Connie was so excited.
She was driving to meet a guy she’d been chatting with all week.
The traffic was horrible. It was hot and muggy. But Connie didn’t mind. She’d had a great day at work, and she was looking forward to relaxing and having a drink with someone she knew she’d get along with.
When she got to the venue, it was too hot for comfort. The air conditioning couldn’t keep up.
When her date arrived, she took one look at him…
And her heart sank.
Yes, he was gorgeous. He was tall and fit and dark-haired, totally Connie’s type.
But his face was grim, his shoulders were set, and he clearly was NOT in a good mood.
Needless to say, the date did not go well.
It’s Not You—It’s The Environment
Why do some dates go well and others don’t?
The answer is obvious:
Either you clicked or you didn’t.
But the real story is more complicated.
Attraction is never just a response to a person.
It’s also a response to a situation.
The environment and context in which you meet someone determines whether attraction will have fertile ground to flourish or whether it will wither on the vine.
Researchers have found that factors like how hot it is and how crowded the room is affect attraction.
Certain moods are more conducive to attraction, too.
When you’re having a bad day or feeling stressed, you could go on a date with the most fascinating guy in the world…
But it will be hard to drum up a lot of enthusiasm for him.
Connie’s date had two strikes against it:
The room was hot and crowded, and her date was in a bad mood.
Under those circumstances, it’s no wonder the date fell flat.
Instead of blaming herself, Connie might consider how the environment affected her date…
And how she could set the stage differently next time.
Dates That Spark Attraction
You can’t control the weather.
You can’t control whether he’s had a good day.
But you can plan date ideas that set the stage for attraction.
Here are 3 date ideas that hack his attraction circuits.
These dates will put him in the perfect space to realize just how great it is to be with you.
1. Pick a Date in His Area of Confidence
Do you know what your date is good at?
Maybe he’s a master of mountain biking, or he can talk endlessly about the merits of various microbrews, or he knows every inch of a certain part of the city.
Then plan a date around his area of expertise.
When a man feels incredibly confident in his environment and considers himself an expert in what you’re doing, his best side comes forth.
He is eager to show you what he can do and show off what he knows.
When a man feels a sense of mastery and confidence, he is primed to feel positively towards the person he’s with.
He feels great, and he associates that amazing feeling with being with you.
2. Pick a Date that Creates Physiological Arousal
One of the most famous experiments in dating happened in 1974, when researchers asked men to do something very simple.
All the men had to do was walk across a bridge, where an attractive woman would be waiting on the other side to ask them to take a quick test.
The woman would then offer her name and number, in case he had any further questions.
But there was a twist:
Some men walked across a stable bridge.
Other men walked across a shaky 450-foot suspension bridge, hundreds of feet above sharp rocks.
Which were more likely to call the attractive research assistant afterwards?
It turns out that when your body releases adrenaline—you’re breathing faster, you’ve broken out into a sweat, your heart is racing a bit—you can’t always tell what caused you to feel that way.
Maybe it’s just fear…
Or maybe it’s that attractive person standing next to you.
This is called misattribution of arousal.
Anything that gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping sets the stage for attraction.
So if you see an opportunity to do something exciting on your next date (e.g., riding a roller coaster or watching a thrilling movie) he may look at you differently afterwards!
3. Pick a Date That’s New for Both of You
When long-term couples find that the desire is waning in their marriage, they’re usually told to try something new.
Novelty kickstarts desire.
Which is why the fail-safe first date—dinner, drinks—is the very worst setting to spark attraction. Boredom kicks in before you’ve even arrived.
Why not do something new?
When you’re doing something you’ve never done before, your senses are heightened. You take in everything. You remember every moment of the experience.
If you’re looking to catch a bite to eat, try a strange, quirky place neither of you have been to before. Nitrogen ice cream? Dining in the dark?
And if, despite your best efforts, the date is hot and miserable, and he’s grumpy and blue, don’t blame yourself.
Not even Marilyn Monroe could get through to him when those attraction circuits are shut down.
Has a date experience ever let you down? Tell us about it in the comments!