Why is it that we typically spend more time getting ready for a first date than a 51st date?
Do we think our chances of getting a second date depend on how we look? Are we trying to send a subliminal message about the type of person we are?
Everyone has her own reasons for taking that extra time to get ready, but chances are we simply want to make a good first impression, as we all know that appearance can play a prominent role in the beginning stages of a relationship.
In many cases, it’s what initially attracts us to another person. Looking our best on a first date can also give us that boost of confidence we need to get through those somewhat awkward early exchanges.
There will come a time, however, that the thrill of getting all dolled up for your date…with the same person you’ve been seeing for a while now…is not so thrilling.
When that time comes, you don’t want your partner to be completely shocked that you don’t actually have those super long eyelashes he always compliments – instead, you were just sporting fake ones the whole time.
I’m also not too sure your date would be thrilled to find out that you don’t own anything other than offensive T-shirts, and the suits you’ve been wearing on dates were just borrowed from friends. This is not to say they won’t like you for who you really are; it’s just a matter of feeling lied to.
As cliché as it sounds, staying true to who you are is one of the most important elements of dating. It’s how two people figure out if they are right for one another or not. Trying to be what you think the other person wants is nothing but a recipe for disaster – and would become very exhausting after a while.
A guiding principle
That being said, you’re probably still going to spiff up a little more than normal for that first date. I’m guilty of that myself, but the key is to do it in a non-altering way. For example, don’t go out and buy some trendy new outfit if it doesn’t mesh with how you typically dress.
Not only are you sending an inaccurate message of who you are, but if you want to keep that up, your bank account is going to take a major hit any time you go out on a date with that person.
Ladies, I know exactly how it goes when you have a first date. You invite some friends over, demolish your closet seeking out the perfect outfit, and you have your best friend, who is phenomenal at doing hair, give you a fabulous new ’do for your date. You look spectacular…but if you can’t do it yourself, chances are you’ll never wear it that way again. If you want to spice up your look, just give your hair a little extra tease and add a few curls, but keep it similar to what you would do if you were going out with friends.
Men, spray on some cologne and definitely take the time to iron your shirt, but don’t shave if you never shave. That’s part of who you truly are, and you don’t want that girlfriend of yours always getting on your case about having a clean shaven face – “just like when we first started dating” – if it’s something you never plan on doing for the rest of your life.
It’s OK to spend a little extra time on your look for a first date. Doing so shows that you truly care and are putting in some effort for this potential partner, but don’t give yourself an extreme makeover.
Let your date fall in love with the real you, because the real you is far more attractive than the dolled-up, first-date you.