How to Attract the Opposite Sex, in 59 Seconds

This is taken from 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, a book that wants to make your life better – in 59 seconds or less. It is all based on scientific research. If you like that sort of thing.

How to Attract 101

The best strategy is to give the impression that, in general, you are hard to get, but you are really enthusiastic about your date: ‘I am choosy, and I choose you.’

The Touch on the Arm

This is really powerful, apparently. It will make people help you out. It also helps women find men attractive.

  • Deliver at the same time as a compliment or request.
  • Try the briefest of touches to the upper arm.
  • Be careful. Some people don’t like to be touched – and a millimetre the wrong way could get you a slap. 

Loving Styles

Psychological similarity is a good indicator of long term satisfaction in relationships. There are three basic types.


  • Very strong ideas about the type of physical and psychological traits they desire in a partner.
  • Frequently experience love at first sight.
  • Engage in emotionally intense relationships, which falter as the love of their life changes.
  • Extroverted and giving, they feel secure in their relationships and get emotionally close to others.
  • Become infatuated during the initial stages and, in this stage, would not dream of infidelity.


  • Value trust over lust.
  • Slowly develop a network of friends in the hope that affection will transform into deep commitment.
  • Intensely loyal and supportive. Only form one or two relationships in their lives.
  • Altruistic and trusting, often brought up in large families. Comfortable depending on others for support.


  • No ideal type in mind, they play the field.
  • Strive for novelty and thrills. Uncomfortable with commitment, many short-term relationships.
  • Enjoy the thrill of the chase, display little loyalty.
  • More neurotic and self-conscious than most, they have little sympathy for the feelings of others.
  • Fear of being abandoned by a partner – a situation they avoid by not getting too close to anyone.

Speed Dating Tips

  • Think of questions that get the people talking in creative, fun, interesting ways.
  • Mimic the way they sit, hands, speech patterns, facial expressions.
  • Only select the few people you had genuine chemistry with.

Sex and Sport

  • Women like men who do sports that show bravery – rock climbing, football, hiking. Not aerobics.
  • Men like women who keep fit – aerobics, yoga, gym. Not rugby or body-building.
  • No one likes anyone who plays golf.

The Perfect Date

  • Do something that will make the heart race. Thriller films, theme parks, cycle rides. Dumb humans easily confuse the fast heart rate of fear with the fast heart rate of attraction.
  • Play the sharing game to build intimacy. Ask questions like:
  1. Imagine you are hosting the perfect dinner party – who would you invite?
  2. When did you last talk to yourself?
  3. Name two ways you consider yourself lucky?
  4. Name something you have always wanted to do, and explain why you haven’t done it yet.
  5. Imagine your house has caught fire and you can only save one thing – what would it be?
  6. Describe one of the happiest days of your life.
  7. Imagine you are going to become close friends with your date. What is the most important thing for them to know about you?
  8. Tell your date two things you really like about him/her.
  9. Describe one of the most embarrassing moments in your life.
  10. Describe a personal problem and ask your date’s advice on how to solve it.

Quick tips for dating

  • Women rate men as more attractive if they see other women having a good time in his company.
  • Hungry men show a preference for fat women.
  • Disagree, then agree. Play a little hard to get for the first hour, then turn on the charm later. Talk about things you both dislike, rather than like.
  • Smiles crinkle around the eyes, not just the mouth. The most attractive ones are slow and involve a slight tilt towards the other person.
  • Love – leaning towards each other. Lust – licking lips.
  • Previous partners: Women like men to have two. Men like women to have had four.

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David Charles is co-writer of BBC radio sitcom Foiled. He also writes for The Bike Project, Thighs of Steel, and the Elevate Festival. He blogs at

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