How To Be Charming on a First Date

happy couple eating breakfast

First dates can be nerve-wracking. After all, first impressions are important. There's a lot of pressure to be perfect, or at least present yourself as perfect, to the person you're hoping to attract. Some people are naturally good at conversation and know how to be charming without even giving it much thought. For those of us who struggle with an occasional awkward silence, learning how to be charming might take some work. The good news is that anyone can learn how to be charming with a bit of practice. All charming people share certain character traits and habits that we can learn to adapt. If you're looking to wow your blind date the first time you meet them, check out these ten tips on how to be charming on a first date.

10 Tips on How to Be Charming

Smell Good

While smelling good isn't necessarily a personality trait, it's an important physical factor affecting how other people perceive you. For example, if someone smells like body odor, you might conclude that they don't practice proper hygiene habits. This would be a turn-off for a lot of people for obvious reasons. While we hope you don't regularly show up to dates without showering, having a signature scent may improve your chances of making an impression on your date and help you get a second date. Charming people know that capturing someone's attention goes beyond appearance and a witty joke. Creating an experience for the other person to remember you is what counts, and scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. The simple smell of apple pie can transport us back in time to a beloved childhood memory. Similarly, the cheap cologne our ex used to wear can make us feel repulsed when it forces us to remember their bad behavior. Scent plays a significant role in romantic attraction; sometimes, it's even a dealbreaker. Both men and women agree that how their date smells affects how attracted to them they are. This is even more true for heterosexual women. Knowing how to be charming means knowing your signature scent. Find a perfume, cologne, or body wash with a scent that makes you feel good when wearing it. Please make sure not to overdo it, though, as too much of a good scent can be overwhelming and have the opposite effect on your date.

Smile Sincerely

An expression can convey a thousand words. A smile is generally seen as a sign of happiness, agreeability, or interest in another person. When practicing how to be charming, don't forget to flash your pearly whites. According to studies on first impressions, men rate women with smiling expressions as more attractive. In contrast, women rated men who smiled as less attractive on first impressions. However, man or woman, flashing a sincere smile signals to the other person that you're calm and relaxed. No one wants to be around someone who is brooding, angry, or uptight all the time. Smiling or laughing at your date's jokes will make them feel like you're engaged and enjoying your time with them. This, in turn, will make them feel more relaxed being with you. Those who know how to be charming understand that making other people feel comfortable around them is essential for building relationships. In short, smiling is contagious and makes people feel good. Just be sure you don't force that smile too much. People can tell when you're being insincere. At best, a phony smile might make the other person think you're fake; at worst, they'll assume you're creepy, and all of those true crime podcasts will be your downfall.

happy couple at dinner

Be Friendly to Those Around You

People who know how to be charming are naturally friendly. They smile a lot and strike up light-hearted conversations with those around them. Friendly people put others at ease and know how to communicate well. If you want to know how to be charming, a friendly attitude improves your chances of making a good impression. Be polite and say "please" and "thank you." Be kind to the waiter at the restaurant, even if they mess up your order. Hold the door open for the person behind you. Smile at the bartender's corny joke. How you treat other people conveys a lot to your date about what kind of person you are. If you come off as cold or rude, there's probably very little chance you're getting a second date. While the "mean girl" trope might make you popular in high school, as an adult, you'll just look like a jerk. If you're an introvert, sometimes your shyness might be perceived as rude. You may have trouble with small talk with people you don't know; thus, your quietness makes you look uninterested. Practice being more friendly and socially engaged regularly. Make eye contact and smile at the grocery store clerk at checkout. Compliment your neighbor on their outfit when you pass them in your apartment building lobby. Greet the mailman by asking how his day is going. The more you practice being friendly with others, the easier it'll become. Learning how to be charming will always involve being friendly.

Ask Them Questions About Themselves

Charming people know that you become more interesting to other people when you show interest in them. When you're learning how to be charming, pay attention to the conversations you have with other people. Do you ask them questions about their life, or do you keep the discussion focused on what's going on in your life? While there's nothing wrong with sharing things about yourself in conversation, make sure you're learning as much as you're sharing. Talking about yourself too much can make you look self-absorbed. Besides being the best way to get to know someone, asking someone to relay personal information about themselves indicates you're interested in them. Why else would you be asking about their childhood dog's name if you didn't honestly want to know? Knowing how to be charming means knowing how to keep a conversation going. Asking someone questions about themselves is one of the easiest ways to avoid an awkward silence. If you feel like the conversation might be getting stiff, find common interests with them. Ask them about their bucket list or upcoming trips they might be taking. People feel comfortable talking about themselves; it's the subject they know best. You learn how to be charming when you know how to keep a conversation going.

Look Good

Knowing how to be charming includes knowing how to dress appropriately. Looks matter! That's the (sometimes) harsh truth. How you present yourself to the world through your fashion choices and outward appearance determines how others feel about you. Dressing to impress shows that you take yourself seriously and respect the person you're with. For example, if you showed up to a date in your best jewelry and high heels only to find your date hasn't even bothered to shower before seeing you, wouldn't that tell you something? It might mean they're clueless about presenting themselves (at best) or that they didn't think meeting you was important enough for them to change their dirty clothes. Either way, it might make you feel disappointed or cause you to lose interest. People who naturally know how to be charming keep this in mind when going on a first date. They realize their appearance is an extension of their personality and try to express themselves appropriately. This doesn't mean you need to pull out your fancy jewelry for every date or obsess over every aspect of your appearance. However, it would help if you tried to look your best in a style that fits you and your personality. When you put out the best version of yourself to the world, you become someone people want to be around. People who know how to be charming naturally understand this.

happy couple eating lunch outside

Be Interesting

Charming people know how to catch other people's interests. This has a lot to do with how they communicate and how they make other people feel. People who know how to be charming know how to share just enough about their life over dinner without sounding like they're bragging. Charming people don't necessarily have to have the most exciting life, but they know how to make it sound exciting. They capture people's interest by sharing their passions and having a genuine love of life, no matter how normal or boring it might sound on paper. People are attracted to passion and other people living their lives with confidence. So, what makes you interesting to other people? Maybe it's your collection of Pokémon cards or the fact that you know every word to every song written by Taylor Swift. While on the surface, these things might not sound like they'd be interesting to someone else (or even embarrassing to admit), they become interesting when you make it so. We all have quirks and silly things we enjoy that make us unique. When getting to know someone, these things stand out in conversation. For better or for worse, they'll remember the person who admitted to them that they knit parakeet sweaters in their spare time (if that doesn't deserve a second date, we don't know what will). People who know how to be charming know how to be genuinely happy with themselves, quirks and all.

Be Positive

Positive energy is infectious, especially when it comes to relationships. Studies show that positive people are seen as more attractive. This should not surprise people who know how to be charming. Positivity catches more flies than negativity ever did. The reason is apparent: No one likes a downer. Negative energy spreads to those around you. If you're constantly complaining or bringing up only negative aspects of life, you're going to make people feel bad. Eventually, they'll stop wanting to be around you. Learning how to be charming involves learning to recognize your own negative traits. Pay attention to your daily thoughts and conversations. Do you catch yourself complaining a lot to your friends? Are you constantly down on yourself about this or that? Some of this energy might be leaking out and pushing possible suitors away. Next time you go on a first date, focus on being positive. Break the ice by complimenting your date. Mention something good that's happening in your life or the world. While serious conversations have their place and time, light, playful conversation becomes more charming when first getting to know someone. The first date may not be the place to ugly cry on your date's shoulder about the results of The Bachelor.

Use Touch

Touch is an essential part of being human. We all crave it, like it, and need it. Studies show that a simple touch (platonically or romantically) can signal trust, compassion, and safety. Touch has the power to soothe and calm and can even trigger the release of oxytocin (the love hormone)—people who know how to be charming use the power of touch to their advantage. Touch can be an important way to communicate when getting to know someone, especially a love interest. Though a touch can undoubtedly be flirtatious, it doesn't have to be sexual. A gentle touch on the arm when telling a joke or a friendly hug when first meeting someone shows you're personable. It may even be enough to feel the first rush of sparks that ignite a romance. Touch is a powerful way to convey a message. Just make sure not to overdo it. Too much touching might come off as being forward, which some people won't be comfortable with. Keep the touching to a minimum at first and pay close attention to their reaction. Some people will be more comfortable with it than others.

couple sitting and having lunch

Make Fun Of Yourself

Learning not to take yourself so seriously is an important lesson in how to be charming. Charming people frequently make fun of themselves and their mistakes. They turn their follies into amusement for other people, which, in turn, makes them seem more relatable. If you come off as being too perfect or too hard on yourself, you won't be any fun to be around. Charming people don't mind looking a little silly now and then, and other people generally respect that. Don't be afraid to share some of your not-so-proud moments with your date if you think it makes a good story. They'll likely find it funny as well and share a silly story of their own. Knowing how to be charming is knowing when to let your guard down. Jennifer Lawrence is a perfect example of a person who knows how to be charming in this regard. Fans fell in love with her for her ability to tell self-deprecating jokes and laugh about her clumsiness. She doesn't take herself too seriously, even though she's a Hollywood Star. This quality is what's made her so popular with both men and women.

Make Eye Contact

Eyes are the windows to the soul, or so they say. Making eye contact with someone is essential when learning how to be charming on a first date. Looking someone in the eyes shows that you're paying attention to them and genuinely care about what they have to say. It also conveys to the other person that you're being sincere. One of the apparent signs of lying is shifting or avoidant eye contact. If you want someone to trust you, look into their eyes when you speak to them. Your eyes convey your feelings and express your emotions. According to research, those who frequently make eye contact are seen as more socially savvy and empathetic. Next time you're on a date, make sure your attention is focused on the other person. Keep your eyes from wandering around the room when they speak, or worse, from looking at your phone (seriously, just put it down!). If making eye contact makes you nervous for whatever reason, then you need to practice your social skills. Do this by striking up casual conversations with the barista at the coffee shop. Greet your neighbors on the street by looking them in the eyes and asking how their day went. Learning how to be charming is easy once you put it into practice. Eventually, looking people in the eye will become a habit, and you won't have to stress about not doing it anymore.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learning how to be charming takes time and patience. Be kind with yourself, and don't sweat it too much if you fumble through an awkward conversation here and there. Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with the natural social skills that people who know how to be charming naturally possess. However, this doesn't mean that these skills can't be taught. The best way to learn how to be charming is to put these tips into practice in your daily life. You'll get the hang of it eventually. Next time you go on a first date, you'll feel confident in your ability to charm their socks (or other clothing articles) off!

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