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Monday, April 30, 2007

Approaching Women - Eye Contact


I had a question for you about eye contact. One of my major sticking points is when I lock eyes with a woman and she stares back. I know that the guy is not supposed to be the one to break eye contact first, and when you do look away you should look to the side or up (but NEVER down). My problem is that when we are staring at each other, what else am I supposed to do? In a perfect world, I would just go up and start talking to her. But what about those situations (i.e. a crowded subway, a busy street) where that would not be so easy to do? Do I smile at her, stick out my tongue or just keep looking at her? I think it gets a little weird after a few seconds. Also, if I am going to approach, do I maintain eye contact, or break the stare and make my move. Thanks a lot, and keep up the great work!

Brooklyn, New York

********MY COMMENTS********

Though seemingly simple for some, making eye contact and the resulting actions are a difficult task for many. Eye contact is a necessary step in approaching someone of interest, or in dealing with a significant other (do me, yourself, and your significant other a favor and just look into his or her eyes for a few moments today- you'd be surprised at how it can rekindle that flame!) Pardon my pontification, let me get back to your question. You make eye contact and it seems like an eternity, your knees lock, your heart's beating a mile a minute, and you feel choked up. Does that sum it up?

Lets get to basics. Relax. Take a deep breath. Breath again! Is he or she any different from you? Do they wipe their ass just like you? (Pardon my nasty example, but it's true!) It's easy to say and for some difficult to do, but you need to relax. I understand some people are shy, but if EVERYONE is shy, no one would talk. Or at least many good opportunities would be wasted as we do not always "get to know"everyone we see and grow comfortable around them.

Now different situations call for different actions. For example, you make eye contact for a period of time, she smiles and looks away, you keep staring, she sees you staring, and now you are "that creepy guy on the subway that stares." There is a difference between making eye contact and staring/gawking. If you make eye contact on the subway, SMILE! If she shows signs of interest say hello, introduce yourself! What's the worst that happens? She ignores you or moves away. If she does that RESPECT IT! A subway can be an intimidating place, especially for women, and especially at night.

Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions or comments.

Dating question? Write to us at
Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Online Dating - Photo Questions From the Mailbag
Dating question? Write to us at


Got a couple of questions on your photo article. What do you think about getting professional photos for my profile? Also, I have a couple of pictures with a few of my (hot) female friends. Should I put those in? Thanks.

Waltham, MA

********MY COMMENTS********


Excellent questions.

I personally like the idea of getting professional photos taken. Not only will you have an experienced photographer working with you to help you look your best, but it will also show those people reading your profile that you are serious about meeting someone. That being said, I would still try to include some regular photos of you as additional photos. You still want to show that you have some sort of a life outside of internet dating. I like to tease women that only have professional photos on their profile. "What are those, glamour shots from the mall? C’mon, what do you REALLY look like ;)?" As I’ve said previously, hotornot is a great place to test out your pictures.

As for photos with other women, be careful. My advice is that if you do have women in your pictures (get their permission!), make sure they are at the approximate level looks-wise of the women you are seeking. If the women in your pictures are strikingly gorgeous, you might intimidate a lot of women on the website. If your gal pals are not particularly attractive, that isn’t going to fare well for you either. Also, it is better to have 2-3 women in your picture. If you just have one, people will assume it is an ex or you might find yourself justifying that it is a relative. Any more than 2 or 3, and your sexual orientation may come into question.

Good luck!

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Online Dating - Getting Her Phone Number

Let’s face it, the purpose of jumping through all those hoops online is to meet someone. This isn’t going to happen until you get her off the website and meet her in person. In order to do that, you need to get her contact info (i.e. her phone number).

You want to get to an in-person meeting ASAP. Remember, none of those back and forth emails and phone calls mean ANYTHING until you meet in person. I think each of us can recall a time where we thought we had found our soulmate online, only to be extremely disappointed upon actually meeting them (mine didn’t even take her jacket off)!

When to ask for the number:

Here is the rule. If she was the one who originally initiated contact, ask for it on your SECOND email. If you initiated contact, do it on the THIRD. Enough rapport should have developed by this point that she should have no problem giving you the digits.

How to ask for the number:

Easy. "What’s your number?" DO NOT say "Can I call you sometime?" WEAK. Be direct. Be decisive.

Take a little bit of time putting together a brief paragraph asking for her number. The good news is that you can save it as a template and use it over and over again (just remember to change her name, Skippy). What you want to convey (in your own writing style) is essentially, ‘You seem pretty cool. Let’s get off this site and meet for a drink, like normal people, and see what happens.’ I also like to tease them a little and promise that I will only call 15 times a day. This is a nice touch, but make sure it is CLEAR you are kidding. Capice?

Ok, I sent the email. Now what?

Wait for her response. If she gives you her number, great! Call her within 1-2 days and set up a meeting for drinks.

If she doesn’t give it to you, cease all contact with her IMMEDIATELY and move on. Also, please note that any response which does not contain the physical digits themselves is a NO. ‘I don’t have a phone,’ ‘Let’s stay on email,’ or ‘How about you give me YOUR number’ are all BS. What you have there is a control freak, a game player or (most likely) a woman with low interest in you. Either way, any further communication with her is a waste of your time.

Now go get some digits!

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

The Blogosphere - Don't Be a Keyboard Jockey!

"71 million blogs... some of them have to be good." - Matt (as seen on

I thought it would be remiss of me to ignore an article I read in the May 2007 Discover Magazine entitled "Map:Welcome to the Blogosphere" written by Stephen Ornes. The article basically looked at how the explosion of blogging (More than 70 MILLION exist online, with about 2 new ones popping up every second!) has created a vast social network.

A social media expert (Matthew Hurst) collected link data and plotted how different nodes (blogs and websites) were connected. There were some major hubs and then pockets of isolation (pornography blogs, sports blogs, and the LiveJournal community). It seems that blogs are technology imitating the real world.

It made me think about how many people just sit back on the sidelines and watch the world go by, while others "get in the mix"! Get out there and get involved! As is the case with online dating, blogging may in fact be another way of meeting new people - but one must always remember the real world is steps away from the internet, and it is up to you to work on bridging that gap.

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - Approach Dynamics/Online Dating Edge

Monday, April 23, 2007

Online Dating - Your Photos

We've all heard the expression, "a picture is worth a thousand words." We can think of no better place where this applies than online dating. A picture, for better or for worse, WILL make or break your profile.

Let’s face it - the photo is the first place you go to when you are looking at someone’s profile. I think this is the one area where both men and women are alike. If you are not attracted to the other person, NOTHING is going to happen. This is why it is SO important to have the right pictures on your profile.

At the outset, you MUST have pictures in your profile. This is non-negotiable, and applies to both men and women. Practically everyone I know that is dating online (including myself) will pass over a photoless profile without batting an eyelash. You could have the most creative, well-written profile in the world, but if you do not have a picture, noone is going to read it. In fact, many online dating sites will actually give members the option of only viewing profiles with pictures.

As a general rule, you want to submit photos which show different sides of your personality. A good assortment would include a group shot with the guys/gals, a picture of you traveling (a famous landmark in the background is always a nice touch - and could make for a good conversation opener!), a photo of you doing something physical as well as a nice dress-up shot (a picture in a suit/tux or a cocktail dress is always a nice touch). Just make sure that the photos have a clear shot of your face and that there is at least one full body shot. And make sure your photos are recent (i.e. taken within a year).

Also, before you post anything online, ask a friend of the opposite sex for their opinion - we are not always the best judges of which pictures make us look good. Just remember that close family members are often not in a position to truly be an objective consultant, so try a member of the opposite sex that you trust will give you an honest opinion.

Another EXCELLENT idea is to post your pictures on This website allows you to upload photos so they can be rated by other people on the site. Although the website tends to cater to a little bit of a younger crowd (18-25), it is still an invaluable (and free!) resource for people looking to get an unbiased opinion on which photos to post. I personally run all my photos through hotornot before I would even think about posting them online. And wait until you have at least 100 votes to ensure an accurate count.

Finally, here are some things to AVOID at all costs:
1. DO NOT submit any pictures with your shirt off. I don’t care how buff you are or how nice your new boob job is - you WILL be laughed at;
2. No photos with your ex cropped out;
3. Guys, stay away from pictures with babies and puppy dogs. Will throw you right into the wuss zone;
4. No self portrait webcam/cell phone photos;
5. Do NOT misrepresent yourself in your photos. I had a situation last year where a girl I was vibing with really well turned out to be a lot heavier than her pictures suggested. Not cool.

Although you cannot (and should not) worry about those areas of your physical appearance you have no control over, you CAN select photographs which make you look your best and show that you know how to take care of yourself. It is our mission at ApproachDynamics to not change who you are, but to help you present yourself in your best light.

Happy Dating!
Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Approaching Women - 'Hi, I'm an Archaeologist'

I'll start by saying today was the first time in a LONG time that I was able to get through a newspaper, and remarkably it was the Sunday Times. If you missed the first article we commented on, you can find that link here.

Another article that made me chuckle today was "Did Somebody Say Indiana Jones?" by Stacey Stowe. A while ago we wrote an entry about a buddy of ours that says he is an actuary.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying I'm a big fan of the History Channel and the Discovery Channel, especially shows about space, sharks, and ancient Rome and Egypt. Josh Bernstein, the star of a History Channel show "Digging for the Truth," was the subject of the article. Turns out he has a pretty big fan club, and the women love him!

I wonder if it's that he's a "good looking guy," has a cool job, or a little of both? I can just see it now... "Hi, I'm 'Adam', I'm an archaeologist." After all, Indiana Jones was pretty cool. After reading this, I bet he'll give it a shot.

Oh, by the way, Josh Bernstein is apparently looking for an attractive, blonde, and tall Jewish girl. Any takers?

Alexander Stone & Steven David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sausage Party in Downtown Manhattan?

No wonder I jump on the subway and head uptown the second I leave my office...

Today's New York Times had an interesting article regarding demographics in New York City ("Lower Manhattan, Higher Testoterone" by Sam Roberts). It seems that since 2000, most of Lower Manhattan's growth (75% of it in fact!) has been as a result of 25 to 44 year old men moving into the area.

Most of this growth has been attributed to "workaholics" moving closer to the booming post-9/11 World Trade Center/ Wall Street area, with a third of them walking to work. Ladies, the statistics speak for themselves - 126 men for every 100 women - many of them professional eligable bachelors!

In fact, the average income in the area is nearly TWICE that of the rest of Manhattan. Yes, we know money isn't everything and being a gold digger is just about the lowest a woman can go, but as Ben Affleck's character in Boiler Room said: "Anybody who says money isn't everything doesn't have any!" and "They say money can't buy happiness? Look at the smile on my face... ear to ear, baby!"

And yes guys, there's hope for you too according to the article. The rest of Manhattan has a much more appealing ratio for single men - 90 men for every 100 women!

So get out there and start meeting people!

Alexander Stone and Stephen David
Copyright 2007
ApproachDynamics/ OnlineDatingEdge

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Good Approach Example - 'Before Sunrise'

I recently saw the movie ‘Before Sunrise.’ The premise of the movie is that an American backpacker (played by Ethan Hawke) strikes up a conversation with a cute French girl while on a train to Vienna, Austria. He then persuades her to get off the train with him in Vienna and join him for his last night in Europe. You can check it out on Netflix here.

At the beginning of the movie, the French girl changes her seat on the train due to a German couple arguing, and ends up sitting directly across the aisle from Ethan Hawke. The two of them make eye contact, and Hawke makes a comment to her about the argument. Before you know it, the two of them are grabbing a bite together in the snack car. It’s on!

Had Ethan Hawke wussed out and not said anything to the girl, the dynamic between the two characters would never have had an opportunity to develop. By merely opening his mouth and saying something, he eventually managed to convince this girl - a complete stranger - to get off the train and accompany him for his last night in town.

The point is that you cannot have any interactions with women (or anyone else for that matter) unless you can initiate a conversation. Who knows? If the conversation goes well, you can get her phone number or try and set up an instant date. "Hey, I’m going to grab some coffee. Come join me." Worst case? She is not interested, and you have another approach under your belt. Absolute worst case? The girl totally freaks out on you, and you now have a great story to tell your friends!

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - Online Dating Edge/ Approach Dynamics

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are Men Becoming Obsolete?

One question that routinely comes up within the dating populace is, “where have all the good guys/girls gone?” We constantly hear this complaint from both men and women.

In a recent development, researchers announced they could produce sperm in a petri dish and fertilize a mouse egg. So apparently women that are interested in men for their sperm need not worry - help may be on the horizon! Click here for more info.

On a serious note, there are millions of great people out their just looking for love! You need to get out their to find it, either in your everyday life by making conversation or being personable, having friends introduce you to other people, or trying out the online dating scene!

As a friend of mine once said to his buddy (Tom), “You’ll never meet anyone at 123 Main Street (Tom’s address)!” I would be remiss not to mention 'Tom' actually did meet someone without leaving 123 Main Street, a girl moved in across the street and they are currently dating. But none of that would have happened had one of them not initiated a conversation.

Alexander Stone & Steven David

Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Online Dating - The First Meeting

Notice I did not say the "first date." At this point, the two of you are still complete strangers. Sure, you have exchanged a couple of emails (hopefully not more than that) and have spoken on the phone once, but none of it means anything until you actually meet face-to-face.

The purpose of this initial meeting is to determine whether there is any physical attraction and/or chemistry between the two of you. That being the case, you want to create as low pressure an environment as possible. Make sure you meet in a public place and you each get there on your own. Also, keep it inexpensive and low-key. I like to meet initially for coffee or drinks. This way if the chemistry is not there, you can duck out with minimal time spent. Also, an inexpensive meeting like this will help you weed out the professional daters and gold-diggers that are just out for free food and entertainment at your expense. Leave those women for the chode who can't wait to show off his new BMW or brag about his job as an investment banker.

The following are some good ideas and basics for the first time you are going to be meeting someone. Whether you met this person online or through the infamous ‘blind date,’ this type of first meeting has somewhat of a different dynamic than your traditional 'first date' (which you shouldn't be doing either, but I'll save that for another column).

Obviously, the first thing you need to do is set up the date. If you have done everything right up until this point, this should be easy. Just call her up and ask her out. But before you call, make sure you have a specific date, time and place in mind. Be decisive. "Let’s grab drinks Thursday night. How’s 8:00? Great! Meet me at XXX CafĂ© 49th and 5th." Then GET OFF THE PHONE. Save the conversation for when you meet.

Things to keep in mind for the first meeting:

  • You MUST have the mindset that you are the prize. You are meeting her to see if she lives up to YOUR expectations. NOT the other way around. These subtle things make a world of difference.
  • If she is late, DO NOT wait more than 15 minutes for her. If she does not show up or call you within 15 minutes, LEAVE and throw her number away. Also, have something to do until she arrives, and make her find you when she gets there.

I attribute a lot of my first-meeting successes to the prep work I did beforehand. Make sure you have these bases covered:

  • Shine your shoes. It is one of the first things women notice.
  • Remember - belt matches your shoes and socks match your pants.
  • As for cologne, a good rule of thumb is that if Walgreens sells your favorite scent in a two-liter bottle, it’s time to find something else. Go to Sephora and ask women what they like - also a good conversation opener!
  • Have gum/mints on you. And keep it in a place it can be discreetly accessed.
  • Before you meet, re-read her online profile and the emails you have exchanged. Try and come up with some specific questions about her. Also, try to come up with default topics to talk about in case there are some awkward pauses in the conversation (relationship dysfunction, celebrity gossip - **Tip** read US Weekly for good stuff to talk about).

Here are some tips for setting up the first meeting:

  • No weekends. She needs to think you have a life of your own and are out doing your own thing on Saturday and Sunday. Make the first meeting on a Mon-Thurs.
  • Try to get there a few minutes early. This way you can make sure you get a good table and also find out whether the place itself is going to be a distraction (too noisy, crowded, rude waitstaff, etc). **TIP** - Try and go to a place that has tables which let you sit side-by-side as opposed to across from each other.
  • Have at least 2-3 backup places in mind nearby in case you have to change venue at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Also, have a few things in mind to do afterwards if things are going well. Try to make them interactive (i.e. bowling, pool, Megatouch in a bar, foosball, rollerskating, etc.).

And finally, some suggestions for the meeting itself:

  • Keep the conversation light and funny. No heavy topics, no complaints, no insults.
  • Topics to avoid at all costs - Physical ailments, rape or violence, Star Trek, anything self-deprecating, anything overtly sexual, your arrest record, Dungeons and Dragons, ex-girlfriends, that time that you got drunk and wet yourself, religion, politics, marriage, children.
  • However, feel free to tease her a little. Disagree with her once or twice. Once she says something you disagree with, give her that "You are messing up your chances with me" look. Another line I like to use is "and you were doing SO well..." I also like to use my hand and signal that she just went down a notch.
  • Stare at her face, NOT at her chest.
  • Do not lean into her. Lean back and make her come towards you. Also, do not face her directly when talking. Have her turn her body towards you.
  • Always pay for the first meeting. While you should never take her up on her feeble "how much do I owe you" routine, DO take notice if she fails to offer. And for god sakes, DON’T USE A COUPON.
  • No more than ONE compliment on the first meeting. And try to be more creative than, "You’re so hot."
  • DO NOT make plans for another date while out on this one. Leave her wondering. The key word here is CHALLENGE.
  • Be sure you are the one who ends the date first. Try to end it on a high note - leave her wanting more!

At the end of the date, take some quick notes on what worked and what didn't. Do not worry about making mistakes - it is part of the learning process. Remember, each date is practice for the next one!

Happy Dating!

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Monday, April 9, 2007

Checking Out Your Date on Google

Have you ever Googled someone before a date?

And to think there was actually a time where I thought I was the only one doing this!

There was also a time in the not-too-distant past where this question would have made for a great conversational opener with someone you just met: "HEY! My friend and I were having a debate and I would love to get a female/male opinion - have you ever Googled someone before a date?" This could lead to SO many different areas, including swapping war stories about things you have found or teasing the person doing the Googling for being a stalker. But not anymore.

Checking someone out online before a date no longer has that creepy stigma attached to it. These days, you are almost foolish NOT to Google someone before you meet. At the very least, you can find out what they are into and come up with some good conversation topics for your first meeting. And worst case? You find out they are wanted in Arizona, married with five children or still live with mommy and daddy at the tender age of 40, and you have now saved yourself from a bad date.

One final tip - Google yourself. Make sure you know what is out there on you - and be prepared to discuss it if it comes up. And if she does, you can still tease her about being a stalker!

There was a good article today from CNN on this topic. You can find the link below:
Googling Your Date

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - Online Dating Edge/ Approach Dynamics

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Smartass Answers to Dumbass Questions

Alexander Stone & Stephen David

How many people have you slept with?
Are you a player?
How old are you?
Does my ass look fat in these jeans?

There is going to come a point during an interaction with a women when you are likely to get hit with a question such as the ones above - the kind where you sit there asking yourself, 'what is she REALLY trying to find out?' The purpose of this article is to prepare you for this situation ahead of time, so you don't find yourself tongue tied (or WORSE, actually answer the question)!

These questions are TESTS and if you are not careful, you could end up divulging a LOT more information than you had planned.

***EDITORS NOTE - Now there ARE certain circumstances where one of these questions may in fact be appropriate (i.e. you are seriously dating someone and she wants to know if you are sleeping around for obvious health reasons). As with everything, these MUST be taken in context. The above article is geared towards those interactions with women where this information is still none of her business.

Let me give you an example. I was recently out with a girl I have been dating, and was asked how many people I have slept with. Seemed like an odd question, but there was alcohol involved (btw... 'I was drunk' is NOT a valid excuse for anything you do or say). I smiled and politely told her that I was a virgin. Apparently, that wasn’t gonna fly:

Her: No seriously, how many people have you slept with?
Me: In total, or just women?
Her: Stop it. Answer the question.
Me: You mean today?
Her: (getting frustrated) C’mon, knock it off.
Me: Well, does your mom count?
Her: Why wont you just answer the question?
Me: What question?

She finally gave up and moved on. Test passed!

The key is to be prepared for these situations ahead of time - and to NEVER give a direct answer. Remain calm, SMILE and use humor to deflect the question. Ask yourself, "How would Cary Grant or James Bond respond to that? What would Jim Carrey say?"

Not giving a straight answer to one of these questions accomplishes a lot of things at once - it shows that you have a sense of humor, a personality and subtly tells her than you are not some wussbag that is going to do whatever she wants.

It is also a good idea to have a couple of prepared answers to some of the most common questions you will face. I’ll get you started:

Q: Are you a player?
A: Yeah. I went 3 for 4 last night with 2 RBIs (then CHANGE SUBJECT).

Q: How old are you?
A: (Add or subtract 20 years from your real age)

Q: Does my ass look fat in these jeans?
A: Yes, your ass looks fat in those jeans (wink); OR
A: (sigh of relief) For a second there I thought you were going to ask me about your hair (smile and wink).

Q: What do you do?
A: click here

Got a dating question? Write to us at:

Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge

Friday, April 6, 2007

Dating Tips From Warren Buffett

I sat back today to read over the annual report for Berkshire Hathaway, which I do every year and suggest that if you are interested in investing, you do the same.

Anyway, let me get to the point and how this relates to dating and approaching women...

Here is an excerpt from Warren Buffett:
"Our exemplar is the older man who crashed his grocery cart into that of a much younger fellow while both were shopping. The elderly man explained apologetically that he had lost track of his wife and was preoccupied searching for her. His new acquaintance said that by coincidence his wife had also wandered off and suggested that it might be more efficient if they jointly looked for the two women. Agreeing, the older man asked his new companion what his wife looked like. 'She’s a gorgeous blonde, the fellow answered, 'with a body that would cause a bishop to go through a stained glass window, and she’s wearing tight white shorts. How about yours?' The senior citizen wasted no words: 'Forget her, we’ll look for yours.'"

The point of his story is that in dating, just as investing, if you see a golden opportunity, GO FOR IT! Think of that cute guy or girl from the subway or the bookstore that you were pretty sure was smiling at you, but you didn’t approach for whatever reason. The ‘stained glass window’ represents any perceived obstacles or limiting beliefs that you may have about approaching. Make like the bishop and break through anything that is getting in your way of reaching your goal. Remember, the outcome doesn't matter - it's the fact that you had the balls to try.

If you need help in taking that first step or would like to pick up some pointers, click here or check out our previous post on approach.

Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2007 - ApproachDynamics/Online Dating Edge