Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit?
Instead, an expert on human behavior suggests you get a hot cup of coffee and maybe a freshly made dessert.
“If you’re going on a date, you want the other person to think you are warm,” says Thalma Lobel, a professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University and author of the book “Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence.” She notes that the environment around us has more of an impact on human behavior than we realize. We asked Lobel for some scientifically proven dating tips for singles.
Be aware of the impact of your surroundings
“The whole idea of the book is to examine how our physical sensations influence our lives,” says Lobel. “The temperature of the things we touch, the textures, the colors. All of these affect the way we perceive the other person.” A famous study showed that people holding hot cups of coffee in their hands tended to think more fondly of those they were meeting with because of the power of holding something warm, even for just a moment.
While warm drinks inspire friendly feelings in people, an iced coffee or soda can literally put a chill on your evening, Lobel says.
Visit a bakery
People tend to love the aroma of freshly baked bread or pastries and react accordingly.
“I suggest maybe having dessert in a bakery after dinner,” she advises. There’s even an added bonus: Pleasant scents are said to help minimize awkward situations.
Add a touch of red to your wardrobe
“The movie industry has known for years that using red lipstick or a red dress signals sexuality,” notes Lobel.
You don’t need to deck yourself out in red from head to toe. Something as simple as adding a red scarf or some red accessories should do the trick.
Sit in comfy seats
Don’t forget the impact of soothing textures when picking a place. “If you touch something soft, you actually feel softer toward the other person,” says Lobel.
Use a bit of caution
Of course, Lobel points out, red lipstick or a really delicious latte isn’t going make a relationship that was never meant to be develop into a lifelong commitment. But the right environment could make a tiny yet crucial difference that takes a budding romance to the next level.
“It might just tip the scale,” Lobel says.
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.