It isn’t just men who can benefit from exercising a degree of an understatement – the nerves of wanting to impress can lead to any of us bragging about ourselves. Whilst bragging reassures you that you have unambiguously described your remarkable achievements, the lack of self-awareness can come across as arrogant and distinctly unattractive. If instead you can work the conversation around to the implications of what you do, and have done, you will signal a level of modesty. This presence of self-awareness is a far more desirable trait in a partner than is boastfulness.
2. Do your homework
If you know certain facts about, or aspects of, your date’s life prior to your rendezvous, reading up on some background knowledge can do you the world of good when it comes to getting in their good books early on. If you know they’re from a somewhat obscure country, casually enquire as to whether they are from its capital, or tell them how much you enjoyed their national cuisine that time you tried it (even if you haven’t, and instead merely Googled it five minutes before). Impress them with your worldliness. Is this cheating? Perhaps – or, it shows a modicum of initiative. Should they ever detect the ruse in the long run, they’ll probably just be touched and mildly amused that you wanted to impress them and understand where they’re from.
3. Look good, smell good
It is hard to overstate the importance of physical attraction. Blind dates in the true sense are all but a thing of the past; nowadays, you will almost always know what your date looks like before you meet them. That first step is over – presumably, they like the look of you! However, it goes without saying that putting in the effort will always be worth your while. Wear your finest cologne or perfume and match your outfit to the occasion. Understated can be best, sexy but modest; leave them wanting to see more of you – be someone they’ll be more than happy to gaze romantically towards all evening long.
4. Show authentic intrigue
If you met through online dating, go back through your messages and pick out specific points they made. Raise questions regarding these; display to your date that you care about what they have to say and that you value their time and individuality. When you ask questions, really mean them – if they speak of something about which you are ignorant, enquire about it – show vulnerability and humbleness when you are not in the know. Display interest in their wider background – their family, where they grew up, what their aspirations were, what led them down their career path. Show a keenness that you would like to get to know them as an entire person, who they are, where they’ve come from, as opposed to asking default, empty ice-breakers in order to fill the silence.
5. Real compliments
Few things better signal that a date is going well than the delighted acceptance of a compliment – but this response will only arise if the compliment is genuine. It is one thing to tell your date that they look great, but to specify something they have done with their appearance that you like will elicit next-level happiness. Make sure to compliment far beyond their looks, though: feeling validated more often comes from being complimented about who we are – being told that we’re hilarious, intelligent, kind. Keep the compliments in check: giving too few can come across as disinterest; too many can come across as intense.
6. Be courteous
You can be the most charming person in the room, the finest date they’ve ever had, but if you don’t extend that same level of respect to each and every other person encountered on the date (typically staff), your whole character will come across as nothing but a hollow façade, masking an agenda to merely look good long enough to fool your date into being impressed. By showing genuine civility and politeness towards whomever the two of you may encounter during the course of the date, you display a verifiable authenticity and, in so doing, become real and three-dimensional.
7. Be yourself
Whether it takes you two minutes or two hours to get ready, if a long-term relationship is on the cards then your date is not as interested in what you look like as they are in the quality of your character and the compatibility of your personalities. That’s not to say that they’re not going to fancy the pants off you, but love is not lust. At some point, if you want to take it to the next level, you need to respect and like each other enough to want to spend time together beyond the bedsheets. Being real entails knowing yourself and embracing the fact – there’s nothing more attractive than self-confidence and awareness of one’s own worth.