Their eyes met across the crowded room and it was love at first sight! Come on. How often does that really happen? More important, why hasn’t it happened to you? Believe it or not, there are simple steps that make it a lot more likely to meet and connect with an attractive stranger — whether you’re awaiting her arrival for a blind date or meeting his friends for the first time. Try these 10 tips from communication expert Leil Lowndes, best-selling author of several books, including How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You, How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships, as well as her latest release, How to Create Chemistry with Anyone: 75 Ways to Spark It Fast — and Make It Last.

Three ways to make a good first impression:

1. Hold steady eye contact
A man should look deeply into a woman’s eyes, even lingering and holding her gaze a bit too long after she’s finished speaking. It creates excitement and puts her on edge, a sensation that generates the impression, “There’s something going on here.” For women, try this trick: Make eye contact, then allow your eyes to lower a little, looking at his chest. Look up again, as though he’s caught you checking him out, and give a small smile. You’ll absolutely get his heart racing. If you find your eyes wandering away from the speaker, make a study of the eyes. How long are the lashes? Are they a uniform color? How far apart are they? Just be sure not to let your analysis distract you from the conversation too much.

Related: 5 body-language signs that say she’s into you
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2. Give an engaging handshake
A basic strong handshake requires that you place your hand firmly and fully in the other person’s “so the webs touch” (at the base of the thumbs). Make your handshake special by taking the contact a step further: Place your pointer finger lightly on the vein of the other person’s wrist. The imperceptible connection generates an emotional response almost as though you’ve touched the heart.

3. Find the perfect body position
Ladies, break convention and stand just a bit too close. Americans who don’t know each other stand an average of 24 inches away, but close friends close the gap to about 18 inches. To make him tingle, position yourself so you face him fully, a little closer than you ordinarily would. Your body language is expressing a desire to get closer, to be more intimate. Guys: If she’s trying the tip above, go with it — you’ve already made a good connection! Otherwise, that kind of proximity could be threatening to a woman. Try turning your body away a little, but keep your face focused on hers.

Three ways to get noticed at a party — and make sure you have fun:

1. Take a spot near the center
Forget the wallflower maneuver. Walk straight to the center of the room — that’s where the most confident people are. You’ll have interesting people all around you and can easily join an ongoing conversation. Suddenly, you’re in the thick of the action, looking like one of the most interesting people at the party. If there’s no opening in the banter, simply turn to someone and introduce yourself, then ask an open-ended question (one that can’t be answered with a yes or no).

Related: The science of flirting

From your central vantage point, here’s a trick to appear popular: smile and wave at an imaginary friend across the room. You’ll appear well-connected and well-liked, which will make others want to make your acquaintance.

2. Connect with someone across a crowded floor
When you spot an attractive stranger walking in alone, make eye contact, give a big smile and wave from across the room. It’s the rare individual who can resist coming over to you to find out why a complete stranger gave such a warm greeting. Then you can say, “Oh, from this distance I thought you were my old friend so-and-so.” And now you have made contact and a topic of discussion already primed. You can explain the physical resemblance and make a compliment, such as “You have the same gorgeous hair.”

3. Become an instant best friend
Now that you’re chatting, there’s one simple tip to make a warm connection that is often skipped. Make yourself sound like you come from the same world. How? Use the same language as the other person. If she refers to her “job,” don’t start talking about your “career.” If he mentions a “bistro” he likes, talk about your favorite bistro, not “restaurant.” Sharing the same terminology makes the other person feel like you belong, as though you share the same values, and that you can fit into each other’s lives.

Related: 5 ways to win him over

Three ways to make sure the other person calls you:

1. Emphasize your similarities
From laughing at his jokes to showing interest in her favorite cause, you know you need to communicate your connection. A subtle way to enhance the effect is to shift from simple responses such as “uh-huh” and “sure” to more empathetic phrases such as “Oh, I can see what you mean” or “Wow, you did exactly the right thing.” Steer clear of touchy-feely emotional comments. Not only do those come across as too personal, but you don’t want to make a misstep if you’re off-target even a smidge.

Take it a step further with a technique Lowndes calls “co-reacting” — basically, having the same reaction as the person with whom you want to connect. If she laughs at a joke, then you do, too. If he expresses how much he dislikes something, add your own comment on how distasteful it is. No, you don’t want to be a vapid mirror of the other person. But if you can add to the conversation in a complementary way, you’re showing that you share similar values, that you would get along easily. Everyone wants more of that.

Related: Why guys don’t bother to call after a date

2. Assign a pet name
Create a universe of two with a personalized moniker. If this person mentions a childhood nickname, enter his or her inner circle by using it. Most often, though, you’ll have to get creative. Try out a flattering pet name based on an attractive physical characteristic, a favorite activity or a strong opinion. The caveat, of course, is that the nickname be positive, so the person enjoys being associated with it and will want to get together with you again to revel in that feeling.

3. Provide an excuse to meet again
Your crush likes tennis? Mention that you haven’t played much and would love to improve your game. No need to make it awkward with a statement like, “Would you show me some time?” Simply expressing your interest has opened the door. You’ve already offered a transparent request for an invitation, conveying that this person will succeed by asking you to join in. And who doesn’t love a sure thing?

If you can’t grasp the opportunity for such a successful salvo on the spot, you can always follow up later. Give this person a call because you “got stuck with” two tickets to something you think he or she would like. It shows you’ve been thinking about her, were listening to what she’s interested in and want to get together. Even if she can’t make the date, she’ll be flattered and likely open to another try.

And the #1 way to seem irresistible:

1. Seal the deal with some physical contact
Lowndes tells this story: “During one of the early encounters I had with my future husband, he said something funny and I threw my arms around him and gave him a big hug, saying You’re so funny!’ You could practically see his eyes widen as it dawned on him that he was in the presence of a desirable woman.” A hug may be too forward for most encounters, but in her case the effect was what Lowndes wanted — she was instantly “hot” and irresistible.

Related: 10 fascinating flirting facts

For women, it’s important to maintain a little mystery — up to a point. Once you’ve spent an entire evening behaving like a lady, do something a little sexy to pique his interest. Remove a speck of dust on his sleeve or touch his ear. When shaking his hand, hold on a little longer than usual, showing that you want to touch him. Making a small physical contact advertises your sensuality, but it still lets him make the “first move.” It creates that unexplainable spark between the two of you.

The approach for men is a bit different. One winner is to appear protective, even a bit fatherly. As you help her into her coat, gently lift her hair out of the way. If the opportunity to be protective doesn’t arise, do something that conveys how thoughtful you are. Touch her wrist and mention how much you like her watch, that you need a gift for your sister and could she tell you where she got it? Not only did you compliment her and touch her, now you have an excuse to get together again so she can help you select just the right gift for your sister.

Want more ideas? Check out the 75 little tricks in Lowndes’ book, How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

Veteran journalist Elena Rover believes the best thing about working from home is the hug breaks with her kid. Back at her desk, she runs Well Words, a consulting company that develops interactive products and websites.



Article courtesy of Match.com.