The bad news is that everything you thought you knew about dating is wrong. But don’t worry – FHM is here to hold your hand (in a chummy, supportive way) through the very modern minefield that is meeting lovely ladies.
We enlisted the help of top relationships experts so that next time you meet a pretty girl, sexy woman, or even a hot mama, you know what to say and do.
Here are their 10 top tips for wooing any girl:
1. Go up and say hello
“Go over and introduce yourself,” says dating coach Hayley Quinn. “Women like to be approached, and hanging back and staring makes you look uncertain or insecure. And remember to smile.”
2. Contact her the next day
“The ‘two-day’ rule no longer exists. When everybody takes their mobile phone everywhere, waiting two days to call just makes you look like you’re not interested,” says match.com dating expert Kate Taylor. “If you want to play games, concentrate on Angry Birds.”
3. Let a girl buy her own drinks
“A lot of guys think the question, ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ has exactly the same meaning as the question, ‘Can I touch your left tit?’” says comedian Bekka Bowling. “But we’re on to you, and we don’t like it.”
Fanny, 20, hairdresser, Sweden: "Even if I was to accept a drink from you, it doesn't mean anything more than that."
4. Chat-up lines are funny
As Clare Young from uniformdating.com says: “If you say something original, unexpected and funny, then you’ll definitely get a girl’s attention. It helps if the girl is laughing with you, not at you, though…”
5. Always act keen
“Avoid verbally expressing your desires to a girl,” says female pick-up artist Kezia Noble. “Do it with actions: while you’re talking, hold her gaze for a little longer than necessary; look as if you have suddenly noticed how unbelievably sexy she is, and then look away.”
6. Knowing how to dance is creepy
“If ever a bloke tries to dance with me I feel nauseous,” says Bekka Bowling. “As for ‘comedy dancing’, it’s the ultimate turn off. Sure, everybody loves a joker. Even my dad’s a crowd-pleaser after a few drinks. But I don’t want to have sex with my dad.”
Alice, 25, fashion journalist, Surrey: "I can't imagine anything more cringey than a guy who can salsa."
7. The first date MUST be surprising
As dating coach Honey Langcaster-James says, “Girls love to tell their friends how they met someone, so if your first date is generic and boring, it says a lot about you. Dating is competitive – you need to have the edge.”
8. Just be a nice guy
“Girls just can’t be bothered with ‘bad boys,’” says Abbie Cammidge, sex writer at more! magazine. “We’d never tell Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling or Robert Pattinson we’re better off as friends. And look how nice they seem.”
9. Don’t try too hard to be funny
As sex and culture magazine nerve.com’s Caitlin says, “The truly hilarious men rarely wear ‘funny’ on their sleeves. They trade on observations, rather than a set of pre-planned jokes.”
Elina, 19, PA, Cardiff: "Don't focus on making me laugh. If a man looks good, he doesn't have to be funny at all."
10. Don’t ever write love letters
“A carefully written text or email can still be romantic,” says Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyberdating. “Girls always love a digital interruption in their day which says you’re thinking of them.”
Interviews by Issy Sampson
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