Alone in London, Ontario
Dear Alone: Connecting with a new person and beginning a romantic relationship is harder than it seems. A fair number of people—male and female—have a failure of nerve and therefore shy away from approaching someone else, which is why it’s relatively rare for two adult strangers to actually connect and bond with each other. Many people are standoffish and guarded in the process, trying to protect themselves from being disappointed or from getting rejected.
So how do you do it? The first and most important principle in connecting has to do with getting personal. If you discuss the things people commonly talk about—news, weather, sports, jobs, politics and observations about other people—very few women will feel a personal connection with you. To establish a personal connection, you must ask the woman about herself: her feelings, emotions and life experiences. And you must talk about yourself—your experiences, inner struggles, goals and dreams. Tell a story about your life, lessons you’ve learned, challenges you’ve faced, obstacles you’ve had to overcome, painful experiences you’ve had to endure.
Err on the side of asking a bit more about her than telling her about you, so she doesn’t feel that you’re being self-centered or that you just like to talk about yourself. Genuinely be interested in her—what’s important to her, what she feels and hopes for, her disappointments, fears and her goals. Do this over the first half dozen dates or so, so she doesn’t feel like you’re giving her the third degree.
The second most important principle in connecting with a woman revolves around the issue of safety. A woman must feel safe in your presence. So be careful not to make sexual innuendos, or she may shut down to you. Also, use eye contact. It is much harder to connect if you avoid looking at her because you’re uncomfortable or intimidated. And keep your focus on her face, rather than letting your eyes wander to her body. And again, don’t make sexual references. Most women will be turned off by you playing that card too soon.
Don’t try to impress her with tales of how heroic you’ve been, or how sterling your resume is, or how important you are, or how smart. A little of that is OK, but not a lot. Modesty will work better than bragging, and modesty will work way better than tales of machismo. And don’t give a lot of details of how your ex hurt or mistreated you, or other tales of woe. No woman wants to feel that she’s taking on a wounded man with a set of problems or issues, and no woman wants a rebuilding project. Plan fun and enjoyable activities in the beginning of a relationship. Finally, affectionate and appropriate touch really helps to draw people together, and is vital to furthering a romantic connection.