How Behavioural Science Can Help You Get A Date

by Patrick Fagan, Head of Behavioural Science at DPL

Dressing as an unshaven fireman, holding a baby, guitar and bunch of flowers while telling jokes is the mathematical route to romance.

Here are our top ten Behavioural Science backed recommendations for maximising your chance of getting a date;
1. Men have significantly more success asking for a date when they are holding a guitar case.
2. Asking someone for their phone number while offering flowers will result in a yes 81% of the time versus 50% without.
3. Men with babies are more attractive than men without. Dogs also make men more attractive.
4. Men who ask women for their numbers while telling a joke will get a yes 43% of the time, versus 15% without.
5. Red lipstick elicits more approaches from men (2 per hour versus 1.4 without).
6. Uniforms have an impact. A man dressed as a fireman will get nearly three times the number of yeses from a woman approached for her phone number in the street than a man in civilian clothes.
7. Women find heavy stubble more attractive than any other kind of facial hair or a clean-shaven man.
8. Playing it cool (but not too cool) has a measurable positive impact on desirability.
9. Requests for a date coupled with a compliment result in a three-fold uplift in success levels.
10. Mimicking the body language of the person you fancy has a measurable effect on desirability.


Patrick Fagan advises“Many studies tell us that these steps are routes to maximising the chances of a yes. Of course, what they lack is a true indication of underlying desirability or the longevity of a relationship. True love always starts with identifying someone that you like and one of the challenges these days is that dating apps are skewed to an at-a-glance assessment rather than an investigation of personality or more subtle reciprocity. The science exists to identify the sort of people that we are likely to fall in love with. The ultimate prize is in creating a behavioural science and AI platform based around reciprocity. It might just work.”

The better news for the lovelorn is that studies show that opposites really do attract in terms of sustainable relationships. Decades of research have found that greater overall personality similarity results in lower levels of marital satisfaction in the medium term. In other words, if you favour dressing as a Telly Tubbie, holding a guinea pig, harmonica and bag of salad while discussing the ins and outs of a no-deal Brexit, all is not lost.