You know you’re a nice guy right? You’re single, have a job, friendly (and have good friends), and people say you’re great company. Your female friends regularly express surprise that you’re still single. Yet the idea of meeting someone who isn’t a friend of a friend while out of an evening not only seems an impossibility, it fills you with a slight, but genuine, dread.
It’s always these debonair Adonis like guys with chiselled jaws, six figure salaries and an arrogant confidence that do that sort of thing isn’t it?
Well, no. First impressions are the key.
Research indicates it takes between 90 seconds and 4 minutes to make up our minds whether someone is a suitable match and very little of this has to do with direct conversation.
So what is it you need to know and do to give yourself the best chance of a positive response in that small window of time? What are the first things women notice about men, and how can you make the most of this knowledge?
‘You’re only as good as the company you keep’ – While not entirely true, the people you are surrounded by and the ways in which you interact with them is a public expression of who you are and how you deal with situations.
Upon first glance groups demand more attention than the individuals within them. Smile easily and mingle to avoid getting stuck with the boorish, loud office racist, engage politely and gesticulate without break dancing, and be generous in your praise of others to make yourself stand out.
Posture and Movement
Bent over, shoulders hunched and scurrying around a bar juggling six drinks make you look like a desperate drunken hobbit.
Take a breath, push those shoulders back and straighten your spine, chin up and gliiiide.
Okay, if you’re not Fred Astaire it’s easier said than done but before you rush headlong toward the six deep throng at the bar, take a brief moment to compose yourself and walk slightly more slowly than you would normally. It’s the most efficient way to get noticed in a crowded venue and, should you happen to make eye contact, a brief smile will add to the air of purposeful confidence.
You’ll look as if you belong and, more importantly, you'll look approachable, thus presenting yourself as a possible safe haven away from the drunken hordes.
While sartorial taste differs from person to person it’s more the quality that counts here. And cost doesn’t always equal class.
Do your clothes fit properly? Are they fit for purpose? Are they correctly ironed/ruffled/ripped/stained?
There is no magic rule to what you should wear. It’s how you wear it that counts.
‘Manners maketh the man’ intoned William Horman, Headmaster of Eton and Winchester during the early Tudor period. In this sense, ‘manners’ refers less to conforming to etiquette and more to mannerisms or characteristics – the ways in which you present yourself as a ‘Gentleman’.
Women are very astute at noticing how you interact with your environment and those around you. An air of confident ease and generosity is the key here.
Clear skin is a sign of health and vitality. Drink plenty of water, don’t be afraid to use products and, if things are beyond your control on the night, find a dark corner.
Seriously though, while most of us spend our days being slowly irradiated by myriad devices, it’s important to get out in the sun as much as possible and keep the liquids up. Even on the night, alternating drinks with water can help. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it’s the part that’s most on show.
‘Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face’ – Victor Hugo
No off putting wintry face for you my lad. Plus, easy laughter and plenty of smiling make you appear relaxed and confident and invites others to feel the same. Just make sure you leave you maniacal cackle at home.
Also, do pay attention to what you’re laughing at. The ‘disabled guy walked into a bar’ joke is not one you want to show much support for.
So there we have it gentleman. A brief, but I hope useful, guide in how to present yourself as the ideal fish in an oft crowded sea. No fakery, no trickery, no smoke and mirrors. And no breaking the bank in desperation.
Should you feel the desire to test your new found knowledge, why not come and join 200 other single professionals at our Summer in the City party on June 20th in Holborn. We’d love to see you there.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS