Searching for a Partner
I can be better
Warning! This document contains sections about the human sexuality. These sections are specifically marked. Educational or not, you might not want to read sexual content.
This entire article is specifically designed for people who are looking for a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship, and it's not meant to create a connection with a stranger, but it's meant to show if there already is a connection, bring it out and amplify it.
This study found that only 1 (single) person out of 7 is strictly looking for a committed relationship, the target audience of this article. The study was done only for the USA.
What's written here can work only for people who have high standards for themselves, have similar standards for their partners, and discuss those standards from the start of a relationship (be it romantic or sexual). Also, it can only work for people whose expectations are matching what their partner has said that he / she can offer.
Don't believe for a moment that you have the slightest chance of getting into a relationship with more than a fraction of all the people that you desire, because your type of personality can't match with all the other types of personality, and physical attraction isn't any indication of compatibility of personalities.
If you're only pretending to be looking for a long-term relationship, you will be wasting a lot of time. If you're looking for a casual relationship, a fleeting connection or making friends, you should use a different approach because your target audience has a different type of personality, with different standards and needs. For example, the people who aren't strictly looking for a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship, aren't interested in clarifying anything about the relationship, like their own involvement, sexual monogamy or a future together. Instead, they talk about things like favorite colors, things which are irrelevant for a long-term relationship.
If you're asking yourself how you can remember everything that's written in this article, the answer is that you shouldn't. The goal is not for you to use these things to find a partner and then return to your old self, but to change so you can be like that every day. Change your personality so that these things become a part of you. Let your brain rewire itself so that all these things become instinctual to you rather than rational. While you practice these things, you will confirm them rationally, but the closer you get to the goal (= being with your person of interest), the less rational you have to be and the more instinctual you have to become.
For me, learning how to search for a partner was like trying to save 10 cats from a tree, with all the desperate clinging, scratching and meowing; the cats represent my previous personality. I've lost great opportunities and there have been enough of them to force my logical focus to shift in order to understand how to fix the problem, and for that understanding to eventually sink into my emotional mental layers, layers which are the driver behind wanting to approach potential partners.
The physical world provides unrivaled advantages over the online world because of the instant access to the full human communication: seeing a person's face and body in reality (not in a few selected and overprocessed, or even fake, photos), body movement and posture, body decoration (clothes, shoes, hairstyle, makeup, jewelry, purse), cleanliness, display of confidence, facial reactions, talking (voice characteristics, words selection), the need to slow down and focus your attention only on the person you're interacting with. As a side note, people prefer mating with other people with similar traits, a preference called assortative mating.
It's much more likely to meet an interesting person among strangers, because you see thousands of times more people, although most don't want to connect with strangers, compared with the tiny circle of friends and colleagues in which people normally look for their partner. You can ask the ones you like for the opportunity to have a conversation, and see where you go from there.
Meeting in person with a stranger, recognizing the signs of mutual interest that you were oblivious to until then, understanding that there is mutual attraction that can be explored, finding the confidence to talk to those people, and discovering their personalities is a wonderful experience even if it doesn't lead to a deeper connection.
Around the year 1900, a woman was helping a man (stranger) to approach her by dropping her handkerchief in front of the man that she was interested in, showing her availability and approachability. The man was supposed to pick it up and ask the woman if it belonged to her, thusly starting a conversation. There was even a handkerchief language for flirting from a distance.
In time, this habit has disappeared. Even more, people were told to not look too intensely at strangers but to steal glances instead, and women were told that men who don't approach them aren't interested enough in them. Evil advice!
This resulted in people lacking the confidence to express their interest, at least by looking for longer than a glance, and approach their persons of interest. People wouldn't know how to start a conversation even if they had the confidence to approach someone they like, even if their persons of interest were to start an unrelated conversation in order to show their availability and approachability.
Then, as if this was not bad enough, stories about soulmates started to make people believe that they are supposed to meet their soulmate because it's meant to be, that is, because the Universe should put them together, meaning that neither of them should make any effort to meet the other. So, for these people, making a huge effort to research and build the confidence to approach people is the wrong way, while making no effort to find a partner is the right way. But that's not how patterns work. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people want to build success, whereas unsuccessful people want to have (, copy, use) success and wait for the Universe to provide it.
The bad effects of all these things feel worse when you think that you can literally see the most interesting people of your life passing by, an arm away from you, and you can't do anything because society has made it nearly impossible for people to communicate with strangers about attraction.
The Internet has changed everything since anyone in the world can transmit to the entire world what they've learned and what they've built. The smartphone has also changed everything since it can be used to store information, instantly access information on the Internet, and instantly transmit information between (potential) partners.
Most people can't usually understand the subtle body language that other people send to show their interest or disinterest, and get intimidated when a stranger looks at them. They can't understand the interest in that moment, in real-time. They might understand it later, but that's too late to talk, and they usually brush it off by telling themselves that they wouldn't know what to say anyway.
How should you express your interest in someone? Make direct eye contact with that person, sustain the eye contact for several seconds, smile subtly and be confident, bold and friendly in your posture and gestures. If you can't sustain the eye contact and you interrupt it, look again at your person of interest as soon as you can. Express your interest as clearly as possible, even from a distance, even though anyone looking could think that your look indicates curiosity, not attraction. Nothing comes even remotely close to the significance of prolonged eye contact, be it continuous or interrupted.
If your person of interest looks at you, don't avoid his / her look, because he / she will easily start to think that you're not interested or you're weak. Try to sustain the eye contact like you're calmly wondering about him / her, like you're evaluating him / her.
If you see each other (multiple times) and make eye contact, don't look away, don't look startled. Remain calm and assertive, and don't get intimidated. If you were to look away then your person of interest wouldn't know whether you're interested but intimidated, or you're not interested.
Friendliness is a bad indication of interest.
When someone is only glancing at you it can be just normal visual filtering, but it can also be a sign of interest because people are sometimes instantly intimidated by eye contact, and can't sustain it for more than a fraction of a second.
When someone looks at you for longer than a glance it's a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. Such a look could last anywhere between half of a second and several seconds.
The lingering look is a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. This occurs when someone looks at you, but his / her face or body is turned slightly away from you, so he / she appears to want to look or move away from you, but instead continues to look at you for longer than a glance.
Blinking fast is a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. This occurs when someone wants to look at you but they feel intimidated because you're looking at him / her.
When someone looks at you first and appears startled when you then look at him / her, it's a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest.
Multiple interrupted eye contact is a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. This occurs when someone wants to look at you but they feel intimidated because you're looking at him / her, so they can't look for too long at a time at you. This happens because some people become more delicate when they are interested in someone; men do this to show that they are not a threat, women do this to show themselves as being more feminine.
The following look is a very good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. This occurs when someone looks at you and turns his / her head to follow you.
When someone's eyes get wider when he / she sees you, it's a very good indication (but not a certainty) of interest.
When someone's eyes get wet when he / she sees you or when he / she starts talking to you, it's a very good indication (but not a certainty) of interest, unless his / her body shows signs of retreat (which means he / she fears you). This is sometimes known as "sparkly eyes" because the extra fluid that covers the eyes changes the light's reflection and causes specular reflections.
The mesmerized / hypnotized look is a very good indication (but not a certainty) of interest. This occurs when someone looks at you with a fixed look, as if he / she just saw something of extreme interest and he / she had to focus his / her attention intensely, as if time stopped for a few seconds. It can also happen when someone accidentally looks at you, looks away and instinctively realizes that he / she must look back at you very intensely because something about you was very interesting. In such a case, his / her entire body posture changes, not just the look. The body can freeze (because his / her attention is fully focused on you), it could straighten up to become more visible, or could move to become more exposed to you.
In a shop, where it's possible to pretend to look at something on a shelf, when someone gets close to you, like a forearm away and stays there for 10 seconds or so, while doing virtually nothing, it's a good indication (but not a certainty) of interest.
If you feel intimidated and interrupt the eye contact, don't look in the opposite direction because the people who see this perceive it as dismissive and arrogant, especially when the head is also turned in that direction.
Interrupting the eye contact reduces the possibility of connecting because one of you is likely to not look again. Many women who are initially interested, aren't willing to look again and give a second chance to a man who wasn't confident enough to approach her the first time.
If you're walking toward one another, slow down and stop before you're next to him / her and let him / her get near you. It's very important to stop.
If both of you look at each other for a significant amount of time, a lack of change, of action, will be interpreted as uninteresting, as boring, and your person of interest will most likely walk away. So, take action, don't wait too long!
You will have to learn, in time, what people's reactions to your presence are most likely to mean. When you look at people for longer than a glance, their reactions vary, so they may (be): completely ignoring you, ignoring you with a head turn meant as a reproach for your attention, glance quickly, stare at you, stare at you and gesture to show their confusion (or even anger) about your attention.
While your person of interest may enjoy your attention and may look at you and giggle, he / she may be uninterested in talking to you, and may not even stop if you try to approach him / her.
Some people look uptight and unapproachable because they expect and fear that those who look at them are potential enemies, that is, people who want to lie to them, manipulate them, exploit them, and profit from them. Women are a special case of this because they are more fearful than men, so they need to be convinced of men's intentions.
Some people feel a stranger's attention like an attack, and may even start to panic if you continuously look into their eyes for 3 seconds. Like a mouse hypnotized by a cat's eyes, they can't realize in that moment that they can simply look away and nothing bad would happen; it's a good idea to smile subtly when looking at someone for a few seconds. In such a situation you could say "I was admiring you. (That's why I was looking long at you.)"
The best way to look for the first time at your person of interest is by not having the full front of your body facing him / her, but having a body posture as if you're doing something and you just saw this interesting person that you had to look at, even though the posture is uncomfortable for looking at that person. This is by no means to pretend that you were only accidentally watching him / her, but because body-front facing is instinctively interpreted as a potential charging attack and intimidates the people you're watching. If you're facing your person of interest with the full front of your body, try to look sideways at him / her in order to appear friendlier, so turn or tilt your head slightly away from that person, while keeping the eyes toward him / her. This posture isn't for talking!
Mutual interest is not an indication of compatible personalities, so just because you like one another doesn't mean that you could have a happy long-term relationship. Mutual interest is a mechanism that people use to reduce the number of attempts to have a relationship, since they can't know anyone's personality just by looking at him / her.
Don't stare at a person in silence, like a surveillance videocamera. Don't freeze, smile subtly, tilt your head (a bit), move your eyes, and finally just say something to him / her. People, women in particular, will in just a few seconds start to think that the people who stare at them in silence and with no facial expression or body language are creepy, even though, perhaps, they are just shy (and can't conjure enough courage to approach him / her).
Remember that whatever you think is happening, it could be only in your imagination, and unless you ask, it really is only in your imagination.
If both you and your person of interest look at each other in any of the ways described above, and you feel a strong attraction for him / her, you should approach that person and try to have a conversation. If you're undecided but your person of interest turns his / her head to look at you, you should approach him / her; it's a conversation request, not a marriage proposal. Don't force yourself to approach people otherwise!
In just a few seconds of looking at a person of interest, you must make a decision either to approach him / her or to walk away; it's understandable that you would want to see his / her full face, and for that you may need more time. The reason for this isn't that you should follow your instinct because it's magical, but because it builds the pattern to remove indecision from your mind and build your confidence. Will you walk away from good potential partners this way? Sure, but there will be others, and the built confidence will be so much more important for the next approach. If you do walk away, make sure that it's not because you're too afraid to approach him / her, but because there is something that it's missing from the attraction or you don't like something in his / her personality.
Eye contact, or its avoidance, expresses the expectations that people have from you, potential partner or enemy, which shows the convergence or divergence of your personalities. Not everyone will appreciate being approached, which shows the divergence of your personalities. You want to connect with people with personalities that converge with yours.
It's irrelevant whether two people would be attracted to each other if they had to have enough time to get to know one another. What matters is the default state of mind of each of them, when confronted with unknown situations. Be very wary of misinterpretation of intent, on both sides, because that's likely to repeat. This is particularly important when it happens between strangers, because it shows major differences in how people perceive and handle life (events). If your person of interest misinterprets your body language and intentions and initially believes that you are bad (for him / her), he / she is likely to do the same later.
Some people believe that they have a sixth sense that helps them "read" the personality and intentions of strangers. In reality, their brain remembers past experiences during which strong connections were made between something seen and a result, and now believes that the connection is between a cause and its effect, even though the cause was not observed, but believed / extrapolated. These extrapolations say nothing about the personality of strangers, and when applied to the world at large, they are more likely to be wrong than right.
If your person of interest appears to be bothered by your presence, and can't just ignore you, even though you don't do anything to stand out, walk away because he / she blames you for whatever he / she imagines that you are, and that pattern would repeat later. If the interest doesn't appear to be mutual then move on and look for someone else.
The people you approach will fall in one of the following categories:
You should approach even if you feel that the age difference is too high, for the simple reason that, even if you don't get into a relationship with your person of interest, he / she could accept to have a conversation, so both of you could get to practice your ability to communicate and make each other's life better. Approach such persons of interest with the maximum seriousness and determination, and do not mention the age difference! The age difference doesn't matter for a conversation.
Indetermination makes you weak and leaves you feeling shaky. The more you hesitate to say something to your person of interest, the less confident you become, and the chance of you saying anything decreases exponentially.
People can handle well only very few separate, but close in time, encounters. If more encounters occur, people feel the need to react differently, but don't know how, so they feel embarrassed, which then transforms into awkwardness, which can then transform into a negative reaction toward the other person, like annoyance, instead of assuming half of the responsibility for the failure of the interaction.
For example, two people who like each other and pass by each other twice while walking around in a limited space (like a store), may smile at each other every time, but from the third time onward they feel that the behavior is too repetitive, don't know how else to react, and end up replacing the smile with ignoring the other person. If there is an unbalance in the interest, so one person likes the other much more, the target of the higher interest starts to push back emotionally and starts feeling annoyed. Make sure that you keep your interest under control.
During an in-person encounter, men usually have only one or two opportunities to talk to a woman. If a man and a woman happen to pass by each other and they look at one another, that's when the man should seize the opportunity to talk to her. If they see each other again after a few minutes, the woman may think that it's just a coincidence, but if they see each other a third time then the woman will start to think that the man is creepy. This happens because the woman has time to think that she's the focus of attention of a man, and may therefore be in danger, and while she knows that the man wants her physically, she doesn't know (and fears) how the man intends to get there, and whether he can gracefully accept a rejection. The man has to (subtly) address these fears during the conversation.
Sometimes you will simply have back luck, like when your person of interest gets a phone call right when you wanted to approach him / her. If you leave then you've lost the opportunity. If you stick around until the call ends, he / she is likely to notice you and will think that you're creepy. Sometimes you just can't win.
If your person of interest is with someone who you may think is his / her girlfriend / boyfriend, and your person of interest looks at you intensely, you should ask him / her if they are involved in a romantic relationship (with one another). After all, they could be relatives or friends.
When you approach someone, do not ever come directly in front of them, in their path, and do not ever stop in front of them! Ever! Not even if you're a woman trying to get the attention of a man. Always come from a side and stop in the field of view of your person of interest, slightly farther than a fully extended arm (80...90 centimeters, 3 feet), and make sure that you're fully visible to him / her once you stop.
It's best to approach someone when he / she is stationary.
If your person of interest is sitting:
When you say your conversation starter, being serious but dreamy / wondering is best. Smiling is fine. Don't smirk and don't laugh.
A simple "Hi" can start a conversation, but be ready to say more than that. Saying "Hi" to a stranger may surprise and confuse them, so without further help from you they might not respond even if they are interested.
Instead of talking, you can also wave your hand lightly, which, if you're shy or feel intimidated, is very good because you can see if your person of interest responds favorably, without bothering him / her and risking a verbal rejection. This is good to draw the attention of someone who is at a bit of a distance, or someone who wears headphones. If you wave, keep your palm at shoulder or chest level. However, it's not clear who you're waving your hand at and why, so saying something makes your intentions much clearer.
If he / she responds, next you should say what you want, for example, that you would like to know him / her, to have a conversation.
For most people, talking to a stranger about a potential relationship feels like jumping into a void. For your person of interest, being asked to communicate with a stranger is very difficult because he / she doesn't know anything about your personality, so he / she doesn't know whether you two are compatible or not, and what path his / her life would take together with you. It's like trying to understand what's inside a (black) box by looking at the box (from the outside). If there are several boxes, how do you know which contains what you need, the thing which is the most valuable to you? There is a very tinny advantage that these boxes decorate themselves, on the outside, so you get a general feel of what's inside.
Women are more expressive than men in their physical appearance, for example by adorning their bodies with makeup, jewelry and clothing, so men have a slight advantage when trying to understand women's personalities, at a glance.
You could understand someone's personality by observing them for a long time, but you don't have that time, so the only way to understand someone's personality is to interact and talk even if it's only for a few seconds.
It's your responsibility to fill the void between you two with confidence and conversations, to create a bridge. Such a bridge already exists in the case of people who look at each other for a few seconds, which expresses / conveys interest, curiosity and softness, or in a word, attraction.
Don't wait for magic and fate to bring you together with your person of interest. Reality and happiness are mostly about choices made, not magic or fate. Be confident and take action!
Encountering someone who rejected you
If you encounter again someone with whom you've already talked and who rejected you, you may be tempted to look at him / her in an attempt to unconsciously signal that you've seen that person again and that you're safe to be around and have no intentions to hurt that person, as shown by the fact that you're just walking by (not approach him / her again).
If you were to avoid looking at that person, but he / she sees were to see you, you (unconsciously) believe that he / she could think that he / she is safe only because you didn't see him / her, and that if you were to see him / her then you could do something bad.
Unfortunately, your belief doesn't work well in practice. There are people who simply enter in panic mode because you look at them after they rejected you, that is, what you believe and what they believe by default is in stark contrast, and the belief of your person of interest can easily escalate to panic.
If you are tempted to explain this to someone who appears to be panicked, don't do it because you can't reason fear / instinct out of someone.
In a romantic context, a confident man is a man who openly (= direct and focused), fully (= to the greatest extent) and intimately (= exposed) declares his interest, attraction, passion and love for a woman, but appears unaffected by (either his or her) emotions, keeps his composure and rationality, a man that the woman knows she can rely on for rock-solid support.
A confident man doesn't ignore women. Confidence doesn't mean eliminating emotions, it means keeping your composure and rationality when emotions try to make you submissive.
At the same time, the man has to show his general emotions and vulnerabilities, to show that he can understand the woman's emotions and vulnerabilities. Women want to be able to explore and express their emotions within this supportive context.
When you're looking at someone, this can be translated into: look at that person without any subterfuge, make your interest visible, don't cower away when the other person looks at you, and show that you are in control of your interest and emotions. That's all there is to it, but do understand that only a fraction of all people will be interested back.
To visualize this, picture James Bond saying "I love you!" How is he? Confident, leading, mysterious.
Most women like confident men, but men also like confident women, that is, men don't like women who act like scared teenagers.
Most women expect men to lead in the relationship, so most women are not interested in being with men who can't lead because they appear to be weak. In other words, women are interested in being the woman in the relationship, not the man in the relationship, where these gender specific roles are established by biology and culture. This means that women want men to approach them because they have the strength to lead.
This is true despite the fact that many women will try to lead indirectly by talking, behavior know as "giving instructions", while not being interested in making the physical actions that constitute leading; this conflict leads to a behavior known as "nagging".
To be able to lead, you have to remove from your mind the feeling of intimidation that you get when you look at a person of interest, the feeling that forces you to hide, to shrink, to disappear, feeling which appears because you believe that you're not worthy of your person of interest. This is the wrong mindset to have. This feeling is how Nature separates the leaders from the followers: the leaders survive it, the followers are engulfed by it. Whatever you feel, think or believe is instantly displayed in your body language, producing the so called "vibe". If you feel intimidated, your body language will show it, it will be seen by your person of interest and it will be instantly (and involuntarily) replicated and felt by him / her, after which it will be converted to a label: creepy. Never wonder whether you are worthy of his / her attention.
Sometimes, your persons of interest will actively try to intimidate you through their unapproachable behavior which was built because they expect and fear that those who look at them want to lie to them, manipulate them, exploit them, and profit from them. Since they don't know anything about you, they'll keep this intimidation wall between them and you, and you'll have to pass it using confidence. This means that you should approach your person of interest even if he / she appears unapproachable. However, keep in mind that you have to avoid the people who use intimidation as a manipulation tool, people who will behave as if they are superior to you, for the rest of your interaction.
Examples of this unapproachable behavior are: completely ignoring you, or looking fixed into your eyes, which feels like a predator watching your move, until you flinch. Flinching shows that he / she controls his / her emotions better than you, so you're the one pursuing, and therefore he / she is the leader and you the follower. This means that in the future, he / she will be (more likely to be) able to make you do what he / she wants. Flinching means any sign of weakness, like looking away, lowering your head, your eyes getting wet, swallowing visibly, or entering in a submissive posture.
If you get intimidated, if you're wondering if you're good enough for him / her, if you're worthy of him / her, your eyes will get wet due to fear and your body will become rigid, and your person of interest will instantly (and involuntarily) replicate and feel those same emotions, ending up feeling awkward and ashamed, and will possibly feel that you're creepy.
The lack of eye contact doesn't necessarily show a lack of interest. Some people will avoid looking in the eyes of their persons of interest because they know that they would get intimidated, flinch and lose control of the situation.
How do you remove the intimidation from your mind? There is no magic, there is no formula. The problem is that you're about to expose your sensibility to another person, sensibility which would be hurt by a badly formed rejection (involving mockery).
Even James Bond would look silly if a woman he complimented were to stare at him with blank eyes, turn and walk away. There is no way to make this look good for the man, no matter how you stage it, so don't think that you can do anything about it.
A confident man isn't submissive to women, and isn't a validation dispenser for them.
You have to stop being weak and submissive, and confidence will start to trickle in the available space. When you look at your person of interest, your eyes have to exude your confidence, power of attraction and passion for him / her, not beg for his / her attention. You have to give, not take. Do not "steal a look", as is commonly known and repeated, but instead give away your strength and passion, give all of you, show in your look what you can be with that person because he / she brings out the best in you.
Stop being weak! Stop beating around the bush! Stop playing games that hide your intentions! Express your interest! Express your emotions! Express the emotions that show what you want from your person of interest, but show that you control those emotions. For this, use both body language and words.
All people want their partner's personality to be surprising from time to time, that is, they want to feel like they haven't reach the end of their partner's mind where the partner starts to sound like a chatbot rather than a person full of surprises and mysteries. You can appear surprising through smarts, humor and teasing.
The kind of confidence which brings success is born from your ability to handle the tools that bridge communication: the human language and the body language.
Confidence also arises from the understanding that while you're physically attracted to your person of interest, your intent is to explore his / her personality, not live under the illusion that you've found your future spouse and soulmate (especially when it's after just one look), illusion which would make you think that you must hold onto that person as if you're holding to your dear life.
The most important tool that you have at your disposal is your mind. This doesn't mean that you need to be a genius in order to be successful. You need to be smart and realize that you're in a competition, with other people like you, to get the attention of your person of interest. To win the competition, especially as a man, since women have a lot of offers to choose from, you have to stand out through your communication skill.
This skill is not simply about your ability to put words together, but about your ability to convey, through adaptation to the real context, through body language and words, what you want from your person of interest, what you're searching for, and what you saw in him / her that made you try to have a conversation.
Be confident, be decisive, be determined in your voice, posture, gestures and actions. Make sure that your voice is loud enough to be heard, and your voice tone doesn't sound like you're begging for attention. Talk as if you're talking to a good friend, to someone that you know for a long time, that is, talk with the same confidence that you use when talking to a friend.
Emotions create a feedback loop, so what you feel will be instantly replicated and felt by your person of interest. A fearful, shy or ashamed behavior, which lacks confidence and shows a fear of the unknown, a belief that you might not deserve your person of interest, will instantly induce the same emotions in your person of interest, will make you stumble while trying to talk, and will exponentially decrease your chances to get the opportunity to have a conversations.
Most likely, your biggest fear is, even if you don't realize it, that you'll look awkward because you have nothing (interesting) to talk about. After all, what can you talk about with a stranger? This fear will make you take long breaks in your conversation, will make your voice weak, will restrain your body language, will make your body stiff / rigid, you will look less confident and will start believing that you don't deserve your person of interest, all of which amplify your fear, which in turn makes you even less confident, and instantly transfers to your person of interest.
Don't fear silence. If you get into a period of silence and start to think it's awkward, say to your person of interest "It's deeply relaxing to spend time with you in silence." This would relax both of you.
Sometimes, a man lacks confidence because he doesn't know anything about the woman he likes, so he has no idea if that women passes his compatibility requirements. This leads to a conflict between the attraction he feels and the fear that he could be incompatible with that woman, which means that he may have to reject her later. This conflict creates indecision, and indecision erodes confidence. Remember that this entire article is about long-term relationships, not about casual relationships (where the compatibility requirements are limited only to attraction), so the man is motivated to filter the woman even before he approaches her.
To grow your confidence, do these:
If men look too good in terms of presentation (like clothing and hair style), women, especially the timid ones, think that such men are playboys trying to pick them up, so they are likely to try to avoid any contact.
If your person of interest appears shy, timid or undecided, you'll have to take lead and control the conversation. Be prepared for this.
From time to time, tease your person of interest. Teasing is a cat-and-mouse game which many people who like one another enjoy playing, game which is a form of mental foreplay.
Take care to understand that the word "lead" doesn't mean "dominate", "bad boy", "hard to get" or "make them work for it", as is believed by many people. Leading encourages people to follow the leader, using constructive goals and behaviors, like being the example to follow. Dominating tries to force people to follow the dominator, using destructive goals and behaviors, like exploiting weakness, overpowering, imposing, harassing, bullying, aggressing and even violating.
The nice guy
If you think that you're a nice guy who can't get a woman because of some imagined flaws that women (as a whole) have, stop.
You're using the word "nice" to tell yourself how you would like to be, a good partner / catch, and at the same time lie to yourself about how you really are.
Most likely the word "nice" is hiding someone who is timid (= fearful and lacking confidence), insecure, submissive, and maybe even resentful (of women).
Most women are not attracted to such personalities and they will never be.
Lying to yourself will never build your confidence. Patterns don't work this way. Weakness builds weakness. Strength builds strength.
To be attractive to women, you have to be a confident nice guy.
You'll likely think "So what, I want to be just a nice guy because I'm looking for the same type of woman." The problem is that you're not actually looking, you're waiting for a woman like you, and your type of personality, the type of patterns that have built your mind, will dramatically reduce the probability that you'll meet someone like you because each of you will just sit in their usual location and wait, and wait, and wait, and none of you is making any steps towards the other. You're not going to meet this way, so one of you has to move toward the other, and the path to do it is confidence.
Sensibility is its own enemy
Consider the scenario in which two strangers, a man and a women, full of sensibility, cross their paths, from time to time.
The man likes the woman and, after several such encounters, he initiates a conversation with her, saying that he would like to talk to her so that they get to know each other.
It turns out, from the body language and her smile, that the woman is impressed enough to make her eyes wet. While what she says appears to be a rejection, the way she says it shows that she wants to know him. What she says, while fidgeting, with a tone of regret (sounds a bit whiny), anxious that she can't accept the invitation, is "But I have a boooyfriend..."
Then, they walk away to their separate lives.
Without sensibility in the way, the man could have asked if her relationship is too serious to prevent them from having a conversation, and they could have had a conversation. But instead of that, sensibility has stopped a potential interaction between them, interaction which could have created a beautiful progression (even though not necessarily a romantic relationship).
The moral of the story is that sensibility will sometimes get in the way of happiness, even if that happiness could never be fulfilled to its greatest (desired) extent (because the people involved would have to remain just friends).
If you're very shy and can't stand to have a conversation with a stranger, there are a few things that you can do (repeatedly) in order to slowly get you more comfortable with approaching strangers.
In a public place, like a mall, you can dance to the music. Nothing wild, just move your body to the music.
In a shop, tell a stranger something short about which brand is better and why you think it is so, or give a small advice, and then walk away without any expectations. Alternatively, you can do this before using a conversation starter, and it would be virtually unique every time.
Give a compliment to a stranger and walk away without any expectations.
If you want to talk to a shop assistant about a product, and give him / her a compliment, make sure that you talk first. The talk will calm you, there will be no awkwardness after the compliment if the assistant isn't interested in you, and you will have more time to decide whether the compliment would be replaced with a full conversation starter.
If you want a happy long-term relationship, never pretend to be / want something other than you actually are / want. Never play "pretend" games. Don't be too cool for the truth. If you want something to happen, ask for it.
Many people use psychological manipulation in order to obtain control over the people around them, and especially over their partners.
People who are intimidated by their partner's independence, power of attraction and beauty, are people who lack confidence and are most likely to fall victims to psychological manipulation.
If you want to avoid this, either find a partner who doesn't try to manipulate you (which is rare), or change your behavior to show that you trust yourself to control your future, and show a charisma whose power of attraction is equivalent to that of your partner. In other words, create a balance between you and your partner.
Through your thoughts, words and gestures, in the beginning of a relationship don't treat your partner as if he / she is the one and only partner, your soulmate. Don't idolize your partner, don't put him / her on a pedestal, don't treat him / her like a prince / princess. If you were to not follow this advice and you were to ever feel that you're losing your partner, you would become desperate, and desperation only amplifies the disastrous outcome.
Behave like a person who has independence, someone who trusts himself / herself to control his / her own future. Absolutely avoid the whiny / begging voice tonality, tonality which would show that you're weak, so not a partner on which one could rely on for support in times of pressure.
You may be living under the illusion that soulmates exist, illusion created by romantic stories, novels and movies. What those stories don't tell you is that billions of other people did not meet their soulmate, thus creating an observational bias that tricks you into believing in something which isn't real.
Knowing that there are other people with whom you can have a long-term relationship means that if a deep connection is not formed between you and your partner, you don't have to settle for an inferior relationship with the current one, since you can move on and find another partner.
Continuously work on yourself to meet your partner's expectations, and make changes when necessary. Ask yourself why you would want to be with a partner like yourself. Continuously evaluate whether your partner passes your expectations, and ask for changes when necessary. Always communicate with your partner, without playing "pretend" games.
Physical attraction versus emotional attraction
During in-person encounters, the most difficult thing for you will be to understand, in just a few seconds of looking, not even from the best angle, if there is a good possibility for you and your person of interest to have a happy long-term relationship. This is the reality of dealing with in-person encounters with strangers, and you simply have to become able to do it.
You will have to be able to separate and contain the immediately felt physical attraction (for him / her) from the long lasting romantic attraction. The problem is that to see this normally requires multiple encounters separated by days, which is unlikely to happen.
The problem is that physical attraction can be so powerful that it blinds your ability to see what else does your person of interest have, and eliminating this effect requires time to observe your person of interest, time that you don't have when seeing a stranger.
Look at your person of interest and ask yourself whether you feel a connection, an attraction which is about more than a pretty face or body? Do you feel the impact of his / her presence, when looking at him / her? Do you feel like you're melting when looking at him / her? If he / she didn't have that amazing bottom or chest / breasts, would you still be interested? Would you still enjoy being with him / her daily for years? If you do, this is the kind of connection that you should follow.
Ask yourself what personality traits you see in your person of interest. Examples: confidence, trustworthiness, expansiveness / extroverted, strength, energy, curiosity, determination / drive, rebellion, shyness / timidity, delicacy (but not fragility), innocence, elegance, fashion style.
If you can't see (in your person of interest) some personality traits that are important for you, if your main thought is something like "He / she is beautiful, I'd like to be with him / her", that doesn't sound like the start of a happy long-term relationship.
Beauty and (power of) attraction are different things. There are people who appear stunning at first sight, but who lose a bit of their charm and attractiveness every time you see them, that is, they lose their power of attraction (although they still appear beautiful). There are people who become more charming and attractive every time you see them, and whom you anxiously await to see again. This is the best way to tell the difference between physical attraction and romantic attraction, but it requires a bit of time.
To understand which potential partners are part of the special category of people with whom you could truly have a happy relationship, you have to observe and compare potential partners, in time.
You will have to see how they look and how they behave, and push your mind to progress toward a state where it's able to extract (from apparent noise) the extremely fine details that tell you who is part of this special category. This ability will be severely limited by the reduced details that you can observe in a short time frame, but you only need it to reduce the number of people with whom to have a conversation.
It's a category of people because there will be several such potential partners, and there is absolutely no way for anyone to understand who is the "best match". There is no best match, there are several best matches.
This progression of the mind creates a huge set of information weaved together with your personality from birth, and can't be simplified and described into words because people are too different, so each person has to make the effort to build their own mind state that allows them to filter potential partners, and understand who they should approach for a conversation. This mind state will build slowly and with great difficulty because it has to overcome your personality that has built from birth.
The quickest way for me to see if I and a woman (probably) have incompatible personalities is if she has dyed hair, lots of makeup, lots of jewelry, long nails, or nails dyed with intense colors or drawings. I don't see in those preferences the same structure and interests that I see in me; long nails make thorough hygiene rather impossible.
A women who has long nails didn't wake up one day with long nails, forced to accept the situation. Her entire life, everything that happened, every choice she's made, led her to feel pleasure when seeing her long nails. My life has led me to dislike them. So the entire progressions of our lives form the reason why out personalities are incompatible.
Ironically, my biggest failure in life to seize an opportunity was when I was mesmerized by a woman, who appeared to share the feeling, as we gave each other several long looks, and I left (without saying anything) because she had three dotted nails (or something like that). For most people that sounds absurd, but that kind of obsession has built the work that you see, in part, on this website, to absurd detail, so I know how important tiny details are for the big picture.
That was the moment that fairy tales are made of. The problem is that, in reality, you also need the brain circuitry to recognize the importance of the moment in just a few seconds.
Other failures I can justify, but this remains my biggest. Unfortunately, an in-person encounter only gives you a few seconds to make a decision. On the other hand, the impact that this failure (and others) had on me has materialized into the details of this article.
So, if this happens to you, perhaps you will remember this story and you will not let your tinny obsessions overpower your feelings, when the feelings should have priority, as is the case when looking for a romantic relationship.
I do think that I saw her again; there were similarities and differences, so I'm not sure. She was still pretty, but the magic was gone.
The second lesson of this story is that one look is never enough to tell you anything about a person, no matter how powerful the attraction is.
Give and take
What do you want to offer to your partner? What do you want to get from your partner? Happiness, passion, ecstasy?
What's standing in your way? Your, your partner's or both your ways of thinking?
Are you interested in making the effort to satisfy your partner, or do you want only to get satisfaction from your partner? Do you care?
Have you thought about how you're going to make your partner happy, and how you're going to make him / her shake uncontrollably in complete ecstasy?
Perhaps you're asking yourself why should you satisfy your partner while he / she reaps the benefits. That's the wrong question to ask, it's not the problem that you have to solve. If you're asking such a question, your problem is not that your partner reaps the benefits, it's that you can't find the partner you want, and solving this problem is not done by denying your partner to be satisfied.
If you're having trouble finding a partner that you would like to satisfy, you should take a long look at your target audience, that is, at the pool of potential partners in which you're looking. Perhaps so far you've been looking in the pool of potential partners who can't give you any reason to want to satisfy them. Perhaps the potential partners who can give you such a reason are ignoring you, in which case you should ask yourself what is it about you that makes them do that. Perhaps you are ignoring the potential partners who can give you such a reason, because you think they are not good enough for you.
I once saw a young couple in a store. She was attractive and he was a nice guy, about on par with her beauty. I was admiring her and saw her big, lovely eyes lingering on me for a bit. Not normally a problem, but it felt like she was looking for something, something not material.
As they were walking by, I felt a disconnect between the two of them, and she was clearly the one leading in the relationship; he was obviously lost about what he should do. At some point he saw that a large label was stuck on his shoe, and he removed it; at this point he was behind her. What came next left me stunned: he stuck the label on her coat.
She initially got angry, thinking that it might ruin her coat, but it didn't stick, so she took it in her hand, looking at it, not knowing where it came from. All I could think was how a man who had access to a beautiful woman's body thought that the best way to interact was to stick trash on her. What a lost opportunity to make a woman happy!
I insist on the beautiful aspect of her because that was a woman who would have no issue in getting another man in the shortest time possible, a woman who was already looking for something outside of her relationship, but who probably didn't know what she should do, and, more importantly, what she could have (if she were able to choose a knowledgeable man).
Another time I saw a very similar couple and, again, I was admiring her and saw her lovely eyes looking at me several times. But this time, her look was expressing only interest, not I-want-out-of-here. It was much less clear that she was leading, although she was (mostly in front, and the man following her closely). But most importantly, in this case the man was doing a very different thing, unequivocally showing that he knew what he was doing: he was casually touching her back, patting her slightly and caressing her with attention. To make it clear, the relationship wasn't good because he was patting her on the back, but because the patting was only a small part of the rest of his similar behavior.
Another time I saw a young couple (slightly older than the couples above) with a kid; she was also a beautiful woman. There was a clear disconnect between them, with a marked physical distance. In this case, she wasn't leading, but nor was he. At some point she asked him about doing something, trying to get him involved, and he said "Do what you want", with a soft but neutral voice. She was also obsessively avoiding other people's looks, as if she wanted to avoid any temptation, but in fact isolating herself from reality. At some point her eyes did meet mine and she was surprised by the attention, but liked it (considering the multiple eye contact). She was behaving like a woman who believed in excruciating faithfulness, but unfortunately faithfulness doesn't equal happiness. In this case, the lesson is that being distant from your partner degrades your relationship, whether you see it or not. Note: I saw them several times, and something changed dramatically starting with the forth time, as the distance disappeared.
Men should not ask women where they want to go or what they want to do, they should plan the date, including some conversation topics.
For the first date, it's best do something that allows you two to sit next to each other rather than across a (dinner) table. Try to do some activity together, something that keeps you in close proximity, something other than dinner or movie.
Going in a crowded place forces you two to stay very close to each other, and likely touch (more or less accidentally) several times.
If you do sit across a table, try to find one with a small distance across, so that you can easily touch hands if you feel that the date is going well.
Avoid going to a movie because you can't interact, unless after the movie you go to a place where you can interact.
Before you start the conversation, you could say "I'm going to put my phone on silent. I don't want noise and vibrations to disturb us." This will allow your person of interest to do the same. You don't want any phone calls to disturb your time together.
Don't rush to touch your person of interest. You can try to get closer and closer to him / her.
If he / she keeps steps back / away, don't touch him / her.
If he / she lets you get closer and doesn't step back, you can try some gentle touches on his / her shoulders, arms and hands.
If you want to kiss your person of interest for the first time, asking for permission would surely break the romantic mood. You also don't want to go for it without permission and risk a harsh rejection.
If you want to kiss him / her, and you feel that he / she might want the same, you can try to lean slightly toward him / her, moving your face toward his / her face, very slowly. If he / she doesn't do anything or leans toward you, lean a bit more, and so on until you kiss. If he / she moves a bit away from you, don't get upset, wait a moment and then move away as well. Then, just wait for another time, or even ask him / her about what happened, about why it was the wrong moment for a kiss.
An alternative is to introduce a bit of a humoristic tone with a statement like "Looks to me like you want to kiss me."
By doing this, you allow him / her to either give you permission without being technical about it, but also to give you the lightest possible rejection, with either "Yes", "No" or "Maybe".
"Maybe" is a form of teasing, a cat-and-mouse game which many people who like one another enjoy playing, game which is a form of mental foreplay. If he / she says this then you could continue with "It's risky because if we kiss, you will want more."
A less emotionally intense alternative to the first kiss is the first peck. Simply put, instead of moving your lips toward the lips of your person of interest, move normally to peck him / her on the cheek. Make sure that it's clear that your moving toward his / her cheek, so come from a side of his / her face.
Asking immediately for a second date
If you and your person of interest went on a first date which went well, you probably want to go on a second date, but you don't know how to ask for one without appearing desperate / needy. A common solution is to play games where you pretend that you're too cool to express your feelings, and wait for a few days.
You can avoid such a game by saying, immediately after the first date ended, "I had a wonderful time and I want us to get together again." If your person of interest doesn't answer immediately, add "Call me when you want that too."
He / she might say "No, no, you should call me in a few days." This is a big warning sign because he / she is likely trying to see if it's possible to manipulate you, to get you to do what he / she wants. Therefore, make it absolutely clear "If you have to think about it, you call me." This won't stop a determined manipulator, but it will make you see that you have the power to defend yourself. If he / she doesn't call you, do not ever call him / her to check about the decision!
This lets your person of interest know that you want a second date, but he / she isn't pressured to answer immediately, and can think about it for a while, yet it's his / her responsibility to contact you for a second date.
After the first date
A few hours after the first date, send him / her a message with a comment or compliment about something that he / she told you during the date, to show that you were interested in what he / she was saying.
Asking later for a second date
If you didn't ask for a second date immediately after the first date ended, the next day you should send him / her a message saying "I had a wonderful time yesterday and I want us to get together again. Let me know if you're interested."
This lets your person of interest know that you want a second date, but he / she isn't pressured to answer immediately, and can think about it for a while, yet it's his / her responsibility to contact you for a second date.
Before a long-term relationship
Before entering in a long-term relationship, go with your partner to a large general store, like a grocery, and simulate a shopping spree together. Tell each other what you prefer to buy and why.
Conversations, though time consuming, let people ask various questions which can open long, detailed and personalized conversations, with many related questions arising along the way.
Conversations can't evaluate someone's personality in an absolute way, can't say how people are, can't explain why people are the way they are, can't assign score points to personality traits or to individuals, can't categorize people and can't reference norms. There are no correct or wrong answers. There are no superior and inferior types of personalities.
Conversations can only help you compare your personality to that of another person, to see if there is a match between the two of you.
Conversations are meant to show the similarities and differences of personality and whether you're compatible, not whether one of you is better than the other. Compatibility of personalities in the context of a romantic relationship has nothing to do with having the same favorite colors, music, books, hobbies, jobs, all of which are irrelevant for a long-term relationship.
When your person of interest speaks, you must listen. Just shut up and listen. Let him / her see your interest in him / her. When you have something to say, don't speak before a couple of seconds of silence pass, unless he / she clearly expects you to talk.
Don't fear silence. If you get into a period of silence and start to think it's awkward, say to your person of interest "It's deeply relaxing to spend time with you in silence." This would relax both of you.
How should a conversation look like between compatible people? Balanced, because neither person is trying to dominate the other. Do not judge, mock or shame your person of interest. The more one of the partners tries to dominate the other, the less happy their relationship will be. Arguing, criticism, negativity, (an air of) superiority, mockery, all erode and ultimately devastate a relationship.
Try to make conversations fun. Let's say that someone asks you if during sex you would squeal like a dolphin. What is the correct way to answer? It's not "Yes", it's not "No", it's not with an angry tone, it's "I would, but first show me how the dolphin does it." Why? Because this answer can start a conversation, a funny one, and laughter is what you need to build a relationship, not indifference, sadness, fear or anger.
Avoid indetermination. If your person of interest asks you what you should do together, where you should go, avoid saying "I don't know" or "What / where you want". Also, if you ask him / her out on a date, particularly the first one, don't ask "Where do you want to go?". Find another answer, one that doesn't shift the responsibility from you to him / her. You can give two or three options, but you must provide those options.
If your person of interest seems reticent, fearful or ashamed to discuss something, for example sex, tell them that you want to make them happy and satisfied. Use kind words to lead your person of interest to a mentally comfortable place.
Do not enter in an argument with your person of interest. Do not say and do not imply that your person of interest is wrong. Listen, then speak to share your view, but don't try to dominate the conversation.
Until you're sure that both your preferences match, avoid expressing extreme feelings, like saying or even implying that something is awful, disgusting, gross, unless they say the same thing first.
If another person is trying to dominate you verbally, for example by raising their voice, ask what they are trying to achieve. They might be passionately explaining their point of view, but explain that you have your own and you have no intention of changing either yours or theirs.
The first conversation should always be face to face.
Ask questions that would make your person of interest talk about his / her personality. Try to steer the conversation toward large topics (that involve a lot of talking) and toward answers that induce emotions in your person of interest, that is, try to make them talk about what they like (to visit, watch, listen to, read, cook, do for hobbies, and so on).
Ask personal questions. Ask for his / her life story.
Try to make him / her smile. For example, while trying to talk to someone in a bar, you might ask "How was your night?" Your person of interest might say "Lousy!" Are you discouraged at this point, thinking that you're being rejected? Try a funny comeback like "Till I came along, wouldn't you say?" Funny questions and statements can make your person of interest smile or laugh and become more willing to communicate. (If you think that every second word you say is funny, note that it's likely that your person of interest doesn't think the same, so don't exaggerate.)
Questions like "Till I came along, wouldn't you say?" are more likely to lead to non-decisive answers like "Maybe" and "We'll see". Statements like "And then I came along" are less likely to produce such a result.
Non-decisive answers are a form of teasing, a cat-and-mouse game which many people who like one another enjoy playing, game which is a form of mental foreplay. In other words, your person of interest is not going to answer with "Okay, let's go have sex right now." There is a game involved, game that both must play because it's a form of mental foreplay.
Try to expand your questions and statements with details, in particular when you're not face to face and you can't intervene with something else if you see that something doesn't work. For example, instead of "Let's meet" say "I would feel so much better to meet face to face with you and have a real life conversation. What if we were to see each other during the weekend, for lunch?"
During your first interaction and during your first conversation: avoid an overly sexual attitude, avoid talking about sex, avoid apologizing either directly or indirectly (like "I'm sorry", "Excuse me", "Please", "Because", "Just", "This is random, but"), avoid asking for permission for all sort of (minor) things, avoid negative linguistic constructs like "don't" and "can't".
If you absolutely feel the need to apologize in order to attract his / her attention toward you, try something indirect like "I know this feels strange, but", where all the words "I know feels strange" are key to show that you have an emotional understanding of the situation. After this, never excuse yourself without having a serious reason, like when making a mistake; even then, it's preferable to say "I've made a mistake" before or instead of "I'm sorry".
Avoid generic questions like "How are you?" and generic statements like "The weather is nice." Try to add details to your questions, like "How are you doing today?"
If your person of interest disappears suddenly and you don't know why, you can attempt to contact him / her and say something like "Why did you shut down the communication between us? If there is any problem and you don't want us to continue (the relationship), that's fine, but communicate, maybe there is a misunderstanding / miscommunication."
Absolutely do not ever say "Please", "Come back", "Let's talk about it", "Let's fix this", "We can fix this", "I need you" or any other expression that shows your desperation and inability to accept a rejection.
You can start by giving a compliment to your person of interest in order to see how he / she reacts to your approach. When you're undecided (for example, you didn't have enough time to decide) whether you should approach him / her, it's good to start with a compliment. If he / she reacts favorably to the compliment, if his / her attractiveness meets your standards and if you feel that your personalities may be compatible, you could continue with a conversation starter. Otherwise, walk away after giving the compliment.
Try to compliment your person of interest for what you've felt his / her personality is like, or for something that he / she has worked to make happen. He / she will like it very much if you notice something that even he / she didn't notice about himself / herself.
Compliments about the physical appearance don't work because:
Only give compliments when you mean it, when you feel it's true, else they will lose their meaning and that will show on you, and everyone will forever feel that something is missing from your behavior.
If you're intimidated because you think that he / she doesn't need your compliment, try saying it with a funny voice tone, almost as if you're teasing him / her.
To draw the attention of your person of interest, you could say:
Pause for a moment so that he / she can focus his / her attention on you. This introduction is a critical moment that let's you see if he / she might be interested in you.
If he / she doesn't (stop and) turn to look at you, perhaps he / she didn't hear you, so you could say "Stay one minute."Make sure that your voice is loud enough to be heard, and your voice tone doesn't sound like you're begging for attention.
If he / she still doesn't look at you, walk away! He / she has filtered himself / herself out, which is a good thing because he / she knows that his / her feelings for you aren't of trust and attraction; your choices are much simpler now.
If your person of interest is looking at you, continue with something which is meant to let him / her focus more on what your saying:
Then continue with a compliment:
If you feel the need to explain why you were looking at him / her, you could say:
If you muddle up the words of the compliment, you could say:
Your person of interest could react in different ways:
You can't evaluate people's interest in you by the intensity of their reactions because some people are more controlled, while some people are more expressive with their emotions.
If your person of interest asks you to stay but you don't want to, you could say:
Don't make a goal from giving compliments. Your goal is meeting potential partners. Focus on your goal!
Only give compliments when you mean it, when you feel it's true, else it will become banal and tiring, which will show on you and everyone will forever feel that something is missing from your behavior.
Only give compliments to people who look mature, people who have the sensuality that's needed to understand the meaning of a compliment.
When you give a compliment, your voice should sound lighthearted and lively, instead of heavyhearted and dull as if you are about to lose your soulmate. An alternative to lightheartedness is voice gravitas, that is, a low and deep voice that's meant to show power and self control.
Is it worth complimenting women? It feels satisfying to hear a woman giggle, see her smile, see her getting relaxed, or even hear her say "Thank you!" Does this compensate the time, energy and focus wasted on the indifference, avoidance and misinterpretation of your intentions by other women? That's for you to answer.
Avoid complimenting a woman who appears arrogant, who has an air of superiority. Arrogance results from an overinflated ego, from too much attention from men, attention that makes her believe that she is superior to men and that men have to provide to her whatever material and immaterial things she wants, while she doesn't feel compelled to reciprocate in at least an equal amount. Arrogance is different than the attempt to intimidate men with her unapproachable behavior; intimidation is her way of filtering out weak men.
A conversation starter is the first thing that you say to a complete stranger. This can vary wildly, depending on the actual context.
A conversation starter is the first critical point in the evolution of a relationship because it's the moment when the imagination of one person must face / become reality, when another person gets unequivocally involved, resulting in an interaction which is constrained by the will of two people rather than the unconstrained imagination of a single person.
The purpose of a conversation starter is strictly to see whether your person of interest reacts favorably to your approach, to see whether he / she has at least a tiny bit of interest in having a longer conversation with you.
Nobody can read minds and nobody should have to. It's you who have to communicate what you want, in words, and discover what he / she wants, because you have taken the initiative.
From the very first words, try to make your intentions clear so that your person of interest doesn't get the time to become defensive between the start of your speech and until your intentions become clear.
Try to tell to your person of interest what you like about him / her, that is, the reason why you've approached him / her. Don't leave any doubt about it, don't leave any room for confusion. Do not beat around the bush!
Helping your person of interest with any small thing, like lifting a dropped object or closing a door for him / her or even giving tips, is far better received than a compliment because they are much more rare events. So, if it's possible try to first help your person of interest and then say your conversation starter.
Don't put pressure on your person of interest, and, if possible, say that he / she is in control of what she wants to do next. Make him / her feel comfortable talking to you for a longer time.
A stroll during the conversation forces you to focus on walking rather than looking in each other's eyes, so you won't see the insecurity / uncertainty on each other's face.
You have to be able to continue with a language that creates a friendly atmosphere, so you can have a deeper conversation. Being good at conversation requires spontaneity, that is, the ability to be relatively random in the way you make thought associations and jump from a conversation topic to another.
Make sure that you're at all times ready to exchange contact information, so have a smartphone loaded with your phone number, online messenger account names (like Telegram), social network account names, email address.
In your attempt to alleviate someone's fear, absolutely avoid saying words that indicate harm, even if you want to say that you mean no harm, like "I mean no harm", "I have no intention of hurting you", and "I don't want to hurt you".
Personalized versus standard
If someone tells you exactly any of the standard starters below, don't be upset that they were copied, they are the result of extraordinary effort. No matter the introduction, your only concern should be what he / she will say next, because what follows will have to be created on the spot, adapted to the current context, and if he / she can't keep up with the emotional language that makes these starters, it will be crystal clear.
Can you use these starters, exactly as they are? Certainly, so long as they represent the truth about what you feel for your person of interest. Don't lie to yourself, don't lie to others.
Since you didn't write these starters, you'll likely not be able to follow up with the same emotional language that's contained in them, and that's going to be crystal clear as the conversation progresses. That's why you should focus on how you present yourself.
You should build your own starters and put your own personality and feelings into them. You can make combinations and variations of the standard starters by adding details and including what you've felt about your person of interest, and what you would like to happen next.
Start by copying your preferred standard starters from below, and paste them in a file. Move them around and combine them together in sentences. Don't try to compose your starter in your memory!
Keep the starters short but still capable to convey what you feel. There can be multiple sentences. A short starter with few compliments sounds more natural, that is, not scripted, and short sentences are easier to rearrange on the fly. A short starter also allows your person of interest to process what you're saying. Your person of interest doesn't need to hear poetry, he / she needs to know what you want from him / her, right from the start. A starter which shows that you aren't getting over involved, so a simple one, also shows that in the case of a rejection you are likely to move on.
If there is a connection between you and your person of interest then he / she will respond favorably, but if there isn't a connection then he / she won't respond favorably no matter what you say. Remember that the standards for a long-term relationship are higher than for a casual relationship, so catchy words aren't enough.
A starter which is meant to be addressed to a woman should leave her intrigued by the unexpected realization that the man in front of her is not a scared boy looking up to his female idol, but a man who is confident in his power of attraction, that is, a leader.
When you translate the standard starters into your language, make the effort to adapt them to the subtleties of your language, in order to have the maximum impact.
When you see an interesting potential partner, write down your feelings so that you can clarify them, in time, and reuse the text later.
Don't just voice you starter, feel it. Feel that it's true for the person that you're approaching!
Practice the starters by saying them out loud a lot, and watch your voice tone, facial expression, subtle smile, head tilt and body language, so that you appear friendly and playful. Don't whisper, say them with the normal voice volume of people in general. Also, you should look into a mirror whenever you can, into your own eyes, so as to get used to looking into someone eyes when you speak. You might want to try to tilt your head (a bit) and smile subtly.
Simulate in your mind what you want to say to your person of interest, by switching genders. If you're a man, think that you're a woman and a random man comes to you in a public place and tells you whatever you intend to tell to your person of interest. Just pick a random man in a public place and ask yourself why, as a woman, would you be interested in whatever that man is saying to you? You have to understand and feel why a woman would think that your words are much better than those of the myriad of men who start with "Hi beautiful!"
Avoid saying things like "May I ask you something?" and "I want to tell you something" because people become defensive when your intentions aren't clear from the start.
The starters are not magical, that is, their effect will depend entirely on (how): you approach your person of interest, your confidence, your body movements, you present yourself, your voice, your clothes, your accessories, and, of course, on whether your person of interest feels any interest for you (so there already is a connection) and has the same goal (to have a long-term relationship). Their effect will also depend on your ability to actually remember them in moments of extreme emotion, so exercise them a lot.
Here are some conversation starters and fragments that you will have to combine and adapt as is demanded by the real context. The text that you should say is written in beige.
Each indentation to the right side is a dialog switch between you and your person of interest.
You can start by giving a compliment to your person of interest in order to see how he / she reacts to your approach. When you're undecided (for example, you didn't have enough time to decide) whether you should approach him / her, it's good to start with a compliment. If he / she reacts favorably to the compliment, if his / her attractiveness meets your standards and if you feel that your personalities may be compatible, you could continue with a conversation starter. Otherwise, walk away after giving the compliment.
To draw the attention of your person of interest, you could say:
Pause for a moment so that he / she can focus his / her attention on you. This introduction is a critical moment that let's you see if he / she might be interested in you.
If he / she doesn't (stop and) turn to look at you, perhaps he / she didn't hear you, so you could say "Stay one minute."Make sure that your voice is loud enough to be heard, and your voice tone doesn't sound like you're begging for attention.
If he / she still doesn't look at you, walk away! He / she has filtered himself / herself out, which is a good thing because he / she knows that his / her feelings for you aren't of trust and attraction; your choices are much simpler now.
If you need to continue with something which is meant to let him / her focus more on what your saying:
Continue with a combination of some of the following fragments:
Then, you should add a request for a conversation:
Tell him / her your name:
If your person of interest appears to like you, through his / her somewhat uncontrolled body language (like fidgeting) and exclamations / onomatopoeia, you could continue with:
If he / she didn't say his / her name yet, ask for it:
If your person of interest is undecided, the probability for you to be rejected grows exponentially the more you wait for an answer, so you should quickly continue with the conversation topics, starting with whichever topic you think it's appropriate.
If your person of interest has answered favorably to you (for example by saying his / her name), and there is no problem with the time available right then, you should continue with the conversation topics.
A stroll during the conversation forces you to focus on walking rather than looking in each other's eyes, so that you won't see the insecurity / uncertainty on each other's face, so you could say:
If your person of interest answers favorably to you, but one of you doesn't have time to continue right then, or he / she is in a group of people, you could continue with:
Your person of interest could appear to reject you with a soft voice tone that appears to leave room for a follow up, as if he / she might be interested in you:
Your person of interest rejects you with a clear voice tone that doesn't leave room for a follow up, so accept the rejection gracefully:
If your person of interest appears confrontational by gesturing or asking you something like "Do you want something (from me)?" then do not retreat by saying "Nothing." Either ignore him / her, or say what actually happened.
You could start with something passive like "I was admiring you, but a quick look is not enough to decide whether to approach someone" and continue from there, depending on the reaction of your person of interest.
I've never been worried about being told "no", so being rejected. I've always been terrified about being told "yes", so being accepted. Why? Because I feared that I would discover that we have incompatible personalities and I would have to reject her (even though I was the one approaching her).
Keep in mind that most people will usually not be interested in the attention of others, so don't feel offended when you're rejected. Being rejected with mockery is another issue because it's intended to hurt.
If your person of interest rejects you with an obvious lie, do not ever comment on the lie! Ever! Some possible lies: saying that he / she is in a hurry even though he / she is walking slowly, saying that he / she is married even though he / she doesn't have a marriage ring.
When you are rejected, if you can't thank him / her for his / her answer, even if you feel lied to, then stop because you're hurting that person and you're hurting the chances of other people to approach that person.
The slightest hint of mockery in your reactions, the slightest attempt to bully him / her into submission, makes you a part of the reason why he / she feels the need to lie to you. If you're thinking "What do I care about the chances of other people?" then, again, you're part of the reason.
If you think that you've made significant effort to approach someone, so you deserve a bit of attention from their part, note that your person of interest did not ask you to make that effort and did not ask for your attention. In fact, your person of interest may expect you make an effort to make him / her happy without you expecting anything in return. So, your belief that you're the one deserving attention is likely to be in conflict with the personality of your person of interest, and it's not their fault that you didn't know that this could happen and you've presumed the opposite.
Your person of interest doesn't owe you anything, not a chance to tell your story, not even an answer. Your person of interest doesn't owe you attention just because you think that you're nice. You have to earn his / her attention, and if he / she doesn't give you the chance to do that, then move on. Your will is not more important than the will of your person of interest. You are not less important than your person of interest, but you are also not more important than he / she is.
Avoid expressions in your language and gestures that may be interpreted as dominant or aggressive.
Miscommunication (be it through looks, gestures, clothing or words) can instantly become confrontational, even though given time to remove the misunderstanding, a constructive connection could be established.
Women helping men
As a woman, you could approach a man that you like by starting a conversation unrelated to a romantic interest, in order to show him that you're available and approachable.
You could help a man that appears interested in you (because he's looking a lot at you), to start talking to you, by going to him and saying "I've noticed that you were looking at me, and it seemed like you wanted to ask me something. What was that? (Was it just my impression?)"
This way you don't reveal your interest in him, but you let him know that you're approachable and in his reach. After all, this doesn't oblige you to anything other than a bit of conversation.
He may be unprepared for a conversation, so he might be unable to start one. If that's the case but it's obvious that he likes you (maybe his face gets red) and you really like him, and you two see each other regularly, give him a link to this article, tell him to read it and to try again to talk to you.
Warning: sexual content included.
Sexual lifestyle means the way people regard / view sexual behavior, not the way they have sex. There are two main sexual lifestyle types: indulgent and controlled.
People with an indulgent sexual lifestyle first have sex and then decide whether they are compatible for a (long-term) relationship with their partner. For them, sex is a biological need, like eating, which is fulfilled when it appears, with whoever is available at the time, so they go with the flow in their relationships and sexual life. Having sex with a partner and separating later feels like they've gained sexual and life experience. This results in indulgent people having sex with many partners during their lifetime.
People with a controlled sexual lifestyle first decide whether they are compatible for a long-term relationship with their partner, and only then have sex. For them, having sex for the first time with a new partner is a serious decision, like the answer to a big philosophical question, so they try to control their relationships and sexual life. Having sex with a partner and separating later feels like losing a big part of who they are. This results in controlled people having sex with few partners during their lifetime.
You may hear some people saying that monogamy is not in the human biology, that it's a practice. Certainly, it is so, but unfortunately this is said as an unspoken justification to promote the lack of monogamy.
There is one problem: biology is not the goal setter of humans, it's the limitation. Humans are what they are in spite of their biology, not because of it. Behavior, choices, non-biological traits are what separate humans from all other animals. Take them away and humans would go back to live in trees.
People have reached their unrivaled abilities because they went against their instincts and have built their future step by step, because they do things that animals aren't doing, regardless of biology. People choose to push their physical and mental abilities to the absolute biological limits, to the point where the body starts to break down. They do so against huge risks of catastrophic damage or death. They don't do it because biological traits are meant to be followed. So, what biology specifies is not a justification for how people should behave.
Monogamy is a choice, a practice, but saying this with the subtle undertone of "just a practice" shows a misunderstanding of what matters to and what made humans intellectually unrivaled among all animals.
Does the past matter?
Can partners with different sexual lifestyles have compatible personalities? It's possible, but the correct question is whether it is likely.
To answer the latter question, you have to ask whether the (sexual) past matters. To some people the past matters, to most it doesn't.
Most indulgent people don't have a problem being in a relationship with a controlled person, since they decide on compatibility later in the relationship anyway.
Most controlled people do have a problem being in a relationship with indulgent people, since they prefer not to risk their future with people who make (compatibility) decisions only after they act.
People who say that the past doesn't matter are implying that controlled people should not have a problem being in a relationship with indulgent people, at least when both partners are ready to settle.
Every person is the way he / she is because the past has built them, past which is encoded in their current mental state, state which is carried around throughout their lives and is making decisions at every moment.
A mind is not made of random neuron firings. Decisions were made in the past, and their progression has shaped the current state of the mind. There is continuity. The past shows what people are more inclined to do in the future, which is generally to continue the same patterns.
Nobody can actually look at a person and understand their mental state and what their future will bring, especially when that person hides his / her past, especially the mistakes, from other people, but the likely future is nevertheless already in their mental state.
The present is usually more important than the past, so the initial conversations have to be mostly about finding out what your person of interest is now, and about finding out the highlights of what he / she was in the past.
The pattern of making (compatibility) decisions only after sex matters to some people, people who want their partners to have high standards for the selection of their own partners.
Here is a different way of putting all this. People don't wake up one day with a random personality. Their entire life, everything that happened, every choice they've made, led them to who they are. But what does it mean that "they are"? Is it possible to write down what people are and then read that to understand them? No, which means that what people think and say that they are, is more or less close to how they will act in the future, which is why their past can help to better understand how they will act in the future.
Aside from the compatibility of partners with different sexual lifestyles, there is also the question of whether people with either sexual lifestyle type are more successful than people with the other type.
The answer to this question turns out to be quite simple, as the biggest giants of science, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, were at opposite ends the sexual lifestyle.
As far as it's known, Newton was virgin throughout his lifetime, whereas Einstein was unfaithful to his wives, had numerous mistresses and was interested in love triangles.
So, as far as professional success goes, both types can reach the very peak of human achievements.
A conversation is the next critical point in the evolution of a long-term relationship because it's meant to open a dialog between you and your person of interest in order to show your similarities and differences.
The purpose of these topics is to open vast conversations about anything, starting from a narrow scope and continuing with anything related less and less, not to go through them as if completing a to-do list.
It's recommended to go through the topics in order, top to bottom. Each person should alternatively read the next topic. If a single person were to read the topics, he / she could change his / her answers after hearing the answers of the other person.
There is no need to read an entire topic in one go since it may contain multiple sub-topics which may have to be addressed separately.
For each topic, starting with the person who didn't read the topic, each person should state his / her preferences and give his / her constructive opinions on the preferences of the other person. Define your expectations and standards. State the intensity of your needs. Answer based on what you want, not based on what you think your partner of conversation wants to hear, nor based on what you think other people would do. Don't lie. Do not judge, mock or shame your person of interest.
There is no need to prepare your answers in advance since this is neither a test nor a competition. The topics exist so you two can get to know each other by finding out each other's answer, but they also exist so you can spend time together, become aware of various things, see each other's reaction when reading a topic, and see the effort made while trying to find an answer. Some questions are very difficult to answer on the spot, so the reactions to them are far more important than the answers.
If you don't know how to answer a topic, you can ask the other person to answer it first, so that you can get inspired.
You can skip any topic. You can pass on answering any topic. You can also delay your answers or change them later.
You can negotiate answers, so you can ask the other person to not choose a certain answer, or to change his / her answer. Whether he / she accepts is entirely up to him / her.
You can transform the format of the topics from statements into questions, and the other way around, but keep in mind that the tone of questions can easily become tiring. Once a topic is open, you can ask questions. Statements show confidence, but they can become too complicated, so questions have to be used in such cases.
If you don't like these topics, ask yourself what life together with someone is supposed to be about, if not about these things.
As you go through these topics, if you want to continue but your person of interest doesn't, or consistently avoids giving detailed answers, walk away because that person is from the wrong pool of potential partners. He / she doesn't want to clarify those subjects for you (and even for himself / herself). You want clarity, he / she wants confusion, so you have incompatible personalities.
If at any time the conversation becomes heated, do not become combative, just change the topic. You can later consider if there is any point in continuing the relationship.
To start a conversation, show to your person of interest the list from your smartphone and say this: "Let's use this list of conversation topics because it's large and detailed."
If your person of interest appears to negatively remark on the fact that you're looking on your smartphone for conversation topics, you can say "What would you like to talk about? What would you like to know about me?" If he / she doesn't come up with a conversation topic, say "Let's find something in the list."
If your person of interest gets upset about being asked a question, say "Even if the answer to a question is obvious to you, I can't know the answer without asking, and I have to ask because I want to understand the similarities and differences between us."
The conversation topics below are available in a mobile friendly format too, so you should save the list on your smartphone.
There are over 300 very detailed conversation topics.
Alternating the person who answers first means that neither person will expose all his / her personality first, while the other person lies in order to pretend that he / she is a good match.
Table of contents
Skip reading this section until you see a topic marked with "GAMIFIED".
The topics which are marked with "GAMIFIED" (and contain a list of choices) can be optionally gamified. You can gamify a topic either the first time you answer it, or at a later time (when you can reanswer it).
When a topic is gamified, it means that on top of the number of choices that each person may freely select for the topic, number which is specified in the topic, each person may select more choices when paying a closeness cost (described below).
A topic which can be gamified is designed not only to be fun, but also to show people's ability to allocate scarce resources. If your person of interest defies the instructions of the topic and freely selects more choices than the topic specifies, it means that they are willing to use trickery to go around obstacles, and are unable to prioritize and allocate scarce resources.
Here are the available closeness costs (each can be repeated multiple times):
If you forbid the touches and kisses, but the other person insists that you should accept, make it clear that "It's too early for physical contact". If the other person still insists, walk away because that person is from the wrong pool of potential partners.
A gamified topic may have some choices from the list marked with the words "ONLY GAMIFIED". Such a choice can be selected only by someone who is paying a closeness cost to select more choices for that topic, that is, it can be selected only when a compliment, touch / caress or kiss is involved.
Tell me about you. What's your life story? (If he / she says "It's a long story", you could say "I like hearing your voice.")
Tell me something interesting about yourself, something that you are proud of, your greatest (physical or mental) accomplishments.
Compliment yourself about something other than your physical appearance. I think that few people can compliment themselves about something else, at least with a non-generic compliment.
What do you care about, what do you feel passion for, what are your hobbies and activities? Any project that you currently work on? (It's a fallacy of the modern, educated world to think that partners should feel passion for the same things. Rejecting the people who don't share your passions will make it virtually impossible to find a partner. When he / she tells you his / her passions, you can continue the conversation by asking "What made you interested in [insert activity]?")
What are the longest projects that you've been focused / working on, the ones that needed the most energy and attention?
As a child, what did you want to be when growing up?
The happiest moments of your life. (If he / she takes too much to think, you can tease him / her by saying "So, this must be the happiest moment of your life.")
What makes you happy, or what would make you happy. What stands between you and your happiness?
Describe yourself with short attributes, like: lazy, energetic, messy, ordered, open book, mysterious / private, going with the flow, focused, determined, passionate, creative, logical.
Which of the following represents you more?
What are questions for you?
What do you think about asking and being asked hundreds of questions about your personality?
Eating style, diet, weight control. Describe what you usually eat during a day. Walking versus going by car. What you eat in general. Your favorite foods. Your favorite deserts. How often do you eat at restaurants?
What you drink and how much: water, tea, coffee, alcohol, vegetable and fruit juices, sweetened beverages.
Show some photos of yourself, or photos that you've taken.
Show some photos of your home, something that you're proud of.
Very weird, funny, amazing or embarrassing things that have happened to you or that you have seen.
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would you do?
If you would not have to work for money, what would you do with your life?
Types of videoclips that you are watching online, like documentaries, personal development, movies, music. Could also be articles or books. You could search for them online, on your smartphone, to show what you're interested in.
Teach me (about) something. Keep the lesson within a few minutes.
What you think a lot about, other than goals in life, hobbies or job.
Your current priorities in life.
What do you value most?
Goals in life and what you are doing to achieve them. What do you expect from life, in the long term? What dreams do you have for the future? What do you expect the future to bring you? Are you trying to build the future that you dream of?
Type of relationship that you want to have next. Examples: conversational friendship (sex is excluded), intimate friendship (sex is unlikely, but not impossible), long-term and sexually monogamous relationship (could lead to marriage), short-term relationship (sex is likely), non-monogamous relationship (sex is likely), casual relationships (mostly for sex), one-night stands (only for sex). (This topic is about your next relationship, not about what happens between you two.)
If you're looking for a long-term relationship, do you still see yourself together with the same person after 10 years? If the answer is "no", does it mean that you want more than one long-term relationship?
In the next 12 months, is it likely for you change your mind about the type of relationship that you want?
In your next relationship, are you looking for realistic expectations and friendship, or for magic, fate and a soulmate? How would you recognize your soulmate?
What are you looking for in a relationship? Examples: companionship and friendship, sex, financial security, maybe children at some point.
Until what moment is it acceptable for you and your current partner to have conversations with other people, which could result in a romantic relationship with those people (after breaking the relationship between you two)? This presumes that no significant physical contact occurs (like kissing, petting or sex) with the other people. Examples: until getting the second / third / fourth date, until we discuss all these conversation topics, until we have our first sex together, until we declare love to each other, until we agree to be in a sexually monogamous relationship, until engagement, until marriage.
How do you feel about manifesting your affection for your partner in public, by: holding hands, hugging, pecking, kissing, kissing passionately?
When meeting your partner somewhere, do you prefer to kiss then hug, or to hug then kiss? Hugging before kissing builds anticipation for the kiss.
What's the funniest, weirdest or craziest idea for a date that you would like to go on?
While passing by you in the street, a stranger (of my gender) looks at you for what feels to be a too long time. Why do you think he / she does that, and how do you feel about being looked at? Do you have anything that may interest that stranger?
Physical or mental traits that attract you to men / women.
Physical, mental or behavioral traits that you dislike about yourself. This can help your person of interest to be a bit more patient in those areas, so long as you don't exploit that patience.
What makes you a good partner?
What was your first impression of me? What were your concerns about me? Has anything changed now? What are your concerns now? Concerns refer to things that make you feel uncertain whether you should talk to me or avoid me.
Do I have anything that you would not normally choose a partner for?
How often would you like to spend time with someone, before you live together? Examples: every day, twice per week, once per week.
How often would you like to communicate with someone, before you live together? Would you prefer to communicate mostly through messaging or phone calls? Should the messaging be done through online messengers or SMS?
In case your partner doesn't answer immediately, how much time is it acceptable to pass until he / she returns your call? What about until responding to a message of yours? If your partner doesn't answer within the acceptable time, would you try to contact him / her again?
If your partner were to cancel a date that was supposed to last the entire next day, what would your reaction be? What activities would do instead?
Which partner should generally take control of planning to do things together? Examples: the man, the woman, equally the man and the woman. Answer separately for the following things:
Who should pay for your first meal together? Examples: each (for what they order), the man, the woman, the person who has more money. Who should pay for the second meal?
If a woman is asked, for the first time, by a man to do something together, like talk or have sex, and the woman explicitly says something like "No", "Not interested" or "I don't want to", what do you think she means and what should the man do next? What if the woman doesn't explicitly refuse the man? What if the woman says "Maybe"?
Warning: sexual content included.
These topics can create a tensed atmosphere, so they should be discussed toward the end of a date.
Tell this to your person of interest, to prepare him / her for the subject: "This is about the way people regard / view sexual behavior; it isn't about the way people have sex."
If at the end of this section you see an unacceptable incompatibility, you can say "We have (very) different personalities" in order to subtly indicate that you will not pursue a relationship with your person of interest.
If you are interested in learning more about sexual lifestyles, see this.
What are the minimum and maximum number of sexual partners that would be normal for you to have during your lifetime? Examples: as few as possible, between several and 10, between 10 and 20, between 10 and 40, as many as possible. How strongly do you feel about these numbers? These numbers refer to what you want in reality, not to what you fantasize with no intention of making happen.
What are the minimum and maximum number of sexual partners that would be normal for your partner to have during his / her lifetime? Examples: as few as possible, between several and 10, between 10 and 20, between 10 and 40, as many as possible, I don't care. How strongly do you feel about these numbers?
Is it necessary for you to have sex with your partner before you two agree to be in a long-term relationship, because that's how you ensure that you are sexually compatible for the long-term?
When is it acceptable to start having sex with a new partner? Examples: after the first / second / third successful date, after a few weeks, after we agree to be in a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship, after engagement, after marriage.
If you think that it's acceptable to start having sex with a new partner only after you two agree to be in a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship (/ engagement / marriage), you should first be sure (with a reasonable doubt) that you two are compatible for such a relationship. How will you make sure of that? Examples: conversations, time (at least a few months). Will you abstain from having sex (with anyone) before you're sure that you're compatible?
Until what moment is it acceptable for you and your partner to have sex with other people? Examples: until getting the first / second / third / fourth date, until we have our first sex together, until we declare love to each other, until we agree to be in a sexually monogamous relationship, until engagement, until marriage.
How much does each of the following apply to what you think of sex?
If you desire something sexual, do you have to make it happen in reality, or can some sexual desires remain unfulfilled for you? For example, if you are single and you feel the need to have sex, do you find someone to have sex with, or do you wait for a long-term partner. Another example, if you are fantasizing about having sex with people other than your partner, do you do act on this desire, or can this desire remain unfulfilled?
Did you ever have sex in a relationship other than a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship?
Have you had sex with someone the first time you physically meet him / her? What about the second time?
Would you have sex with a virgin? (It it matters, here, virgin means someone who has never had vaginal, oral or anal sex.)
Travel: vacation locations and business trips. What kind of places do you prefer to visit in your vacations: cities, quaint villages, resorts, rugged nature, mountains, beaches. Do you like hiking, camping? Where did you go in your last vacation? Where else have you traveled? Where would you like to go in your next vacation? Would you go in a vacation without your partner when it's not possible to go together? Would you go in a vacation without your partner so that when you are back together you have something interesting to talk about?
Search online for visual art, like photographs, paintings, or sculptures; try to find something out of the ordinary, maybe even controversial. Form your search terms by combining words like "controversial", "surreal", "outstanding" with "photographs", "paintings", "sculptures", "fine art", "art". Comment on the art. What do you think about someone who displays that art in his / her home? What do you think about a man who displays in his home a photo of a nude woman, or about a woman who displays in her home a photo of a nude man?
Something that pushed your mental capacity to the limit.
Something that pushed your physical capacity to the limit.
The most valuable life lesson you’ve learned.
Something that would be useful to know in life but isn't taught in school.
A home for you and your partner. House or apartment? Where should it be located? Your dream house and location. Type of design examples: modern, minimalistic, classic, contemporary.
GAMIFIED. What are the 3 most important personality traits that you would like your partner to have? Choices (specify when a choice is extremely important to you; you can add your own choices):
GAMIFIED. What are the 3 most important ways in which you would like your partner to often express his / her attraction, passion and love for you, to make you feel special? Choices (specify when a choice is extremely important to you; you can add your own choices):
Would you like for you and your partner to tightly embrace each other for a long time (like 10 minutes), every day or once every two days? See Preventing conflict for details.
What do you like about me, what attracts you to me?
What body perfumes do you like? Can you feel each other's perfume? You could go to a shop and try to find something that you both like.
If you could switch bodies with your partner for a day, what would you do that day?
Look in each other's eyes for a few minutes; 2 minutes is fine. Focus on a single eye, don't switch between the eyes.
What would you need your partner to do in order to make you feel the desire to throw yourself in his / her arms, abandoning yourself, while saying "You can do anything you want with me"?
When is a good moment for the first hug? (If your person of interest takes too long to answer, you could say "Now seems a good moment." If he / she looks unable to decide, you could say "Let's see if it is" and lean toward him / her for the hug, but don't go all the way and allow him / her to complete the hug.)
When is a good moment for the first kiss?
Something deeply intimate about you. Something that makes you feel very vulnerable. Something that makes you feel like you're undressing your soul and say "Accept me as I am or leave!" Before answering, obtain a verbal agreement, like "I agree", from both of you, that the answers to this topic will be treated with absolute confidence, and will not be shared with others. If this agreement is not happening, or if an answer refers to something unlawful, skip this topic.
Do you work during the day? Do you work night shifts?
At what time do you usually go to sleep?
Do you nap during the day?
How heavy or light do you usually sleep?
At what time do you usually wake up? Energy in the morning, after you wake up. Are you noisy when you wake up? Do you want to talk to someone, or do you need some quiet time to go through the morning rituals?
Noise that you make at home, which could disturb the neighbors. Parties and loud music.
Slippers. How do you walk around the house? Examples: barefoot, with slippers, with shoes.
What kind of clothes do you wear when you're at home?
Where do you change in and out of your outdoor clothes? Examples: bathroom, bedroom, walk-in wardrobe.
When during the day, and for how long, do you need to regularly use the bathroom most, for things like showering or number 2?
When you are in the bathroom, with the door closed, is it acceptable for your partner to come in?
Pets. Do you need to have pets when living with your partner?
What do you usually do to relax?
What parts of the city (in which you live) do you like most?
How do you usually spend your evenings and nights?
What do you usually do during the weekends?
Favorite physical activity, sports.
Favorite boardgames, videogames.
Favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, art.
How much time do you watch streaming services (YouTube, Netflix)? How much time do you watch classical / broadcast television?
Do you like soap operas?
Do you like horror movies?
Warning: sexual content included.
Discussing about sex requires a certain familiarity and attraction that develops in time, so it should be avoided during the first date.
If you are interested in learning about sexuality, see Sexual Education.
Let's talk about sex. Here are some conversation guidelines:
Pubic hair preference for both partners; includes the hair on and around the genital organs and anus. Options: removed (shaved, lasered off, waxed), removed but with a decorative patch preserved, trimmed, hairy. If there is disagreement, try to reach an agreement. What would you say makes a man / woman: pubic hair or mental maturity? Pubic hair traps perspiration, and therefore smell, especially in the summer.
Personal hygiene. How often do you shower? How often do you wash your: hands, teeth (flossing, electrical toothbrush), genital organs, anus. How often do you change your underwear and socks. Do you put your dirty clothes in the hamper?
Do you feel guilt when you think about having sex?
When talking about sex, do you prefer to use a formal or a slang type of language? Any custom mix? Formal: sex, penis, vulva, vagina, semen. Slang: fuck, cock, cunt / pussy, cum.
What do you usually call / name your own genital organs, in a non-sexual context? Use the actual word, don't replace it with something that you think is more appropriate for the conversation! What do you usually call them in a sexual context?
Would you need to have sex in order to relax, or would you need to relax in order to have sex?
Some people must feel the desire to have sex in order to start having sex. Some people must start having sex in order to feel the desire to have sex and enjoy it. Which of the two types are you a part of?
How much does each of the following apply to what you think about feeling pleasure while you're having sex with your partner?
During sex, to which degree does each of the following statements represent you: getting pleasure from my partner, giving pleasure to my partner?
Are you aware that the vast majority of women need to have their clitoris stimulated in order to have an orgasm, and that very few women can have an orgasm only through vaginal penetration? (An orgasm always includes pelvic contractions; very few women report having an orgasm without contractions, and no men.)
During sex, the man has an orgasm, but the woman doesn't have hers. What should each of them do? Should the woman satisfy herself? Should the man satisfy her, and how? (Read this for tips.)
Clitoris stimulation. Who should do it, how, when and for how long should this happen?
What do you find arousing, erotic?
Would you like to receive from your partner full body massages, which include the erogenous areas? What about giving such massages?
Make an argument in favor of the brain being a sexual organ.
How important is sex for you? How important should sex be for your partner?
How much would you enjoy sex?
How would sex with you be? How would you try to make your partner (physically) ecstatic?
When and where would you like to usually have sex? Examples: in the bedroom before going to sleep, on the livingroom couch in the evening.
How would you prefer the location where you have sex to be usually lit? Why do you like it lit like this? Examples: daylight, well lit, dim lit, dim lit and colored (by colorful lightbulbs), candle lit, moonlit, dark. Why do you want the location to be lit like this?
How long should (a session of) sex usually last? How long should foreplay last? How long should thrusting last?
How many times do you feel sexually aroused during a day? Examples: none, once, twice, several times, many times.
How often should sex happen? Examples: daily, 5 times per week, 3 times per week, 2 times per week, 1 time per week, 1 time per month.
Do you feel the need to have sex with this frequency, or do you accept to have sex with this frequency?
How often would you like to initiate sex? How often would you like your partner to initiate sex? Examples: never, sometimes, half of the time, most of the time.
How would you initiate sex? How should your partner initiate sex? Examples: verbally ask for it, touch partner's body in a suggestive way, silently (see Preventing conflict for details). Give some details about the words that you would use, or about how you would touch the partner's body. Do not touch the body of the other person, just explain!
When sex is initiated by one partner but the other doesn't want it, how should the initiator be refused? Examples to say: "Not today", "I'm not in the mood", "I'm too tired", "I have a headache".
If sex is refused by one partner, what alternative activity is acceptable? Examples: none, looking in each other's eyes, spooning (= with almost no hand movement, and no rubbing), cuddling (= with some hand movement on the body, and a bit of rubbing).
After arguing with your partner, would you usually refuse sex to him / her? Would you like to forget arguing by having sex?
Would you like your partner to look into your eyes during sex? How much time should such a look last? How often should this happen during a session of sex? Would you like to ask for it to happen? Examples of frequency: never, rarely, sometimes, often.
Would you enjoy seeing your partner's orgasm? (Usual visible signs of orgasm: body-wide rigidity and spasms, contracted face, contracted or opened mouth, firm or fast pelvic movements. The internal pelvic contractions are not necessarily visible; the perineum, vulva and vagina can show these contractions directly, while the penis shows them through ejaculation.)
How do you feel about having sex in front of a mirror? Would you like to be prominently visible and admired by your partner in the mirror? Would you like your partner to be prominently visible and admired by you in the mirror?
Noise during sex: quiet or noisy? Answer separately for you and your partner. Examples of quiet noises: as quiet as possible, heavy breathing, whimpers (short and soft sounds), quiet moans (long and soft sounds), whispering that can be understood, whispering that can't be understood. Examples of loud noises: loud moans, talking, screaming.
Do you prefer to be active, or sit still and let your partner work on you?
Positions during sex. Any unacceptable positions? In what positions would you prefer to have sex most of the time? What positions are the most arousing for you? What positions are the least arousing for you?
Do you like explicit talking? Explicit talking means saying out loud what you do, feel and see during sex, and how good the sex is with you. How often should this happen during a session of sex? Examples of frequency: never, rarely, sometimes, often.
During sex, do you like to have pauses without thrusting, and sit still while embraced with penetration, or should thrusting be continuous until orgasm? How long can the pauses be at most: tens of seconds, minutes, tens of minutes? How often should this happen during a session of sex? Examples of frequency: never, rarely, sometimes, often.
After sex activity. Examples: tight body contact with penetration, tight body contact without penetration, sleep, talk, do the dishes, smoke.
Multiple orgasms. For how long after an orgasm is your penis / clitoris too sensitive to be stimulated? Can you have 2 orgasms in 10 minutes?
When would you prefer to talk with your partner about what should change in the way you two are having sex? Examples: never, before sex, during sex, after sex, while making dinner, during a stroll (so there is no eye contact). If you are told to change certain things, would you change accordingly?
How much are you for or against getting naked whenever your partner asks you to undress, even if you're doing something else, just to look at your body for a minute?
How much are you for or against improvised sex, whenever your partner simply takes you, even if you're doing something else? Improvised sex means quick sex in uncomfortable positions and in the nearest available location, so not in bed, but somewhere like on a table / desk, standing (maybe leaning against some furniture or wall), or crammed into a couch. (While the surprise element of improvised sex can keep the sex life interesting, women are usually not interested in sex without prelude because the vagina requires time to lubricate, else the sex is painful for them, so you may have to use artificial lubrication.)
Likes and dislikes
GAMIFIED. What are the 3 most important things that you like sex for? Choices (specify when a choice is extremely important to you; you can add your own choices):
GAMIFIED. What are the 3 most important things that you dislike sex for? Choices (specify when a choice is extremely important to you; you can add your own choices):
Sex toys: vibrators, dildos, others. Is it fine to use them during sex? Is it fine if your partner uses them separately from the sex with you?
If your partner asks you for something that you find unacceptable (but not sick), would you try it once or twice before you deny it to your partner?
Submissive and dominant roles. How much submissive, how much dominant?
Would you like to abandon yourself, your (control over your) body, to your partner, so long as your partner is delicate to your body and mind? Would this make you feel a combination between relaxation, fear and arousal?
Would you like to be used as a sex toy rather than a person, and your partner to use your body to exclusively satisfy all his sexual pleasures about domination, even if he / she is rough / brutal to (but not hurting) your body? Would this make you feel a combination between relaxation, fear and arousal? Would you like to use your partner as a sex toy?
Delicate and rough / brutal sex. How much delicate, how much rough?
Do you have to be punished or disciplined sexually for your naughtiness, disobedience, lewdness or even for being too nice / good?
Would it be interesting for you to amplify your pleasure by having several body areas stimulated at the same time? For example, a woman could have 6 areas stimulated by her partner, through: oral penetration by the penis, vaginal penetration with a vibrator which has an extension that can stimulate the clitoris at the same time, anal penetration with another vibrator, and rubbing her breasts with the man's hands.
What do you think about fellatio (= oral stimulation of the penis) and cunnilingus (= oral stimulation of the vulva and clitoris)? Deep-throat? Facesitting? Answer separately as receiver and giver.
What do you think about anal sex? Answer separately as receiver and giver. (Read this before categorically denying anal sex.)
How do you feel about semen? Considering that the man is required to avoid ejaculating in the eyes, nose, ears and hair of his partner, on which or in which other parts of his partner's body is the man required to avoid ejaculating?
The type of sex that you would like to have most. Examples: vaginal, fellatio (= oral stimulation of the penis), cunnilingus (= oral stimulation of the vulva and clitoris), anal.
What kind of sex is acceptable during the days with menstruation? Examples: none, fellatio (= oral stimulation of the penis), clitoral stimulation, anal, vaginal.
If your partner asks you for sex but you don't want, are you fine with your partner masturbating? Are you fine with him / her watching pornography? Are you fine if your partner does these things in the room where you are, provided that he / she doesn't disturb you (directly), or should he / she do it in another room?
Masturbation. Have you ever done it and how often? Masturbation helps people understand what their bodies like. Would you do it in front of your partner, if asked? Is it fine if your partner continues to masturbate during the relationship with you? If it's not fine, would you fulfill your partner's sexual needs whenever he / she asks, so that he / she doesn't have to masturbate? Don't take the last question as a demand to feel obligated to fulfill your partner's sexual needs, answer what you want to do.
What do you think about mutual / reciprocal masturbation?
Pornography. Have you ever watched? Are you still watching? What categories do you like? Are you upset if your partner has watched before you've met? Is it fine if your partner continues to watch? If it's not fine, would you fulfill your partner's sexual needs and fantasies whenever he / she asks, so that he / she doesn't have to watch pornography? Don't take the last question as a demand to feel obligated to fulfill your partner's sexual needs and fantasies, answer what you want to do.
Do you think that pornography is bad? Do you think this because pornography appears to degrade women, or appears to promote sexual violence against women? What do you think about the pornography where independent amateur couples publicly share their sexual activities, in a do-it-yourself manner? Is it possible that your belief that pornography is bad is due to the specific categories of pornography that you have watched? Is it possible that there are other categories that aren't bad?
Do other people have (or are there on the Internet) photos or videos of you nude or while you were having sex?
How would you feel about your partner taking photos and videos of you during sex? Would it be acceptable and under what conditions? Would it be fine to take such photos and videos, watch them after sex and then delete them immediately? Would it be fine to take such photos and videos if your face were not visible in them? (It's strongly recommended to avoid doing this at the beginning of a relationship. See safety tips.)
What should rough sex be made of? Examples:
Rough sex safety. What intensity should rough sex normally have? Examples: light, medium, tough (marks may remain on the body for a few minutes), extreme (bruising allowed), unspeakable for the vast majority of people.
Rough sex safety. If the intensity of rough sex escalates over the normal level, like mutual slapping turning into hitting, agree on a maximum allowed intensity. If the maximum is exceeded, you agree to stop without further action and pause for a few minutes; go do something else. Examples: not acceptable to escalate, tough, extreme, unspeakable for the vast majority of people.
Rough sex safety. Is crying the equivalent of the safeword? Crying means more than the eyes getting a bit wet, it means the presence of dripping tears or sobbing. Should role playing stop if tears start dripping from the eyes of one of the partners? Should role playing stop if one of the partners starts sobbing?
How would you feel about being restrained / tied up? How would you want to be tied, with what and in what position? How would you want to tie your partner? What about being blindfolded? What about wearing earplugs? If you were tied up, blindfolded and wearing earplugs, you would not know who is having sex with you. How would you feel about not knowing? In theory, your partner could bring someone else to have sex with you, and you would not know.
A sexual fantasy is a scenario to think about, a story to immerse yourself into, not necessarily something to do in real life, due to safety concerns, shame or feeling that fulfilling it would spoil you (/ your innocence).
A sexual fantasy is about something that you don't have or can't have in your real life. For most people, romance is not a sexual fantasy, but a romantic fantasy, because they can have it without problems. For people who had past experiences that left them unable to ever experience romance again, romance can be a sexual fantasy.
A fantasy brings diversity and novelty to the mind, mind which otherwise gets bored quickly, but without the potential (safety) risks of actually fulfilling the fantasy.
Sexual fantasies are like watching a storm from the safety of a solid home, that is, they are pleasurable because they let you observe the roughness of Nature from a safe place. For most people, storm watching and sexual fantasies exist because they want to feel explicitly safe, not because they want to feel in danger. However, people who want to get out in the storm and people who want to fulfill some sexual fantasies, do feel some need to be in danger.
Role playing is simulating a fantasy, that is, only you and your partner are physically involved in the role play, even if the fantasy includes other imaginary people.
You should take turns telling one fantasy at a time.
If you role play a fantasy of domination or aggression, you should create and use a safety language which allows the dominated partner to direct how the domination must change, by saying simple words. Here is a basic language that you can use:
Detail your sexual fantasies. How much pleasure do you feel when you think about them? Some fantasies are present in the mind but don't produce pleasure. (See fantasy examples below, for inspiration.)
Which fantasies would you like to role play? Describe how you imagine role playing happening; perhaps keep some details to yourself, to maintain some element of surprise.
How much would you like to make these fantasies happen in reality, and in what role: only as an observer, as an active participant?
Examples of sexual fantasies:
Your past relationships. Why did they end?
Number of sexual partners until now.
If you are still virgin, what is the reason? Examples: too young, no interest in sex so far, haven't found the right partner, waiting for the right long-term partner, waiting until marriage due to religious reasons.
What age were you when you've lost your virginity? Here, losing virginity means any form of sex (including any of: vaginal, oral or anal sex).
How did you feel when you've lost your virginity?
In a long-term relationship, for what kinds of sex can condoms be avoided? Examples: none, all, only oral. Is there a period, from the start of a relationship, after which condoms aren't required anymore, in particular for oral sex?
Contraceptives: condoms, pills, implants. What kind should be used by the man, what kind by the woman?
As a woman, how do you feel during the days with menstruation? Do you use internal tampons or external pads? Is there anything else that you would like to tell the man about menstruation? Tip: men may care about your body and health, but most aren't interested in graphic details about menstruation.
Why do men like breasts? If you think that it's because it reminds men of being breast-fed, consider that women went through the same experience yet they don't share the same interest for breasts. Also, while they are hidden, there are other hidden body parts which don't present the same interest, like the armpits. Could it be because they are playful (large, soft and wobbly)?
When is it acceptable to lie to your partner about things that you know (or suspect) matter a lot to him / her?
Is it acceptable for you and your long-term partner to look at and admire other people, like strangers passing by, that you / he / she finds attractive? Is it acceptable to follow such stranger with the eyes, maybe even turn the head, as they pass by? This presumes that no significant physical contact occurs (like kissing, petting or sex) with the other people. Can this happen when you are nearby? All people who are in relationships will be physically attracted to strangers, at various times, and denying them the pleasure of admiring others will result in frustration and even pain. So long as they have self control, is it acceptable for them to let their fantasy run wild for a bit?
Is it acceptable for you and your long-term partner to fantasize about having sex with other people? This presumes that no significant physical contact occurs (like kissing, petting or sex) with the other people. If you're afraid that such fantasizing would lead to cheating, ask the other person if he / she did fantasize this way, and whether he / she was able to remain faithful (when in a relationship) or abstinent (when not in a relationship). If he / she did either then there is no reason to fear such fantasizing.
Until what moment is it acceptable for you and your partner to give compliments to other people, but without flirting further. This presumes that no significant physical contact occurs (like kissing, petting or sex) with the other people. Can this happen when you two are nearby? Examples: until we have our first sex together, until we agree to be in a sexually monogamous relationship.
Until what moment is it acceptable for you and your partner to flirt with other people? This presumes that no significant physical contact occurs (like kissing, petting or sex) with the other people. Can this happen when you two are nearby? Examples: until we have our first sex together, until we agree to be in a sexually monogamous relationship.
In a long-term and sexually monogamous relationship, after how much time of having no sex with your partner would you say that either the relationship must end, or the partners may have sex with other people? Examples: 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year.
In a sexually monogamous relationship, is it acceptable for you to have occasional and short sexual affairs with someone who you find irresistible? Is it acceptable for your partner to have them?
When is it acceptable to (sexually) cheat on a partner? Is it acceptable when the partner has cheated first? Is it acceptable when the partner (almost) never wants sex and months have passed since the last time you had sex?
If your partner were to (sexually) cheat on you, would you like him / her to tell you, or should he / she terminate the relationship without giving you such details?
How would you react if you were to be told or find out that your partner (sexually) cheated on you?
If you were to (sexually) cheat on a partner, why would you do it? Saying "I would not cheat" or "I don't know" are not acceptable answers. You have to think about what is it that you may be missing in a monogamous relationship.
If your partner has to go for a genital or breasts medical checkup, what gender would you prefer the physician to have? Examples: not important, male, female. How much does it matter? It's understood that there are serious medical cases when it's not possible to choose the gender of the physician.
Touching people that you're not sexually involved with, people of the gender of your person of interest, people like friends, relatives and acquaintances. Talk separately about embracing / hugging, pecking, kissing, petting and dancing. Specify your expectations and boundaries.
What would you do if, at a party, a person of your gender of interest were to ask you to dance with him / her? Examples: accept, accept only close relatives and close friends, accept only if I'm extremely attracted to that person, refuse.
Exhibitionism. How exhibitionist would you say you are? Do you use skimpy outfits to show off your body in public? Do you use a tiny swimsuit or a covering one? Are your buttocks mostly exposed or mostly covered by the swimsuit? Describe your swimsuit. Do you have sheer / translucent curtains and opaque curtains on windows? Do you walk naked in front of the videocameras from laptops, phones, TVs, surveillance systems and other devices? Have you covered such videocameras with adhesive tape? (If you don't know why you should cover such videocameras, read what happened in the case of Miss Teen USA.)
How would you react if you were to see your partner talking alone with someone that he / she may be attracted to, someone that you don't know?
Would you call your partner often to check where he / she is, who he / she is with and what he / she is doing? Have you ever or would you ever ask your partner to send you photos taken with his / her smartphone, as proof of what he / she says?
Checking each other's devices (like phone, tablet, computer) from time to time, out of jealousy. Is it acceptable? Is it required? Is it acceptable to do this without the knowledge of your partner?
Knowing the passwords for each other's devices and online accounts (like email and social networks). Is it acceptable? For security reasons, it's strongly recommended to not give any of your passwords to other people, especially those that allow access to your computers.
Talk about jealousy for any topic which was not already discussed. State your expectations from and boundaries for a relationship. State the intensity of your needs.
From what you now know about me, would you trust me to spend a few hours alone with someone that I find sexually attractive? Example scenarios: in daylight in public, in a dim lit private venue (like a bar), sleeping in the same bedroom (in different beds).
Your perfect day. How would it be for you?
What things would you like to be able to do more?
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
What was your favorite childhood toy?
What was your favorite activity as a child?
What do you remember most vividly from your childhood?
Do you remember from your childhood a moment when you thought that magic was real, or when you thought that you were special and invincible?
What was your favorite activity as a teenager?
What would you like to change in the way you grew up? What decision from your past would you change?
Role models. Did you have any?
Ability or quality that you don't have but desire.
What do you feel most grateful for, in life?
Dressing style, clothes, out in the city and at office. Examples: formal, casual, sporty.
Usage of online social media. Which ones? How often do you use them?
On what websites and apps do you spend most time online?
Websites you use most for online purchases. How much time do you spend researching and comparing products?
Do you like dancing?
Would you live on Mars for 6 months?
If you could time travel at any moment in history, what would you want to see?
What would you do if the world were about to end in a few days?
How prepared would you be for an apocalypse? Example scenarios: an asteroid hitting Earth, catastrophic weather, Sun burning out, vampires, zombies.
What would you do as the absolute ruler of the world?
What do you do for work?
Current family. Place of birth, where you've moved.
Who do you talk to the most? Yourself, parents, friends?
Do you want to receive gifts on special days, like your birthday, Valentine and Christmas? Gift examples: flowers, chocolate, jewelry, a car.
If you're wearing makeup or jewelry, or you have dyed hair or long nails, how would you feel if you could never do that again? If you think that would never leave your house, what if you had to leave your house?
If you're carrying a large handbag, how would you feel if you could never do that again and you were forced to use a tiny handbag? What objects would you absolutely have to put in the tiny handbag?
How much do you want other people to respect your opinion, and tell you that you are beautiful and / or smart? How would you feel if virtually everyone ignored your opinion, and nobody told you that you are beautiful and / or smart?
Do you want your partner to put you on a pedestal and treat you like a prince / princess (/ king / queen / god / goddess), in order to feel happy and satisfied? Be very serious when answering this question.
What do you feel when you hear of someone who is very successful financially, professionally or romantically? Envy? Do you want to have the same things because you're just as good as he / she is? Would you spend years or decades of your life trying to build those things yourself?
Whatever your expectations from your partner are, would you spend the time, energy and effort to give him / her the exact same things that you expect him / her to give you, or would you give something in exchange? An example of the same thing: you expect him / her to listen to your problems and offer you support, and you do the same for him / her. An example of exchange: you expect him to bring the money, while you do the cooking and cleaning.
If you are bored, do you expect your partner to entertain you, or do you find something yourself (like your hobbies)?
How much monthly income do you realistically expect your partner to have? What about savings and real estate? If your partner has significantly more money than you, what should he / she buy for you? If your partner brings the money into the relationship, what do you bring?
Most annoying, but not bad, things that your partner could do.
How much do you believe in conspiracy theories? For example, do you believe that there are well known diseases which were created by some people in order to be unleashed into the world for nefarious reasons? How would things be different if such a disease were to have occurred naturally?
What does life owe you?
Do you clearly tell your partner, in words, what you want and need from him / her? If you don't tell your partner what you want, do you expect him / her to know what you want? Do you say one thing but expect you partner to do the opposite?
When you're upset about something that your partner did, and he / she asks you what's wrong, do you expect that he / she should know the reason (without you saying it)?
Would you refuse to do what your partner wants, when what you want matters to you?
Handling your mistakes. Do you acknowledge (to yourself) your mistakes? Remember some recent mistakes (the bigger, the better) and how you've handled them. If you are arguing with someone and you realize that you've made a mistake, do you continue to argue, or do you stop?
Handling the negatives and mistakes of others. Do you often reproach things to other people, like why they did or didn't do certain things?
Handling of refusal, rejection, denial, accepting "no" for an answer.
If you argue with someone, do you expect your partner to take your side or the logical / rational side?
How do you react when someone makes you angry? Do you think it's healthier for conflict to be resolved by releasing repressed emotions (for example, through yelling), or by talking calmly? If there is a conflict between you and your partner, do you criticize, mock, raise your voice or yell? Do you try to understand the point of view of your partner, and why he / she thinks like that?
How do you prefer to handle an issue that you see in the behavior of your partner? Examples:
When your partner points out an issue in your behavior, how do you react? Examples:
What do you do if you're partner hurts your feelings? Examples: plan to get my sweet revenge some other time, argue with him / her and forget about it after a sleep, work hard to improve myself and leave this partner if this happen too much.
During an argument with your partner, would you accept your partner's point of view even though you think that you are right, or would you insist on what you think is right? How would you try to convince your partner that you are right?
Are you used to drawing the attention of someone who is in another room, by raising your voice?
If you and your partner were to get into a huge argument, who would you share your plight with? Describe the personalities of those people. Whose side would they be on, how would they make such a decision?
Warning: sexual content included.
Build emotional closeness
Would you like for you and your partner to tightly embrace each other for a long time (like 10 minutes), every day or once every two days?
Wanting physical contact builds and maintains emotional closeness, which helps to reduce conflict frequency and intensity. Physical contact is critical for the development of happiness, starting from a young age.
This kind of physical contact:
You might also like to look in each other's eyes for several minutes.
Initiate and negotiate sex silently
What do you think about initiating and negotiating sex silently, as described below?
Choose a flat surface (like a furniture) in a location by which you pass on your way to the bedroom, like a hallway, bathroom or the bedroom itself.
To initiate and negotiate sex in a day, put an object on that surface.
Before you go to bed, look at that surface to see if your partner has also put an object on it. If he / she did, you know that you'll be having sex that night, but if that surface has on it only your object, you know that you'll not be having sex that night, so don't ask your partner further.
You can use different types of objects, and multiple objects, to negotiate the type of sex that you would like to have. Your partner could put on that surface an object that: is specifically designated to indicate the acceptance of what you requested, is a different type of object which indicates that your partner wants that type of sex (so you have to either accept that or have no sex).
Example objects: teaspoon = spooning / cuddling (no sex), lipstick or lipbalm = vaginal sex, ring = oral sex, lubricant = anal sex, (sewing) thread = tying up.
Settle sexual differences
What do you think about the gamification of the settlement of sexual differences (in the desired frequency of sex and the acceptable actions), as described below?
Let each partner have a number called available points.
Every week, add 7 points to the available points of each partner. The available points are never reset, but can't exceed the number of points added in 2 weeks (so 14 points).
A partner can, at any time, request the other partner to accept or perform one or more actions, actions which are not necessarily limited to sex.
Each action is valued with a number of points. Examples: vaginal sex = 1, oral sex = 2, anal sex = 4, being tied up = 2, being blindfolded = 2, ejaculation in sensitive areas = 2, get naked for 15 minutes = 1, let's go out in the city = 2, get naked for the duration of the argument we're having = 2.
When an action is requested but is refused by the other partner, nothing happens.
When an action is requested and accepted by the other partner, its associated number of points is deducted from the available points of the partner who made the request, unless the remaining available points would be below 0, in which case nothing happens.
Based on your preferences, you should customize the number of points given every week, and the number of points associated to the possible actions.
Initiate arguments silently
What do you think about initiating arguments silently rather than with an emotional outburst?
Arguments usually start with an emotional outburst (like mockery or yelling), and from there each partner can say things that amplify the emotionally charged situation.
To try to stop this progression, you can replace the first emotional outburst with a visual indication: put in front of your partner an object which is designated to indicate the start of the argument, but don't say anything, no matter how angry you are. If you slam the object in front of your partner, it's clear that you are very angry.
Let your partner ask you, calmly, what the problem is.
The object should be soft, like a plush toy.
If during an argument you have an emotional outburst (like mockery or yelling), do you accept to get naked for the rest of the argument, if your partner asks you to?
What is the origin of the Universe? Examples: infinity (everything possible already exists), laws of physics popping randomly out of nothingness (and forming a deterministic progression of change), a simulation started in another Universe, a god.
What is time? Examples: the progression of change, there is no time because everything already exists, a dimension in which everything moves (and might be able to go back into).
What is the origin of the human species? Examples: natural evolution, a god.
Do people have free will? Can a person make a choice without being causally bound to the Universe, or is everything a deterministic progression of change that has started from the beginning of the Universe? Do people actually have free will, or do they believe that they have free will because they can't see the entire chain of causality that has started from the beginning of the Universe, chain which determines their choices?
Do souls exist? If they do, they must be immaterial, made from something other than matter, since no matter has been observed to make them. Is consciousness a fundamental property of the Universe? Are souls immortal? Where were your soul and consciousness before you were born?
Teleportation is a process through which information can be transmitted over great distances. Matter can be teleported by: scanning the molecules at the origin, destroying the original (so that you don't get a duplicate), transmitting the scanned information through a communication channel, and reconstructing the molecules at the destination. Only atoms have so far been teleported. If a person were to be teleported, how would the soul and consciousness be also teleported, considering that they are not made of matter (so the teleporting machine would be unable to access these)?
What is the / a difference between successful and unsuccessful people?
Handling of money. Wasting it versus hoarding it; give some examples of how you do either. Do you have savings for a few months of living without an income?
How do you feel about debt? Example purposes: home purchase / construction, home renovation, vacations, small purchases, credit cards.
Expensive habits, priced in money but also in time spent engaged with them.
Financial risk taking. Do you like to risk money? Do you like betting?
Joint bank account.
Prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement normally covers only what each partner owns from before marriage, and can't lawfully apply to what becomes property after marriage.
Handling of private information like financial information, home and work addresses. Do you publish such information online, on social networks? In what context?
Privacy and security in the online world. Do you run or install, on your computer, programs from your friends or from unknown sources? Do you open email attachments from unknown sources?
What do you think about lying, in general?
Are you annoyed by people who (are): ordered, messy, logical, illogical, take hygiene very seriously, ignore hygiene? How ordered or messy are you? How logical or illogical are you?
What your quirks are. What are you obsessive-compulsive about? Examples: buying things, saving money, hygiene, logic.
Self control, delayed gratification. Are you usually aiming to get a (partial) result as quickly as possible, or are you waiting more time to get the best result possible?
Physical risk taking. Do you like danger? Are you attracted to dangerous situations?
What responsibilities you wish you didn’t have? What are your least favorite chores?
Home chores. Distribute the chores between you two: cooking, washing dishes, washing (and ironing) clothes, cleaning, toilet cleaning, taking out the trash.
Do you need to have the clothes ironed? What about the bed sheets?
Could you let the dishes unwashed over night?
Toilet seat position: up or down. When flushing, some toilets will splash water from the bowl onto the rim, so on the seat (if it's down).
Toilet paper position: must roll from the top (facing the person), must roll from the bottom (facing the wall).
If your partner had to move to a different city for his / her job, would you follow him / her?
Charity work, donations, activism.
Respect for authority.
Political and environmental views, firearms.
Plastic surgery, breast implants. As you grow older, do you intend to use plastic surgery to make your body look younger?
Astrology, superstition, religion. Do you think that astrology can predict the course of human relationships or of the future? Is religion a good thing for you personally?
Why would you want to marry?
If you want to marry, what kind of ceremony would you like to have? Examples: none, with only the immediate family, with the extended family and friends, with over 100 guests.
Children. Do you ever want to have children? How many? When do you want to have one? If it's not possible to conceive, what would you do? Adopting children. Children from previous relationships.
Who should make more money, you or your partner? How strongly do you feel about this?
Do you think that today's feminism wants gender equality, or preferential treatment for women (as compensation for how women were treated in the past)?
In a household, should a feminist pay half of the bills, including food, rent / mortgage, home renovations, furniture, home appliances?
In a household, should a feminist take out the trash?
Are you annoyed by men who open doors for women?
There is a significant trend to define sexual assault as touching or grabbing a women's hand (without consent), and rape as pushing the man's body against the woman's body (without consent). What do you think of these definitions?
When a woman (who you don't know) accuses a man (who you don't know) of sexual harassment or assault, but there is no evidence of that happening, is it right for the man to be fired from his job and to be harassed by the public? Is it right to believe the woman only based on her claims?
Considering that there is no physical evidence, if a woman (who you don't know) accuses a man (who you don't know) of hitting her, the man responds that the woman has hit him first, and the woman denies his claim, who do you believe and why?
The expression "toxic masculinity" has started in the academia to mean that very specific behaviors, like violence, are toxic, but has slowly been generalized as it spread out to the public and used in political fights. Do you subscribe to the view that masculinity is toxic, or to the view that specific behaviors are toxic (regardless of the gender of the perpetrator)? Do you believe that this expression induces in the public the idea that masculinity as a whole is vile?
Do you think that women are less aggressive than men, or that it only appears so because men are direct in their conflicts (know as "stab you in the front") whereas women are indirect (know as "stab you in the back")?
What you're offended by. What should not be joked about.
What annoys you the most in people, in life, in the world. The answer doesn't need to be serious, this is a good opportunity to make fun of something bad in life.
What you are afraid of.
Long time dream which you have abandoned. Why did you abandon it?
Your biggest failure to seize an opportunity.
What do you most regret doing or not doing in your life?
The biggest challenges and obstacles in your life. How did you overcome them?
Frustrating or tormenting moments. How did you overcome them?
The last time you cried by yourself (or in front of others, if that's more relevant).
Punishments for criminals. Merciful or vengeful?
These are compliments that you can use in a relationship. You can either say the compliment to your partner, or you can leave it as a note, in bed, on your pillow.
You bring out the best in me.
It's deeply relaxing to spend time with you, without doing anything.
I want to hug you and never let go.
When I look at you sleeping and see your chest moving, I feel like I'm breathing you.
One thing I like with chocolate is you.
One thing I like with whipped cream and strawberries is you.
Make love to me so I can touch the stars.
Make love to me so I can feel the stars embracing me.
Make love to me so I can feel the stars making love to me.
When I'm looking in your eyes, I feel like I'm melting inside you.
When I'm looking in your eyes, I feel like I'm seeing the history of the Universe from the Big Bang to you. (The black pupil surrounded by the colorful iris does look like a black hole that has given birth to a supernova / Universe.)
I appreciate you very much.
You are the most beautiful man / woman in this room. (Say this when he / she is the only man / woman in the room.)
The best part of my day is waking up next to you. (When you have to wake up before your partner, leave this as a note on your pillow, and also draw a stick figure of yourself.)
Communicate what you want, in words. Find out what your partner wants. Nobody can read minds and nobody should have to.
Don't "test" your partner. Never pretend to be / want something other than you actually are / want. Never play "pretend" games. Don't be too cool for the truth. If you want something to happen, ask for it.
Don't try to control your partner, don't tell him / her what and when to do.
Don't mock your partner.
Criticism which is not constructive is poisoning everything around. If you don't know how to criticize constructively, by giving mutually beneficial potential alternatives, then don't criticize. If your constructive criticism is ignored several times and you continue to criticize, then you are not solving the existing problem, you are creating a new one.
Don't direct you aggression toward your partner. Aggression can be verbal, mental or physical.
During sex, don't make your partner feel bad for either asking or for refusing something.
See Preventing conflict.
Continuously work on yourself to meet your partner's expectations, and make changes when necessary. Continuously evaluate whether your partner passes your expectations, and ask for changes when necessary. Always communicate with your partner, without playing "pretend" games.
Here is the one thing that could save your relationship: there is no one thing that could save your relationship. Stop trying to simply the world! The fewer things you use to represent the state of your relationship, the lower the accuracy of your predictions of the (present and) future will be. A relationship requires many little things to work, hence the large number of conversation topics needed to help you understand your partner.
A few questions to ask your partner, from time to time.
What things do you want me to do for you (regularly)?
For what things do you feel that I don't give you enough support?
What would you like to change about me? What would you like that I change about myself?
If you were to (sexually) cheat, why would you do it? Saying "I would not cheat" or "I don't know" are not acceptable answers. You have to think about what is it that you may be missing in the relationship.
Men and women are almost just as interested in the attractiveness of the opposite gender. For women, attractiveness of men is mainly represented by mental or physical strength.
Men and women cheat their partners in about equal proportion, so justifications like "men cheat more" have no practical relevance.
You should walk away from a relationship with a partner who does any of these things. Regardless of who causes the problems, walk away from a destructive relationship. You can expect these things regularly from the relationship, and his / her behavior isn't going to get better, but only worse.
Calls you often to check where you are, who you are with and what you're doing. Might even ask you to send him / her photos taken with your smartphone, as proof.
If he / she sees you talking with someone that he / she doesn't know, he / she watches to see what you are doing and then asks you who that person was, with a voice tone which implies that you did something wrong, that is, he / she isn't talking to you but is interrogating you.
Argues about a small thing and exaggerates the argument to an extreme intensity, possibly even including sleeping separately.
Mocks you, or at least you can hear the mocking tone in his / her voice, behaving as if he / she is the victim and you are to be blamed for the bad things in his / her life.
Criticizes / nags you often.
Tries to manipulate you emotionally when you don't do what he / she wants. Used methods: pouting, begging, yelling, crying.
Hits you aggressively.
Value and entitlement
Job security, real estate, money, social status and intelligence are valuable assets to have and bring in a relationship. They usually increase in value from the beginning of adulthood until the late years of a person.
Many people want, due to a biological instinct, to get a partner who is physically beautiful. Their logic is blinded by this instinct into thinking that physical beauty is a valuable asset to have.
If anyone says that they are looking for a partner with a lot of money, and he / she brings in the relationship beauty and generic personality traits, consider that very few people have a lot of money, and money doesn't fade away, whereas many more people have beauty, but beauty fades away rather quickly. At the same time, generic personality traits, like friendship and kindness, are common, so many people can bring them in a relationship. This means that you should be careful when you bring the money while your partner brings the beauty in a relationship.
This asymmetric exchange of beauty for money becomes a problem when the beautiful people feel entitled to have the money. Such people will get in relationships that are doomed to fail from the start, and will constantly try to psychologically manipulate their partner into submission. And if the relationships fail, they will use the law to get the largest possible portion of the valuable assets, in a divorce. Why do they do it? Because they can and they are successful in a very large proportion of cases. So, the people who have created the valuable assets would lose a lot of value if they are not careful when choosing their partners.
People can't find good partners anymore
An imbalance of power and timing arises from the way in which each gender selects partners. Through their selectiveness of men, women decide when sexual relationships occur. Through their selectiveness of women, men decide when long-term relationships occur. This imbalance is virtually eliminated in the case of people who have a controlled sexual lifestyle, because they delay having sex, so the selectiveness of the partners is reduced to forming long-term relationships.
The Power of Attraction (PoA) is the level of attractiveness that people appear to have, to potential partners, for a romantic or sexual relationship.
The PoA is the result of human behavior and interaction, and is used by the brain to quickly and semiconsciously evaluate potential romantic or sexual partners. If more time is available to make the evaluation, the PoA can shift dramatically because the revealed invisible information can turn out to be very different than what's visible. However, the available evaluation time is usually short; it's a few seconds when looking at a stranger walking by, and a few seconds or minutes when looking at an online dating profile.
Why do men and women say that they can't find good partners anymore?
A man's criteria for wanting to get in a relationship with a woman are: attractiveness (youth, body fitness / firmness), a good mother to his children.
Men find that women's social status (stable and profitable job, position in society, ambitions) and education (intelligence) are either not important (when they are below men's), or off putting (when they exceed men's).
Men don't demand women to be at least as good as them, so many women fulfill their demands. For example men don't need women to have a financial situation or education similar to theirs, nor do they need women to be better looking than they are. Men's demands remain unchanged regardless of how many potential partners they see.
A woman's criteria for wanting to get in a relationship with a man are: attractiveness (mental or physical strength, youth, body fitness / firmness), social status (stable and profitable job, position in society, ambitions), education (intelligence), a good father to her children. Women are almost just as interested in the attractiveness of men, as men are interested in the attractiveness of women, but attractiveness is mainly represented by men's mental or physical strength, which is why they like confident and leading men.
Women demand men to be at least as good as them, in most criteria, which means that few men can fulfill the demands of accomplished women. For example, a man neurosurgeon would have no problem in having a relationship with a waitress, but a woman neurosurgeon would want an equally accomplished man.
Women's demands become higher as the number of potential partners they see increases, that is, they become pickier. Some statistics for online dating show that women think that 80% of men are below the average beauty, and only 7% are above; this effect was not observed in in-person encounters.
As women get older and their youth and beauty start to fade, and since men are mostly interested in these rather than a woman's social status and education, men shift their interest from these women toward younger women, which means that women's PoA drops in an accelerated manner as they get older.
Women assign to men a PoA that increases with age because a man's social status increases with age, which means that men's PoA increases as they get older (up to some point).
Men give excessive attention and flattery to the majority of young women, especially by looking at them for longer than a glance. This makes young women overvalue what they believe their PoA is. As they get older, they preserve their belief about their PoA, but they aren't yet aware that the way men perceive them has changed, and that the attention and flattery they've received were not promises of long-term relationships and don't count as credits toward future long-term relationships. Since women believe that their PoA is very high, they see no reason to recalibrate their demands, and these remain very high as women get older.
As women have achieved more freedom and equality with men, they've started to spend their youth getting better education, building a good social status, having sex with various partners (for fun / exploration / research) and delaying getting into life-long relationships.
When women reach 30 years old, with a good social status and good education, they start wanting to be in long-term, and even life-long, relationships. The problem is that at this point, their PoA has decreased a lot as men have shifted their interest and attention toward younger women. The women could still find interested men that are 10...20 years older than them, men who still look very good, but they don't want to lower their demands. This results in little intersection of the interests of men and women.
The conclusion is that men can't find good women because those either aren't young, or are young but aren't looking for long-term relationships because they are building and living their independent life, or are in existing relationships, or men feel as if they are the backup plan to women who had their sexual fun with many others. At the same time, women can't find good men because those either don't meet the women's high demands, or meet them but are looking for younger women, or are in existing relationships.
In the mean time, young women have their sexual fun with the men who do meet their high demands, but those demands don't involve long-term relationships, so those men are intrinsically filtered by women to be those who are interested only in sex. By the time women realize that they want long-term relationships, it's too late because at the smallest sign of long-term interest that women show, these same men move to other (younger) women.
This leaves many women who've spent their youth not building a long-term relationship to realize that they can't find a good partner. At the same time, many men are left with no partner because they don't meet the women's high demands.
Summary: Generally, women demand men to be at least as good as them, in most criteria, which means that few men can fulfill the demands of accomplished women. Men have fewer demands than women, so many women fulfill the demands of men (accomplished or not). The very few men that women go for, see a lot of attention and have no reason to get in long-term relationships; they are or become interested only in sex, and at the smallest sign of long-term interest that women show, these men move to other women. In time, women become disillusioned by these few men, while ignoring the rest of men because they don't meet their demands, so they generalize their feelings to all men: "There are no good men left!" In the meantime, the rest of the men, who aren't able to get in relationships with any woman, become disillusioned by women, so they generalize their feelings to all women: "There are no good women left!"
What should I do if I want to go on a first date with a stranger?
If you've met online, talk extensively before meeting in person, preferably through video communication, to understand his / her personality. Ask for his / her real name and clear photos of his / her face.
Agree to meet only in a public place with many people around.
Tell to a friend where you are going and when you will return. Give to that friend the online account, the real name and the photos of the person that you are going to meet.
Do not agree to be picked up from your home by that person. Go to the meeting place (and return from there) on your own.
Do not let your drinks unsupervised. Drugs can be put into them while you are away.
Do not feel embarrassed by the precautions that you are taking. Some people may try to make you feel ashamed of your behavior / precautions, so that you lower your guard. If this happens, either strongly voice your desire / need to feel safe, or simply walk away.
Predators think that they are smart and can exploit your social behavior. For you, it's better to appear uncool than end up being hurt. A person who cares about you would not try to make you feel ashamed about your safety precautions.
For example, if someone asks you "But don't you trust me?" just look into their eyes, smile and say confidently "No", or if you prefer a milder way then say "Not yet", or if you want to redirect the questioning to that person then ask "Trust you with what?"
If at any point the other person shows the slightest sign of verbal, mental or physical aggression, walk away.
How can I protect my online profile?
Your online profile must not display information which can be used to identify and track you in either the physical world or over the Internet, like: real name, home address, income amount, real names of friends, phone numbers, email addresses, the names of your accounts from other online services. Stop talking to people who insist that you give them this kind of information about yourself.
Always search online the photos of the people that you are contacting. Save on your computer the photo that you want to search. Go to Google's image search feature and upload the saved image (to their servers); click the camera icon from the right side of the search bar, and then select the photo that you've previously saved. You will then get a search result with the web-pages where the photo was found. If the photo was found somewhere else on the Internet, use your common sense to see if it really belongs to the owner of the profile or to someone else, like a photo-model.
Never send money to people who are not long-time, trustworthy friends.
Do not run computer programs which are sent to you by other people. On Windows, these are files which end with ".exe", ".bat" or ".cmd". Computer programs can be infected with malicious software which can send to others any information from your computer.
What if I look for a partner outside of dating services?
Professional networks have the disadvantage that all the information (including the photographs) is selected for a professional context, so it doesn't accurately reflect the personality and behavior of the profile owner in a personal context.
There are people on the Internet who have had success in getting dates on LinkedIn, and there are people who advise against looking for dates on LinkedIn because it's a professional community, not a romantic one. But the best part for using LinkedIn for finding a long-term partner is exactly that it's a professional community, so you can see what your potential partner has achieved in life, that is, you can see up front if he / she is a match for your success in life.
If you decide to approach someone on LinkedIn, avoid sending a generic connect request that would make your person of interest think that you are interested in a professional connection. You should send a direct message (inmail) where you explain your interest for a connection not related to the profession, like asking whether you can ask a personal question, and clearly state that if he / she is not interested then he / she should ignore your message. This allows your person of interest to have total freedom of choice about getting in contact with you, and knowledge that his / her choice to ignore you will be respected.
First message online
If you're trying to meet with someone that you've seen online, write him / her a text message. The message must be detailed yet concise, and grammatically correct.
Write more than a generic message like "Hi beautiful" or "Let's get to know one other". Find something interesting in the profile of your person of interest and compose a message around that. If you can't, you'll have to be creative about why you find him / her attractive.
Ask clear questions whose responses matter to you.
If you send a message to someone outside of a dating service, you should state that if he / she is not interested then he / she should ignore your message. This allows your person of interest to have total freedom of choice about getting in contact with you, and knowledge that his / her choice to ignore you will be respected.
Avoid begging for attention or looking desperate in any way. Do not say "Please contact me!" Don't ask your person of interest out in your first message.
Avoid sending a second message to someone who has not responded to your first message. If you do send a second message, do it after about a week and say something like "You may have missed my previous message, so please let me try again."
A portrait photo means that a person is fit in the frame / photo from the top of the head down to shoulders or chest.
A good portrait photo is a photo where the face and the eyes are clearly visible, that is, they are not covered by sunglasses.
The photo can be taken either in portrait mode (with the narrow side of the camera / photo aligned horizontally with the ground) where nothing but the photographed person fits in the frame, or in landscape mode (with the wide side of the camera / photo aligned horizontally with the ground).
The focal length of the lens is a critical element in how the subject will appear in photos due to the geometric distortions introduced by the distance between the subject and the camera. The smaller the focal length of the lens is, the smaller the distance between the subject and the camera has to be (to fill the photos with a good portrait), distance which will make some facial features, like the nose and cheeks, appear bigger and narrower in the photos than what people see in reality. On the other hand, the larger the focal length is, the larger the distance between the subject and the camera has to be, distance which will make the same facial features appear smaller and wider. Different focal lengths make different people appear in photos either better or worse than in reality, so what focal length should be used has to be tested on every subject.
As a side note, the geometric perspective of the human eye is equivalent with a 43 mm focal length used on a full frame sensor, so a lens with this focal length will minimize the distortions the most. If the sensor diagonal differs from the full frame sensor, the focal length has to be scaled proportionally. Note that the actual focal length of the eye is 22 mm, but, unlike a full frame sensor, the eye is curved, which alters its geometric perspective.
If you are taking selfies, the small distance from which the photos are taken will automatically be small, so the facial features will appear bigger and narrower than in person.
To avoid such geometric distortions, have a friend take your portrait photo outside, in daylight. Have the camera 2...4 meters (7...14 feet) away from you, but adjust the (optical) zoom in order to fill the frame with your head and shoulders.
If the sun is bright, either position yourself to have it behind you, or move into a (lightly) shaded area; do this in order to avoid squinting, and to avoid harsh shadows forming on your face. Have both the camera and yourself inside the shadowy area, not just yourself.
Make sure that the camera confirms the focus on the face.
If the camera shows the hand-shake symbol, either manually increase the ISO or pop up the camera's flash. The environmental light should overwhelm the light coming from the flash; basically, the flash should only provide enough light to fill the shadows; avoid using a strong flash directly on the face.
A bit of psychology: