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

How To Have A Good 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.

Continue reading

Why Men Love Women Who Love Food

Why Men Love Women Who Love FoodAnna is an attractive and fit woman in her mid-30s. She describes most of her dating experiences as “very positive” and is currently engaged to a great guy. Okay, what’s her secret?

Anna says her secret to success is that she loves great food, and she loves to eat.

“I’ve never been afraid to go out on a date and order a huge steak. Well, if that’s what I’m craving at the time,” says Anna. “It may sound crazy, but a lot of guys love that.”

It’s true. Many men agree that finding a woman who is actually willing to eat on a date—even a first date—is a rare but welcome find.

Chris, a 42-year-old personal trainer, explains why.  “I spend my entire day in a gym. If I go on a dinner date after work, I want to eat an actual meal, but few women are willing to join me.”

How does this make Chris feel? In a word, it makes him feel disappointed. “If I order a salad and main course and my date only orders a salad, I feel like we’re not really connecting.”

Okay, but do women really eat less when attempting to attract a man, or is this just a myth?

Research suggests that it’s true—women eat less when attempting to attract men.

Continue reading

Best First Date Conversation Topics

first date conversation

My friend accidentally sent a sip of Coke up her nasal passage. She was laughing too hard at Jeremy’s story.

I bet you’ve had some lively conversations like this.

Think about the most fun you ever had with a group of friends. Chances are, you and your friends stumbled into some lively conversation topics. Maybe something that got you all laughing.

Or maybe it was happy news a friend shared. Whatever the case, your conversation topics were a part of what made the interaction a bonding experience.

Today I want to tell you about a weird psychological research study.

Psychologists were trying to study the power of subconscious mental associations. It’s a well known fact that our mind notices things outside our conscious awareness.

But the question was, “Can this be used on purpose to influence people?”

Psychologists gave research subjects lists of words that seemed random. But all the words had a very subtle connection.

For example, one was, “foam, horse, and shell.” (Can you guess what these words have in common?)

Most people don’t consciously notice an association. But sophisticated research methods have revealed that your mind becomes primed to think of the sea when exposed to these three words as a group.

(The connection is sea foam, seahorse, and seashell…all containing the word “sea”).

Anyway, the psychologists used this “priming effect” to get research subjects to unconsciously think about old people (using a different set of words but same idea). Afterward, they secretly timed how long it took the participants to walk down a hallway to another room.

Those who were exposed to “old people” words unconsciously adopted a slower pace of movement. Those exposed to other mental associations walked faster.

Now, I’m setting a bad example. Never launch into a story about a research study on a date (unless you are both Ph.D. students with a common interest or something).

The reason I bring up this research study is because I want you to recognize something important. Your date will unconsciously associate YOU with whatever topics you discuss on a date with him.

first date conversationHis experience of you is very limited at first. First impressions are formed quickly, based primarily on how he feels in your presence. But the effect is still there even after years of spending time together.

So here’s my advice. Tap into peak life experiences.

Continue reading