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Monday, July 24, 2017

5 WAYS TO SERIOUSLY IMPROVE YOUR OFFLINE DATING SUCCESS

If you feel like you’re the only one who hasn’t found that near-perfect partner, you're not alone. While there are plenty of benefits to being (and staying) solo, I understand the allure of finding that special someone. To help you out, here are 5 science-backed, expert-approved ways to boost your dating prospects, for dating online or IRL. Listen closely, and you may not be so single come next February 14th.

1. Think outside the dinner-and-drinks box.

A typical first date might be grabbing a drink, coffee, or even a bite. If that's your comfort zone, stay there. But these set-ups can quickly get awkward, as they’re far more intense than a situation where the focus is on something other than yourselves.

How about third-party activities? Think: bowling, a concert, a group happy hour—in lieu of sitting across the table from a near-perfect stranger. Movies (in a theater and not at someone’s apartment), comedy shows, or any of these 29 unique first-date ideas would also work. If nothing else, you’ll have an alternative source of entertainment in case an awkward silence ensues.

2. Press pause on opening up.
Yes, getting intimate involves sharing deeper truths about who you are and what shaped you (incuding previous relationships). But it’s generally not a great idea to dive head first into deeply personal disclosures on date numero uno. Spilling too much about your life early on can drive others away.

It's best to save opening up about tough issues—from exes to family issues to health problems—until we know a person's ready to hear it. Too much too soon can be off-putting, creating the sense that we're more of a burden than an exciting new prospect.

That's not to say you should lie about these things, but try focusing on the upsides and positives in your life before launching into the real-er stuff. Then, assess if you feel you can trust the person before you go there, also noting that a healthy level of closeness requires time (read: numerous dates) to develop.

One exception: Do talk about your job, but keep the focus on what you like about it and where you see yourself going, not on your salary or how miserable you are between the hours of nine to five.

3. Be a good listener.
Paying attention to your date (a.k.a. not talking about yourself the whole time or constantly checking your phone) can make you seem more physically attractive, research shows. Plus, demonstrating an interest in what another person’s saying and being mindful of their sensitivities before inserting your own opinion are desirable qualities anyone would want in a mate.

But these aren’t the only reasons you should listen to what a date’s saying. If you’re tuned out or otherwise disengaged during first encounters and beyond, you’ll derive as little satisfaction as the person you’re ignoring simply by failing to be present in the moment.

4. Wait to take off your clothes.
Studies show that if you’re looking for satisfaction over the long haul, waiting to jump into the sack with someone new is the best course of action.

Prioritize building closeness and security. (No matter how many dates this takes.) In addition to how you feel around a new potential lover one-on-one, pay attention to their family history and friendships for clues about their character. Tumultuous pasts, social isolation, or seedy acquaintances can be signs it’s unwise to continue your connection with them, he adds.

5. Remember, relationships take work.
People sometimes think that as long as they find the ‘right’ partner, a relationship will be easy, there won’t be any disagreement, and no compromises or sacrifices will have to be made. But even the highest quality relationships still require effort and maintenance.

Perfection is a myth, and if you find yourself falling in love on the first date, chances are you're deluded—if not setting yourself up for a major letdown. Take in the good stuff about this new person and pace yourself. If you don't think there's a spark, ask yourself whether what you're looking for is attainable, or kind of... impossible (think: a new person who'll whisk you off your feet, pay for dinner, and let you move in with them right off the bat while being drop dead gorgeous with no emotional baggage whatsoever). Letting go of this misconception that love should be "easy" can help you realize that what you truly want—connection—is within reach.


If you’re still disappointed by dating and find yourself always looking for something better, you may need to come back down to earth—and remember there's no such thing as a perfect relationship. Wondering whether something is a red flag or more serious? Learn if your doubts are dealbreakers (or actually totally normal).

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