Monday, 4 August 2014

Don't be fazed by first dates

When it comes to dating, navigating the minefield that are stereotypical attitudes can be tricky, even when you're dating with a dating agency like RSVP. It’s hard to know how to present yourself, especially for that crucial first impression, in the most positive light.

A new study, led by Gurit Birnbaum, of the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel, has found that for men, being too charming on a first date can actually put women off. The research was designed to test the popular maxim that single people always look for someone who is “responsive to their needs". It was actually found that although this might be true for men, who tend to find attentive, open and friendly women more attractive, it is not the same in the reverse. According to the findings, women find more attentive men less attractive, preferring those who come across as less keen.

But how does this affect you?

As we can tell you here at dating agency RSVP, our members often come to us with expectations and requirements that differ for each individual. Everyone is different and so logically, what they are looking for in a partner is different too. Some ladies want a gentleman, some want a man with a brilliant sense of humour and some want someone for quiet walks with the dog on a Sunday morning. Some even want a combination of all three!

The initial telephone call, a key element of RSVP's matchmaking process, is very important for making that first impression. Having spoken to lots of our members, we have found that very often, a factor that decides whether or not the phone call is counted a success, is how interested and motivated the other person comes across over the phone. Regardless of gender, it can be very off-putting if the person you’re talking to doesn’t sound engaged. So the survey findings seem less applicable in these circumstances.

However, they might be relevant when it comes to meeting face-to-face for the first time. That first encounter can be equally significant. Even after a delightful telephone conversation, it can be a little awkward meeting someone new for the first time. I would be loath to advise that one should try and put the findings of the study into practice above being oneself, but it could be useful to think about before your next date.

During the most common first date scenarios, such as drinks and/or dinner, it can be quite intense, having to sustain a conversation while putting on your best game face. This is why it can be quite good to experiment with different types of first dates, perhaps a little more unusual and therefore likely to generate conversation about the activity itself and take a bit of the pressure off the two of you. RSVP's superb singles events provide a brilliant distraction from the sometimes awkward 'getting to know you' phase - how about motor racing, abseiling and taking part in a game of Airsoft? Of course, adrenaline activities might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but sometimes it can be good to go out of your comfort zone; you’d definitely have something to talk about afterwards!

For more information about the study, have a look at this article by Sarah Knapton, The Daily Telegraph’s Science Correspondent.

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