Nervous about making a good first impression on a campus cutie? You’re not alone! To feel prepared, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of meeting someone new. We spoke to Dr. Patrick Wanis, an expert in human behavior and relationships; Nicole Zasowski, a licensed therapist who specializes in couple’s counseling and young adults; and Jodi RR Smith, the president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, to make sure the advice we give you is only the best! Here are five ways to make sure your first impression is one that will leave any college guy wanting more.
1. Be yourself
You’ll never know if you’re compatible with him if you don’t let your individuality shine! That being said, it’s always a good idea to keep things a bit more short and sweet in the beginning. “Be honest, be truthful, be forthcoming, but you don’t have to reveal your entire life story in the first conversation,” Dr. Wanis says.
We know he’s going to want more after you dazzle him in the first five minutes of conversation, so save some of your stories for later! Smith agrees and encourages us to remember that flirting should be light and fun for the both of you. There’s no need to get too heavy right off the bat. “For first impressions, you want to be your best self. No need to provide an accurate historical retrospective of your life,” she says. Don’t be afraid to let your true colors shine, but save the full rainbow for later!
2. Confidence is key
When meeting new guys, it’s your chance to show off a little! “Confidence is the best accessory at any party,” Zasowski says. She says to remember that by being confident in who you are, you’ll attract the right guy, rather than a random guy. Don’t let yourself get intimidated. He’s lucky to be talking to you!
“I think it’s cool when I can actually have a conversation with a girl,” says Duncan Cummings, a sophomore at Williams College. “A lot of times I think girls can get nervous around guys, but they shouldn’t be! I’m usually just as nervous as she is.”
3. Keep it positive
Never underestimate the power of positivity! While it may sound clichéd, any college guy will feel at ease with a girl who keeps things optimistic and cheerful. There’s no need to be overly enthusiastic, but you should always be aware of the vibe you’re giving off!
Dr. Wanis says one topic to definitely steer clear of is ex-boyfriends. More often than not, talking about your ex will bring back feelings of anger and stress that you don’t want to be reminded of while talking to someone new.
Remembering to ask the guy questions is also an important aspect of the conversation. By doing this, you’re letting him know that you care. Questions will make your confidence come across in a positive way rather than be misconstrued for arrogance. “Questions naturally reflect that you are interested in getting to know someone’s story,” Zasowski says.
If you’re nervous about having things to talk about, Smith has a few good places to start: “Generally, a question or comment about the venue or event is an easy place to start. Then questions and comments about classes, upcoming breaks and future travel plans all work.”
Remember, the conversation will always be more enjoyable if you’re both contributing equally about things you’re interested in rather than negative past experiences!
4. Know the moves
Nervous you might get caught in the dreaded friend zone with your crush? Here’s the good news – there are subtle ways to let him know you’re interested without being too obvious. “Hold his gaze with a smile for a few seconds, and then look away,” Dr. Wanis says.
Dr. Wanis also recommends casually tossing your hair or stroking your neck or wrist, which are all subtle gestures that will let him know you’re interested.
Smith offers two options depending on what you’re confortable with. “If you are a master flirt, move away from your group – maybe towards the bar – and see if he moves to meet you,” she says. “If you are a more direct kind of gal, if he smiles back at you, simply walk over to say hello.” These mannerisms will give off flirty signals he’s sure to pick up on.
5. Dress for yourself, not him
As stylish college women, we never underestimate the power of a great outfit! There’s no better feeling than strutting your stuff in an amazing new pair of skinny jeans or a chic cashmere sweater. So when you’re meeting a new guy, dress for you, not him—wear what you love, and you’ll feel comfortable and confident!
Will Davino, a sophomore at Colgate University, appreciates individual style. “When I’m talking to a girl, there’s not really an outfit she has to be wearing for me to be interested,” he says. “You can usually tell the vibe of a girl by her outfit, so its awesome if she stays true to her own kind of style.”
Your distinctive style is one of the things that makes you who you are, so show it off!! “The way you dress is a great opportunity to reflect your unique personality and style,” Zasowski says. The outfit you feel the best in is exactly the one you should be wearing.
Your confidence will be immediately boosted if you feel good in what you have on. However, Smith urges us to remember that the outfit comes second; it’s what’s inside that counts! “A college woman with brains and confidence, even in a burlap sack dress with a rope belt, can dazzle any guy with her eye contact, funny stories and smile,” she says.
Still nervous about talking to your crush? Don’t be! Use these tips to your advantage. We’ve given you the expert advice, and now it’s your turn to show off! We know there’s a college guy out there for you just waiting to be impressed. Time to shine, ladies!