Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Building rapport: science offers some suggestions

At dating agency and singles club RSVP, a necessary element in our introduction process is a first “meeting”. Our matching team and Platinum Dating PAs try to avoid calling  these meetings “dates”, as when you are meeting someone new for the first time, it can be difficult to stay relaxed and natural, without the added pressure of labelling it a date. So we tend to think of them as a precursor for a date that might follow if you hit it off with the other person.

But how do you hit it off with someone in a short space of time? And how can you increase your odds of it leading to a successful and happy relationship? These are big questions, but science has found a nice hint to starting those relationships off on the right footing.

In a recent article on, compliments might be a good basis for a happy relationship – whether romantic or platonic. The act of giving and receiving compliments genuinely increases your feelings of vulnerability, which in turn allows a deeper impact on each other and helps build intimacy. This has been supported in a study by Professor Janet Holmes who suggested that compliments allow people to address and appreciate things they value in their partners and friends, which deepens those relationships.

However, when you first start seeing someone, there is an art to making a genuine compliment and sometimes it is better to focus on complimenting actions and personality characteristics, in preference to those about appearance, which can sometimes be perceived as shallow and artificial. Telling someone that they make you laugh or they have a great opinion about something can be seen as more heart-felt and can be great way to build rapport at that very first ..."meeting".