By Danielle Zickl
When you’re getting ready for a date, you want to look perfect. The inner monologue doesn’t stop running through your appearance: Is this shirt wrinkled? Is there anything in my teeth? The list goes on and on. It turns out, your looks aren’t necessarily what make you the most attractive to the woman sitting across from you.
Related: 20 Tricks For The Perfect First Date
Recently, the dating app Plenty of Fish released the findings of Conversation Nation, the largest survey on the topic. More than 2,000 single participants whose ages ranged from 18 to 70 (Up to 70? Did sexagenarians really need to be included here?), and nine out of 10 people believed that a successful date hinged on good conversation.
The top reason conversation makes someone better looking? It’s way easier to be attracted to someone when you aren’t sitting in awkward silence or arguing about politics. Plus it gives you a chance to showcase three attributes women look for when choosing an ideal mate: intelligence, a sexy voice, and a good sense of humor.
Understandably, you’re less likely to find someone attractive if a conversation was completely awful. If you and your date have nothing in common, if they come across rude, or if they don’t share your same values, it’s definitely a turnoff, according to 85 percent of participants.
When it comes to planning a date, you can’t go wrong with suggesting drinks at a local bar or restaurant. And if everything is going well, don’t ruin it by doing something like checking your phone constantly, talking about your ex, or even going outside to take smoke breaks. The survey shows that these actions—especially ignoring your date in favor of texting your buddies—are seen as disruptive and distracting.
If the date went well, call your date to let them know you enjoyed it. More than 80 percent of singles surveyed agree that a phone call constitutes a conversation, and it’s another opportunity to impress them with your communication skills.
However, if you’d rather never see them again, honesty is the best policy. Leading someone on never ends well for anyone.