First dates can be terrifying. Sweaty palms, nervous laughter, awkward silences. But there are some fail-safe things you can do to increase your chances of hitting the jackpot and avoiding these first date pitfalls. Benno Spencer, seasoned dater and founder of type dating app, gives us his top tips on how to make any first date a success.

Google them first

Finding out what a person is interested in is an obvious part of the first date routine, but have you ever googled a date before meeting them?

It sounds creepy (you might want to switch your LinkedIn to ‘private viewing mode’ before you start), but our digital footprints are so public nowadays that it makes sense to give yourself an upper hand by googling someone.

They’re at Glastonbury in their profile pic? Make sure you know who headlined that year. LinkedIn shows they’ve worked abroad? Find out a few things about the country they’ve worked in to help shape some questions. It’s amazing how small nuggets of knowledge help build up that crucial rapport.

Check yourself out before arriving 

Some of the world’s most charismatic leaders smile at themselves and stand in a power pose before making big speeches. Doing this releases feel-good hormones to give you a higher sense of self-confidence in a nerve-wracking situation.

Before leaving for your date, stand in front of a mirror, with arms and feet symmetrical and spread apart, and smile. It might just give you the edge you’re looking for.

Listen to your favourite upbeat songs

Studies show that listening to “high-power” music before job interviews makes you feel more confident and powerful, which increases your chances of success.[1]

If this works for job interviews, then it definitely works for dating. Make a playlist of your favourite feel-good songs to listen to before you arrive and the sexual chemistry will more likely follow.

Mirror their body language

Literally mirroring your date’s movements is subliminal gold dust. Mirroring body language during a conversation activates ‘mirror neurons’[2] in both the speaker and listener, and is a way of generating feelings of emotional connection that could take any first date from good to great.

Your date won’t realise it, but that ‘connection’ they feel for you could simply be down to you sitting in the same way as they do.

Don’t forget what makes you great!

 And finally, while a big part of impressing someone involves showing an interest in who they are, don’t forget that it’s a two-way street.

Everyone has the potential to be hot stuff, but the most attractive people know what makes them great and why.

Take a moment before arriving to think about the reasons why your date should fancy you. Look back on the things you’ve done in your life that make you interesting, then tell them about it.

Don’t brag, but do be self-assured: they’ll only fancy you more because of it.