"He lied to impress me and then I found out who he really was." There's a right and a wrong way to impress your date.

Kelly E.

Three things that impress your date and attract the right person for you

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How do you attract a potential partner when the dating scene has become so competitive? There are definitely people you can impress with your looks, wealth, status, or charm. If that’s your thing — go for it! The question is, will you attract the date you really want that way?

Then there are people, from what I’ve seen, who are almost impossible to impress not matter what you do or say.

Luckily, most of us seek out qualities in a partner that go a deeper than looks and money. Your gorgeous eyes might draw us in when we first meet, but your character is what attracts us enough to stick around.

Here are three of those attractive qualities:

#1. Transparency counts

A few years ago, I connected with a guy over a shared love of classic books. He made a point of leaving them on his table, reading them in front of me, and mentioning them in conversation. He knew I love classics and wanted to impress me.

When he finally admitted the truth — he actually hated reading — I lost a lot of respect for him. It had all been a show. It wasn’t just books either. He’d won me over pretending to be quite a different person than he really was.

What to do instead:

When you pretend to be someone you’re not, it comes out in the long run. If you want to impress, be truthful.

He could have said, “I don’t really like reading, but if you say this is a good book I’ll try it.” That type of honest transparency would have impressed me so much more.

In fact, that’s what my fiance did. He isn’t a big reader and told me as much, but we both make an effort to give things a go. I go hiking in the mountains with him because he loves it. He reads books I recommend.

When you’re honest about your differences but open to trying out your date’s interests and hobbies, that’s impressive. Hopefully, she’ll do the same for you.

#2. The details matter

It’s impressive when someone you meet remembers your name. It’s even more impressive when they remember small things that matter to you — birthdays, anniversaries, your favorite ice-cream flavor, the name of your cat. Remembering details about someone means you’ve been listening.

I know, great listening skills aren’t easy to develop. Many people never do. It’s actually pretty rare to find someone willing to stop talking and really listen, but it’s what most people crave. To be heard and understood are deep human desires.

Listening is not something you can fake either. An ex of mine was great at making all the physical signs of listening —he would make eye contact, and say, “uhuh, mm, yeah” at the right times — without actually hearing a word.

Very quickly I realized there was a pattern. After the third “yeah” he would jump in to interrupt and override anything said previously. The three “yeah” sounds weren’t a sign of listening; they were a sign of him formulating his own ideas.

If you know listening skills are not your strength, dating is a good time to practice them.

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What to do:

Listening can be a simple as staying silent. If your date is talking about something serious or emotional, stay quiet longer than you normally would and wait to see if they have anything else to add.

Let them know you’re interested in what they’re saying by asking questions. Use minimal encouragers too — a nod, “uhuh”, or other short responses to keep them talking.

When you talk, make sure it relates to what they’re saying. Immediately changing the topic, or worse: directing the conversation to yourself, looks like you aren’t interested in listening to them.

After the date you could even note down things you want to remember, like the name of her cat!

Good conversations are like tennis — the ball gets passed back and forth. Make sure you’re not holding ALL the balls!

True listening is difficult but worth developing if you want to impress your date.

#3. Nice guys don't come last

Kindness is often undervalued, but it is one of the main things people want in a partner.

I hear you saying it: “Girl’s don’t want nice guys.” You might be the nice guy who always gets friend-zoned and ends up watching your crush treated badly by some loser. Or perhaps you’re the “nice” girl who always gets overlooked.

Honestly, I’m not sure why that happens. But I also know that there are plenty of people, like myself, who value kindness in a partner.

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What to do:

We’re looking at how you treat your server and what tone you use with your family. We notice the kind things you do for your neighbor and the way you’re generous to your grandparents.

We like it when you’re kind and thoughtful to us, but it’s easy to be nice to someone you’re trying to attract! That’s why we look at how you treat others. Kindness to others is a huge indicator of the person you really are and how you’ll behave long-term.

Do you even need to impress anyone?

A reader of mine once wisely commented, “The simple and boring advice is be yourself.”

Be myself? Shouldn’t I try and make a good first impression on a date? Sure.

You can smile, be warm and friendly with open body language, plan a nice date, and make an effort with your appearance…but you don’t have to “fake it” or bend over backwards to impress anyone.

Dating is about two people getting to know each other, right? That means you need to show the real you — your sense of humor, your quirks, your values, and your personality.

If your date isn’t impressed by the real you, they aren’t the right one for you anyway.

Instead of trying to impress others, focus on being the best version of yourself! Be transparent and open to new experiences, improve yourself and your communication skills, and be kind to those around you.

Those things are damn impressive in themselves!

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