5 Things That Make Daters ‘Click’
It’s what everyone hopes for when they go on a first date, and the first thing friends will ask you about: “did you click?” And what I always found interesting about “clicking” with someone—feeling like you’ve connected or formed a meaningful bond with them—is how quickly you can know it’s happened…or hasn’t happened. In fact, sometimes it can feel like it only takes a few minutes of talking to a stranger, from romantic prospects to new friends, to know whether you’ve bonded.
But what actually makes that “clicking” feeling happen…and how long does it really take? Does it come down to common interests? Attraction?
The paper, “Making the Connection: Social Bonding in Courtship Situations,” found that connection was all about words—how they were delivered, when, and for how long. That’s made men and women in the study feel like they were clicking and had forged a meaningful relationship…yes, even in the span of four minutes!
So what exactly got them to feel that way? Researchers had the speed daters fill out pre- and post-date surveys and wear audio recording devices during the dates. They found that:
- Women felt a sense of connection to men that used appreciative language (like “good for you!”) and sympathy (like “that must have been tough on you”).
- Women also clicked with men who interrupted them—not by changing the topic of conversation, but by finishing a sentence or adding to it. Even in four short minutes, it demonstrated understanding and engagement.
- Asking too many questions, however, was a no-no. Sounds counterintuitive, but women in the study felt disconnected when they had to ask men questions (because the conversation was lagging) or when the men asked them questions (because they had nothing else to say).
- Varying one’s speech to get louder or softer also endeared couples to each other—anyone who’s been on a date with a monotone speaker can probably attest to that!
- Finally, both men and women were in agreement that they felt like they clicked when the focal point of the conversation was the woman, and the man’s “job” was mainly to demonstrate alignment with and understanding of his date.