While the first minute won't make or break you, it does have a disproportionate impact on your success relative to all other one minute intervals (or even larger intervals for that matter). How can you ensure you don't screw up the first minute? Here are some tips from Josh Sway:
1. Look Your Best
I have made this point several times across several different articles and I am going to make it again here. When you meet a girl out for the first time, it is especially important to look your best. You don't want to turn her off right away by looking worse than when she met you out the first time or looking much worse than your profile pics if it is an online date. Groom well, dress appropriately, and have good posture as you approach her.
2. Be confident in your approach
Looking good isn't the only thing that matters; being confident on your initial approach is very important. If you are meeting someone for the first time (online dating, blind date, etc.) try to be confident in your assessment of who they are. Go straight up to them and say hi. Make eye contact, and go straight for a hug to get her comfortable with physical contact right off the bat.
3. Have a spot in the venue
Try not to go to a venue where you have to bumble around looking for a seat or aren't sure what to do. If you go to your typical spot and it is way more crowded than normal, have a backup plan available right away and propose it. I live in a large city where overcrowding at good venues is a common problem. For that reason I always have a couple of backups and will instantly propose them if there is no good spot at the venue where we can sit close to each other and be comfortable.
4. Don't be embarrassed
Sometimes, especially on a blind date or an internet date, you may feel a little awkward that you are on a blind date. This is often amplified, at least for me, when the girl is completely the other way and loudly introduces herself. Don't let situations like that faze you. If she is one of those girls, just go along with it. Who cares if other people judge you for online dating or going on a blind date? Are they getting any? Probably not.
5. Avoid awkward silence
Awkward silence is never good but it hurts more in the first minute because it should be very easy to come up with something to say. You don't have to be clever right off the bat, just ask her a simple question like: "So, how's your day been so far?". Other ideas include:
"Make it here ok?" -- if she was rushing or it is a hard to find spot
"Ever been here before?" -- if it hasn't been discussed prior to arranging the date there.
"Have any fun plans for the weekend?" -- if it is near the weekend
Anyways, you get the idea. Some opening conversations I would NOT use are ones that involve indirect self doubt and insecurity. For example: "So, do I look like my pictures" or anything similar to that.
It doesn't end with the first minute
The first minute matters more so than many others, but a good date doesn't end with the first minute. Follow the simple steps above to make sure you don't screw up on the first minute, and then check out the rest of the site for advice on how to make the remaining time together count!