Don't spend big! These two simple things will impress every date.

Everyone wants to make a lasting positive impact on a first date. To get a new love interest excited and wanting to see more of you. It’s a key part of the dating process, and if you mess it up early on, it can spell disaster for future contact.

So many of you will try and pull out all the stops. Spend up large and really go over the top to try and impress. But do you really need to do this to make a good impression?

It might seem like a great way to win over a person by going expensive on your first date. But money isn’t the key to making a good lasting first impression. Far from it – what really counts are two very important elements that have nothing to do with dollars:

1) Planning

Making a great first impression comes from being planned and organized. You want things to run smoothly on a first date and that means you need to put plenty of thought into it. Before you meet, you want to research the right bar, restaurant, café, the food available, the noise levels, parking and the best time of day/ night to go.

You also want to think about your appearance – hair, make-up, clothing, accessories, being punctual, setting the right the tone of the date (causal, fun, activity based etc.) and the length of time you have together. All of this shows you’re considerate and you take dating seriously.

2) Attentiveness

How you act on the date is much more important than how much you spend. This means that you want to really focus on being in the “here and now” with this new person, take an interest and make them feel really special. Ask them questions about themselves, compliment them, ignore your phone when it rings or if you get a text, and give them eye contact and smile. They want to know that you’re keen and that you value them, and being attentive and present is the best way of doing this.

By keeping it simple and remembering to plan and be attentive on your first date, it will give you the best chance of success. Forget about trying to impress them with money, and instead do it through your actions before and during the date.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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