Jersey City is a very social place.  We love our happy hours, our brunches, our trivia nights.

Even when we are commuting, it’s usually public transportation and we’re still surrounded by hundreds of people.  All of these people are potential conversation partners and hopefully, dates.

And, while we find ourselves chatting with many people over the week, it can be hard to turn it from initial meeting to fun, flirty and excitingly emotional.  Here are a few quick tips to help make the right impression and have them wanting more!

First off, beware of any advice, mine included!  Understand that in life, I can show times where “X” worked wonders and another time “X” crashed and burned.

Don’t take anyone’s advice at face value and adapt the advice you hear to work best for you. I’m trying to teach you tools, you have to decide which ones to use at which time.  That said, let’s move on!

First Meeting 1

If You Meet Them During the Day

Most of our waking time is during the daytime, so we should make the most of it!  Everyone from the cutie waiting at Grove Street, to the buff dude chilling at Word, to your fellow coffee drinker at ModCup are all potential mates.

However, the goal during the day time is NOT to pick up someone or even to really flirt with them. It’s to strike up an interesting conversation with them.  After all, we all want to be thought of as fascinating!

There are so many ways to initiate a conversation that it could be its own post. But, “Is that latte good?”  “Do you have any recommendations on a book?” or “Which side of the tracks does the WTC train come?” are all easy ways to start.

These daytime interactions should only last 3 -5 minutes.  While it may be fun, you’re still interrupting their day to a degree.  So, you want to get in, have a fun little interaction and leave, hopefully having them looking forward to more.

As you don’t have a lot of time, you need to make a good impression quickly. Make sure you smile! You don’t want to come across as manic, but learn to speak with a small smile on your face. 

Also, you want to bring a lot of energy.  Again, don’t freak ‘em out BY SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS!  But, low energy = low desire to interact.

If they respond positively, have a follow up question ready.  “This is my first time in this store, it’s nice! What makes you like this place?” or “Thanks for the help, I always get confused.  Have you lived here long?”

Obviously, if they don’t want to talk, don’t push it.

First Meeting 2

If the conversation is progressing nicely and you a good rapport, it’s time to exit stage right.  If and when you hit a high note: she laughs, he says excitedly, “Me too!” that is a good time to get out.

You always want to leave when you’re both feeling good and have them wanting to see you again. “I have to run to (walk a dog, meet my friend, get to work) but I would love to keep talking about your favorite skiing places!  Let me get your number and perhaps we can continue this soon when we have more time!”

If You Meet Them at Night

By “night” I mean a bar, a party, happy hour, somewhere the intent is to be social.  People socialize because they (hopefully) want to meet people and be social. With these interactions, you have much more time to speak with each other and create interest.

First Meeting 3

Dating is emotional and in order to create chemistry, you need to access their positive emotions.  The easiest way is by asking the right questions:

“Where did you grow up?”
“What do you do?”
“Where did you go to school?”

How many times have we asked and been asked these questions?  Hundreds if not thousands. They are logical, they are usually get stock answers and they are no different than anybody else.  Instead, every logical question can be asked emotionally:

“What’s your favorite memory from childhood?”
“When was the last time your boss praised you?”
“What was the best party you went to in college?”

All of these questions will get you the answers that the former questions ask, but you’re making them remember happy times, which in turn, makes them happy, which makes them happy to be around you!

You may think questions like these sound hokey or weird, but I guarantee you that they will make you stand out and make the other person enjoy your company.

We all have fun and great memories in life, but so rarely does anyone ask about them.

Likewise, if someone asks you a logical question like the above ones, find a way to answer with emotion:

“Where did I grow up?  In the land of purple potatoes, the Silver Island and alpacas!”

“Wait,….what?!”
“Where is that?”
“Where do you think????”

You have pulled them out of their normal “dating interview” routine and hopefully give them a laugh or at least, sparked some interesting follow up questions.

Remember, your goal at these events is to have fun, make sure the other person is having fun and keep the positive energy flowing.

A phone number is not a goal, it is a side effect of the above.

If you make that person feel so good when they are around you, they are going to want to be around you in order to feel good!

Usually the more fun you are having, the more fun they are having. And when it’s time to separate, you both have had such a good time that exchanging numbers is a given!

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Hunt Ethridge is a Hoboken-based dating consultant and a fashion writer. Currently, he is the Senior Dating Coach at New York Dating Coach (www.newyorkdatingcoach.com).