If you’re interested in making a better first impression on a potential date or long-term partner, you’ll need to get their attention and hold it. Your opening move, ability to keep a conversation moving, hold his interest or get her to let down her guard are all key to getting that phone number or getting asked out. Some basic communication strategies, applied to dating, can help you improve your chances of meeting that special someone.
Flirting requires body language, eye contact and verbal cues to send messages.
Trying too hard sends a signal of desperation or a lack of self-confidence. Don’t verbally fawn over your target with artificial compliments about looks, hair, dress, her job or his body. In some instances, playing hard to get can pique someone’s interest. If you’re in a crowded club, don’t immediately turn around to face someone you engage in conversation. Talking to them over your shoulder sends a message they haven’t earned your complete interest, yet, and may motivate them to try and do so. If he’s with a group of guys, talk to all of his friends equally to make him more interested in winning your attention.
Make Eye Contact
When you want to show you’re interested, make eye contact. Hold his gaze at least three seconds as you first meet to show interest. Looking around a room or at other women while you’re talking to her sends a negative message that you’re not interested or respectful. If you’re a man, keep your eyes off her chest, especially those first few seconds when it’s natural and almost involuntary for men to check out breasts.
Use your Ears More than your Mouth
People are flattered when you listen to what they have to say. To emphasize that you are interested in what she’s saying, bring up a similar, personal story you have to show agreement with what she just said, or ask her a question to indicate you want to hear more. Give more than monosyllabic, “Yes” or “No” answers. You can also try the technique most shrinks use–ask questions about his statements, like, “Why did you do that?,” or “Would you do that again?”
Use First Names
The famous tennis teacher, Dennis van der Meer, tells prospective coaches that the nicest word in the English language is the other person’s name. “You, in the blue shirt . . . turn your shoulders!,” doesn’t create as strong a coach/student connection as well as “Bob . . . turn your shoulders!” Get his first name and use it throughout your conversation to show you’re interested. If you’re a guy, commit her name to memory and avoid having to yell a Seinfeldesque, “Dolores!” out your apartment window as she walks out of your life.
Make Subtle Physical Contact
Making some non-sexual physical contact sends a signal you’ve let your guard down a bit and are comfortable with him or her. For women, a hand on his arm, brushing his hair out of eyes, fxing his collar or touching his shoulder lets him know you are comfortable with him. A man making the same touches, or even trying to hold hands, might be considered pawing if done too early, so use your judgement. See how she reacts to a playful high-five or fist-bump first. In many situations, the female should be the first one to make physical contact.