Being likable when we date or build relationships is a crucial skill to build and internalize. The more we can question and confirm our own likability, both to ourselves and others, the greater success we will have in building and maintaining successful and real relationships.

These ideas come from a very old yet very current and important concept that I learned and am reminded often of from a very special therapist/mentor of mine (especially when he is having me question my own role in the drama of my own life).  

These ideas come from more than 2000 years ago and are called “Rhetoric”.  These ideas were originated by Aristotle and outlined a formula of how to become a master of persuasion using three strategies.  

When we date we are on a mission to make the best sales pitch about ourselves to the person across from us.  We want them to like us today, and for one special person, we really want them to fall in love with us and stay for the long term.  So when we date, we are on a mission to get people to like us and believe in us.  

You know I am into empowerment already, so since we have the most influence on ourselves, we are best off focusing our dating efforts on what we can do to endear ourselves to others.  When we do that, we increase our chances tenfold, of getting more dates.  

1.     Are you credible? (Ethos = the values of the speaker) 

A person’s character is the most powerful way to get people to like them.  People that are trustworthy, honest, reliable, and share common values are more relatable.  When we respect people it’s easier to believe in them.  

So the first tip is to learn how to build trust with others by using your own moral character.  When connecting with others, be as authentic and respectful as possible and find common interests and bonds.  Aim to be and present in a relatable, down-to-earth, and honest way. 

People who are credible date with the desire to genuinely get to know the other person and share themselves equally.  If you find it hard to date with authenticity and vulnerability, I am assuming there are some good reasons that your approach is needed and it keeps you safe from rejection, judgment, hurt, and/or making the biggest mistake of your life, but possibly also alone.  

Keep an eye out if you: Keep in mind this may happen consciously or unconsciously 
Only share a superficial level of yourself on dates
Keep conversations to logical/intellectual discussions instead of personal/ emotional
Feel the need to decide super early on if your date is going to be a  long-term candidate
Jump in and feel ready too fast
Drag things on for a long time while not really feeling “it” and then pull out at the end
Say what you think the other person wants to hear, or act how you think they want you to act 
Feel disconnected on dates but think you are doing a good job of faking it
Create tests to see if the other person will pass

Please, please, you are a wonderful special human being who deserves love and real connection in your life.  Figure out why you do what you do and help yourself be able to connect in a real way with people.  

2.  Do you know your date’s emotions and can you work with them? (Pathos = elicits the emotions of the listener)

One of our most foundational needs (aside from air, water, and food) is our “attachment needs”We all need to feel safe, loved, worthy, and that we matter.  (I promise to write more about this another time.)  When we feel this way, our entire system (head, heart, body) feels good and when we don’t feel this way, our entire system doesn’t feel good. 

People who win people over know how to appeal to the emotions of others and anticipate and respond to the vulnerable feelings inside another person. Think of it as the effort of trying on someone else’s shoes and understanding the world through their lens, (which I promise will not usually match your own lens), and meeting them where they are at.  Although some people have this naturally, (those are the lucky ones), most people can increase this skill, if they are motivated.  

I promise you that you both share experiences in life, the stories may be different, but the emotional roller coaster of life has been similar.  You both know what it is like to feel happy and excited and what it’s like to feel scared, embarrassed, hopeless, and alone.  So when you are sitting across from any person, remember that there is a uniquely special person who has been through their own share of ups and downs and is looking for connection and acceptance, so focus your attention and care on them.  

Accustom yourself to wondering if how you look, act, and talk, at this moment, is making your date feel comfortable and appreciated. Consider your location, parking distance, length of the date and the activity/discussion, your own head space, and mood when you are planning ahead (Yes, I do mean plan, it’s not enough to just show up).  On the dates, do temperature check-ins, verbally or non-verbally, about how secure and at ease your date is feeling. (Many people do not share or show how they are really feeling and some may not even know how they feel until they get home and process.) You don’t have to be a mind reader.   So feel free to ask and not assume what’s going on in their headspace and what they want and need on the date.

Focus your efforts to make sure your date is comfortable and having a nice time.  Look at them with eyes of curiosity and compassion.  I know we are all struggling with our own struggles, but when you date make filling your date’s natural need of being appreciated and understood, the most important goal.  I promise when you learn to do this, you will actually be the one reaping the benefits. 

If you are in a low place in life and think the world is out to get you and you have had one too many hits this week, it’s really hard to present well and be aware of someone else’s emotions.  So first put on your oxygen mask and attend to your own struggles.  You are worth it!! 

3.     The Facts (Logos = evidence and facts)  

The facts are logical verifiable truths.  For all you logical people, this one is for you, but sorry you have to use a combination of all three to actually win people over. Dating is the time to showcase what is special about you. Stick with the facts, but don’t be scared to share the nice things you do, the things you are passionate about, and the amazing successes in your life.  

I always tell people, dating is a time to “show off” a bit.  Then after you are married, go back to being your humble self and be an incredibly nice person to live with.   

I think in this area dating is interesting.  Since if you are credible and attuned to others, you can actually probably convince a lot more people to “say yes” to a date even if your “logo” is different than what they were looking for on their checklist. 

But at the end of the day, we have to convince someone that what they are getting is worthwhile.  This goes back to a previous email about liking ourselves and feeling like we are a good catch and that someone is lucky to be with us, an imperfectly perfect growing self.  

You have to actually have a marketable product. This means you are are an honest, kind, trustworthy, and credible person.  This does not mean you need to make half a million dollars a year or have the most exclusive job.  This does not mean you have to be dressed to kill or be a certain weight or height.  But it does mean you are making the most of your life, to the best of your current capabilities. You are doing something meaningful and fulfilling and at the end of the day, you can honestly say you tried your best and will roll up your sleeves and try again tomorrow.  

I can’t promise you will get anyone you want if you follow these rules, but it will increase the number of people who will be interested in meeting you.  

Thanks for reading this blog post.  I shared a real mouthful today and “wow” to those who made it to the end.  

I know this is easier said than done but I believe in you!! You got this!!