Psychology 101 may not be the first place you normally go for dating advice. Here’s a secret though—you can use some of what you learn in class towards your advantage on the guy scene. There are reasons you fall for certain people (besides their cuteness), and once you understand the rules of attraction, you’ll be the master of making guys fall for you.
Syracuse University’s Human Sexuality and Love, Lust, and Relationship professor, Dr. Joe Fanelli says, “Initially, it’s about an attraction to someone. Then, for an interest in dating them, there has to be that desire to make a connection.”
Her Campus is here to help you make that connection. Here are some of the secrets behind the science of attraction, and how to use them to make him fall for you (take them with a grain of salt!).
1. Use your body language
Usually, but not always, physical attraction is the instigator for a conversation, or that first introduction. It may not be love at first sight, but more likely attraction at first sight.
For example, we like the fit, healthy bodies of those Calvin Klein underwear models because, “attractiveness may [unconsciously] provide a clue to health and reproductive fitness,” Fanelli says.
The hottie’s abs and chiseled chest are essentially saying, “I’d give good genes to our babies.” Just what you wanted to know on your first date, right?
Other physical attraction cues may not be so obvious.
“When it comes to chemistry, there are certain people we are drawn to because of pheromones,” Fanelli says. “These may be triggers that signal ‘my DNA is different than your DNA’.”
The pheromones (our natural ‘scent’) aren’t conscious to us, but they may be a reason that initial attraction turns into wanting something more.
Before you even say a word to him, signal your interest with subtle, non-verbal clues using your body language.
How to make it work:
According to Love Signals: A Practical Field Guide to the Body Language of Courtship, we naturally blink faster when we are emotionally excited. Bat those eyelashes to let him know you’re interested without saying a word. People also, “lean toward whatever – or whomever – they find most important at the time,” according to Love Signals. Use this trick and slightly lean towards him, whether it’s in your chair in class, or while standing at the bar.
2. Be a copy-cat
According to Fanelli, similarity to a person is another important factor in attraction. We like people who are similar to ourselves. It’s that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling you get when, the more you talk with someone, the more you find out you have in common.
“These matches may be conscious, for example two athletes, or people with similar extracurricular interests, or unconscious, like finding out you enjoy the same music,” Fanelli says.
If you’re meeting him for the first time, use the “chameleon effect” from Love Signals: mirroring movements and gestures shows you’re interested. In one study from The Journal of Nonhuman Behavior, researchers found that it’s not just mimicking of movements that indicate interest, but also timing. If he moves from slouching to sitting up straight, a few seconds later do the same.
How to make it work:
To use mimicking, take a sip of your drink when he does, copy the way his hands are resting on the table, or pick up on his words or phrases and repeat them later in the conversation. Remember the timing aspect as well: try to copy his movements sooner rather than later, or it won’t come across as “synchronized.” But don’t make it too obvious!
Similarity, in terms of personality, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be mirror images of each other (in fact that might get a little boring). The important thing here is being open to each other’s interests. If he likes hockey, watch a game with him at least once or twice. If he’s a country music guy, and you can’t get enough hip-hop, well, at least you can both appreciate a strong love for music.