Improve your love life with science

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With Valentines Day just around the corner, I thought that it might be a good time to give ten scientifically-supported 59 Second tips to increase your chances of finding and keeping the love of your life…..

1. Love at First Fright. You may think that going somewhere romantic on a first date is good, but in fact you are better off choosing somewhere scary. Research shows your date will attribute their racing heart to you, rather than the scary activity, convincing them that you are the one.  So, avoid country walks, and instead go to a horror film or on a rollercoaster ride.

2. The Sharing Game. Research shows that disclosing some personal information during a date quickly leads to feelings of intimacy.  Ask your date to describe something they have always wanted to do or one of the happiest days of their life.

3. Lust or Love? Is the guy you are with interested in your body or brains?  Studies suggest that if he is interested in you as a person then he will lean towards you when you are speaking and nod and smile.  However, if it is simply lust at work he is more likely to stick out his tongue and lick his lips.

4. Disagree then Agree. Most people think constant head-nodding on a date is a winning strategy, but research suggests this people are more attracted to those who start off lukewarm and then become more positive towards the end of the date.

5.  Agree to disagree: Rather than chatting about topics that you both like, try talking about things you both dislike – people feel closer to each other when they agree about dislikes rather than likes.

6. Keep him hungry. Recent research shows that hungry men rated heavier women as more desirable. So, if you are female and “traditionally built”, go for a drink before a meal, not after.

7. Fake a genuine smile. Although authentic and fake smiles involve the sides of the mouth being pulled up, only a genuine smile causes crinkling round the sides of the eyes.

8. The power of touch: If you want someone to find you more attractive, touch them very lightly on the upper arm as you compliment them.  But remember, the touch has to be short, constrained to the upper arm, and delivered at the same time as a compliment or request.

9. Use others! Women rate a man as more attractive after they’ve seen another woman smiling at him, or having a good time in his company.  So, if you want to impress women in a bar or at a party, ask a good female friend to come along and openly laugh at your jokes, and then have them quietly slip away.

oh, and if you are in a relationship, remember….

10. Write all about it. Partners spending a few moments each week committing their deepest thoughts and feelings about their relationship to paper boosts the chances of them sticking together by over 20%.  Such ‘expressive writing’ results in partners using more positive language when they speak to one another, leading to a healthier and happier relationship.

Sources:

1. Meston, C. M., & Frohlich, P. F. (2003) Love at first fright: Partner salience moderates roller coaster-induced excitation transfer. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32, 537-544.

2.  Aron, A., Melinat, E., Aron, E. N., Vallone, R., & Bator, R. (1997).The experimental generation of interpersonal closeness: A procedure and some preliminary findings. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 363-377.

3. Gonzaga, G. C., Turner, R. A., Keltner, D., Campos, B. C., & Altemus, M. (2006). Romantic Love and Sexual Desire in Close Bonds. Emotion, 6, 163-179.

4.  Aronson, E.  (1999). The Social Animal (8th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.
Aronson, E., & Linder, D.  (1965). Gain and loss of esteem as determinants of interpersonal attractiveness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1, 156-171.

5. Bosson, J. K., Johnson, A. B., Niederhoffer, K., & Swann, W. B., Jr. (2006). Interpersonal chemistry through negativity: Bonding by sharing negative attitudes about others. Personal Relationships, 13, 135-150.

6. Swami, V. & Tovee, M.J. (2005). Does hunger influence judgments of female physical attractiveness. British Journal of Psychology. 97 (3), 353-363.

7. Krumhuber, E., Manstead, A. S. R, & Kappas, A. (2007). Temporal aspects of facial displays in person and expression perception. The effects of smile dynamics, head-tilt and gender. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 31, 39-56.

8. Guéguen N. (2007). The effect of a man’s touch on woman’s compliance to a request in a courtship context. Social Influence, 2, 81-97.

9.  Jones, B.C., DeBruine, L.M., Little, A.C., Burriss, R.P. & Feinburg, D.R. (2007).  Social transmission of face preferences among humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 274(1611): 899-903.

10. Slatcher, R.B. & Pennebaker, J.W. (2006). How do I love thee? Let me count the words. The social effects of expressive writing.  Psychological Science, 17, 660-664.

What do you think? Any other hints and tips?

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36 comments on “Improve your love life with science

  1. Mariposa says:

    # 1 This is to trick the body, speeding up the heart so that others think is love:-s

    how long would the relationship??

  2. Erika says:

    Love it! great tips.

  3. Nopke says:

    Ehehe … oh my, oh my … I just rehearsed my fake genuine smile (with the wrinkles around the eyes). I don’t think that will go so well … it must look scary … it looks more like an angry wulf trying to scare someone away from the corps of an animal … otherwise I can’t get the wrinkles ..

    This leaning into someone .. def. can be linked up to lust ofcourse as well .. hahaha … (and then they do their sweet talking in your ear .. creeping up on your inside … hoarse voice ….volume a bit down ..).

    Oh well, the youngster will have fun with that .. there comes a time in which this all will not be of any importance anymore .. as people don’t tune into that stuff anymore by then ..

    Happy Valentine! I’m sure you will misuse all the tricks in the book then huh?

  4. _JonBaxter_ says:

    Great, something else related to Valentine’s day…hallmark will be thrilled with the publicity -.-

  5. darthtanion says:

    I just finished this audio book today. Loved it. Some sections didn’t apply to me so much but they were all so interesting.

  6. […] postou em seu blog um decálogo para as relações amorosas, que pode ser acessado (em inglês) aqui. Há algumas sugestões curiosas, como a de que homens que estão com fome tendem a considerar […]

  7. Rania says:

    I liked it all especially the first tip 🙂

  8. Do you worry about the ethics of some of this advice? OK, it’s fair enough to take a date to something exciting rather than say, a public lecture by a dull speaker or an Eisenstein film all-nighter — that’s just common sense. But as for…

    “ask a good female friend to come along and openly laugh at your jokes,”

    Would you ever be prepared to admit to a long-term partner that you had done this on the first date? What does the research say about the role of honesty in successful relationships?

    • @instantkaamos — you seem to lack a sense of humour. No one in their right mind would set up a situation like this. For one thing neither they nor the woman would be able to keep a straight face.

    • I do have a sense of humour but this tactic seems just like the conmen who sell fake gold in the street using stooges to form a crowd around them and make it look like there’s something worth buying.

    • Hoss says:

      Assuming you are in a long-term relationship and you decide to reveal what you had done on the first date, do you really think it would really matter at that point? She’s obviously fell for who you are, not some trick. Furthermore, why is it so frowned upon to use tactics to help your love life? How is it any different from women putting on make-up or using push-up bras?

    • Good point — maybe push-up bras should be banned. But then again, from shoulder pads to high heels, men and women have been using clothes to enhance their appearance since time immemorial.

      But speaking for myself, I would be seriously put off if a person I was in a relationship with revealed they’d deceived me on our first date. And you’re assuming that the revelation would come many years down the line — what if you found out by chance, the morning after?

      I think this raises a bigger point that I hope Richard will take up. When does the use of psychological tricks become dishonest and immoral — whether it’s to seduce someone into bed or into buying your product?

  9. Mostly spot on in my experience, but I’ll have to take issue with two of them:

    8. The power of touch: It often comes off as an obvious attempt at manipulation when you do something unusual or out of character. Shallow compliments are bad enough, but combine it with deliberate movements to touch someone and don’t be surprised if you get a violent negative reaction.

    10. Write all about it. Nothing is sadder than people convincing themselves to remain in an unhappy relationship. But, then again, if you you’re going to manipulate the other person into a relationship, you might as well manipulate yourself to stay in it as well.

  10. m5 says:

    Glad to find I’ve learned most of this from experience.

  11. Wai says:

    Woah!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

  12. Freznow says:

    Everyone remember that Lupercalia is the 15th! There’s something to be said about a good goat whip.

    What, that’s not the way to woo a mate?

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  14. […] Efter denna insats kan vi snart ta helg, och fira Alla hjärtans dag. Som förberedelse inför denna högtid rekommenderas Richard Wiseman’s 10 tips om hur du kan förbättra ditt kärleksliv på ett vetenskapligt und…! […]

  15. […] serie de tips los encontré en la página del psicólogo y mago Prof.Richard Wiseman (hombre sabio si los hay… cuac). Asegurando ser apoyados por evidencia científica prometen […]

  16. […] Improve your love life with science With Valentines Day just around the corner, I thought that it might be a good time to give ten scientifically-supported […] […]

  17. KamaSutra says:

    Love likes the fire, it can’t be made a fool, it would burn your own.
    The true love suddenly broken, not only but like the old man
    who has lost the stick.
    True love is love which only for two person, and no place for the
    third person.

  18. […] Wiseman’s Valentine’s Day post is worth a read. Much of it’s rather tongue-in-cheek but I certainly wouldn’t complain […]

  19. […] March 12, 2010 Filed under: dating — kingdomofmere @ 10:25 pm Right here!   Leave a […]

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  25. Joseph says:

    O love your articles here, nice tips on love.

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