Are you really prepared to make a great first impression?
You only get one chance at making a first impression so why not make it a good one?
Earlier this week I was having conversation with a coaching client and she brought up the subject of hygiene.
It prompted me to think that today it would be a good time to cover this topic again. In an ideal world I shouldn’t have to address any of this, yet here we are.
So today let’s talk about personal style and hygiene.
How are you showing up?
Are you showing up prepared to meet the potential love of your life or are you showing up with an “I could give a rip!” attitude?
First dates are hard enough with nerves, high expectations, and worrying over what you’ll talk about.
Don’t make it harder by neglecting your clothing and hygiene.
It’s stereotypical to think that this is just a guy problem. Believe me, it goes both ways, although I will admit men are by far the bigger offenders.
Take some time to think about your first date. Where are you going and what is appropriate clothing to wear?
If you’re spending a day at the beach, swimsuits and casual clothing is perfectly acceptable. However, an evening at the symphony will require totally different attire.
It’s important to communicate where you’ll be going on that first date and what the expected attire is.
I went on a first date many years ago. I drove about 5 hours to meet her for lunch and see how it went from there. The day was going to be in the mid 90’s so I decided to wear khaki shorts and a nice short sleeve shirt. We had a decent time and she went home.
We weren’t a match, yet we remained friends and talked regularly over the years. During one of our conversations after she had ended a relationship she revealed her first impression of our first date.
She was disappointed that I wasn’t in jeans, boots, and a nicely pressed dress shirt. I had no idea that’s what she wanted or expected.
It’s all about communicating expectations so you can put your best foot forward. Otherwise, the best you can do is guess.
One of the hardest things to get past is bad breath.
Have you ever met someone and their breath was so bad that you had a hard time even getting close enough to talk to them?
Drinking coffee, wine, or eating spicy or garlicy food can leave you with some pretty hideous breath.
It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re on the first date or the 20th date. Bad breath is not only offensive, but also distracting.
It’s extremely difficult to focus on the conversation when you’re constantly trying to maneuver up wind to avoid the odor.
Some odors are harder to get rid of than others. Think about what you’re eating and drinking hours before your date.
Avoiding food and drink that will cause bad breath 4 to 6 hours in advance of your date will help keep your breath tolerable…and it will be deeply appreciated by your date!
If you can’t stop at home before your date, consider carrying a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth wash in your car so you can freshen up right before you meet.
Another great option is breath mints or breath spray. Carry them with you always. After drinks or a meal, pop one in your mouth and then offer one to your date as a courtesy.
Next is oral health.
This ties right in with bad breath. In fact, bad breath can also be an indicator of dental problems.
As a general assumption, I’m guessing you’d like to find and date someone that is in reasonably good health. Poor oral health can be a sign that there are or will be other health issues in the near future.
If your teeth are stained or discolored from coffee, colas, or wine, there are plenty of whitening solutions on the market. Check with your dentist to see what he or she recommends.
While you’d think it goes without saying, make sure you brush and floss every day and especially before a date! It goes a long way to making a good first impression.
No one wants to kiss a mouth full of cavities, tartar build up, and bad breath.
Right up near the top of the offensive scale is body odor.
Like bad breath, body odor is pretty distracting to say the least. This is another condition that you clearly want to be up wind of.
The great thing is that this condition is usually quite controllable. There are a couple of biological conditions that may cause uncontrollable body odor but for the most part, it’s pretty easily taken care of.
I shouldn’t have to tell any of you this because it should have been taught at home or in health class in high school.
Step one is to shower regularly. Make sure you do a good job of scrubbing everything. Offensive odors are not limited to just the underarms.
Make sure you wash your hair. Stringy, oily hair is not attractive regardless of whether you’re a man or woman.
Next use deodorant. This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people neglect this part of personal hygiene.
Trim unsightly hair.
This not only means getting a hair cut regularly, it also includes trimming other places.
As we age, hair starts to grow in unusual places. Men, keep your eyebrows, ears, and nose trimmed.
It can be a huge turn off for women when you have gangly hair growing over your eyes and out of your ears and nose.
Ladies, this applies to you as well. Waxing or shaving is a great way to take care of a lot of your issues. It can be intimidating to kiss woman with a thicker, stiffer mustache than me.
Making a good first impression will take some effort and thoughtfulness on your part. The recommendations above should be part of your daily routine.
Doing these things can increase your odds of making it past the first date. It’s not a guarantee but at least you won’t be kicked to the curb for poor hygiene.
I hope I’ve given you some insight to make healthier dating and relationship decisions. I’ll see you next week. Until then, have a great and blessed day.