Have you recently rejoined the single life after a break up? Perhaps you’ve been enjoying flying solo but think now is the time to join the dating game? Regardless, knowing how to approach the person you fancy is a skill worth having – but requires practice! When it comes to dating, the majority of us suffer with all the usual symptoms; nervousness, self consciousness… but the degree of which it’s felt differs from person to person. Knowledge is power, so if you struggle to remember your own name let alone that of your date’s when asked, following these simple steps can help transform you into a competent dater in no time…
Step 1: Ascertain whether or not your target is single. This is the most crucial step to take before embarking on your dating mission. Save yourself unnecessary hassle (and time wasting) by working out whether or not they are available. If you have friends in common, chances are you’ll already know the answer. If it’s someone you don’t have an ‘IRL’ (in real life) relationship with, do some investigating via social media, or – scroll down to step 2.
Step 2: Get them to notice you. There’s two approaches here. If your crush is someone you’re friends with who has no knowledge of your romantic feelings, you’ll need to redefine the way in which they see you. Harmless flirting when you’re together and then striking up a conversation via text when you’re not will get the ball rolling. If you’re not sensing any vibes, you can always rely on friends to do some digging or at least to give you an honest opinion if it’s not worth pursuing. Don’t know each other but have mutual friends? Get them to introduce you. Or, track them down on social and start liking a few things before plucking up the courage for a DM!
Step 3: Always look (and therefore feel) your best – wear confidence boosting clothes! Getting into a confident mindset before making contact with your crush will take the edge off any self doubt or nervous feelings. We feel our best when we’re in our favourite clothes, so treating yourself to some new garms is a must. Work out what pieces make you feel most empowered, whether it’s an awesome coat, a brightly coloured dress or effortless jeans. You need to feel yourself, so avoid choosing items you’d never usually wear.
Step 4: Compliment your crush – flattery works wonders (but don’t be cringy!) Once you’ve struck up a conversation (whether face to face or in the digital realm) consider flattery techniques to help break the ice. Think about how you feel when you receive a compliment. It brightens your mood, boosts your confidence and probably causes you to smile. It also evokes feelings of warmth towards the flatterer – a key technique to employ when building a rapport between yourself and someone else.
Step 5: Smile. Body language is the window to our mood. If we’re not having a good day, we’ll act disinterested, slouched at our desks or stood with arms folded. This obviously does not give off a good impression. If you want someone to notice you, the single most effective way is to smile. Smily people instantly put everyone around them at ease, so by smiling at the person you fancy – and maintaining eye contact, you’re far more approachable. Also, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of eye contact when you’re not talking too…!
Step 6: Try to be direct. Women can be pretty cryptic at the best of times (speaking from a woman’s perspective) so when it comes to communicating the fact that we like someone, it’s no surprise that often the person on the receiving end has no idea. We’re pretty time poor as a nation so don’t make matters worse by beating around the bush or playing games. Treat others how you want to be treated, and if that means a more-direct-than-you’d-like conversation, at least you’ll be closer to knowing whether or not this is something worth pursuing. Confidence and honesty are essential.
Step 7: Instigate a meeting. If you’re friends but a one-on-one meet is a bit intense, get a group night out planned then make sure you’re putting all of the above into practice! If you don’t already know each other, you’ve got nothing to lose here… take a deep breath and ask the question. If it’s not what you want to hear, you don’t need to see or speak to this person again. Take it on the chin and move on. What’s meant to be will be!
Step 8: Make a mental note of conversation starters. For the serial daters among us, you probably won’t need step 8 but for those of you who feel consumed by first date nerves, it’s good to come armed with topics to kill any awkward silences. Here are a few to get you started…
– how’s your day been? (use this to discover more about their job/life)
– what sort of things do you like to do when you’re not doing X?
– do you go on many dates?
– spill the beans on your worst one!
– where do you live? – do you come from a big family?
– what are your plans for the weekend?
– have you been on holiday this summer? – where would you most like to go if money was no object?
So that’s our 8 step guide for approaching the person you fancy. Let us know whether you’ve found it useful by leaving us a comment, or if you have any top tips on dating – we would love you to get in touch @nextofficial on Twitter.