I’ve never trusted long engagements. It doesn’t require 10 years of living together to know whether or not you can stand someone.
In fact, your first instincts about people are usually blindingly accurate, and only get diluted the more you blither about. Take my parents as an example – introduced by the first form of computer dating back in the 1960’s, they were engaged on the second date. They just knew. These days, that’s taken as a rash way to conduct emotional business.
We’re so obsessed with security and Not Getting Hurt that we have come to look upon dating as an Endurance Event. Sensible? Not really. Reluctance to take romantic risks can leave you enmeshed in long, drawn-out relationships that should really have been knocked on the head within the first hour. So, let’s bring back Super-Speed Dating. Everything that’s important about a new person can be revealed in the first three minutes if you just know where to look…
Instant physical attraction
People you really fancy are scary, I get that. But if you want long-term butterflies, you HAVE to love your partner’s looks the first time you see them. They don’t have to conform to your usual “type”, but something about their appearance has to catch, and keep, your attention. Don’t feel fickle if you’re a ruthless left-swiper on Tinder or the Match app; I’d rather that than you be unhappy in the future because the spark just isn’t there.
A shared sense of humour
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy a lifetime together. But if you can’t laugh, it’ll just FEEL like a lifetime. Choose someone who is on your humour wavelength straight away.
Good listening skills
Your perfect match will be interested in most things about you, so look for someone who seems alert and “present” right from the start. Men are sometimes so eager to impress women that they look like they’re not listening – so keen to list their achievements that they ignore all of yours – but you can discover if someone’s interested by noticing whether or not they ask you any questions. If they do, and they listen to (and remember) the answers, you’re on to a winner.
Lots of eye contact in those early interactions is a good sign of lots of things – that you’re attracted to each other, you’re interested, and neither of you is hiding anything. So look for that knee-melting eye-lock. When your friends joke that you can’t seem to drag your eyes away from someone in particular, you know you’re onto someone good. People who can’t meet your eye are normally cripplingly bashful or devious – avoid. Instead, look for that “eyes across a crowded room – or chat-room” moment, and start making romantic history right there.
What’s your experience – have you ever “Known” straight away? Let me know, in the Comments.