Relationship expert reveals the two easy things men can do to impress on a first date – and presentation is key

SINGLETONS! There is a simple rule if you want to kick off a date the right way: Take care of your hygiene and rock up presentable.

That is it. The end. Full stop. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Now listen, I’m sure you are all thinking “Well duh Fred!” (Do people still say that or is it a term that was best kept in the ‘90s?!) but I’m serious!

As someone who has been on a jolly many dates, I can safely say that the first 5 minutes of a date sets the tone for whether it will be successful or meh.

We judge, all of us do. Within the first greeting I’ve clocked clothes, shoes, teeth, odour and hair style.

If I see a hint of greasy hair, a dirty thong, or a stench of BO I’m already looking for the nearest exit. It says that either 1. You’re not that invested in the date and just chucked on any ol’ thing and raced out the door. Or 2. You’re lazy.

The other day I went on a very last minute date with a guy and we gave each other 30 minutes to get ready and meet around the corner for a vino. In that time I managed to jump in the shower, put my hair in a high ponytail, light make up, cute dress, brush teeth and spritz of perfume.

I was thinking he may have arrived in his work clothes and a quick spray of deodorant.

Nope! He looked freshly shaven, neat hair, wearing a nice collared shirt and smelt heavenly like something resembling Christian Dior. Tick, tick, tick!

Already the date was off to a good start, and despite just going to the local pub I adored that he went to a little extra effort with a collared shirt. Men – never underestimate the power of a collared shirt. Preferably in a light blue or pink. For some reason that just gets a girls emoji love heart eyes going.

Dating checklist

1. Brush your teeth

2. Wash and style your hair

3. Pop on some deodorant

4. Go to a little bit of effort on the outfit

5. Wear perfume / cologne

6. Wear nice shoes

I don’t care if you develop a nervous sweat during the date, or get food stuck in your teeth during dinner, if you’ve arrived smelling good and looking well-put-together then you may have just hooked a girl in.

Now don’t just take my word for it. There was an actual study done by five researchers in 2005 that asked the question “what is a dating deal breaker” and the most common answer out of uni students, Millennials, Boomers, and basically anyone aged between 18 to 68 was “bad hygiene”.

Following that was laziness and anyone who is needy/clingy (fair call!) but the bad hygiene was an absolute standout among study participants.

I once went out with a guy with the most horrific breath. He was GORGEOUS but the breath – I just couldn’t get past it. What worried me most was that I was sitting across the other side of the table, not even up close and I could still cop a fair whiff of it.

That dashed any hope of a clumsy, awkward but exciting first kiss. We were nowhere near the ‘Babe your breath is a bit stinky, can you go brush your teeth’ stage of dating, so I sighed and went on my merry way.

So let’s add that to the list of things to do before you go on a first date.

I would also like to add clean hair. I’ve got a friend with very luscious locks, but they have a theory that it doesn’t look it’s best until four days after washing it. They are wrong, but refuse to listen. I can hand on heart say, that the fresh shampoo smell of a good mop of hair is divine.

I once had a guy pull me in closer because “my hair smelt so good!” Listen, if that’s what it takes to get a first kiss then pass the Pantene because I’ve got an appointment with the shower.

Jana Hocking is a podcaster and collector of kind-of-boyfriends | @jana_hocking |

This was first published in and was republished with permission.

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