1. Take a stance.
Nodding your head in agreement blindly isn’t attractive—at least not to any guy worth dating. A quality guy thirsts for a partner who has the courage to speak her mind, and to field dissenting opinions thoughtfully, but without judgment. So be the girl who says what she’s thinking, even if her thoughts don’t align with popular opinion. Healthy, long-term relationships are built on honesty and communication anyway, so you might as well be your true, opinionated self from day one.
2. Introduce him to something new.
Newness is tantalizing. There’s a reason couples that’ve been together for decades continue to push their boundaries by trying new things together periodically. That’s what keeps the passion alive. Newness is especially critical to light the initial spark that leads to lasting love. It doesn’t matter if you introduce him to a new workout or a new idea or a new type of cuisine. Original experiences are imprinted on the brain in a very special way. Novelty also translates into firsts, which are destined to transform into treasured memories.
3. Tell a joke he’ll want to repeat.
When you tell a great joke or a riddle—the kind that inspires someone to pause and think and do their best to remember the punchline so they can pass it along—you accomplish two things. First, you automatically wow your audience. Second, you burn yourself into their brains, because every single time they relay that joke or riddle down the line, they’ll think of its striking, unforgettable origin—you, of course.
4. Trick him (in a nice way).
Gentle, kind spirited trickery can be very impactful. The tiniest white lie, told carefully and at the right moment, can become the source of great hilarity that endears you to someone. For instance, as your target bites into an hors d’oeuvre, you might say, “Did you hear the sliders are made of horse meat?” Let them wallow in shock for a few critical seconds before explaining that you’re kidding. Another tactic is to offer a false rumor about someone in the near vicinity: “Did you know that Sophie paid her way through college by being a sugar baby before she met Gary?” As long as you backtrack and admit that you were merely jesting, you’re not really doing anyone harm—just earning a few well-deserved, lighthearted laughs.
5. Wear whatever you want, always.
When you wear what you want, whether it’s a t-shirt and jeans or a form fitting red dress, you’re far more likely to feel comfortable and to exude the kind of confidence that attract others. Don’t let dress codes get in your way. Your sartorial choices are a chance to express your personality and your current emotional state, so trust your instincts whenever you get dressed. Every outfit should reflect who you are, and how you’re feeling that moment.
6. LOL your face off.
Seriously, laugh and smile like crazy. You don’t have to deliver a million jokes to wear a smile that screams “I love life!” Let other people trigger your good-spirited chuckling. Merriment is critical because it’s contagious‚ and people want to be around those who can have a good time. When you’re trying to lock a dude down, it’s in your interest to set your worries aside and to take things in stride.
7. Make him play a game.
You don’t need Monopoly, a deck of cards, or a pair of dice to set the stage for impromptu fun. Use your imagination and entice the object of your affection into some spontaneous play. You can do this easily by keeping a few truly challenging “Would You Rather’s” tucked in your brain that are sure to stump and delight (e.g. Would you rather have a head the size of a tennis ball, or a watermelon?). Alternatively, you can get a little sassy and engage him in a round of Never Have I Ever. I Spy With My Little Eye can be surprisingly riveting, too.
8. Show off your knowledge.
Maybe you’re particularly well traveled or you know a lot about sea turtles or you’re secretly a Game of Thrones super fan with tons of theories about who Jon Snow’s parents really are. Whatever the case, you know stuff about something and demonstrating knowledge in any niche is a great way to prove that you’re interesting by way of having interests. It doesn’t matter what your passion is as long as you have one.
9. Share a personal story.
By telling a personal story that reveals who you really are instead of sticking to the typical how-bout-the-weather chit chat, you prove that you’re beyond the dull back-and-forth people tend to lean on in social settings. The average person might be trained to gloss over the details that make her seem vulnerable or anything other than put together, but the truth is that we’re all messy, flawed individuals. By stepping forward as the perfectly imperfect woman you are—the girl who once cheated on the SATs, who fell in love with her professor, or who woke up madly hungover just that morning after a breakup induced alcohol binge—you will come across as totally unconcerned by what others think, and incredibly relatable. Human, so to speak.
10. Tell a memorable story.
The only thing better than an awesome story is the amazing storyteller behind it, whether she shares a captivating anecdote about her own life or not. You don’t have to lead a super exciting existence to earn a rapt audience as long as you keep your ears open for fascinating tidbits and embrace the art of creative exaggeration. If you approach every cocktail party and awkward pause armed with a few hit stories and the will to win listeners, you’ll impress those around you and leave your mark.