By Roger Nygard, Filmmaker and Author
When I asked the dating and relationship experts featured in my book The Truth About Marriage how to attract the right person, they offered several important strategies that were eye-opening for building relationships.
So much has been written about the law of attraction, but let’s demystify that for a moment. The secret law of attraction isn’t just some magic hocus-pocus; the secret law of attraction is essentially integrating a relationship mindset. So, if you want to be more desirable, these tips from dating and relationship experts will help you understand what it truly takes to attract the right person.
It turns out there was one particular tip that they all stressed:
- LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN
Learn the art of when to shut up. One of the best ways to attract the right person is to pay attention! Focus on your date, partner, or spouse. Make them feel seen, acknowledged, and heard. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, make eye contact, ask questions, listen, and show interest and enthusiasm.
Good communication isn’t just being able to state a position or relay feelings; it’s mastering how to be a great listener.
Resist the temptation to follow up on what you heard with a comment about yourself, which is what most people do. You might surprise yourself and you’ll make more progress if you just say, “That is so interesting! Tell me more.”
Examples of effective listening and communication skills
- Ask a man what he accomplished today. The masculine energy needs respect, even when not deserved.
- Ask a woman how she is feeling right now. The feminine energy needs to be expressed and heard, especially after a long, exhausting day.
Empathetic listening skills in today’s digital noise almost feel like a rarity. But you can stand out. Don’t try to fix anything or offer advice. Simply be present and focused. You can express empathy by saying things like, “Wow, that’s terrific.” Or, “Oh, I’m so sorry that happened.” Empathetic listening is showing that you understand how they feel.
Rabbi Lazer Brody, an orthodox rabbi and marriage counselor, calls good listening and communication skills the equivalent of “touching the soul,” a requirement before any physical touching.
Matchmaker Marni Kagan warns that sometimes men want to impress, so they talk about themselves a lot “…and the woman does not want to go out again because she is interpreting that as a lack of interest in her. The guy gets too wrapped up in selling himself, and he forgets to show he is interested in her.”
- LEARN HOW TO BE CONFIDENT
In my comedy film about car salesmen, SUCKERS, the sales manager teaches the team: “Fake it until you make it!”
Matchmaker Marni Kagan agrees, “It is how you carry yourself, how you speak. When you put yourself down, if you can’t make good eye contact, or if you seem fidgety, it is very unattractive. A key piece of advice for a man is to have a plan, take control. Women are looking for a man who has got it all together.”
Even if you don’t always feel it, project confidence until you do. A decisive demeanor suggests you’re good in all other categories. Insecurity, indecisiveness, and desperation are turn-offs. Self-acceptance is charming.
- LEARN HOW TO FLIRT
In her relationship seminars, cognitive-behavioral therapist Dr. Pat Allen teaches that, since women are the ones who initiate things by signaling their openness to being approached, women are required to flirt: “Eyes and smiles.”
Dr. Pat Allen suggests a five-second rule: an attractive woman can draw almost any man by making eye contact and holding it for a full five-count. “Catching a man’s eye for two or three seconds is quite normal. It’s when you continue to look at him for the fourth and fifth second that you indicate you’re interested.” And when you do so, men are drawn to you.
Pursuing or talking to a man first is a no-no, according to Dr. Allen, “He who speaks first is male.” One seduces women verbally and men visually. “If you want to ‘attract’ a masculine-energy male, you must be ‘seen’ as a sex object.”
- LOOK THE PART
“Men have told me they are attracted to women who wear something tastefully feminine and sexy. I tell women, at some point during the date, get up, go to the bathroom, let him check you out—especially if you get there first, or if it is winter and you are all bundled up. If a man does not want to see you naked, you are not going out again. The core drive is the sex drive, and then the rest follows. If you are having a nice conversation without any flirtation, without any sexual chemistry, you are just going to be friends. If things are going well, send the vibe that you are interested. That can be something like touching his forearm, just briefly.”
- BE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO FIND
The best way to learn how to be more desirable, male or female or otherwise, is to live your best life well, and be honest and authentic about who you are and what you believe in.
Author and platonic, partnered-parenting expert Rachel Hope puts it this way, “You can’t pick the right person who is going to magically fix you. You must become Mr. or Mrs. Right before you have eyes to pick the right person.”
Motivational speaker and author Joy Chen warns against trying to weasel your way into somebody else’s life. “It is really important for a woman to create her own magnificent life, not to be waiting for a guy. Have a great career, great interests, and be passionate about life. Let him try to find a way to get himself into your incredible life.”
What are men attracted to? It’s sort of counter-intuitive, but Dr. Pat Allen says that men are attracted to women who like being single. “Men are terrified of women who want to get married. So how do I demonstrate that I don’t want to marry? I live my life as if I enjoy my life.” Have interests, get out of the house, challenge yourself to try new things.
The way matchmaker Marni Kagan puts it, “Don’t be somebody looking to be rescued from your misery. People are more interested in getting on a train that is going somewhere amazing, not in taking on a project to try to fix a broken engine.”
If you’d like to learn more about the lesser-known dating and relationship tips, check out links below for the funny documentary The Truth about Marriage and The Truth about Marriage companion book by Roger Nygard. Both will help you find the right relationship, and keep it healthy and vibrant.