Few things are as difficult to control, predict, and formulate than true love. It's based on chemistry and emotion, so there's hardly a formula to tip the odds in your favor—or at least, that's what we thought.
According to Business Insider, there are a few science-backed ways to rig the rules of attraction. Some advice is common sense—it doesn't take a psychology degree to realize listening and being positive is favorable "first date" behavior—but there are some smart tips to glean from the experts. From sharing an embarrassing story about yourself to choosing a warm date spot, these insights suggest there are a few science- and expert-backed ways to increase your chance of success.
Sure, these tips hardly guarantee true, longlasting love, but they could at least lead to a second date. And that's no small feat.
Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
Revealing personal details of your life, even embarrassing ones, can help pique the interest of your potential partner. This is according to a four-part study out of Harvard Business School, which found that 79% of participants preferred to date a "revealer," or someone willing to confirm even questionable behavior, rather than a "hider," someone who tends to keep information to themselves.
Make eye contact
Eye contact can actually lead to a stronger, more intimate relationship, according to social psychologist Zick Rubin. Rubin surveyed and observed 158 college-aged couples back in 1970, finding that the more eye contact they made, the stronger their bond. This idea is substantiated by other, more recent studies, which also found a connection between eye contact and intimacy.
Say Thank You
Don't forget your manners: Saying thank you can actually increase warm and fuzzy feelings of closeness, according to a 2010 study from the University of North Carolina. Interestingly enough, however, simply feeling grateful for a kind act done by a partner was more important than saying the words out loud.
Choose a Date Location With Heating
Believe it or not, temperature plays a big role when you're on a date. In studies conducted by Yale psychologist John Bargh, participants who felt warm physically also tended to behave more favorably to the people they were with. The bottom line: Opt for a date spot with heating or choose an activity that raises your body temperature, like drinking coffee over eating ice cream.
Go Out of Your Comfort Zone
Going to a scary movie might be a cliche way to forge intimacy, but it turns out that there's merit behind the date. According to a famous 1973 study about the psychology of attraction, there's a link between the physical arousal caused by scary situations and attraction. Couples who shared an adrenaline-pumping activity felt like they had a closer bond than those who didn't go outside their comfort zone.
This story was originally published in February 2017 and was updated in January 2018.