From crafting a winning formula to embracing chivalry, these eight tips will help you build a strong foundation for lasting love
Finding love can be a particularly complex journey to navigate in the modern world—one that requires effort, understanding and nurture. Whether you are starting a new relationship or seeking to strengthen an existing one, knowing the right ways to cultivate true love can make all the difference. If you're looking for love yourself, try the Reader's Digest dating website.
1. Use a winning formula
After analysing the success of lonely hearts advertisements, UK professor Richard Wiseman concludes that the key is to make 70 per cent of the information about yourself and 30 per cent a description of the type of person you’re looking for.
"Make 70 per cent of the information about yourself and 30 per cent a description of the type of person you’re looking for"
While lonely hearts advertisements may no longer be the norm in modern society, the same advice can be applied to dating apps. There are only so many words you have to impress someone, so you need to choose those words carefully.
For speed dating, Wiseman recommends asking open-ended questions and adding a touch of humour to lighten things up. His favourite is: "If you were a pizza topping, which one would you be?"
2. Embrace chivalry on a first date
Etiquette experts used to say that a man should always pay (for same-sex couples, the asker buys) on a date, but this might not bode well in today's dating scene. Keep a sharp eye out to read the situation and get a feeling of who will be footing the bill. Better yet, discuss this openly beforehand to avoid misunderstandings.
"Keep a sharp eye out to read the situation and get a feeling of who will be footing the bill"
Here’s an old trick from the book: if you are a female on a first date and the man doesn’t reach for the bill, take a trip to the ladies’ room. If he doesn’t pay while you’re away, offer to split the bill. If he lets you, then think about finding another man.
3. Do an instant brain test
To find out what kind of a person you’re dating, ask your companion to interlock their hands and place one thumb on top of the other. The result: left thumb on top indicates someone who excels at right brain activities—those that are visual, spatial and intuitive. Right thumb on top reveals someone who is more logical, verbal and analytical—skills associated with the left hemisphere of the brain.
4. Tread carefully with office romance
Credit: Boris Jovanovic
A fifth of us meet our partners at work. The news of an office romance spreads like wildfire, and some relationships could quickly be construed as inappropriate. To handle an office romance completely professionally, keep the following rules in mind:
- Make sure you like your colleague enough to take a risk. Chat at leaving parties and other social occasions. If it’s just a fling and the person has no potential as the love of your life, end it.
- Never let a relationship compromise your work.
- Be certain the person likes you back: people are quicker to cry sexual harassment these days.
- Do not speak to anyone in Human Resources. They may appear to be friendly and understanding but there could be unexpected repercussions.
- If it is serious, one of you may have to be prepared to leave, especially if you both work in the same department.
5. Let your date do the talking
If you’re painfully shy and on a first date, try asking a few easy questions, such as "Where was your last holiday?" If you become a good listener, you’ll soon forget your nerves.
6. Freedom to flirt
When dining out with a date, it’s quite acceptable to flirt and play footsie under the table, but overt kissing and groping will soon spoil the atmosphere, and other diners might find it offensive.
7. A friend’s ex? Tread carefully
Dating a friend’s former partner is dangerous territory. If you truly feel he or she is your soulmate, try waiting (the rule of thumb is three months for every year the couple was together—up to a year or so).
"If you truly feel your friend's former partner is your soulmate, try waiting"
Or ask the friend for permission; if he or she did the breaking up, that also makes it easier. And if your friend is now happily re-coupled, there should be nothing stopping you.
8. Set the mood with food
If you are preparing a romantic meal, certain foods can make the evening more pleasurable for both of you, without your date suspecting a thing.
- A game animal: According to historical theory, if you eat a wild animal, you take on some of its wildness. As long as your beloved is not a vegetarian, serve something like venison or roasted duck.
- Oysters: Eaten since ancient times as aphrodisiacs, oysters contain zinc, which is stored in the prostate and is thought to prolong sexual pleasure in men. Enough said.
- Champagne: For romance, it’s an obvious choice, but be careful not to overdo it, remembering the words of Shakespeare: "Liquor provoketh the desire but taketh away the performance."
- Chocolate: This popular food contains a chemical called phenylethylamine, a compound that the body naturally produces when a person is in love. Your date may instantly feel more amorous.
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