By Jackie Potts
Good news for singles: You only need four minutes to hit it off with someone new, and we’ve got some first date advice to help tip the scales in your favor.
Think dating chemistry is all about money and appearance? It really has nothing to do with your car or designer labels, according to a new Stanford University dating study. It’s all about showing compassion, enthusiasm and using the following conversation skills.
By analyzing nearly 1,000 dates, geeky guys Dan McFarland and Dan Jurafsky found that how words were delivered, when and for how long determined the strongest connections. And four minutes is all it takes to spark “a meaningful relationship,” they said.
During these mini-dates, women were definitely the deciders in whether or not the conversations would continue, but both genders can do several things to ensure a second date.
- Show approval. Use phrases like “That’s awesome” or “Good for you.”
- Be empathetic. If a date shares a hardship tale, respond with, “That must be tough on you,” or something supportive. Women like guys who seem to understand their problems.
- Share a short personal or funny story. Spilled BBQ sauce on your shirt? Rode an elevator once with Lil Wayne? Talk about it. But avoid complaining or “Can you believe my ex?” anecdotes.
- Watch out for the “I” monster. If every other word out of your mouth is “I,” you’re losing your date.
- Show vocal enthusiasm. Laughing and making your voice louder or softer to mirror the other person’s help create an emotional connection.
- Don’t grill the other person. What’d you do today? Where do you work out? Hey, where are you going? People lose interest when asked question after question.
Interestingly, both guys and girls reported stronger connections when the conversation focused on her. Take it from Beyonce: Who run the world? Girls.
Jackie Potts is a blogger at MarketSmiths.com.