The “Food Method” for Building Rapport on Your First Date

The “Food Method” for Building Rapport on Your First DateHave you ever been on an awkward first date?

I know. That’s almost like asking if you’ve ever been on ANY first dates.

First dates are tough. Expectations are often high. There’s an air of excitement, but there’s anxiety, too.

You want him to like you. He wants you to like him. Both of you are showing a bit of nervousness, and that doesn’t really set the stage for mind-blowing conversation.

There are a gazillion articles online and in the pages of women’s magazines full of first date advice. Everything from fashion choices, to makeup, to topics you should always/never bring up.

But what if I told you there’s one thing you could do that would immediately build trust and a sense of closeness?

Researcher Ayelet Fishbach recently concluded a study[i] that reveals a surprising secret to fast-tracking rapport. And here’s the twist. It has nothing to do with how you look or what comes out of your mouth.

It’s all about what goes INTO your mouth.

Believe it or not, eating the same foods with someone creates a legitimate social bond.

Fishbach put it this way. “People tend to think that they use logic to make decisions, and they are largely unaware that food preferences can influence their thinking. On a very basic level, food can be used strategically to help people work together and build trust.”

That’s got to be the single easiest way to help a first date along. And I have two suggestions for how you can put this inside knowledge to work.

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Taking Relationship Risks Makes You Smarter?

Taking Relationship Risks Makes You Smarter?Which kind of person are you?

The kind to charge in when something scares you? Or the kind to back away from risky situations?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess. You’re BOTH.

Most of us are. There are times when we embrace risk, and times when we run from it.

My friend, Kendra, is a great example. She was insanely courageous when her mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. At a time when most would freak out, she rose to the challenge, supporting her mom with fierce strength. To this day, she still runs races to raise money for research.

But the very same friend panicked when her boyfriend started talking about the future. Marriage, kids, and buying a home – they all seemed like such big steps! She spent weeks avoiding those topics because she just couldn’t handle them.

Not an ideal response.

Running from something that scares you isn’t a great strategy. I’ll give you one reason that may surprise you.

Embracing risk makes you smarter.[i]

When you tackle an uncertain situation, it forces you to learn. You learn things you would’ve missed if you waited anxiously, trying to figure out the right answer before actually diving in.

When you tackle something risky in your relationship, the only way to reduce uncertainty is to increase your “relational intelligence.”

What’s relational intelligence? It’s the kind of wisdom and insight you use to make your relationships stronger.

Embracing risk improves your relational intelligence. Let me show you how.

Increasing your relational intelligence isn’t complicated. You just have to be willing to do a few things that sound intimidating.  Here are the three steps…

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Why Alone Time Makes You Seem Less Desperate

Why Alone Time Makes You Seem Less DesperateHave you ever spotted a solo diner at a restaurant?

Maybe you were out with some friends or on a date. Just a few tables over someone sat alone. You watched them for a while, stealing discreet glances when you could.

What’s their story?, you wondered. Why are they here ALONE?!

Once you see that table for one, it’s kind of mesmerizing. You might feel bad for them. We often assume someone eating alone doesn’t have the option of company.

But I’ll let you in on a secret.

Those lone diners? They’re probably enjoying life more than those of us afraid of venturing out without constant companionship.[i] They might even have healthier relationships than you!

Why? Because the fear of doing things alone creates desperation. And desperation is bad for your relationships (both romantic and platonic).

People can sense desperation. It introduces “obligation” to the dynamics of your relationship. Obligation to be there for you since you are needy.

It makes you needy whenever you want to venture out and do something fun. You’re desperate for company. Don’t be like that. Independence is healthy in small doses.

It sounds unsettling or depressing to think about doing some things alone. Especially things we think of as social activities, like eating out or going to the movies. But if you always turn down solo activities, you’ll miss out on a lot.

You can’t always count on company for life’s little adventures.

What’s more, as one article put it, “research suggests we’re terrible at guessing how much we’ll enjoy things on our own, and it holds us back.”[ii] People consistently underestimate how much fun they can have by themselves.

I’m not a big fan of missing out on worthwhile experiences, and you probably aren’t, either. So here’s how to go it alone from time to time and get the most out of life.

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How to be a Happier Couple

How to be a Happier CoupleHere’s a question for you. Which is easier to remember? The good times or the bad times?

Psychologist Karen Young says that we’re literally “wired to remember things that bring us pain.”[i] Ouch.

She says this is a part of an ancient survival instinct. It’s like a warning system left over from a more primitive time. It’s something our ancestors had to do to stay alive.

Which is good. I’m kind of glad they managed to pull off surviving.

But that leaves us with an unfortunate leftover. We tend to be better at remembering negative stuff. And boy, oh boy, can that impact the connection you share with your partner.

You don’t want your strongest memories as a couple to be negative. The fights, the struggles, the times of doubt. Wouldn’t you rather focus on the times when the two of you were really in sync?

Well, I’ve got some good news.

While you’ll have to work a little harder to remember positive times, it’s totally worth the extra effort. Because, get this… research shows that intentionally focusing on positive memories will strengthen a couple’s bond. [ii]

Think of it like you’re building a house. Your connection with each other is the foundation, and I can show you how to make that connection even stronger.

Here’s how it works.

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