I pay close attention to what I say when restricted to a 140-character tweet, but in other conversations, not so much. However, an interesting study is going to totally change that habit. Apparently, if you want a second date with someone, you should definitely make a mental note of what words he or she uses, and how many times he or she uses them.
It sounds like a tedious English assignment, but the results have some seriously romantic implications. Using the conversations of speed-daters, researchers counted how many pronouns, conjunctions and other small words each person used, and compared the numbers to their partner’s.
Couples that had similar conversation patterns were three times more likely to want to see each other again than couples who had different speech patterns. With a statistic like that, I know I’ll be switching up my small talk.
And I thought my new shade of lipstick would do the trick.
These speech patterns also helped determine how successful the relationship would be. If you and your date talk in similar ways, you are more likely to still be together after three months. Couples with very similar ways of talking also performed very well when required to work together.
Who knew these tiny little words held so much romantic power?
When you think about, it all makes sense. Conversations that use more pronouns (I, me, you) are more personal. Talking about yourself allows for a more intimate and revealing conversation. You are way more likely to want to talk to someone more if they share more personal details about their lives.
Also, using more conjunctions (and, but, yet) lets you make connections. Answering with one-word answers when asked where you are from (“California.”) doesn’t really give anything for your date to build off of. However, using more conjunctions (“California, but I wasn’t born there. I’ve lived in Iowa and Massachusetts, before moving to San Diego.”) really opens up the conversation to be more open-ended and interesting.
To add some seduction to your small talk (and walk out with a happy, long-lasting relationship) keep these four things in mind as you chit chat:
1. Count and Compare
Be sure to make talk about yourself, but don’t forget to ask questions, connect your thoughts and use all those little words we talked about. With luck, your partner talks a similar way and you can both score a perfect score on this study’s little DIY test.
2. Add people for a happier you
We love our solitary Netflix sessions, but science shows going out with friends does wonders for our happiness. A second study discusses the relationship between small talk and happiness. While it helps build connections (and romantic interest), it shouldn’t be your only form of conversation. Having meaningful discussions with a variety of people makes you seven times happier than time spent alone.
3. Be scientifically courteous
While talking about yourself does make the conversational more personal, how is your date supposed to mirror your speech patterns perfectly if you are gabbing the night away? Science echoes common courtesy on this one; make sure your date has time to talk too.
4. (But avoid the awkward)
Do what you can to open up the conversation to allow your chats to be more personal. Just don’t get too personal with strangers because that gets real awkward, real fast.