1. No one is listening to you anyway
A lot of would-be flirters get hung up on the opening line. They’re so worried that what they say is going to be perceived badly that they are never quite able to muster the nerve to make the approach. Or worse, they do make the approach, but they’re so nervous and insecure about what they’re saying that they get shot down immediately. Well, there’s good news for the tongue-tied and lovelorn: When it comes to the early stages of flirting, what you say doesn’t really matter. According to a study at UCLA, up to 93 per cent of communication messages are determined by nonverbal cues. That’s right, only seven per cent of what you say hangs on the actual words you use, while 38 per cent is vocal (your pitch, rhythm, volume, etc) and a whopping 55 per cent is your body language (facial expressions, posture, confidence, etc.) Which means you’ll be far better served by a look of confidence than a witty pickup line. The most important thing to remember when approaching someone new is that while an inappropriate line can put you out of the running, everything else is pretty much benign. In other words, you won’t ruin your chances by being boring. At least not right off the bat. A recent UK study of effective pickup lines conducted by Psychologist Christopher Bale found that, “Openings involving jokes, empty compliments and sexual references received poor ratings.” And another UK study found that the best opening lines were lighthearted, open-ended questions (rather than yes or no questions) such as “What’s your favorite kind of pizza?” or “If you were going as a TV character to a costume party, who would you be?”
2. Look deep into my eyes
It’s difficult, sometimes, for shy people to look directly into another person’s eyes, but looking away can actually make you appear less attractive to another person. A recent UK study found that participants found photos of people who are smiling and looking directly at you to be the most attractive, and the very same faces were found to be less attractive when looking away or off to the side. Another study found that direct eye contact between strangers made them more likely to feel attraction, as well as making them bond more quickly. The best places to see eye to eye? A dark party or bar or a candle-lit restaurant. The low lighting causes our pupils to dilate, the very same thing that happens when we feel attraction.
3. Can you juggle?
This one doesn’t really work if you’re a woman but for men, it works like gangbusters. Better still, it’s a skill pretty much anybody can learn in an afternoon. Why juggling? Women are oddly compelled by men who can juggle. Even if you’re the biggest geek on the planet, you’ll suddenly seem a lot more interesting if you can keep five beer bottles simultaneously airborne. Juggling Gurus Ryan and Phil began juggling at age 12 for fun and discovered by accident that juggling opened a lot of doors with women. Ryan says, “Women really love juggling.” Oddly enough, I witnessed this phenomenon myself at a recent event. Two very average guys spent the entire afternoon in a large conference room at a media event with a lot of other people where they went largely unnoticed — flying completely under the radar. After the event ended, they began juggling in the corner as people were sort of milling around. Three minutes later, a HUGE crowd had gathered around them, including a number of very attractive women who elbowed their way to the front, and then stayed on to chat long after the juggling was over. Why does it work? It’s fun, it’s non-threatening (unless you’re juggling knives or hand grenades) and it puts you at the center of attention. Juggling. It’s not just for circus freaks.
4. The Magic Touch
Touching someone’s arm when you first approach them can improve your chances dramatically. According to a recent Daily Mail article, “A study found that two-thirds of women agreed to dance with a man who touched her on the arm for a second or two while making the request. When the same man kept his hands by his side while asking women to dance, his success rate fell by half.” The good news is that arm-touching technique works for women too. Another study found that waitresses were perceived more positively when they touched customers on the arm than those who did not make physical contact. Either way, light, non-sexual touching forms an instant connection. Easy and effective.
5. Get a hottie posse
Surround yourself with attractive members of the opposite sex, which triggers something competitive in both men and women, and will make you seem more desirable. It’s the halo effect. If all the beautiful people are hanging out with you, you must be something special. The good news is that even after the group of attractive men or women dissipates, the glow they leave on you will last for the rest of the night. The bad news, it might be a bit of a challenge to get a throng of lookers to flank you at the bar. But if you happen to have a charming personality and access to a modeling agency roster, you may just be in luck. Otherwise, you may need to polish up your juggling skills.
Dating Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books, Stop Getting Dumped! and How to Date Like a Grown-up.
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