Are you dating & looking for something serious?
Then know this: good dates start well & get better. Bad dates start poorly & get worse.
So how can you make sure your date gets off to a good start? Use one of these five perfect opening lines:
- “You look fantastic”: sincere compliments are a sure-fire dating winner. But there’s a catch – it has to be a SINCERE compliment. So don’t compliment someone on how great they look if they’re soaked from the rain; compliment them on how good they look in spite of being soaked by the rain.
- “Its so great to see you!”: again, this should be heartfelt – but if you’re not completely feeling it (yet), then fake it! Your date wants to be appreciated – if they don’t feel that way at the start of your date, why should they appreciate you?
- Talk about the weather: I know, I know – how boring could an opening line possibly be, right? But here’s the thing; people are generally a bit nervous on a first date – launching into some detailed story or joke at first sight will likely fall on deaf ears. Talking about something simple like the weather (‘isn’t it beautiful out tonight?’) is easy to answer and will likely relax your date. Once you’ve ‘warmed’ each other up, there’ll be plenty of time to talk about more important things.
- “Have you been here before?”: on the same theme of ‘keeping it simple to start’, get your conversation started by talking about your date location. Hint: find something POSITIVE to say about the place (ie. ‘the staff are great’; ‘they make fantastic martinis here’; ‘its a great people watching place’, etc.) – saying something negative at the start of a date (about anything) is a sure-fire first date chemistry-killer!
- Less cheese, more meat: cheesy opening lines don’t work at a bar, nor do they work on a first date. Ditch the “Do you have a name or can I call you mine?”, and their kind. Be in the moment and comment on something real – “Wow, its really busy out tonight!”, or “I’ve heard they have great appies here – can’t wait to try one!”, or “Must be my lucky day, I found a parking space right outside!” It doesn’t matter what you say, just make it real (and positive).
Question: what is the most exciting and terrifying thing at the same time?
Answer: flirting with someone you’re attracted to.
And, in spite of what you’ve heard, there’s this: flirting is important for couples as well as singles.
Here’s the 11 key flirting facts you need to know today!
- People flirt for six different reasons:
- Sex: trying to get in bed.
- Fun: treating it like a sport.
- Exploring: trying to see what it would be like to be in a relationship.
- Relational: trying to increase the intimacy of a relationship.
- Esteem: increasing one’s own self esteem.
- Instrumental: trying to get something from the other person.
- Couples need to flirt, too: why? As a means of maintaining and emphasizing intimacy. Oftentimes, married couples flirt to “create a private world with the spouse.”
- People feel connected when they get past the small talk.
- Men overestimate how interested women are.
- The most attractive characteristics depend on gender, studies show:
- Happiness was the most attractive female expression, but one of the least attractive for men.
- Pride was the most attractive male expression, but one of the least attractive for women.
- Interestingly, an expression of shame was relatively attractive on both men and women.
- Flirting can enhance your attraction: in fact, flirting is a “negotiation process” that happens after the first moments of attraction.
- It’s not about being the most attractive person in the room: for example, women who smile and make eye contact with others are more likely to be approached than those who were simply good looking.
- There may be four main styles of flirting:
- Physical flirts tend to subtly touch the person they’re interested in.
- Traditional flirts believe men should make the first move.
- Sincere flirts get other people to open up to them.
- Playful flirts see the interaction as a game and may be using the flirtation as a means to another end.
- The best flirters shift their strategy depending on context: for example, if you’re flirting with someone perceived as higher status than you, being more subtle will lead to more success, according to research.
- If you’re flirting on an app, there are some words that work better than others: for men, calling a woman “beautiful” led to a conversation 20% of the time. Women messaging men first receive responses less often, but using the word “nice” works best.
- Flirting could be all about biology: flirting may have less to do with words or body language, and more to do with biology. Pheromones, or chemicals released by your body, have an impact on people around you and can contribute to physical attraction.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in dating is to judge someone too quickly on a first date. The reality is this: you’ll likely not know if someone is your perfect match on a first meeting.
The key to successful dating is focusing more on a second (or third) date with someone to determine whether they are a good match for you or not. But how do you know if your date is interested in you, and open to going on a second date? Look for these 5 signs:
- It’s in the smile: a smile is a person’s most basic way of showing their interest in you… if your date is smiling easily and often consider it a very good sign. On the other hand, if your date is frowning consider it a sign that you need to change topics.
- Doesn’t feel like a date: when conversation is flowing freely its typically a sign that the date is going well… avoid turning the date into an ‘interview’; keeps things casual, and you’ll increase the chances of a second date.
- Body language: as important as words, a person’s body language can often tell you how the date is going… if your date’s body language is open, warm and inviting its a sign that they are enjoying your company. If they are exhibiting ‘closed’ body language (arms crossed, body pointing away from you, tense, etc.) its likely a sign that the date isn’t going well.
- Fun times: if you are having fun on your date, it likely means your date is having fun as well. Focus on enjoying yourself and being positive on your date and your chances of a second date will be good.
- When in doubt, ask: the single biggest mistake singles make on a first date is not asking for a second date. There’s no need or reason to wait for days before contacting someone again. If things are going well on your first date, ask for a second date (something casual, a coffee, movie or an upcoming event that interests you and them, etc.). You’ll never have a better chance to ask for a second date, then at the end of a good first date.
Dating – like life – is an expectations game.
When you’re expecting something incredible, life usually disappoints (how could it not?). But when you keep your expectations in check – you’re often surprised to the upside.
Matchmakers will also tell you this: when you first meet someone and have “incredible” chemistry, you often overlook the fact that you don’t really have that much else in common.
So forget about “love at first sight” – here’s 5 ways your “okay” first date will lead you to (true) Love:
- Focus on what matters: when you’re not overly focused on someone’s looks, you tend to get to know them better. Physical chemistry – no matter how strong – can fade over time. Its the stuff below the surface that truly matters.
- What grows slowly stays forever: chemistry’s important when you meet someone new (who are we kidding), but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming – even a little bit will do. Once you get to know each other, that chemistry can grow over time – and that’s the chemistry that can last a lifetime.
- Swipe the slate clean: in today’s dating app obsessed world, its easy to think you’ll know the right person for you right away – just ‘swipe right’ and let the dating universe handle the rest, right? Wrong! Some things in life – especially relationships – take time to develop. Put your phone down.
- Friends (with benefits): have you ever met someone great but then thought “I think we might be better as friends.” Here’s the thing: at the core of every successful relationship is a great friendship. Yes, you do need some chemistry for sure – but just a little at the start is okay. Stop getting in your own way and see them again!
- What’s the worst that can happen?: so you’ve had an ‘okay’ date, but instead of ruling them out entirely, you decide to see them again (and again). Here’s what might happen next: you get to know each other better & chemistry grows; or, you decide that you’re better as friends and become friends. Sounds like two pretty good outcomes to me!?
Are you confused about how to make love last?
Here’s the key ingredient that’s often overlooked: when relationships break down, you can bet that respect has already gone out the window.
But rather than trying to figure out all the different components of how to make love last, focus instead on creating an atmosphere of respect with your partner.
Here’s 5 practical ways to begin increasing the level of respect in any relationship:
- Take your own life seriously: your health, your finances, your career, your mental and emotional well-being. It’s your responsibility (not your partner’s) to ensure that you are functioning as a healthy adult.
- Express gratitude: every day, look your partner in the eyes and say, “thank you” when they do even the simplest thing to make your day nicer. It’s amazing how easy it is to take those closest to us for granted. A simple, but thoughtful expression of gratitude will help you remember how special it is to have someone care about you. And, it will ensure your partner feels acknowledged and appreciated.
- Be real: when challenges arise between the two of you, avoid cheap ways of discharging your pain by name-calling, eye rolling, sarcasm, ignoring them or being intentionally hurtful. Try this instead: openly communicate exactly how you’re feeling – without any drama. When in doubt, try the truth.
- Focus on what you do respect about your partner: is your partner great at their job? Do they have a kind, compassionate heart? Are they a committed parent? What you focus on expands and this is definitely true in our relationships. When you intentionally choose to admire and appreciate your partner, you will begin to notice more and more of the things that make you feel proud to be with them.
- Accept that your partner has legitimate needs: just like you, your partner will need emotional and physical safety, regular touch and closeness, a sense of purpose, solitude, recognition, etc. When we spend a lot of time with someone, we can forget that they are a separate individual with valid needs of their own. We see this often with desire for sexual intimacy or your partner’s need to zone out for a while after work.
First impressions matter – in dating & in life – whether you like it or not!
People generally ask themselves two questions when they meet someone new: “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?”.
But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just means you need to MASTER the art of the first impression.
How you ask? By doing these 6 simple things:
- Positive body language: becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice and making certain they’re positive will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the speaker are all forms of positive body language, which can make all the difference.
- Be the best version of you: make an effort to look your best, and have positive energy. You’ll never bore someone into liking you.
- Ask before you tell: ask your date some engaging questions. Trust and warmth are created when people feel understood, and they need to be doing a lot of sharing for that to happen.
- Put away your phone: it’s impossible to build trust and monitor your phone at the same time. Nothing turns people off like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
- Start well: in dating, all’s well that starts well. Be prepared with some fun conversational topics & avoid awkward silences at the start of your date.
- Active listening: active listening means concentrating on what the other person is saying, rather than planning what you’re going to say next. Asking insightful questions is a great way to illustrate that you’re really paying attention. If you’re not checking for understanding or asking a probing question, you shouldn’t be talking. Not only does thinking about what you’re going to say next take your attention away from the speaker, hijacking the conversation shows that you think you have something more important to say. This means that you shouldn’t jump in with solutions to the speaker’s problems. It’s human nature to want to help people, but what a lot of us don’t realize is that when we jump in with advice or a solution, we’re shutting the other person down and destroying trust. It’s essentially a more socially acceptable way of saying, “Okay, I’ve got it. You can stop now!” The effect is the same.
Your perfect match is out there somewhere, but they’re probably not perfect. Then again, unless you’re ‘perfect’ yourself, meeting someone who is won’t necessarily be a perfect match for you.
The key to relationship success is finding someone who’s not perfect, but perfect for YOU. It’s not just about looks and immediate “chemistry”, its also about finding common interests and common ground that are the foundations of long term happiness.
So if you’ve met someone new and you’re wondering about your future relationship prospects together, here’s 4 signs that you’re a perfect match:
- Going places (together): one of the easiest ways to tell if you’re a good match with your partner is to plan a trip together. If one of you wants to hop in an RV and road trip to Mexico, while the other wants to fly first class and stay at a 5 star resort, that’s a sign that you aren’t a good fit. Travelling together (particularly ‘off the beaten track’ travelling) also tests your ability to make decisions together – a vital part of a successful long term relationship.
- Common interests: as simple as it may sound, having some common interests that you love doing together is an important part of being happy together. Also, making an effort to try some new things that your partner likes doing can give you even more reasons to spend quality time together.
- Finding the right balance: matchmakers will tell you that people who share similar attributes are generally more suitable long term relationship partners. ‘Opposites Attract’ can lead to initial sparks, but problems down the road. Having said that, what’s most important is finding someone who compliments you. If you’re the life of the party, perhaps your partner is more grounded. If you’re extremely ambitious, perhaps your partner is more stable and supportive.
- At your best: when you’re with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, your chances of relationship success are enhanced. This allows you to relax, be yourself & comfortable in your own skin. Couples who are constantly searching for things to talk about, or never feel truly ‘comfortable’ in each other’s presence, can struggle to find the deeper kind of connection required for long term chemistry and relationship success.
Finding a lasting relationship feels good. But its good for you too.
Not just physically, but mentally as well.
How you ask? In these 5 ways:
- Love makes you happy: when you first fall in love, dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical associated with reward, is especially active. That is a mood intensifier, so people feel extremely positive and very appreciated, hence that “on cloud nine” feeling you get in the throes of a new relationship.
- Love busts stress: after the honeymoon phase subsides, all of that dopamine starts to share real estate with another brain chemical: oxytocin, or the bonding hormone. That not only gives you “warm and fuzzy” feelings for your partner, but it can also be good for your health. When people feel securely attached, their stress levels go down.
- Love eases anxiety: quite a few studies have pointed to ways that loneliness can hurt your health, from increasing inflammation to activating pain centers. The feeling of loneliness stimulates anxiety, which is mediated by different neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine. Also, cortisol and adrenaline levels rise when people feel insecure and threatened, which triggers your body’s stress response. Being in love and feeling close to another person can mitigate anxiety.
- Love makes you take better care of yourself: the benefits of love aren’t all in your head. Couples encourage each other to go to the doctor when they don’t want to. There’s a lot of denial around medical illness, and individuals are more likely to shrug off something and say, ‘This can’t be serious.’ Sometimes, partners will even notice signs of allergies or other persistent health problems before the sufferer does.
- Love helps you live longer: research has shown that married couples enjoy greater longevity than singles — making “’til death do us part” even more of a commitment. Studies suggest those long-life benefits are largely explained by consistent social and emotional support, better adherence to medical care and having a partner who can hold you accountable to healthy lifestyle behaviors and steer you away from bad ones. Married couples have been found to have lower rates of substance abuse, lower blood pressure and less depression than single peers.
But there’s also good news for the unattached. In 2010, a review of 148 studies found that longevity benefits were linked to all close social relationships, not just romantic ones — meaning your friends and family are good for your health, too.
There are lots of things that determine a couple’s long-term compatibility – their values, their goals, their idea of fun, their commitment to work.
But what also matters is what “type” you are – and what “type” is your partner. Some types go together like bread & butter. Others like oil & water.
So which type are you, and what does this mean for your relationship potential?
Depending on how you answer the question “how do you respond to expectations”, you are one of 4 types:
- Upholders generally meet both inner and outer expectations, meaning they don’t let others or themselves down.
- Questioners meet inner expectations; they’ll only do something if they think it makes sense.
- Obligers (the biggest category) meet outer expectations but don’t always meet inner ones; they usually need some form of external accountability.
- Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations; if you ask a rebel to do something, they’ll likely resist.
So which pair is the best match? Rebels and Obligers.
Why? Because Obligers can stomach Rebels’ constant resistance – and even enjoy it – whereas Questioners and Upholders would go nuts.
Ultimately, Rebels and Obligers have something in common. Both resist inner expectation and this gives them this feeling that the world is pushing on them and they want to push back.
Pushing back is harder for Obligers than for rebels, which means the Rebel partner can help the Obliger partner do what they’d really like to.
Of course, your tendency isn’t the only factor that determines the success of your relationship. But it’s probably an under-appreciated one.
You’ve been dating & you’re serious about finding a relationship partner? Good.
Learning from your dates, so that you INCREASE your chances of truly connecting with someone special? Great!
Successful dating isn’t complicated – it actually comes down to 3 key dating habits. Here they are!
- Put yourself out there: if you’ve been single for a while & not meeting anyone, dating can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Getting yourself out there is the first (and most important) step – you’ve nothing to lose but your single life.
- Practice makes perfect: making small talk with someone new doesn’t always feel natural – but here’s the thing: awkward (or bad) conversation on a first or second date can be a real chemistry killer. Think of some interesting stories and topics that you enjoy and try them out on your date.
- Embrace the journey & you’ll reach your destination: if you’ve been dating for a while – or using dating apps – it can be easy to fall into “the dating vicious cycle” (you’re unhappy with your dating life – you show it on your date – your date doesn’t go well – repeat). Its time you break this cycle – be positive & the best version of you on your date (whether you feel chemistry or not) and you’ll soon enter “the dating virtuous cycle” (you’re positive & fun on your date – your date goes well and leads to a 2nd or 3rd date – which makes you feel even more positive and fun on your next date – repeat – repeat – relationship!).