First dates are tough. You’re trying to make a good impression on someone, but you’re also trying to read the person you’re with and see if they’re worth your time. Dating may not be an exact science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use a little science to our advantage during that first interaction.
Once again, anyone who says its no big deal obviously has no idea what there on about, or hasn’t been dating in the last decade. Lifehacker has your back…
Here’s what you need to know.
A perfect first date is different for everyone, but you can guess that anyone will want solid conversation skills and a good first impression. Beyond that, though, things start to get complicated. Statistics help, but to really craft that perfect first date you need to know exactly how to handle yourself. This is where that science comes in. A lot of the relationship research out there is pretty useless (with riveting studies about how an unpopular name affects your dating success or women find men more attractive when another woman smiles at them), but we went out to find some of the more useful studies to help us craft that perfect first date. Here are the more useful tips we found.
Without ruining the article it boils down to…
- Keep the Conversation Interesting (and Risky)
Absolutely…! This is the part of the date I kinda of enjoy somewhat. Maybe another reason why I quite like speed dating? You start with the basic stuff and before long your in risky territory pouring over past experiences. Its slightly cathartic in nature.
- Use the “Right” Amount of Eye Contact
The right amount? Well I tend to look at people mouths because I’m 25% lip reading and 75% listening. But I do tend to look around the face. I agree the right amount of eye contact is important, no one wants to be eyeballed for long periods of time, specially on a date.
- Watch for Mimicry (But Don’t Go Overboard)
Ok this is something talked to death about in certain books. Its also called mirroring and its go to hear the downsides to mirroring as well as the good. I know certain people who mirror too much and it comes across as weird. No generally I don’t mirror much but I’m conscious of mirroring.
- Mind Your Body Language
Another key one. I don’t generally make a lot of fast or close moves because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable around me. I’m also not the kind of guy who gets super close at the very start. I know some people will sit side by side instead of ahead from the other. It seems cute but I think its too much.
- Be direct with plans
Although I like the idea of this one, I’m not so certain its a good idea. That extra pressure at the end of a date seems like a bad idea, I mean who wants to go home thinking about how they were pressured into a 2nd date?
Generally the advice is good and the links are excellent…. Good work Lifehacker
The Concept was simple, take a bunch of geeks on one of Nicole’s Flirt and Walk tours in Manchester instead of London. But then afterwards have a couple of pickup artists talk to the group and maybe take them out.
After finally getting everyone on board (we had to switch from 2 pickup artists to 1 due to scheduling) the day finally came. The number of places also filled up at the end. We quickly filled to 12 people on the day before and unfortunately we had turn people away via the eventbrite signup. In the end we ended up with about 10 people through out the whole workshop.
It started in Madlab at 6pm, once people started turning up Nicole greeted them on the ground floor. Everyone sat around wondering what they had signed up to but we keyed them into the schedule for the evening and made people comfortable, before jumping into the first task/workshop as they walked up to the top floor of Madlab.
Nicole in her most charming way, ran a few workshops upstairs including staring at a person, sitting next to you. The idea was to get people thinking about body language. A nice little debate started up about length of time to stare at someone, depending on city and area. The suggestion was that if you stare at someone for 2 secs in London, you might end up getting your head kicked in. While in outer Manchester, it wouldn’t be such a big deal.
After a few more exercises, it was time for the walkabout. On the way down to the Cooperative supermarket (just off market street, near the Arndale shopping centre) we were told to meet eye contact with people on the street and maybe even wink at one or two of them. I don’t believe anyone achieved the wink but catching people glances seemed to work, specially when a smile was added.
The shopping market task was to strike up a conversation with people in the store as you shopped (or at least made it look like you were shopping). There was extra bonus points if it was someone you fancied. So with that I personally took to the isles looking for the tea & coffee section, logic being you could easily ask someone for there advice on teas and coffees, plus you may get some nice ladies hanging out there or something (made sense in my head). In the end I got talking to a lovely blonde girl of about 25 in the beer, wine and spirits isle. I asked her about the beer she was buying and admitted my hate for beer but the need to buy some for a friends party today (little white lie). She wasn’t very talkative but I kept pushing and backed off at maybe just the right moment.
Others in the group tried at the Cooperative and the Tesco Metro just down the street. There was a lack of the general public but the task came to a end in the cooperative when security had a word with one of the guys and suggested they would be calling the police if they didn’t leave the store. I was in Tesco at the time, so I came back to find most people standing outside cooperative with the security and a manager standing close to the door way.
It was obviously time to move on, and share stories in a bar over drinks. That was the end of the Flirt club section of the evening. Now was the pickup section with Simon.
After a little while, we enter the photographic studios of Amir Shah, who kindly let us use them for the workshop. Everyone gathered around a table and Simon stood up and gave a really interesting talk about the game and how/why he got into it…
Simon was frank, honest and open when he talked about a relationship which went very bad and how he had to pick himself up. For him the book the game is nothing more that a self help book. He used it to pick himself up and better himself. Not by abusing his new found confidence but by finding himself. It sounds all very zen/new age but actually its quite touching. In actual fact I’ve found quite a few touching stories in the process of doing geeks talk sexy, including the story of Chris and Simon Carter. At that point I realised I was treating Simon like all the others I’ve known who had read the game, but in actual fact he was different.
Had I been too monochrome about people who read the game? I mean I had read the game too, many years ago and choose not to follow it or practice many of its techniques. Its possible (small chance I know 🙂 that someone else (Simon in this case) had come to a similar conclusion?
In the Q&A which followed, lots of techniques were explored including the highly controversial technique the Neg. Simon talked about it and suggested he also doesn’t really like it but sees what its trying to do. He made a lot of good points about self confidence and meeting your own personal potential. Also a lot of things Nicole talked about fitted really well with Simon’s points.
Finally Simon talked about moving away from the pickup artist title. Like a Limitless which came out just recently, the ability was just part of him now. He was no longer acting and doing, it was just part of his personality now. And it shows… When I first was clued into the fact Simon was involved in pickup, I didn’t really believe it. I just thought that was his personality but then again, I’ve only known Simon for about 4 years and had very limited contact with him at that. I can hardly blame him for wanting to move on from pickup (maybe this is why he was so frustrated with the workshop description and title) There’s been a lot of negativity about the pickup aspect from many corners but Simon’s advice was consistent with my own and Nicole’s. It mainly boils down to,
- Be yourself
- Feel confident within yourself
- Don’t put people on a pedestals
- Treat people as people
- Your time is important
- Be the best that you can be
Before long our time was up and that was the end of Geeks talk sexy season 1. Although we had to change things on the run up to the workshop, it all worked out really well. The people who signed up were willing to push there own boundaries and accept they might need a little help in this area. As Simon said, no one really teaches you how to talk to potential love interests, its just something which your left to figure out by yourself… This also use to be the case for sex, but now there’s reasonable sex education in school… Not that I’m suggesting they should teach this in school but imagine the benefits if they did?
(Btw, its worth listening to this Techgrumps #29 where in the last 3rd, I discuss the Geeks talk sexy workshop and some of the insights and feedback I got from it.)
Geeks talk sexy has been a remarkable series and has expanded by own knowledge and experience. Hopefully its also done the same for other people. I certainly think there will be a second season, and maybe we’ll run the geek speed dating event and of course the flirt and pickup workshop again.
Thanks once again to Nicole, Simon, Amir, Hwayoung, Simon, Samantha and everyone who’s taken a interest in geeks talks sexy, its been one heck of a ride….