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Technically, breaking the ice is easy – all you need to do is open your mouth and say “Hi,” right?! LOL if only. It’s precisely that initial cracking (or croaking?) of the ice that paralyzes us with fear. Fear of rejection, of laughter, of being ignored.
Yet, nine times out of 10, once that ice has been broken everything thereafter seems to glide into place so easily you wonder why you don’t break the ice with strangers more often and, when you do, fret less about it ahead of time.
Breaking the ice has a companion. It’s called melting the ice (AKA breaking the physical barrier). Just like breaking the ice, melting the ice can make your brain turn into a puddle by the self-imposed (and self-defeating) stress anticipating it can create. In theory, breaking the physical barrier is easy as a tap on the hand or knocking of knees but when you’re on a date with a woman you’re attracted to it can be nerve-wracking.
The funny thing is that under normal (e.g. non-romantic) circumstances, melting the ice is a total non-issue. It doesn’t matter so it doesn’t freeze you up. But when you’re on a date, and the stakes are high, you are focused more on the possibility of icy rejection – arm snapping away, cold shoulder or tense back – than the probability of steamy success.
Before I get into ways to melt the ice I want to make sure you know why you need to do it when you’re on a date with a woman you’re into. Just like other forms of flirting, touching helps make the date really feel like a date (versus drinks with a friend or a meal with a colleague). Touching communicates to her—without any words being said—that you are interested in her and it gives her the chance—again, without saying anything explicitly—to communicate her interest too.
Here are some ideas:
Sit next to each other. When I organize dates for my matchmaking clients I like to book a venue that has a bar and I specifically tell the host to sit them there because sitting side by side reduces any obstructions in between them (e.g. the table), makes it difficult for them not to touch shoulders and knees (breaking the physical barrier with no effort—check!) and makes sharing food way easier. Also, you can gauge how interested your date is in you by checking out her body language (the more she’s turned towards you, the more interested she is in you).
If you can’t sit side by side, sitting at a right angle is your next best option. If you have a hard time hearing her or if there’s something you want to share with her but don’t want others to hear (e.g. an observation about a fellow diner) you can lean in, touch her shoulder or arm to bring her in closer, and speak into her ear.
Preening is a tried, tested, and true flirting technique so don’t forget to use it. For example, if she has a piece of lint on jacket, an eyelash has fallen on her cheek or some water has fallen on her hand. Don’t just tell her about it; do something about it. If you are unsure if she’ll be ok with you touching her you can let her know there’s something on her jacket or cheek and ask her if she would like you to get it for her.
If you’re talking about the gym why not ask her if you can check out her biceps. It gives you a chance to compliment her on her toned arms and fitness regime while breaking the physical barrier. If she doesn’t have biceps even better because you can playfully tease her (another flirting technique – but please, this is not to be confused with negging). You can even suggest arm wrestling.
Does she have lovely hands? Let her know. Take it in yours and compliment her on her long fingers, soft skin, neat nails, gorgeous jewelry or cool tattoo. You can ask her if this is her favourite nail polish colour or you can ask her if the ring she is wearing is a family heirloom or if the tattoo she has on her wrist has a special significance for her. You aren’t just melting the ice but making conversation and showing interest in the details (which not enough guys do so if you do it you will stand out).
When you’re walking together you can offer your arm to her or put your hand on her lower back.
Hopefully there’s something in this list you’ll be comfortable doing. If you are not sure if she’s feeling you, do something super simple like tapping her hand when she says something funny or patting her arm when you see something on the menu you would like to bring her attention to. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below. Xo MD
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