The modern woman’s guide to being a little bit bolder when it comes to love.
We love Downton Abbey, but ladies waiting on gentlemen callers? Eh, not so much. If you see a guy you want to meet, or want to date a guy you already know, there’s nothing to keep you from initiating action – except, maybe, knowing how to make your move.
For starters, you don’t want to play it too cool or coy, but you also don’t want to go all man-eater on him any more than you’d want to be prey to some slick pick-up artist. And even though it’s been decades since we were green-lighted to make the first move, many of us still feel uncomfortable putting that anointment into action: only 11 percent of women say they’ve actually asked a guy out in the past year, according to a Match.com survey of more than 5 000 people.
Then there’s the fact that some men are feeling marginalised these days because they’ve been hit a little harder than women have during the economic downturn – and the last thing you want to do is brazenly stomp all over his last bastion of manhood. So how can you move the ball down the field? Be honest, direct and authentic about what you want from a guy and you can’t go wrong. “I don’t believe in playing games or following rules,” says Dr Elna Rudolph, WH sexpert and clinical head of the Intercare Centre for Sexual Health. “Be frank about what you want but in a fun way, without sounding too demanding.” Whether you want to initiate a conversation or try a contortionist move in bed, make sure your advances will be well received by following these strategies.
Get more dating tips in the Jan/Feb issue of Women’s Health.
You spot a prospect across the room. Yes, you could march over there and introduce yourself. But your feminine charms are so powerful, you may not have to. In fact, research shows that most women already make the first move by sending clear non-verbal signals. Making repeated direct eye contact (not constant direct eye contact) and smiling are the most effective ways to convey that you’re interested, according to Dr Andrew Trees, author of A Scientific Guide To Successful Dating.
No matter how compelling your come-hither signals, some guys (especially shy ones) won’t get the message, so you need to approach them. Just walk up to him and comment on anything that’s relevant in that moment: if he’s drinking a certain beer, ask if he likes that particular brewery. If you’re watching a rugby game, tell him that you can’t believe your province’s team is on such a winning streak. “It really doesn’t matter what you say,” explains Trees. “What’s important: confident body language and a friendly tone.” Once the conversation is rolling, lightly touch him on the hand – it’s a more intimate gesture than the Flirting 101 arm touch, and it will clearly communicate your interest. Research also shows that subtly mimicking his body movements (like resting your hand on the bar the way he is) can make him respond to you more positively. Just be subtle – if you’re too obvious, you may scare him off!
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