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What *Sign* Are You Wearing? The Truth About First Impressions

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It’s not uncommon for singles to ask, “What’s your sign?” when meeting someone new. Depending on the extent of their belief in astrology, knowing someone’s astrological sign can aid in making assumptions or conclusions about someone’s personality, character, and consequently, their potential compatibility.

But there are other signs that singles pay attention to while dating, ones that are not so obvious. These are the signs singles wear on their shirts that communicate valuable information about their personalities, their attitudes about themselves and others and, especially, announces their willingness to be approached and to connect with.

Cindy was encouraged by a married friend to go to a weekly religious service where she heard many singles attended. The married friend offered to accompany her to ease the way, intending to introduce Cindy to people to get her started. It was customary for the singles to socialize over refreshments after services, and while Cindy and her married friend moved about the room, Cindy walked with her head down, took little steps, and hardly broke a smile. When she encountered or was introduced to someone new, she spoke softly and hesitatingly. Soon after getting something to eat, Cindy asked to leave.

If Cindy could see it, she would recognize the sign she was wearing on her shirt said, “I’m scared. Don’t come near me.”

Jack met Julie on an online dating website, noting they had attended from the same ivy league school. After a few emails, they graduated to talking on the phone. Since Jack was soon to leave on a business trip, he asked Julie to meet in person the next day, even though Julie preferred to talk more on the phone beforehand. Jack dismissed Julie’s hesitation, and she reluctantly agreed to meet Jack for a drink. They instantly recognized each other from their pictures and Jack ordered a bottle of wine for the two of them to share. He then began a monologue about his knowledge of the wine they were drinking, the physical therapy he was receiving for his recent shoulder injury from playing softball, and his bad experiences meeting women from the website.

If Jack could see it, he would recognize the sign he was wearing on his shirt said, “I’m more interested in myself than in you. You don’t matter.”

Unfortunately, neither Cindy nor Jack could read the signs they were wearing. They were oblivious to the first impressions they were creating, communicating their inability to connect to others. All Cindy could do was feel self-conscious and rejectable and project her fear that she’d never meet a man who could see how much she really wants to get married. Jack will continue to complain about the women he meets and blame them for not getting closer to him because the first impression he creates communicates how he’s too focused on himself and meeting his own needs.

Even if singles were to ignore the signs they read in the beginning of their relationships, first impressions can endure.

Eric met Belinda when she came into the store where Eric worked. Eric was attracted to Belinda and quickly moved to strike up a conversation with her about her purchase. As Belinda was leaving, Eric asked Belinda if he could call her, and she responded by saying “Oh, you don’t want to go out with me. I’m not very much fun.” Eric was surprised to hear this comment, but he persisted. Belinda gave her phone number to Eric, and they went out on a number of dates.

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