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How important are first impressions?

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Do you remember the best first date you ever had? Of course you do.

Now, do you remember the worst first date you ever had? Of course you do.

The impression you make on a first date can lead to a second date and possibly a lifetime of happiness with someone. Alternatively, it could lead to a disappointed day after, spent reliving what went wrong and why.

According to it takes an hour for a man to make a first impression on a woman, but it takes just 15 minutes for a woman to make a first impression on a man. That means, ladies, that just a quarter into your date he has already made up his mind about you! Your appetizer may not have even arrived yet and he knows whether or not he wants to ask you out again. No pressure.

If that statistic is true, women are apparently more patient with the process, asking lots of questions and taking inventory of his qualities before completely assessing the situation. Whatever your pace in determining how you feel about the person on a first date with you, remember that they are doing the exact same thing on the other side of the table, so be gentle!

There’s no denying that there will be an initial physical attraction (or in some cases, a lack thereof), which definitely plays a part in an overall first impression. But how much stock can be placed in that first feeling?

Some people claim that they felt “love at first sight.” Others don’t believe in such a thing. Can 15 minutes be enough time to fall in love? Wherever you stand on the issue, try not to place too much importance on a first date. You’ll probably be a little nervous. That’s totally normal. But do try to be yourself, even if that means you snort when you laugh or you spill a little wine on your shirt. If that’s you, be YOU.

You never know what someone will like about you. It could be the last thing you expect, or the one thing you tried to hide on your first date.