People usually want to know how to attract attention, be noticed, and spark someone’s interest. So, naturally, advice on the subject abounds. A quick Google search will deliver tips on body language, what to wear, how to smell, what to say or not say, even ice-breaker jokes. Except, learning a few tricks to capture someone’s attention for a moment is not the same as cultivating qualities that keep them hooked. First impressions matter only until people get to know you. And they will, probably faster than you’d like them to. 

So, let’s start there. Making a good first impression requires skill. You could learn how. That’s where body language comes in handy, smiling, smelling good, dressing for the occasion, showing interest in the other person, exhibiting confidence but not arrogance, listening well, remembering people’s names, but most of all, appearing available – for a conversation, for a job, or a relationship. If people perceive you as unavailable, unapproachable, unfriendly, you are out. No one likes you or wants you. 

Rule #1 –
Make yourself available! 

All that verbal and non-verbal communication must portray you as available. You are present, willing to play, wanting to listen, interested in contributing, ready to engage. Period! Next time you are on a date, at a party, or an interview, ask yourself what other people must see when they look at you. Are you coming across as available? Your significant other complains about you? Ask yourself if you’ve been available? Availability trumps openness. Openness runs on curiosity which may or may not go anywhere. Availability runs on readiness which always takes you somewhere. It could be the bedroom, or to a nice restaurant, or a promotion at work. 

Now that you know about portraying availability, remember to do it from the heart. It’s not something you can fake. At least not for long. If you fake availability when you don’t like someone or something, you could find yourself driving the runaway car in a murder case or tipping cows in Iowa at midnight. Be selective and deliberate with your availability. Know thyself. Know your values, needs, desires, goals, ideas, and limitations. Know your deal-breakers. Know when to say “no.” Then work on your presentation. Even if you fumble the presentation part, people can sense if you are authentic and honest. Some will even find your awkwardness endearing, even sexy. 

Rule #2 –
Make an emotional connection

Emotions fuel existence. Without emotions, life flatlines. When you emotionally connect with something or someone, you willingly invest your time, energy, and resources in it. People who love their jobs stay there longer and work harder. When in love, we make time to be with each other. Passion pulls us. Excitement drives us. We want more of whatever we desire and gravitate away from people, places, and things that frustrate us, make us sad and uncomfortable, confuse us, and bore us. 

We create an emotional connection with someone when we give them our undivided attention. We become the person they can talk to and feel heard. The stories we tell each other drive us closer because of the feeling we get from telling them and hearing them. They become a shared experience. 

Rule #3 –
Share experiences and interests

Psychology tells us that we gravitate towards what is familiar. This could be bad or good, depending on the context. But if you want to be and stay attractive to someone, you must find common ground, mutual similarity, and shared interests. You must share experiences. Planning and doing things together that you both enjoy will help you weave your story of togetherness and create the unique shape of your life or work together. I keep saying love, life, and work. That’s because these are universal principles you can apply to all your relationships. So, open up and share. Speak up about your interests, hobbies, dreams, and curiosities. Share your ideas. Have brainstorming sessions together. Solve problems. Build things. Explore.

You do not have to overlap completely, as differences create novelty, and we love novelty too. 

While finding common ground, notice the differences. Unless they are deal-breakers, lean into them. It will be your chance to be supportive, learn something new, and experience things you may not have considered but could very much enjoy. People open worlds for each other. Let them. Spice things up with new exciting adventures. This also builds trust and solidifies you as a valuable team member. 

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Valentina Petrova has helped people with life, health, relationships, financial, and professional goals and challenges since 2015. You can reach her at