Remember your first school crush and what you did to get that person’s attention? You spent hours in the mirror styling your hair until it was perfect, smelled under your arms, practiced your smile, and wore your best outfit. It was nerve wracking trying to win this person over, but what a great feeling it was when the person you sought to impress liked you back! In your mind the love was going to  last forever. Now that you are older and hopefully wiser, dating and winning affection is a bit more complicated.  You may think your wooing skills are in full effect, but are they?

Even with a plethora of online dating and personal matchmaking services, finding a compatible mate can still be challenging, but not impossible. Once you’ve decided that you want to be in a monogamous relationship, let the wooing begin. Yes, I could give some generic examples on how to woo but the truth is that’s not the most effective approach. Having self-awareness, getting to know the person you’re interested in, being fully engaged, and selfless is how you effectively woo.

1. Self-awareness. Know who you are, your goals and preferences. When you are clear on who you are wooing is a lot easier. Being authentic is the best thing you can do for yourself and the other person.  Pretending to be someone else in order to get the other person to like you is never a good idea.

2. Build on the relationship. We live in a microwave society, but we all know that a slow-cooked, carefully made, well -seasoned, intentional meal is so much better. Dating experts everywhere will tell you to slow down and get to know the person. Spend time together. Now if it’s a first date, treat it as such. There’s no wooing necessary… just get to know the person and keep it light.

3. Fully engage. We also live in a highly-stimulated culture where finding entertainment is just a scroll away. Put your smartphone away and all of the other distractions; focus on the person in front of you.  Take mental notes of things that are important to them. Those are your clues to wooing. Look into the person’s eyes and focus on their words. It’s pretty amazing the things you may find out and like. It also goes the other way; they get to see that you are a pretty amazing person too.

4. Selflessness. Let’s be clear, wooing goes both ways, it’s not all about you. Everyone likes to feel respected and appreciated. Tap into your creative side and find ways to show your admiration. When you woo, it will come back to you.

Long-term successful relationships start during the dating process, where admiration is expressed. I’ve been told on numerous occasions by those in committed relationships that they remember all the ways their mate made them feel special, wanted, and admired, starting with when they were dating.  They also boost about what they did to woo them as well. Being aware, interested, engaged, and selfless is key. Then never stop winning each other over. Love is sweet. Woo Forever.