By Laura Snyder
Each and every relationship starts in exactly the same way - meeting someone for the very first time. That first impression is arguably the most decisive moment in a potential romance, since it pretty much determines whether or not you two possible lovebirds will ever want to see each other again.
Don't want to screw up that important first moment? Then avoid these moves.
First Impression False Move #1: Self-Marketing
Your date-to-be is chatting about their recent jury duty experience, which reminds you of the time you sneaked onto the set of Law & Order. This kind of "faux segue" is a big no-no. As fascinating and amazing as you are, self-promotion still looks arrogant. Make that first meeting all about getting to know the other person. Not only will you get to be the mysterious, alluring stranger, but you'll actually have something left to say for the first date.
First Impression False Move #2: Being Yourself
Let's qualify that. You should be yourself - but the best version of yourself. Suppress your bad mood if you've had a rough day. Control your finger tapping and leg twitching if you're feeling jittery. When you're hoping to land a new lover, it helps not to focus on your empty bank account, your nervous laugh, or that pimple you think you're getting. Whether you feel like it or not, stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and remind yourself that meeting interesting, sexy people is a fun opportunity, not a harrowing chore.
First Impression False Move #3: Sneak Attacks
The idea of the pickup isn't to pounce on unsuspecting prey. You're trying to get a date, not a show on the Discovery Channel. Make sure you've scoped out your quarry from across the room and shared some eye contact before you move in for the kill. This way, you'll give your target time to warm up to you, or to move away if they're uninterested (thus saving you the sting of rejection).
First Impression False Move #4: False Flattery
We all love being sucked up to, but there's an art to romantic brownnosing. Use flattery judiciously, focusing on accomplishments or achievements and not, for example, a great ass. A compliment taken the wrong way will be taken as an insult. Until you get to know each other a little better, steer clear of potentially touchy subjects such as looks, weight or finances.
First Impression False Move #5: Fearing Rejection
There's no point in fearing rejection when there is a 100 percent chance that it will, someday, happen to you. It's just a matter of not taking those occasional strikeouts personally. Resist the urge to think you're an unlovable ogre. Go ahead and wallow in self-denial if it helps. Maybe the timing is all wrong, or they're seeing someone, or they're just unwilling to share their bed with anything other than their forty cats. It's not you, it's them!