1. Be nice
For most of us, the instinct is to tease the object of our affections, lest they figure out that we actually spent last night mostly thinking of them before going to sleep and dreaming about them, too. Being nice is one of the most disarming things you can do in this backwards, needs-to-stop, “bros and hoes” culture. A simple: “Wow. You’re so fucking smart,” in between your regular conversations will go a long way. Trust.
2. Speak up
Don’t think that by playing it cool you look cool. You don’t. You look like you’re not interested. If you’re gonna snag your lady, you need to have the balls to approach her, and first. Start with a compliment, or a question, and know that if she’s anything less than totally polite to you she isn’t worth the effort next time. It’s a risk you have to take, so practice it.
3. Ask follow up questions
One of the most disarming things a guy can do is remember the details. If last time you talked it came up that she had a job review coming up that she was nervous about, or her family were gonna be in town that weekend, ask about it. She’ll be totally flattered that you weren’t talking to her just to get into her knickers, but because you actually cared. A details man is a man to watch.
4. Ask her opinion
Demonstrate that she matters in your life by asking her what she thinks: about what you should get your mum for her birthday, about that pain-in-the-asshole test, about your shoes. It doesn’t matter. Pick something and elicit a response from her to essentially say: Oh hi, I like your brain. Also: “You matter.”
5. Photo messages
It doesn’t take rhyming couplets or sixteen separate iMessages to suggest to her that she’s on your mind. A clever girl will get it: if you’re texting her a photo of her favourite chicken place (“Got your favourite…you might be on to something…”) or a shot of the TV show you discussed yesterday streaming online, you’re telling her without actually telling her that she’s on your mind and impacting your life. Plant those seeds, fella.
6. Make her laugh
Okay, so you think you want to introduce her to mother because you’ve never before had a woman make you feel this way. Great! Except slow down. Stop making plans, and dreaming up happy endings. Enjoy every single moment you’re with her, and do it by relaxing into them. Be silly, don’t take it all so seriously, HAVE FUN. That’s what dating is supposed to be.
7. Touch her
But like, in a friendly way. Take her arm to guide her over the road or to this part of the restaurant. Brush some hair from her face. Hug her. Essentially anything she does with her girlfriends is a good guide. Touch is primal, and necessary, and, done right, electrifying.
8. Do what you say you’re going to do
If you promise to call her, call her. If you say you’ll bring the book for her, bring the book. The number of guys (people in general, actually) who do not understand that doing what you say you’re gonna do is like, the number one marking of demonstrating that you care, that you value the other person, is staggering. Be a man of your word and you’ll be seen as different from the crowd for sure.
9. Extend the invitation
Don’t rely on one-on-one time by chance: make it clear you want to spend some time with her by inviting her out. To the concert, to the park, for a coffee: it doesn’t have to be an elaborate date that makes you nervous to even think about. Just ask if you can buy her a coffee after class or at lunch. No big deal.
10. Get on with her friends
If you know her people, you’ve gotta get on with her people. Non-negotiable. If you find yourself surrounded by her friends you need to do two things: ask them about themselves, and make sure you mention just how fantastic your crush is. That will have her buddies championing you form behind the scenes, like your very own PR fan club.
11. Don’t kiss and tell
If and when you start kissing, or sleeping together: shut up. Don’t gossip about it, don’t ask other people what they think about it, just be in it, the two of you. Men don’t brag about their sex lives, and keeping quiet about it shows that you value the magic you’ve created together. That way, it might last a little bit longer.