'Be authentic': TV psychosexual therapist Charlene Douglas on dating first impr

If you make a bad first impression, you should try to fix it quickly, says Charlene Douglas.

The psychosexual therapist you know and love from Married At First Sight and The Sex Clinic says that when dating, it’s best to address any bad impressions head on – rather than pretending they don’t exist.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, she says: ‘At the first opportunity I would advise explaining the reason for your action that set a bad first impression. 

‘For example if you were late, explain that you are really sorry about that, and reassure them that you are excited to see them.

‘Taking accountability for wrongdoing can help others feel more connected to you.’

As the adage goes, first impressions count.

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The good news is, many of the things found to increase the chances of a good first impression actually are within our control.

Research from Listerine found that something as simple as leading with a smile makes a good first impression on over half of Brits, and having something as fixable as bad breath can be a turn-off.

One in four say a smile is typically the first feature they notice when meeting a new person.

Good manners and eye contact ranked high on the list of key attributes to form a positive first impression, according to the poll.

So, it makes sense that we should try to put our best foot forward especially, as Charlene says, the early impressions people have of you happen ‘subconsciously.’

Got a first date lined up soon? Charlene gave us her top tips to ensure you’re making a positive first impression.

Charlene’s top five tips for giving a good first impression on a date:

Show interest by nodding at appropriate times

This gives your partner that all important cue that you are fully engaged in what they are saying.

Charlene says: ‘Maintaining eye contact and showing engagement cues such as nodding and/or asking questions where appropriate can show that you’re fully engaged in conversation.

‘Understanding what you need to do or say when communicating with others to help you to be fully engaged in a conversation is important.’

A great smile and laughter go a long way

Some even say that they can be infectious. It can make you feel connected to a person when you are able to share a smile or laughter together.

Smiling and laughing with someone can help others feel comfortable in your presence and it also helps to showcase your fun personality.

When someone smiles or laughs with you, these powerful non-verbal cues are demonstrative of a confident and open person. 

Ask questions

This will help your partner to feel that what they are saying is important and taken seriously. 

People want to feel heard when they are communicating with someone.

Be positive (Picture: Getty)

Ensuring that you are not distracted by notifications on your phone is imperative to show that you are fully engaged and interested in what they have to say.

Summarising and reaffirming what you have heard them say is a powerful way to show that they have been heard. This can ultimately create a better connection between two people. 

Be punctual

This demonstrates your integrity and helps your partner to trust that they can rely on you to do what you say.

It can also help to strengthen your belief in a partner’s promise to be there for you, when you need them the most. 

Be positive

Be sure to use positive language that shows excitement and enthusiasm where appropriate.

It is important to be authentic in your choice of positive language also.

You may want to share a similar experience that you’ve had to demonstrate that you relate to their story.

Remember though to allow them the space to share their story, as it’s important that the person feels heard.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

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