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Early Impressions: The Right Moves


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The Righ MovesIn ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ Sanjay Dutt hands out a Gandhian recipe to a young girl wondering whether a certain boy she is meeting with a view to matrimony would be the right one for her. ‘Observe how he treats people in a subordinate position,’ advises Munnabhai, with a little help from his Gandhian angel. The girl meets the young man in a restaurant and is not impressed by the rude way he calls the waiters. She decides he’s not good enough.

The first few meetings when we meet a potential partner are often very significant in giving us the clues to understand each other’s approach to life – in a broad sense. While we can hardly expect to know somebody very well in the space of two or three meetings, our intuition, ‘gut-level’ feeling, whatever we want to call it, kicks in immediately, giving us the signal whether we want to go ahead or not. This is often not related to great looks, tons of money, or a wonderful pedigree – it is on a much more humble, human level.

“The very first time I went out with Vikas, we were taking a local train when a woman tripped and fell in front of us. She was a middle-aged lady, and Vikas was the first person to quickly reach her and help her up. He then called her family and asked them to come and get her from Churchgate, made her sit on a bench…it must have taken ten minutes or so. But I remember feeling very happy that he was a considerate and caring person. After that, I began piecing together what others in the office used to say about him, even though I was not directly in his floor or department,” recalls Meera, who met her husband while they were both working in Mumbai. “Every single person had good things to say – his goodness was genuine, not an act put on to impress me.”

Not all of us can find similar occasions to express our considerate or courteous nature. But the first impressions we make on a potential partner or spouse are very much connected to the care and consideration we show him or her. This does not mean that we exert ourselves to be particularly charming and then revert to a more usual, less thoughtful style in subsequent encounters. As Meera’s account shows, people rarely miss the opportunity to gather more information about a person they find likeable or interesting. They do like to check out if you are really as ladylike, or gentlemanly (to use some old-fashioned words!) as you appear to be.

Some useful tips that can help in initial encounters with the opposite sex are:

  • Avoid body language and gestures that convey overt aggression and attitude. No matter how much people talk of Gen Next, and their attitude, nobody really appreciates a lazy sprawl at a first meeting, or smoke being blown directly in one’s direction, or similar gestures.
  • Tone down language to suit the occasion, and this applies equally to women and men. While f—– and b—— may be perfectly acceptable among your friends, it is not the most auspicious start to your relationship.
  • Be conscious of the basics, like punctuality, observing the rules and decorum of the place you are in, and caring about your partner’s comfort, whether he or she is thirsty, hungry, needing to use the toilet, tired, etc.
  • Share expenses in a manner that conveys respect for the opposite sex, at the same time shows your willingness to contribute to a common level of comfort – women can offer to pay, but need not insist if their escort seems uncomfortable with the offer. Men can gracefully accept when women offer, but make sure they are not accepting more than the value of what the woman has consumed! Somewhere, sometime, she will go home and do her accounts, and then begin to feel resentful, if you have indeed taken more.
  • Convey physical attraction through small considerate acts, and animated conversation, rather than making any bold, overtly physical moves that can be premature, give the wrong impression and risk rejection.

Hope your initial meetings with your partner turn to more enduring ties!

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Responses to Early Impressions: The Right Moves

  1. 1 chinthi

    what’s the matter be it must not sink in our mind

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