Most of us really want a companion to love and be loved by. If you genuinely love and care about a woman, and want to be sure the feelings are reciprocated, you can begin by seeing if she’s interested in you. Showing her that you’re worthy of her love, fanning the flames of attraction, supporting her, and building solid communication with her can help her fall (and stay) in love with you. As in life, there are no guarantees in love, but these hints should help give you some ideas to begin winning her heart.
Part One of Four:
1Learn some chemistry. Don’t worry; there won’t be an exam. However, attraction is all about chemistry, and specifically, a group of chemicals called “monoamines.” These chemicals send messages between your brain and your body, and they’re the reason love can literally make your skin tingle or cause you to forget your name when you’re around the woman of your dreams.
- Dopamine (where we get the word “dope”) is a “feel-good” neurotransmitter responsible for rewards and motivation, among other things. When you’re around a person you’re attracted to, dopamine is released into your brain, making you enjoy the time you spend together and want more of it.
- Norepinephrine, sometimes known as noradrenaline (but not the same as adrenalin) is responsible for sending messages to your central nervous system. It helps decide what is most important to focus on at any given moment. When you lose track of time and end up spending 5 hours on a date with someone you’re into, norepinephrine has decided that the woman you love is more important than any of the other information around you.
- Serotonin regulates a host of functions, including mood, sleep, body temperature, and sexual desire. When your skin starts to tingle around that special someone, it’s because serotonin has dropped your body temperature, making your skin slightly more conductive of electricity. Pretty magical stuff.
- Humans may also emit pheromones like other animals do, although scientists aren’t exactly sure if they work the same way. You can’t consciously smell pheromones, but your body picks up on others’, deciding what it thinks is attractive and what isn’t.
2Recognize that it isn’t all about you. Because so much is down to how chemicals interact in each person’s body, don’t take it personally if the woman you’re interested in doesn’t return your interest. It probably has nothing to do with you as a person. Studies show that your brain decides what’s attractive in as little as one second, and it’s not really within your control.
- Research has even shown that taking hormonal contraceptives can change a woman’s “type” at certain points during the month. Biochemistry: it’s some wacky stuff.
3Learn some love language. No, this type isn’t the sweet talk you might offer during a chat. This is about identifying the messages that body language gives off when we’re attracted to someone else. There are a few basic messages that your body language communicates when you are interested in someone:
- I’m available
- I’m approachable and open
- I’m interested
- I’m fertile
4Check her body positioning. Imagine that you’ve run into the woman you’re interested in at the coffee shop. You don’t know whether she is interested in you. Examine how she’s holding her body for some clues.
- “Open” body language includes relaxed, uncrossed arms and legs and looking upward from time to time. “Closed” body language includes crossed arms or legs, body tension, and keeping your focus on something like your phone.
- The direction of her feet may also tell you something. If they’re pointed toward you, she is likely feeling into the interaction.
- If she’s holding something between you, such as a purse or bookbag, this could be a sign she’s trying to signal distance. If she catches your eye, smiles, and moves the bookbag out of the chair across from her, it’s a good bet she’s signaling “I’m available.”
5Make eye contact. The eyes are the windows to the soul. They’re also really good clues as to whether someone is interested in you or not. Eye contact communicates a bunch of messages, including some you might not be aware of.
- Make eye contact with her, and maintain it for 4-5 seconds. Give her a smile. If she returns your gaze and smiles back, you may be in luck.
- Eye contact while you’re talking with someone signals interest and engagement. If she’s looking at you about 70% of the time while you’re talking and about 50% of the time while she’s talking, it’s a good sign that she’s interested in the interaction. (You can signal your interest by following the same ratios.)
- When we’re aroused (through stress, sexual desire, what have you) our pupils dilate. If her pupils look dilated, she may be excited to see you.
6Flash her a winning smile. If she returns your smile, it could signal that she enjoys your interaction. However, some people also smile when they’re nervous or uncomfortable. Watch which muscles move when she smiles.
- Genuine, or duchenne, smiles, use the muscles around the eyes as well as around the mouth. Fake smiles tend to only use the muscles around the mouth (although some people are very good at faking). If she isn’t smiling with her eyes, she may be feeling uncomfortable or trying to appease you.
7Check out some biology. Humans experience certain physiological reactions when they’re attracted to someone else. While these aren’t universal, they can help clue you in about whether she’s just being polite or whether she’s as interested in you as you are in her.
- Flushing or blushing. When we’re aroused, blood rushes to our cheeks. (This is one reason why some women wear blush.) People may also flush when they’re nervous or embarrassed, though, so don’t rely on this as your only cue.
- Plumper, redder lips. That blood doesn’t only rush to our cheeks. It also goes to the lips, which can appear fuller and redder as they fill with blood. (Hence, why some women wear lipstick.) Licking the lips is also a good sign that the other person is attracted to you.
8Get a little closer. Don’t invade anyone’s personal space, but if, say, she’s gone up for some coffee creamer you could get up and get some napkins. This will give you the chance to give her a whiff of your pheromones (remember those chemicals that signal the other person’s brain, saying “Hey! I’m hot!”).
- If you’re already interacting with the woman of your dreams, lean in a little closer or tilt your head. Not only do these signal that you’re interested in the interaction, they can also send those chemical love-messengers heading her way.
9Gamble with an opening gambit. These are also known as “pickup lines,” or sometimes “ice-breakers.” However, you don’t have to be creepy or cocky to use an opening gambit effectively. Scientists suggest that there are three types of openers, and they vary in their effectiveness:
- Direct: These are honest, no-nonsense, get straight to the point openers. For example, “Hi, you’re pretty cute. Can I buy you a drink?” or “I’m kind of shy, but I’d love to get to know you.” In general, men tend to prefer getting these from potential romantic partners.
- Innocuous: These start a conversation, but don’t go directly in for the goal. For example, “What coffee would you recommend?” or “There’s an empty chair at my table, would you like to sit here?” In general, women tend to prefer getting these from potential romantic partners.
- Cute/flippant: These involve humor, but they can also be cheesy or even mean-spirited. These are the typical “pickup line,” like “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” or “You know what would look great on you? Me.” In general, both men and women rank these as the least preferred option to receive from a potential romantic partner.
- Your relationship strategy will also play a role in choosing an opener. Studies suggest that people going for something long-term will more likely use an honest and supportive gambit, while people going for something short-term will more likely use manipulation or dishonesty. If it’s love you’re looking for, go for honest and supportive every time.
Part Two of Four:
1Give her a reason to notice you. Do something that will make her take notice of you. Don’t try to make yourself into something you aren’t, though. Being yourself (maybe the best possible version of you) is the best way to ensure that if she’s interested in you, she’s really interested in you, not somebody you’re trying to be to get yourself noticed.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, and dress in clothes that express something about you. You don’t have to be a fashion model or a superstar athlete, but keeping yourself neat, clean, and groomed will show off your physical health, which humans have evolved to find innately attractive.
- Studies show that women value social traits, such as compassion and friendliness, as highly (or even more) than physical attractiveness. Do something that shows you care about other people. Volunteer at your local food bank, give blood, bail a friend out of a sticky situation, organize a charity auction. Show her that there's more to you than meets the eye. She'll be impressed that you give back and curious about what else you have to offer.
- Show her your funny side. Research shows that both men and women rank a sense of humor as one of the most attractive qualities in a potential partner. Joke around, make others laugh -- just don’t belittle or use mean or bitter humor, because that’s a surefire way to kill the mood instantly. A little playfulness is also likely to benefit you.
- Excel at something you're good at, preferably in her company. What do you do well? It could be anything from tennis, rock climbing, or football, to humor, math, or debate. Whatever it is, stand out for excellence in that area.
- Signal with your own body language. Women tend to be better at interpreting body language than men are, which can be good for you if you know how to use it. Things like making your body a little bigger, squaring your shoulders when you stand, and playfully bumping or elbowing your guy friends if you’re all hanging out with her can help signal that you’re trying to get her attention.
- Put yourself out there. Remember: fortune favors the brave. If you're stuck in your apartment constantly, you're probably not using your time in the best way. And if you don't hit a challenge at least some of the time, you might never see results.
2Display self-confidence. Both women and men are drawn to confident people. However, cockiness is usually a turn-off, so make sure your confidence doesn’t take the leap into arrogance.
- True self-confidence comes from within. It’s knowing who you are, accepting who you are, and being confident that you’re pretty great at being you. You don’t need validation from others to make you feel good about yourself. When you’re confident in yourself, you inspire that confidence in others.
- Cockiness happens when you base your self-esteem on external sources, like compliments or achievements. It often comes from a place of insecurity. You may feel like you need to put others down to feel better about yourself, or like everything is a competition between you and the rest of the world.
- It’s fine to accept compliments and praise, especially if you can acknowledge the roles others played in your success or achievement. For example, if you’re a star athlete, you probably still have a great team behind you. When you win the big game, accept praise for your good performance, but remember to extend that praise to your teammates, too. That type of behavior shows true self-confidence, not cockiness.
3Form a game-plan. No, it doesn't need to be written down, and it doesn't need to involve little x's and o's on a whiteboard. Be strategic about what you do and you'll give yourself a better chance of winning a girl's heart. Be amateurish and you'll likely lower your chances.
- If you're in love with one girl, it's OK to focus on winning her heart. When love hits us, it's like a ton of bricks, and we often feel helpless. That's natural.
- If, however, you want to find love in general, try socializing with several different women. You'll increase your chances of finding someone you genuinely bond with, and rejection from one won't seem so bad if you have the possibility of another waiting in the wings. There are several other benefits to this strategy:
- You'll have a better idea of what you want. We often don't know what we want until we see it. Put yourself out there and chances are you'll find a woman you naturally gel with, instead of forcing it with someone you thought you knew.
- Socializing with several women is not the same as being a player. If you want to find love, date around, but only romantically involve yourself with one woman at a time. Don't go into a relationship hoping to exploit or manipulate.
4Make the effort to get to know her. Really find out who she is, what she stands for, where she's coming from. She will appreciate your interest in what makes her tick. Ask open-ended questions, actively listen and engage with her answers, and don’t make assumptions or jump to conclusions about her.
- People love talking about themselves. This is just the way things are. Don't forget to engage in conversation and give her information about yourself, but get her engaged in something she likes talking about and you'll find it's a lot easier going.
- One way to do this is to ask great questions. Ask about her passions ("What do you love to do?"), her inspirations ("What makes you tick?"), and her goals ("What do you want to achieve?"), for example. Questions that ask her about her future may help her envision you in it. Questions about what’s going on right now tend to be more surface-level.
- Social psychologist Arthur Aron has a list of 36 open-ended, creative questions you can ask to prompt getting to know a person better.
- Now is not the time to harsh on your ex-girlfriends or trash your boss. This level of negativity could make the woman uncomfortable. If you’re saying bad things about other people to her, she’ll also have to wonder if you’d do the same about her with someone else. Stick to positive topics.
5Take your time. These things take time. Don't expect to win her heart in a matter of days. Slow but steady wins the race. Set realistic expectations so that you're not disappointed if she doesn't fall for you immediately.
- If she gives you her number, perfect, but don't beg for it. Call her when you get her number, but not too much. Some days, give her a chance to call you!
- Don’t spill your whole life story at once. If you really like this woman, it could be tempting to give her the “hard sell” on why you’re the man for her. Take it slowly. Leaving a little mystery to yourself gives her things to ask you about, and doesn’t make you seem desperate or -- even worse -- like you don’t understand boundaries.
Part Three of Four:
Building Your ConnectionEdit
1Compliment her. Offer substantive, personal compliments for the best effect. And be reasonable. You want to compliment her just enough so that she knows you like her more than a friend, but not so much that she thinks you're desperate or fishing for compliments in return. Studies show that women are interested in men who show their interest, but not overwhelmingly.
- Compliment her skills and abilities first and foremost. She was born with her looks, but she worked for her smarts and her talents. Compliment her when her wonderful personality shines through.
- If you want to compliment her looks, try to make things more personal than the generic “Wow, you have pretty eyes.” For example, you could say “Your eyes are such an unusual shade of blue. Do your parents also have blue eyes?” Noting that you’re paying attention to her also works. For example: “Did you get a haircut? Short hair looks so good on you.”
- Consider complimenting things about her that you find unique and interesting. Most women have heard the “You have a great smile” line a hundred times. Look for things that show you’re really engaged with her as a person. For example:
- “It's so easy talking to you. I feel like I could talk to you all day long.”
- “I like the way you think.”
- It took a lot of courage for you to speak up like that.”
2Start flirting. Find a way to gently start flirting with her. It's going to be hard at first, because you really, really like her, but it will get a lot easier as you begin to establish routines and get to know her better.
- Smile and maintain good eye contact. A woman can tell a lot about how interested you are just by looking at your eyes. Likewise, a smile is just as important. Smile so that you project happiness, and have good eye contact so that you project confidence.
- Mimic her body language. You’re not trying to be an exact mirror here. Instead, if she’s relaxed and open, be that way too. If she makes a lot of hand gestures when she’s talking, incorporate a few more into your conversation.
- Develop inside jokes or learn to playfully tease. Inside jokes are a great way to flirt and bond at the same time. They are conspiratorial, meaning that you both feel you are in on something together, and it's just you. Make an inside joke out of pretty much anything that you two experience together.
- When you playfully tease, make sure she knows you're teasing. Wink at her to communicate your sarcasm, or tell her that you're joking. Preferably, tease her about something she does really well so that she won't have to guess whether you're being serious or not.
3Touch her from time to time. In general, opposite-sex friends don’t touch that much. They may go in for a hug, but they usually don’t do things like holding hands or brushing someone else’s skin. Reaching for her hand once in a while, lightly brushing her arm when you say something, or pushing a stray lock of hair behind her ear will say, “Hey, I’m really interested in you.”
- Obviously, you should only do this if you’re already confident that she enjoys spending time with you. Don’t grab for a girl the first time you meet her, and avoid touching any personal areas unless you are clearly invited.
- If she doesn’t appear to enjoy or react well to your touch, don’t try it again. Respect her boundaries at all times, even if/when you don’t understand them.
4Ask her on a date. Once you're ready to make the final push, you need to ask her out on a date. A date will be the perfect opportunity for you two to learn more about each other, and perhaps to even steal a kiss.
- When you ask her, keep it casual but don’t be unclear. You might end up in the dreaded “friend zone,” and it’s often difficult to move from friendship to romance. The best way to avoid this is to be upfront about your interests. You don’t have to overwhelm her by immediately declaring your love (in fact, don’t do that), but saying something casual like, “I’ve really been enjoying hanging out with you. What would you say to a “real” date? My treat!” can help let her know that you’re interested in becoming more than friends without sounding like you’re proposing marriage.
- Do something that's exciting. An exciting date — such as a haunted house, a theme park with rollercoasters, or a sports event — helps release a powerful hormone (called oxytocin) that's responsible for feelings of bonding and togetherness.
- If it's the right moment, go in for a kiss. If you feel like she's a little hesitant, it's best to keep the kiss for the second or third date. Keep the kiss short and sweet, and whatever you do, don't try to shove your tongue down her throat.
5Listen actively. Good communication skills can help you win the woman of your dreams. Actively listening to her shows that you’re really interested and engaged with what she thinks and feels. That’s very attractive. Try some of these techniques:
- Restate and clarify. Don’t assume that you understand what she’s saying. Instead, ask for clarification when you need it: “I’m not sure I understood you correctly. I heard _____. Is that what you meant?” Then give her the chance to clear things up.
- Encourage her. Ask little questions like “And then what happened?” or “How did you respond?” “Minimal encouragers,” like nodding, saying “uh-huh,” and “Go on” are also helpful.
- Summarize the important things. If you’ve had a conversation where you shared a lot of information, summarize it. This shows you paid attention, and gives her the opportunity to clear anything up. For example: “Okay, so what I heard was that tomorrow is going to be a horrible day for you and you don’t want to be stressed out, so you’d like me to pick you up from work and go see a dumb action movie together. Is that right?”
6Use solid communication techniques. Listening is half of communication, but you also have to know how to speak. Learn to ask questions, avoid blaming, and communicate directly and honestly. It will make a world of difference, and may just make her feel all fuzzy for you and your great communication skills.
- Ask questions. This is especially helpful if you aren’t sure you understand the situation. For example, she may say she wants advice but really just needs a sympathetic ear. Ask her: “Do you want me to try to help you find a solution, or do you just need someone to vent to? I’m cool with either one.”
- Use “I”-statements instead of “you” messages. “You”-statements can sound blaming, and they can make people shut down and feel defensive. For example, saying “You’re always making us late and I hate it” communicates your feelings clearly, but it’s also going to hurt hers and make her avoid talking with you. Try an “I”-statement instead: “I know you need a little extra time to get ready, but I get really stressed out when I’m late to things. How can I help you get the time you need and get us to dinner on time?”
- Speak honestly and directly. Don’t beat around the bush and don’t be passive aggressive. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and be kind and respectful all the time.
7Be mysterious but still available. Women love men who have a little bit of mystery tied up in their persona. It doesn't take much to develop — don't share every detail, don't brag about the things you do, get other people to like (and vouch for) you — but it's hard to do correctly. At the same time, make yourself available to her. There's nothing worse than putting in all that hard work only to leave her hanging because you can no longer be found.
- A good way to think of this is as staying independent. Healthy relationships allow both people to live their lives and pursue interests on their own, as well as spending time together. If you don’t devote every moment of your day to thinking about her or pursuing her, you’ll be showing her that you’re independent and confident, which are both highly attractive qualities.
- There’s no need to play mind games. If you want to call her, call. If she calls when you’re genuinely busy, tell her you’ll have to call her back later. You don’t have to wait a certain number of minutes between texts or a certain number of days between phone calls. Just live your life, and make her a nice part of it.
Part Four of Four:
Deepening Your BondEdit
1Gain her trust. You don't necessarily have to be her best friend, but show her why she deserves to trust you. Be there when she needs you. If she asks you to keep a secret, keep it. If you say you'll do something, follow through. Trust is crucial to developing intimate, long-lasting relationships, and it can be broken in a heartbeat.
- Don't get into it just for sex. This will make you an untrustworthy guy in her book. Don't pressure her into doing things that she's not comfortable doing — it'll drive her further away.
- If you have to back out on something, give her an honest explanation. She’s less likely to feel let down if you tell her what happened and communicate that you’re really disappointed about having to miss out. And don’t make a habit of flaking.
2Learn her love languages. People don’t all express or interpret love in the same way. Some people love getting gifts. Others would be just as happy if you did the dishes every night. Psychologist Gary Chapman argues that people have “love languages” that they use to show love and understand demonstrations of love from other people. Knowing her love language will help you show you care in a way she can really connect with.
- The five love languages are “Words of Affirmation,” “Acts of Service,” “Receiving Gifts,” “Quality Time,” and “Physical Touch.”
- “Words of Affirmation” include compliments, encouragement, or expressions of your feelings.
- “Acts of Service” include things like doing chores or running errands for the other person to show you care.
- “Receiving Gifts” is pretty obvious: gifts, cards, and tangible expression of affection.
- “Quality Time” is uninterrupted time with your partner without distractions.
- “Physical Touch” includes any demonstration of physical affection, including hugging, kissing, or sex.
- Chapman’s website has a quiz you can take. You can also ask her friends and observe her reactions to determine what her primary love language could be. (Alternatively, you could just ask her to take the quiz too, but you might not feel ready to spring the word “love.”)
- Look at how she treats you. People usually default to using the love language they connect with for other people. Thus, if her primary love language is “Receiving Gifts,” she may surprise you with small tokens from time to time, such as a little gift or a card. Notice what she seems to emphasize in her demonstrations, and return them in kind.
- The five love languages are “Words of Affirmation,” “Acts of Service,” “Receiving Gifts,” “Quality Time,” and “Physical Touch.”
3Win over her family and friends if you can. Her family and friends probably mean a lot to her, and they generally have a pretty hefty influence over how people think and behave. Win them over, and you’ll be closer to winner her, too. Plus, you’ll be showing her that you’re here for the long haul.
- Dress nice, show manners, and be respectful of her friends and family.
- Be yourself around them. That can be hard, especially with all the pressure once you finally meet her parents, but it’s important that you be genuine, honest, and yourself. She’ll pick up if you’re different around her loved ones than you are around her, and family are notoriously good at detecting behavior that isn’t genuine.
- Stay easygoing, interested, and kind. If her friends gently tease or joke about you, take it like a man and chuckle. When the situation presents itself, ask her friends questions about their lives and be genuinely interested in them. Do nice things for her friends, such as setting them up with a guy friend or boosting their self-esteem.
4Recover from your mistakes. In a relationship and dating, you're going to make mistakes. It's how you recover from your mistakes that defines you, and gives the woman a chance to truly love you.
- Don't be afraid to say sorry or admit fault. When you make a mistake, acknowledge it without blaming anyone else for your actions or feelings. For example: “I’m really sorry I hurt your feelings. I know you were upset when I forgot our date. I really do care about you, but I’m terrible at remembering things. Next time I’ll put a reminder in my calendar to make sure I don’t miss out on spending time with you again.”
5Keep the romance going. Those first few weeks or months of dating are amazing. You’re learning all this new stuff about each other and the chemicals in your body are going haywire with all your romantic attraction. As you settle into a more stable relationship, that first blast may die down (although it can often cycle back, too). Make a conscious effort to continue building your friendship and your relationship.
- Make time for each other. You may be busy. You may have tough times. Make time for each other, even if you’re tired or your feelings are hurt. Don’t let things sink to a level of name-calling, resentment, or contempt.
- Pick a hobby or activity to pursue together. Working toward a common goal can help you feel more connected and bonded.
- Turn off the technology. Make some time without cellphones, TV, or computers for just the two of you. It can be easy to end up spending time in the same room without ever feeling like you’re really spending time together.
6Be the person you want to be. Ultimately, you have to show her who you are in your soul, at your very deepest, to give her the chance to love you. If you pretend to be someone else, she's only going to love a caricature of you. So don't be afraid to let down your barriers, get a little vulnerable, and show her who you really are. Chances are she'll love you for it.Advertisement
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- Never talk negatively about her friends, even if she might. Just be an ear when she needs one.
- Surprises don't always have to cost something.
- Don't mock something she believes in, even if you don’t share her values. Respect her individuality.
- Make the time to see her often. Even if she lives far away, use things like technology to your advantage. Be ready to put in the extra work.
- Try to understand her as a person, not just as a person you expect her to be.
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