Initial Introductions Count!

When meeting someone for a first date, we have only 7 seconds to impress them and make them think that you arethe person they want to spend the rest of their lives with- no pressure then! We talk to Mairead Molloy, Relationship psychologist and Director of Berkeley International about the messages we convey when we do it right or worse mess it up!

How can you know whether you should shake hands or kiss if you don’t know the person?

At the end of the day, it’s not about the hand shake or the Kiss as it really doesn’t matter one way or the other. Rather than thinking about the other person, think about what you are most comfortable with and go with that. It’s imperative to come across as confident and this is the first opportunity you will get to do so, and you’ll only do so if you’ve planned ahead.

How can avoided eye contact be portrayed by the other person?

There is a point in life where shyness is interpreted as rudeness. If you fail to make eye contact with someone when you first meet them this is how you will be judged, and quite rightly. There is no room for timidity or impoliteness on a first date, as you run the risk of making the person you are meeting feel ill at ease and that memory will be hard to erase.

How can a revealing dress be interpreted by a man?

If a revealing dress is what you feel most comfortable in then go for it! Just be aware that there is a chance that your date might not take you as seriously as you’d like him to and his first impression might be a little different to what you’d want it to be. There’s nothing wrong with baring a little skin but do it in a classy and sexy way rather than an obvious way. It’s good to leave a little to his imagination after all.

How can colour affect the mood of those around you?

Of course, colours don’t affect everyone in the same way and we all react differently. However, we have been culturally programmed to respond to colours in a certain way. So, blues and cooler colours tend to have a calming effect on us where hot colours tend to be associated with desire and fury. Clothing wise, in my opinion red doesn’t necessarily come across as angry it oozes positive self-assurance and will be memorable.

Why have certain colours developed a stereotype over the years?

Colours simply fell in to a pattern of use which, we have all been conditioned by. For example, medication which is designed to calm us down is often found in cooler shades, where stimulants such as pro plus or red bull come in red, eye catching packaging. Where I’m sure there are scientific findings behind this, I cannot claim to be an expert.

How can you strike a balance between arrogance and reticence?

Remembering you only have seven seconds to strike the balance, here are the top three rules to follow. Keep eye contact, introduce yourself and allow your date to retort, (there is nothing worse than not being able to get a word in edge ways), and smile. I know these are repetitions of points already made, but they are key. Eye contact shows you’re confidence as does speaking with purpose; allowing your date to respond shows that you are able to listen and open the floor to conversation; smiling conveys your accessibility and friendly side.

Why is smiling such an effective tool?

Smiling is the simplest way to make someone feel comfortable, especially in a nerve racking or highly charged situation such as a first date. Smiling also makes us look younger and more attractive, which is a great first impression to give! Along with this, it’s infectious, so your date won’t be able to help put a smile on their face too, which means you’ll both get off to a fun and happy start.