I recently was charged with supervising an intern for a few months. He’s a good lad, and I’ve grown quite fond of him. Because he has no more interest in his job than I do, we’ve established a happy work routine. I do all the work, and he’s free to watch his shows on the Internet.
Occasionally, I’m inspired to teach him a life lesson, such as:
• Straight men should not be scared to wear linen!
• Don’t ever buy fruit from a vending machine!
• Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!
A few days ago, I took him along with me on a video shoot. We were filming a pair of difficult subjects, and it dragged on all afternoon. As we entered the third hour, the intern cradled his head in his arms, and took a nap. This inspired me to give him another piece of advice: No matter how bored you are, pretend you’re interested!
And so, we have stumbled onto our lesson for this week.
Over the years, hundreds of readers have asked me the same question: “Jennifer, how do you do it? How is it that at your advanced age, you continue to be catnip to the ladies?”
Is it my devilish good looks? No!
Is it my animal charm? No!
Dear readers, here’s my secret: I pay attention!
Let’s set the stage for a common scenario: You’re on a date with someone you fancy. You want to impress her, so you rattle off your credentials in mind-numbing fashion. Meanwhile, your date, who is equally anxious to talk only of herself, fidgets with the silverware, sighs with impatience, and finally wanders off to chat with a cute girl who might let her get a word in.
How do we turn this situation around, so that you don’t end the evening depressed and deflated, confused about why the monologue about your unhappy childhood, and string of poor romantic and career choices, failed to charm your love interest?
It’s simple. Stop talking, and start listening. A great philosopher—my friend, Scott, who knows a thing or two about manipulating a person into love—told me: “If you want someone to fall in love with you, pepper them with questions. Ask them about everything in their lives, and react to it all as if it’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever heard.”
In short, if you want someone to be interested in you, act interested in that person. Most people are fascinated by themselves, and can’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t hold them equally in awe. If they find someone who appears to be enthralled with them, they’ll want to warm themselves in that sunlight for eternity.
Before you begin, two cautionary notes:
1. Don’t overplay your interest. If you’re too intense in your questioning, it will make you appear creepy and stalkerish. Don’t fire a round of questions while squinting your eyes hard, like you’re zeroing in on prey.
2. Make very sure that you want your target to fall in love with you. Showing an interest is a very powerful tool. To return to our sunlight analogy, most people blossom under such attention. If you decide that, after all your efforts, you no longer are interested, it will have the effect of stealing the sun from a fragile flower. She will wilt back into her sad existence, questioning whether she ever was as interesting or fabulous as you once led her to believe.
Hey, I wrote a book! You can buy Dateland at Amazon.com.