Summary: I've never thought that I find such great dating advice in a book about... economy. But here are some dating tips backed by science and verified infield.
The book is of course the great and only "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. Now don't get any weird ideas. It's a book about decision making (mostly), cognitive biases and behavioral economic. You'll learn that we humans are terrible when estimating anything, especially probabilities.
There are many chapters that offer insights into how people work and decide but the eye opening bit was actually about memories. So let's bring some science into dating.
Your Date Will Be Only A Memory
You have to assume the first date with a girl is going to follow one of two scenarios: either you'll get a first date lay (yay) or not (aww) and you'll have to go out with her more than once to close the deal. That means her first date with you will fade into her memory. And memories are funny things.
The examples provided in "Thinking, Fast and Slow" were astonishing - people remembered more painful experiences as less unpleasant just because those episodes ended in decrease in pain levels. It didn't even matter that they were suffering for much longer.
I won't bore you with all the details but here's the summary: research shows in a repeatable and surprising way that people do not take the duration into account when they consider their past experiences. Only peak and final level of stimulus are taken into account.
The original research mentioned in the "Thinking, Fast and Slow" was done on people experiencing... a very unpleasant medical examination. From colonoscopy to dating tips.
This is how we remember our experiences - movies we see, vacations we take and also our dates. To simplify - we take the average of peak and final level to form our general impression. That's why rainy days at the end of your trip ruin your memories while they're a mere nuance when they happen to be at the beginning of your vacation.
Dating Tips Brought To You By Science&tm;
If we want to apply the above reasoning to our favorite topic we will come up with few very powerful dating tips. First and foremost - the length of the date doesn't matter. You can have great 30 minutes coffee date or equally good bar crawl that lasted 4 hours. When the adventure fades into her memories they will be equalized.
Also it is very important to do at least one memorable thing during the date. A spike. Something that will pop up right in her mind when she think about the time you've spent together. It can be an event, a venue, a feeling, a game you played, a move you've made, a kiss, a ride - whatever was the highlight of the evening.
But the biggest piece of dating advice would be to not let the date end badly. It's far better to cut the date short and leave her with a great memory than to destroy that impression by trying too hard.
You have to take into account that the discussed mechanism applies to memories. When she's experiencing the date she should enjoy every moment of it. If you're going for a same day lay then her memories won't matter - they won't be formed yet.
It's easy to be entertaining, funny and/or interesting for 60 minutes. It's very hard to have a great experience for 3 hours. And the more time you spend together the higher are the chances that it will all fizzle out and you'll leave her with mediocre impression.
End your dates on high notes. Learn the logistic, calculate the probability of sleeping with the girl that night and if it doesn't seem very likely - cut the date short when you two are still having fun. Be the one to say it's over. Lead.
Also make sure there is a "peak" somewhere along the way so she'll be left with the impression that a) whole experience was enjoyable and b) it was too short.
Always Leave Her Wanting More
This is an old piece of dating advice - "always leave her wanting more". And even though I knew it I haven't really internalized it. I'm still a nerd and I need a reason.
The way we remember things and construct our memories might be just the thing I was looking for. It might not be the best explanation but it fits. And that's good enough for me.
- Duration of an event is irrelevant to your impression of it.
- Always Leave Her Wanting More (ALHWM is not a great acronym...)
- The length of the date doesn’t matter.
- Do at least one memorable thing during the date.
- End the date on a high note. Do not let it end badly, cut it short if you sense impending boredom.
If you like that you might want to check out whole daygame blog. Just sayin'.