Most of us would agree that first dates are normally nerve-racking, especially when you’re meeting for the first time. Even for those of us who consider ourselves to be easy going, a first date has the ability to provide awkward silences, disapproving glances and disappointed sighs. But for those memorable first dates where conversation flows, empty glasses cover the table and the evening ends with a shared taxi ride home, I believe this was all determined in the first five minutes of the meeting.
First impressions are vital in forming new meaningful relationships that have the potential of lasting a lifetime. It’s stated that giving someone a bad impression of you initially is a lot harder to rectify than if someone were to have a good initial perception of you. This is due to your first impression of someone being set as the ‘default’ setting within your frame of mind and therefore it is subsequently more difficult to win someone over. With this in mind, do we take this notion of ‘our’ scrutinizing thoughts with us on our first dates, resulting in us acting differently; still ourselves, but a slightly different version? If this is the case should we be doing this at all, for this will only lead to our true, strange self appearing at some point which, in turn, might lead to the relationship ending?
I can normally find common ground with most people that I meet, the key factor is whether or not I want to, and I normally know if I want to after determining whether or not I like the person enough to make the effort. Taking this approach has resulted in various dates ending very differently; many have been awkward or ended abruptly, a couple have gone well and have resulted in me obtaining some new friends and then there have been the odd few that have gone well, but for the wrong reasons. An example of this occurred on one particular date, on which the girl I was meeting was beautiful; exactly my type looks wise. After realising that I found her attractive I found that I had consciously changed my personality to conform to hers. I laughed at jokes that I normally wouldn’t find funny, held back on stories that I would normally tell and really just became a polite, confined version of myself in order for me to make a good impression. The date went well and we ended up seeing each other again, so the tactic worked to an extent but what was really the point? We are not together now and we were never going to be as our personalities didn’t suit. So why do we conform and hide our true selves, only to slowly release who we really are to our potential partners later?
First impressions are key in any social or professional environment, be it starting a new job, meeting your girlfriends parents or going on a first date. We all adapt to which ever seemingly important situation we find ourselves in to give off the best impression possible, but I don’t feel this to be the best approach when it comes to dating. If you are out on a date and know that there is no future for the two of you then altering who you are to save yourself an hour of awkward silence is understandable but to hide your true self in order for another person to like you more will surely only end badly.
What are your thoughts? Do you think you are always your true self on a date? Leave a comment and let us know!
The Just Singles Team.
About the author…
Richard is an Account Manager. He is interested in the study of social behaviour, has a love for horror films and is a huge Bob Dylan fan.