I’ve been out of the dating game for quite a while — but you never forget how to be polite, cute and flirty. Those are traits that you can use your whole life — dating or not. As we near the weekend and eligible bachelors and bachelorettes will be on the lookout for “the one.” Here’s a checklist from Nicholas Boothman, author of “How to Make Someone Fall in Love with You in 90 Minutes of Less.”
by Nicholas Boothman
1. A Fabulous First Impression
We’ve all heard the phrase “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and it’s true. Studies by the Harvard School of Health Sciences and several other notable institutions show that we decide within the first two seconds of meeting people whether we like them or not. Since certain behaviors make people feel comfortable and others put them on guard, you actually have some measure of control over how people react to you in those first brief moments.
2. Look the Person in the Eye
Charming people look you in the eye when you first meet them; alarming people avoid eye contact or look at you so fleetingly that they seem shifty or nervous, and make you feel uncomfortable. We are born to make eye contact; it’s the foundation for all social skills. Eye contact is intimate contact and, used properly, can create immense rapport and sexual intimacy. The easiest way to learn to consistently make eye contact is to get in the habit of noticing the color of people’s eyes when you meet them. The color itself is unimportant, but it’s a good device around which to build a new habit.
3. Smile and the World Smiles With You
Nothing says “I’m noticing you” the way eye contact does, and nothing says “I’m happy and confident” quite like a smile. I know it sounds basic, but make a habit of looking people in the eye and smiling at them. It builds bridges. You’ll get better service, make better friends, feel better about yourself, and be more attractive to potential partners.
4. The Principle of Scarcity: How to Make Yourself More Intriguing
As a general rule, human beings want more of what they can’t have, so a simple way to increase your desirability when flirting is to use the principle of scarcity. The idea is to give the impression that you are popular and in demand. Yes, people (and advertisers) use this ploy all the time, but our reaction to it is so instinctual that we never stop falling for it. How will the advantage of this principle help make someone fall in love with you? By upping your “value” in the early stages of a relationship, making you seen rare, precious, and worth pursuing.
5. It’s All in the Asking
It’s amazing how people will blossom when you ask them a question about something for which they care deeply. When they respond, pay attention to both their answers and their body language, which will give you clues as to their comfort level. If they make eye contact, appear relaxed, sit facing you, and smile, it’s likely they’re comfortable with you.
6. Pointing the Way
An important part of paying attention is listening for pointers. Pointers are little tidbits of information that lead you to possible avenues of conversation and also enable you to learn more about the person with whom you’re speaking. Pointers are usually words you can pick up and repeat back to your conversational partner to steer and focus the conversation. Just choose the pointer that seems the most obvious, or the one that interests you the most, and let it take the conversation in that direction. It’s important to not only ask questions but also to volunteer free information.
7. Conscious Feedback: Give It, Get It
Connecting is a two-way arrangement in which the participants cooperate and encourage each other along. If you look and act interested, I assume you are interested. If you don’t react or respond, I assume you’re not interested in talking to me at all. People who don’t give feedback appear bored, boring, or baffling, so maximize how you listen and respond to others, using your whole face and body to show your interest. Start with your eyes and mouth, using them to register your feelings—surprise, delight, disgust, whatever. But don’t stop there. Shrug your shoulders, throw your hands in the air, laugh, cry—respond!
8. The “Me Too” Trigger
Do you know the feeling of satisfaction when you get someone who really understands you when you spill your guts about something that’s dear to your heart? When your listener says emphatically, “I feel that way, too” or just “me too”? That kind of “me too” empathy is one of the most powerful triggers you have to connect with others and cement the sense that you’re sharing common ground. So, in every one of your interactions—be it flirting at a bar or a conference, assuming rapport at a party or a laundromat, or out on a date—always be on the lookout for opportunities to honestly say, “me too.” You’re saying, “see, we’re alike,” and reinforcing the matched part of the matched opposites concept. It also means you’ve found a good pointer to follow toward deeper conversation and connection.
9. Turn Awkwardness into Opportunity
If you accidentally stumble into a delicate area with another person, use the information as important feedback. Tread lightly, probe gently, know when to back off, and synchronize like mad to reassure the person that you’re sensitive and trustworthy, and aren’t going to use the information in any harmful way.
Nicholas Boothman, author of How to Make Someone Fall in Love with You in 90 Minutes or Less, How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less, Convince Them in 90 Seconds or Less, and several other books, learned how to establish instant rapport with strangers while he was working as a fashion and advertising photographer. A licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, he is a consultant to individuals, groups, and corporations that want to learn the communication skills needed to connect with others. He lives in Toronto, Canada, with Wendy, his wife of 35 years.