interested in them or not.

“Usually someone will turn their hips towards someone they like, lean in when they are talking and look for opportunities to touch them in casual zones,” Hoffman, author of “F the Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story,” told HuffPost.

Posture is also something your date will take notice of. Are you standing up straight with your head held high or are you slumped over with your head hanging down?

“The former signals confidence, the latter lack thereof, and confidence is all-important when making a great first impression with someone new,” dating coach Blaine Anderson told HuffPost. “To have better posture, by the way, don’t just pull your shoulders back. You’ll look unnatural. Engage your glutes and core more when you’re standing and seated — everything else falls into place when you do this.”

Body language is something your date is going to be picking up on, our experts said.
zeljkosantrac via Getty Images
Body language is something your date is going to be picking up on, our experts said.

Kaylyn G., a member of the HuffPost Facebook community, said she always notices how a date carries themself.

“How they walk. How they get a waiter’s attention. How they sit in the chair,” she wrote.

2. Your facial expressions.

“Do you make and hold eye contact, and are you authentically smiling?” Anderson said. “Or are your eyes evasive and you look ill-at-ease? Again, the former signals confidence and the latter lack thereof.”

Nick Notas, a dating coach who works with men, also underscored why eye contact is so important.

“Looking into someone’s eyes helps create a sense of connection,” he said. “Avoiding eye contact can make her feel distant from you and set an awkward tone.”

Similarly, a warm smile can “go a long way towards diffusing tension on a date,” Hoffman said. “A smile says that you feel comfortable with them, that you’re having a good time and that they can relax around you.”

To make a good first impression, online dating coach Joshua Pompey of Next Evolution Matchmaking suggested “creating the aura of someone who is happy and excited about life” by approaching your date with a smile, enthusiasm and open body language.

“This will increase the odds that your date is instantly put into a positive state of mind as well, filled with excitement and positive energy,” he said.

3. Your grooming and hygiene.

Your pre-date ritual should include basic tasks like taking a shower, brushing your teeth and combing your hair — it’s not much to ask, and your date will certainly appreciate it.

“Things like a trimmed beard, groomed eyebrows and fresh breath show pride in your appearance,” Notas said. “Dirty fingernails or body odors suggest a lack of self-awareness.”

Anderson added: “Do you look like you take care of your skin and hair, and do you smell good, if subtly so?”

Renata M. wrote on Facebook that good hygiene always stands out to her in a date.

“A well-groomed person with good manners shows he has self-respect and respect for others,” she said. “Everything else can be worked on or brushed off, unless he is married or jobless.”

4. Your outfit.

Just make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the setting. You don’t want to be overdressed in a three-piece suit at a pub or underdressed in some ratty old T-shirt at an upscale restaurant.

“Being well-dressed is less about wearing expensive clothing and more about wearing the right clothes for the occasion,” Anderson said. “To illustrate this, business casual might be perfect for your office, but it’s inappropriately stuffy for most first dates. It should go without saying, but your clothes — and shoes especially — should look clean!”

5. How much you talk about yourself.

Does the conversation have a nice back-and-forth, or is it very one-sided? If your date can’t get a word in edgewise, that’s a problem.

“Do they listen or just talk about themselves?” reader Mary C. wrote on Facebook.

Reader Cayci C. said she pays attention to whether “they talk with me and not at me.”

Your date is going to notice if you're asking them questions or just talking about yourself ad nauseam.
Alina Rudya/Bell Collective via Getty Images
Your date is going to notice if you're asking them questions or just talking about yourself ad nauseam.

And for reader Louise P., it’s not just how much the date talks about themself, it’s also what they’re saying.

“If they say their last partner was ‘crazy,’ if they start future-faking immediately, if they talk about money immediately ― spot the red flags,” she said.

6. Your manners and how you treat your server.

If your first date is at a bar or restaurant, you’d better believe your date is going to notice how politely you interact with the people who work there.

It “screams volumes about someone’s character,” Shanna M. wrote on Facebook.

Reader Kerri D. said she also pays attention to behaviors like whether her date opens the door for her or asks her where she wants to sit.

“None of these things are required or dealbreakers in any way, it just tells me a lot about their personality and how OK they might be with mine,” she wrote on Facebook.

“I am hella awkward and need a bit of space and time to ‘warm up’ to someone. ... I have no problem giving people the benefit of the doubt for the same reason. But a lot of very simple behaviors can hint at compatibility.”

7. How you make them feel.

Your date might not walk away from the evening remembering the color of your eyes or your exact facial features, Hoffman said. They will, however, remember how you made them feel.

“Was something said that creeped them out? Or made them lean in? Focusing on the atmosphere and feeling of connection is more important than choosing the perfect dress or tie,” she said.

And here’s what your date probably won’t notice.

There’s no sense fixating on things your date is unlikely to pick up on anyway. According to our experts, that includes the following:

Minor physical ‘flaws’

You might be self-conscious about perceived imperfections like a “crooked tooth, a few extra pounds or a small scar,” said Notas. But your date probably isn’t focusing on any of that — and neither should you.

“Unless it’s something really obvious, your date isn’t zeroing in on minor details,” he said. “She’s focused on your overall vibe and how you make her feel.”

Same goes for pimples or blemishes, Anderson said. Not a big deal!

“Everyone gets the occasional zit. Unless you have one that dominates your face, you’re better off not calling attention to it and just enjoying your date,” she said.

How fancy your clothes are

Your date probably isn’t going to be paying close attention to your particular wardrobe choices. You want the overall look to be put-together — but beyond that, the specifics don’t matter all that much.

“I hear a lot of emphasis on not only what to wear, but on which brands to choose, yet rarely do I hear a report from a client that they liked a date because of the brands or specific clothing items they wore,” Hoffman said.

“Usually they’ll notice if someone is dressed poorly or if the clothes are worn, but other than that, labels don’t tend to matter on a first date.”

Your outfit choice probably isn’t going to tank a date as long as it’s appropriate for the setting.

“If your clothes look clean and fitted, she’ll walk away with a positive impression about your style,” Notas said.

Your exact turns of phrase

When it comes to communication, your demeanor, interest in your date and tone of voice will do a lot of the heavy lifting. The exact words you use are less important.

“While you obviously want to avoid profanity or insensitive language, what matters is your ability to listen and the flow of conversation,” Notas said. “How you say something is so much more important than what you say.”

The good news: The vast majority of the things your date will notice about you right off the bat are “100% in your control and free or inexpensive to improve,” Anderson said.

Her advice? “Focus on being your most present, best self when you meet your date, versus worrying about any more minor details, like which of two shirts to wear,” she added.

“I always recommend my clients do something that makes them feel awesome — like go to the gym or watch a comedy special — before going on a date to make the best first impression.”

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