If you want to learn proven techniques on how to make a date feel special, or how to make a girl feel special on a date this article will teach you.
The princess and the prince.
The prince swoops in [white horse, fast car, shiny shoes] from Renaissance to Hollywood, he is socially primed to pursue. Sparks fly and love follows happily ever after. L’amour c’est la vie. Love is a primal design and traditional courtship is one of the most socially conditioned human behaviors we engage in. Dating and relationships are as old as time.
But wait, doesn’t love just happen? Romance makes it feel that way, yes. But putting yourself in a position where love can happen and flourish, can be cultivated using tried-and-true (aka science-backed) methods of social conditioning. Human behavior is one of the most researched aspects of life. Love is the sexy version of science.
The prince from a science-based perspective.
The physical act of approaching her increases your confidence, you’re the pursuer and you’re winning. It’s embodied cognition, and you can read all about how it applies to the dating process in a study published in the American Journal of Sociology. Picking up your date gives you a boost of endorphins, you go into the date feeling like a winner. It may feel natural as a man, why not play your role and do the pursuing.
Research also shows when the man approaches the woman, embodied cognition makes her more selective about you. Gender biases in attraction are well-documented. So now there’s a conundrum: picking her up gives you a boost of confidence but comes with a tradeoff. Additional studies on speed dating show that when approachee and approacher share, her discerning behaviors equalize.
So, if you want to increase your chances with her don’t offer to pick her up on the first few dates. Meet her there. Simple right? You may already be doing that (it eliminates stalkers, provides a safety net, gives you an out if it goes south) you’re already following the evolutionary science of dating.
Science gives you an edge
We’ve all sought advice on love and the lessons seem real, like if you love something, let it go and it will return. Sounds good. Or, you should text back within a day. Okay, but wait, aren’t you supposed to wait a few days because it makes you seem more high-value? Ah love…. it’s confusing.
Science clears it up.
University of California, Berkeley Research found for each full day that passed between the very first hello and a response, the chances of getting a response went down by .7%, and data suggests there was no such thing as too quick a reply.
Whether you’re meeting someone online or you’re trying to re-spark a your relationship, research gives you concrete answers so you don’t have to rely on old tales, folklore, your friends, or search the web for answers.
If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who have a dating profile online, do you know what will make your profile stand out; what do you say in your first message; should you focus on photos or words, do you know the top five traits that catches her eye?
Science knows what people look for in dating profiles.
The number one factor in increasing your profile’s overall attractiveness is your profile picture. Getting even more technical your attractiveness increases when you appear kind and extraverted – make sure in one photo you’re genuinely smiling where your eyes crinkle at the edges, try to have at least one group shot with other females where you are in the middle but make sure you’re touching as friends, even better if they’re smiling at you. Have a headshot and since health-related activities rank 3rd on the list of attractive traits (analyzing female-to-male), action shots will give you a big edge. Missing photos like that? Join a tour group and get some. Small investment = big payout.
Guys, spend time on your narrative because it plays a big role; it should follow the 7:3 rule, 70% about you, 30% about what you’re looking for, anything else will set up instant wariness, according to the Queen Mary Study. Everyone is turned off by ads that are 100% about the writer because it makes them appear self-centered, as explained in Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives.
When you do reach out, women are less likely to respond than men, they’re contacted more, and the most popular users are contacted the most. Your search time is better spent past the first few pages of suggestions where the potential for response is greater, keep your message light, and ask her out within the first few messages.
This isn’t folklore or locker room guy talk. It comes from research.
Whew, so much going on online…..what about real life dating, can science help there?
When running into someone IRL, at the gym, bar, store, it’s good to have you’re a few methods up your sleeve then too. Polish your technique now so you’ll be ready. Best techniques to spark interest or create strong attraction is sharing uniqueness or a unique experience. Generalizing small talk won’t seal the deal but it may get your foot in the door. Once you have her attention you should focus on holding her attention and building intrigue.
Practice socializing every day, I explain how in this video, aim your conversation toward ‘comfortable commonalities’, such as questions related to the environment you’re in, explained by Vanessa Edwards. If you’re at your friend Matt’s party, ask, “How do you know Matt”.
The best way to bond or create a strong attraction is by sharing a unique experience, observed at speed dating events, where sharing unique experiences draws two people together over everyone else. So, get very specific, if you have a fascination with purple Volkswagens or you love dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, faulting it creates more opportunity for attraction.
Going on a date.
Strive to make the other person feel good by asking questions that prompt the recollection of happy events, as it creates dopamine, and they’ll associate those good feelings with you. Combining all this while using your hands when you talk gives you an edge, because, it’s a primal human behavior and you can read the studies and learn more about this in a Ted Talk by Science of the People.
In conversation adjectives such as “that’s super!” or “that must feel really hard” contain appreciative and sympathetic language that women are drawn to. And, use her first name, as Dale Carnegie said it best, a person’s first name is the most important sound and will create a memorable impression.
You may recall the 36 question list that made two people fall in love though escalating mutual vulnerability. Sharing experiences fosters closeness. Taking that further, when you stare into someone’s eyes, it cements vulnerability.
Why science backed dating in the real world?
It behooves us to follow social conditioning. As primates our survival depended on it. Dating is one of the most primal acts we can engage in, we are designed to procreate. While our behaviors are built on instinct we can understand these behaviors through science, research, and data. Your dating behaviors follow patterns, her behaviors follow patterns, and these patterns tell us things. Thousands of studies have been done on dating and relationships, we may as well use it because tells us how to proceed.
Those who pay attention and act on it may seem like they instinctually have an advantage, or they get lucky, but if you use these techniques you can too.
Wait, isn’t love and science an oxy-moron?
What about love at first sight? According to a 2017 survey, more men than women believe in love at first sight, 72% actually. While attraction does happen in one-fifth of a second, science can explain the feelings of love that occur when neurons in the brain fire off making rapid evaluations on the pursuit of a romantic relationship. Science backs that up, too.
Does science take the fun out of dating, shouldn’t it feel natural and magical, and explaining love and science to love is akin to Darwin versus creationism, if you fall under one camp, you don’t the other?
Not really. It may have been that way a decade ago, or even 40 years ago… my parents were romantic, high school sweethearts who married for life. They are in part of the category of adults ages 65 and older who tend to see more advantages in marriage, over their younger counterparts. Modern dating is makes it more difficult to find a partner than it ever has been as temptation, technology, social media, the ease of divorce, decline of religion, higher expectations, and more options are attributed for the decline in conscious coupling.
Traditional dating has evolved, and the process has changed. Meeting someone in real life is shifting to technology driven platforms, throw in a pandemic, quarantine, social distancing, and running into someone organically is even slimmer. Add to the complications are declining social opportunities, and declining social skills. We start to FEEL like a hermit, your potential partner likely also feels the same, and coming together successfully requires all the edge you can find.
You’ll need to get super lucky, have mad skills, a gazillion friends with friends who might be single, put yourself out there A LOT on dating apps. Navigate online bots, trolls and catfishing, meditate and manifest, and put in your time all without getting burned out and giving up
Or you can apply strategy such as science-backed dating.
Putting it all together
Applying science to your next date can make it one of the top five ever. If your next date is your 1st, your 5th or your 50thyou can make it one of the best yet, the 5 principles below will help guide you.
#1 Go into the date with a clear focus.
Set a goal – What do you want out of the date?
Ask yourself why; why are you going on this date to begin with?
- Do I want to make them my partner, boyfriend/girlfriend?
- Do I just want to get laid?
- Are they my current spouse and we are having a date night to reconnect, take a break from the kids?
Then take a deeper look at your why, this introduces intentionality into your date.
- I want to find out more about them.
- I need to close the deal and secure the next date.
- I want my wife to feel like I love her.
By answering the why, you can then define how, and create steps to proceed toward your goal.
- I’ll ask more questions than talk.
- I’ll let them know I’m really enjoying my time with them by saying so.
- I’ll bring a handwritten card or send her a text when I’ve stepped into the restroom.
- I’ll give her a vibrator to wear through dinner.
#2 Define your values– and make sure your relationship lines up with them.
Your values may equate a relationship to friendship, or trust and respect might be your high notes. Therapists say you will be most fulfilled when your actions align with your values. Define what matters to you, then seek out dates, and relationships, accordingly.
Not sure what your values are? The best way to figure out what you want is to “date as much as they can manage or tolerate,” according to couples psychologist Peter Pearson. When you start dating you’ll learn quickly what turns you on and what doesn’t. Your preferences begin to evolve and you’ll also learn what kind of person you have to be to attract the kind of mate you’re seeking
Still want help identifying your values? This worksheet will help.
#3 Carpe Diem – see every date is a new opportunity
Don’t compare it to previous dates, other people’s dates, other partners, or other experiences. It’s a human trait to constantly search for what will bring us more happiness but when we constantly evaluate or compare, it leads to feelings of devaluing experiences and life, and actually decrease your motivation. Deep Patel explains this concept and 16 mental shifts for living a happier life in this article.
Furthermore “whenever you compare the past to the present, it makes your present partner feel diminished and inadequate,” advises Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of “Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets.”
#4 Don’t be on autopilot
Don’t let distractions take you away from the present. Enjoy the date and notice the details, don’t let your mind wander to tomorrow or yesterday. We’re constantly distracted by thoughts that compete for our attention almost every minute of the day. Paying attention to the small things is one way to add to your memory savings bank that builds your relationship and gets you through tough patches. We spend considerable time planning a date, then while we’re in it, immediately start planning the next. One way to be present is by shaking things up, going on an adventure, take a trip or a class together, start a new hobby together, plan dates that engage multiple senses, all of which is covered in my course on Understanding Women in Relationships. For more ideas on rebuilding or sparking a relationship visit this article I’ve written.
#5 Create Excitement
Treat the date as a special and separate entity in and of itself – separate from your partner and separate from you. Plan it out to be exciting . Excitement leads to more satisfaction and self-expansion as research in Psychology Today explains that exciting dates lead to increased intimacy and more closeness.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”― Maya Angelou
“I love you not because of who you are but because of who I am with I am with you” – Roy Croft
It’s less about what the actual date consists of (whether that be skydiving, taking dancing lessons, going on a road trip, or cooking a new recipe together) and more about how exciting you and your partner feel about going on that date.
If you want to initiate bonding or re-ignite closeness partake in a comedy show or movie. Laughter engages every part of the brain and triggers endorphins. On the first few dates rather than expensive venues or restaurants, opt for unique or interesting. Your goal shouldn’t be to impress, buy interest or set the standards too high. Besides, the first few dates are unpredictable and can fizzle out, aim for an experience, not an expense.
Strategic dating practices and behaviors are how you go from dating on autopilot to dating with intention.
Being proactive in relationships and dating gives you a head start, an advantage in attracting and keeping a mate, and it gives your current dating approach a refresh.