First impressions mean everything

Before the first day of school every year I remember my father telling me “make sure you make a good impression with your teachers because they are going to decide whether they like you within the first week of class.”  He was right. In fact, according to Princeton University researcher Janine Willis, people form an opinion of you within 1/10 of a second of meeting you and that impression can never be significantly altered.  Therefore, the most important thing you can do when initially approaching a women is smile and be normal.  This seems like pretty lame advice, but I am telling you, the key is to look your best and not do or say anything that would put her on edge.  Every woman loves attention so the mere fact that you are giving it to her  will make her happy- even if you don’t look like Prince Charming, it really doesn’t matter.  I think the best in-person approach is to make eye contact and say “Cheers” while holding up your glass or simply say “hello”.  It is that simple.  Online, you should keep your emails short, positive and to the point. I mean, why would you want to invest a lot of time on a email you don’t even know if she’ll respond to? The key is to write an email that forces her to respond with information she is comfortable sharing with a complete stranger.  You have to remember, even though online dating is now commonplace, women are still aware of the fact that they don’t know the person on the other end of those emails and therefore are a bit guarded.  An example of a good introductory email would be:

How are you? I really liked your profile. How long have you been in New York? What part of Connecticut are you from? I have family in the New Haven area so I’ve  spent a lot of time there. Hope you are having a good weekend and I hope to talk to you soon.”

Perfect.  It is straightforward, references my profile and warrants a response by asking me factual questions about my life, nothing too personal.  It also puts me at ease because he mentioned that he is familiar with CT, so it creates a bond with us- makes me think he is like me.

On the other hand, I received the below email.

“Subject: You can’t be serious…

Totally. Dig. The blonde. It kind of reminds me of a soft and shiny field of wheat, slowly waving in the field on a warm and lazy summer day — right before it gets harvested and processed into beer. Why beer? Who knows, I love beer. And you reminded me of it, which made me smile. Whoa, I just realized the enormity of that statement… your first impression ONLINE made me smile! I guess this is what they mean by love at first sight haha :)Sorry, bad habit — I just say/type stuff impulsively whenever they remind me of stuff — where are my manners, Hi I’m Psycho(ok, well that is my name for him)!

Let’s talk more — when are you usually free to chat?”

Seriously?! Maybe this guy has one of those personalities that is really quirky and endearing once you get to know him, but I don’t know him!!! Therefore I just find everything about his email offensive.  First off, you are comparing my hair to beer. Really?! If you are going to compliment anything about a woman’s  appearance you should say something unoffensive like “you have a great smile.”  That’s about it.  Everything else will come off as creepy and aggressive.   Secondly, don’t even joke about how we have a profound connection by referencing “love at first sight”- that sounds like something a serial killer says when he is kidnapping a woman.  He needs to stick to reality and not write whatever scattered thoughts come to him.  Lastly, by asking when I am free to chat he is A) presuming that I would want to talk to him on the phone and B) asking for my schedule, which is too personal for a first email- it makes me legitimately question if he would begin stalking me.
Therefore, gentlemen, stick to the basics, act normal and just smile and say hello.

Source: Association for Psychological Science 


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