Take one step into your bookstore’s dating advice section and you will learn every trick in the book for snagging a man and settling down before he even knows what hit him. Anyone who has actually tried those tips can tell you they come with more than a few broken promises, probably in no small part because most of the books are written by actresses, authors and comedians. But experts actually study dating—like, as a science—and they have their own dating advice to dish out.
From specifics about what to do on the first date to secrets for upping your odds, dating experts share with you their top tips for finding love.
1) Talk about yourself half the time.
Ever been on a date with someone who thinks his own fine self warrants a two-hour monologue? According to one study, on dates that go well, people talk about themselves about half the time, leaving plenty of open airwaves for their date to fill. On awkward dates, the balance shifts, with 60 percent of the focus on one person. (Beyond that, it’s rescue-call-from-the-bathroom territory.) The point isn’t to count your words; it’s to share a bit about yourself while showing interest in the other person. “The dates are smoother because people seem warmer,” says Paul Eastwick, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Texas A&M University. Take conversation that flows naturally back and forth, throw in a little flirtation—laughs, smiles, body language—and that’s a ticket to a second date.
2) Be agreeable (but smart).
To hit it off on a date, you want to find common ground. Studies show that more agreeable people tend to have more successful dates, likely because they avoid the dreaded awkward pause. “Disagreeing is a conversation killer,” says Eastwick. All it tells you is what the two of you don’t have in common. Still, you never want to feign agreement. “There’s a way to agree without falsifying your own opinion,” says Eastwick. For example, if your date says he’s a travel nut but you’re partial to the one-mile radius around your apartment, you can just affirm that he sounds adventurous.
Of course, you can also seem too agreeable. If you smile and nod your way through dinner, then you might make a very attractive bobble-head but you’re not a very stimulating date. You do want to engage in the conversation, and having an opinion shows confidence. Just make sure your comments promote conversation instead of stifling it.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz
Get to the root of your anxiety, and look better for it!Take Quiz
Find out how much fitness you fit into your day and how to add exercise to your everyday activities.Take Quiz