updated 28 Sep 2013, 14:14
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Wed, Sep 25, 2013
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Going dutch on first date a no-no
by Gwendolyn Ng

Acing that first date can be a tricky affair, especially when one is nervous and unsure of what to expect.

My Paper gets tips from image consultant Suzenne Zheng, founder and master trainer at First Impressions Image International, ahead of Saturday's Singles Forum, which is organised by the Social Development Network.

Why are first impressions important? Isn't it unfair to judge a person based on his appearance?

It should be (based on) more than the person's appearance. We all think that it is unfair to judge, but the problem is that we all do.

Research in psychology has found that you tend to make an impression on somebody in less than 30 seconds. It makes sense that, in these 30 seconds, when you are presenting yourself to the world, you present the best (side of yourself).

Tests show that it takes a further 20 encounters for someone to change their opinion of you.

Conventional dating wisdom says guys should be the one who is more proactive. Is this true?

The girl can make the first move too. A lot of guys need to be pushed. If a girl calls a guy up for coffee a week after the first date, it's a form of encouragement for him.

In this modern age, why not split the bill for a meal on the first date?

A girl must never allow a guy to go dutch on the first date. It doesn't matter which century we live in, chivalry must (not die).

For a marriage to work, a man must still be a man, and a woman must still be a woman. For example, you don't expect a couple to split the cost of a washing machine for their family home.

Talking to a date can be pretty daunting. What topics should one talk about on the first date?

You must be able to strike up a conversation (with your date).

You don't have to know everything, but you should be up to date with what's current. For example, the news headlines of the day, popular movies that people are talking about and songs that people are currently listening to.

Will women carrying branded bags on dates scare guys away?

In other countries, say, China, the guy may think that the girl is hard to maintain (should she carry a branded bag to a date).

In Singapore, guys don't think of it the same way. Most of us work and earn our own keep. If you want a branded bag, the guy expects you to be able to pay for it yourself.

He may give you branded gifts if he can afford it. But don't expect such things from the start.

Catch Ms Zheng and other relationship gurus at The Singles Forum 2013, to be held at the Joyden Hall in Bugis+ at 9am on Saturday.

Registration fee costs $25 (inclusive of tea break and buffet lunch). Sign up for the forum at www.singlesforum Registration ends today.

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