Small tweaks are enough to trigger a veritable landslide when it comes to attraction. Don’t believe me? Have you ever re-evaluated someone who you were initially lukewarm to overnight based on a small, yet profound change? It happens all the time.
But looking attractive is only part of the puzzle. Attraction is far more than our genetic fortune, it is a behavior, an aura and a way of living. It is an emotional association we can control and instill in others. Given a healthy dose of self-acceptance and realism, consciously making it work in our favor isn’t quite as hard as we may initially believe.
As a preface, I’m certainly no Casanova, nor do I have the unending charisma of a movie-star. What I do have is a heartfelt desire to improve my overall romantic predicament. This post represents two decades of learning the hard way, a sprinkling of comedic failure, and the occasional eyebrow raising success.
5. Maintain Crystalline Hygiene
By hygiene I’m not referring to making sure you’re on the healthy side of the “letting go” border. I’m assuming we have that one down to a science. What I mean is both superficial and profound depending on your objective, and is often (ideally) both at the same time.
It is superficial because of what taking care of ourselves physically and cognitively says to others about us. Conveying a feeling of loving oneself is extremely attractive whether or not we introspectively do so ourselves. Sympathy is the bane of attraction. Profound because of the way self-care and love affects us in the long-run — it sticks — but more on this later!
4. Keep Your Chin Up
Nobody likes an endless continuum of self-victimization and trouble talk. Ironically, a bout of anticipation or nervousness during dating can catalyze negativity temporarily, making us appear more insecure than we probably are.
Doing it right is something of a juggling act. Honesty, humility and assertiveness are the qualities we want, without appearing arrogant, false and indecisive. The single best way to achieve this is by employing humor.
Laugh at yourself and your pitfalls openly! It is endearing, and denotes a well of interior strength that others will want to fathom. Not only will you appear more in control of your emotions while remaining entirely human. Your tendency to not take yourself as seriously as you could, makes you a great deal easier to be blunt and honest with in the long-run.
3. Don’t Forget Your Own Needs
Relationships should be mutually beneficial. I’m well aware how easy it is to say this, and I have often lost my way in relationships in order to make my partner happy, draining myself in the process. It happens. While I do feel that interest never really plateaus, and the emotional slider does inch both ways somewhat, it is imperative not to give into fear.
The fear of abandonment is easily abused by manipulative partners. In order to safeguard your own happiness and filter out the bad apples early it is important to approach dating by building strong personal boundaries bolstered by a healthy dose of self-respect.
Yet, this doesn’t mean becoming overly forceful or arrogant. Another pitfall during dating – particularly soon after the end of a previous relationship — is expecting a little too much from our would-be partners. Ideally there should be a list of things that you hold to be of importance in a relationship, a list of minimum requirements. Ignoring flagrant fouls this early will only end with serious conflict later down the line. Don’t be afraid of drawing the line, it also has a funny way of catalyzing attraction — nobody likes a push-over (in the long-run).
2. Get The Body Language Right
Aesthetics are important, especially when it comes to forming first impressions. Becoming conscious of our body language is an amazing and liberating tool, that can radically change our chances in the dating world. While we are supremely receptive (it is mostly a subconscious process) to what the body language of others is saying about them, we are often oblivious to what our body is saying about ourselves.
Body language and a sprinkling of NLP warrant far more than an article of their own (I have delved briefly into the world of male body language), consider the following points some quick tips without the appropriate context or explanation (to save time).
- Open your posture, signalling interest, sincerity and directness. Avoid crossing your arms defensively, leaning and turning your body away from the object of your attention.
- Interact during the conversation. Even simply nodding your head to validate a point will do. Don’t be afraid to disagree, bonus points are awarded to those who beg to disagree with a smile!
- Get a touch in if you can. Touching is immensely important, even if it is subtle, impersonal and seemingly inadvertent. It creates a subconscious kinesthetic bond that allows you both to naturally bypass the personal space barrier seamlessly without awkward come-ons and withered innuendos. You may find it interesting that once a touchy-feeling bond is erected, it becomes more commonplace and will almost always be subconsciously and casually reciprocated. Time to continually up the ante with gusto!
- Make them laugh. Even a smile can help dissolve the most stringent defensive boundary over time. Not only are you taking the stress out of self-consciousness, you are also creating a label for yourself in the mind called “fun person to be with”. Providing your date with a constant, fun, getaway from the tumultuousness of their every-day life.
In almost all cases, it pays to become conscious about how we are projecting our self-image to others. If in doubt, remember to loosen up and sweat out the stress. Nobody wants a job interview date, don’t make it one.
1. Have Fun Anyway
Falling prey to expectations, over-analyzing ourselves and taking it seriously are the — pardon the blasphemy — holy trinity of dating evils. Dating is just that, dating. A date like any other, the chance to get to know someone. Possibly meet the person with whom you will spend a large portion of your life, or perhaps a time to meet a loyal, long-term friend. Shrug the stress-induced tunnel vision aside and have fun for it’s own sake, whether or not it is reciprocated. You owe it to yourself — but wait — it get’s even better!
By opening the gala with a smile you are making yourself more attractive for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, your partner in crime will no longer be worried about whether or not you are enjoying the date, they can now focus on the present moment without a buildup of insecurity. Secondly, the positive projection your body language will send is a potent omen of seduction, making you more magnetic and an addictive presence.
Lastly, and certainly not leastly, by having fun on your own terms you are setting the stage for a date of your choosing, where what takes place is actually fun! If it’s been a long grey week at the office, organize a dimly lit interior plus chilled wine getaway. If alcohol isn’t on your figurative menu, and you’re looking to do something a little more pro-active, hedge for a hike. In short, be pro-active in the dating process. Not only will you end up thanking yourself, and I mean this, they will end up thanking you!
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