Dating game not going your way? Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. All you need is a bit of dating tuition. Digest these 10 tips, and you’ll soon go from 2016 flirt-phobic to 2017 dating champ.
1. Get confident
Confidence is the most powerful quality in the dating game. It can transform a shy mouse into a radiant date-magnet – and its absence can turn an attractive person into a jittery turn-off.
If you lack confidence, the quickest way to acquire some is to fake it. Faking confidence is a virtuous circle. Pretend you’re confident, and people will respond to you better. In turn, that will do wonders for your real confidence.
Speak in a steady, clear tone, hold your head high and relax your shoulders. Look at people rather than at the floor, and keep your face relaxed rather than tense. You’ll get fewer wrinkles as a bonus. Check out our quick first date confidence boosters.
2. Work your body language
Psychologists say that around two-thirds our first impression is down to someone’s posture and body language. If you stand and move in an attractive way, you’ll soon be catching eyes everywhere you go.
The kind of body language that wins dates is relaxed, engaged and open. Don’t close yourself with body barriers, such as folding your arms or holding your drink close to your chin, because it tells people to leave you alone.
When you get chatting to someone, subtly mirror their posture and movements and keep a look out for these body language signs that they’re into you. This creates the impression that you’re connecting. Some experts say that mirroring is so powerful that it works if the person is right across the room.
3. Improve your eye contact
Meeting someone’s eye is the single most powerful way to lure them under your spell. If you hold their gaze while they speak, you’re giving the sense that you respect and value what they’re saying – and that’s very seductive.
The gaze trick also works in a crowded bar or at a party. Look around when you walk into the room, and you’ll appear engaged and approachable.
When you’re talking, accompany your eye contact with a smile and a relaxed face. This shows that you’re happy in someone’s company, and it will make them feel welcome.
4. Master the art of the flirting
Approaching a good-looking stranger or a date is a nerve-jangling experience. So get some practice in first, and train yourself to become a natural flirt. See every conversation you have as practice.
The best chat-ups are simply small talk. Strike up a conversation, and keep the opener brief and casual. Make a comment or ask a question related to your surroundings, because that’s what you already have in common.
For example if you’re at a party, ask if he or she has seen the bottle opener, and follow up with a comment about the choice of booze. That’s it, you’re chatting.
5. Pay specific compliments
Vague compliments like “you’re nice” are far less powerful than the specific ones that flatter someone’s personality and taste.
For example, a line like: “I can’t believe you’re wearing that T-shirt… I saw it in a shop ages ago and thought it was so cool, but I’ve never seen it since.” It’s flattering, conversational, non-lecherous and memorable.
6. Learn how to listen
If you find someone interesting, they’ll probably find you interesting. So listen to what they say, even if it’s small talk about the weather, and respond to it.
One trick is to remember things they mention and subtly repeat them later, worded differently. This suggests that you’re really connecting.
Try not to interrupt, especially if you’re a woman. Interruption comes more naturally to women than to men, so men are more easily offended by it. Get more tips on how to be an interesting date.
7. Show your interest
Playing hard to get doesn’t work. The way to a man or a woman’s heart is through letting them know that you like them.
Don’t overdo it, of course. Let someone know that you think they’re great, and ask for their number, but don’t hang around them all night unless you’re on a date. Intrigue them with your interest, then leave them wanting more.
8. Don’t brag
You won’t improve your dateability by showing off about your career and your car. It’s good to be passionate about your interests, but bragging makes you sound arrogant and insecure.
9. Dress for success
Your clothes make a statement about you, your body image and whether you regard washing as a priority.
Crucially in the dating game, your outfit can also make or break your confidence. Get into the habit of going out – even to the shops – in clothes than make you feel good about yourself. The more you do this, the more confident you’ll feel as a habit.
Go easy with the glad rags and make-up, though. The natural look is much sexier than a trowelling of slap, and too much razzmatazz or flesh makes you look desperate.
10. Improve your kissing technique
You don’t just want someone want to chat you up, you want them to come back for a second date. A good kissing technique will reap rewards.
First, avoid strongly-flavoured food. If you’re having dinner on your first date, think ahead. Spicy or garlicky food may mess up your snog and cost you a second date, unless of course your companion eats the same.
When the kiss happens, don’t rush it. Anticipation is half of enjoyment, and moving too quickly makes you seem inexperienced. Relax, breathe and make the moment last.