5 Things That Make Daters ‘Click’

It’s what everyone hopes for when they go on a first date, and the first thing friends will ask you about: did you click? And what I always found interesting about “clicking” with someone—feeling like you’ve connected or formed a meaningful bond with them—is how quickly you can know it’s happened…or hasn’t happened. In fact, sometimes it can feel like it only takes a few minutes of talking to a stranger, from romantic prospects to new friends, to know whether you’ve bonded.

But what actually makes that “clicking” feeling happen…and how long does it really take? Does it come down to common interests?  Attraction? Scientists recently set out to find out. Researchers at Stanford analyzed almost a thousand four-minute speed-dates, looking for what makes people feel like they’ve bonded with someone. Sociologist Dan McFarland explained: “We wanted to see if there is anything about the interaction that matters or is it really just what I look like, what I do, what my motivation is. Is it all things that are psychological or in my head or is there actually something in how we hit it off?”

The paper, “Making the Connection: Social Bonding in Courtship Situations,” published this month in the American Journal of Sociology, found that connection was all about words—how they were delivered, when, and for how long. That’s made made men and women in the study feel like they were clicking and had forged a meaningful relationship…yes, even in the span of four minutes!

So what exactly got them to feel that way? Researchers had the speed daters fill out pre- and post-date surveys and wear audio recording devices during the dates. They found that:

  • Women felt a sense of connection to men that used appreciative language (like “good for you!”) and sympathy (like “that must have been tough on you”).
  • Women also clicked with men who interrupted them—not by changing the topic of conversation, but by finishing a sentence or adding to it. Even in four short minutes, it demonstrated understanding and engagement.
  • Asking too many questions, however, was a no-no. Sounds counterintuitive, but women in the study felt disconnected when they had to ask men questions (because the conversation was lagging) or when the men asked them questions (because they had nothing else to say).
  • Varying one’s speech to get louder or softer also endeared couples to each other—anyone who’s been on a date with a monotone speaker can probably attest to that!
  • Finally, both men and women were in agreement that they felt like they clicked when the focal point of the conversation was the woman, and the man’s “job” was mainly to demonstrate alignment with and understanding of his date. McFarland explains, “This is a situation in life where women have the power, women get to decide. So talking about the empowered party is a sensible strategy toward feeling connected.”

What makes YOU feel like you’ve click with someone, romantic or otherwise? What signs do you look for?


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Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan4 years ago

Well... it's feel like "butterflies in stomach".

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Diana, for Sharing this!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

so done dating. found my guy, and have no intention of dating anytime soon if it ever "stops working"

FstaRockr Burns
FstaRockr Burns4 years ago

Ive had really good success with dating and first meets. The thing is most ppl think they have to perform - and thats not true, just be yourself. u are lying to yourself and others if u arent just plain who u are, anything else is a screen. And rules like u shd never do this and that are bollocks - some women appreciate interruption if the conversation is flying, we do it all the time with friends etc - so why is it a no-no? ppl need to wake up and stop dilly dallying with nonesne - there arent such rules. There are things that say more than pre meditated actions and words. If u are worth it - everything will fall in place - if its too hard your approach is probably riddled with subtle fear - as usual that will just land u frustration.

Danial W.
Past Member 4 years ago


Mark Botermuc
Mark p.muc4 years ago

Geoff P. i must totaly agree with you ... :) Ty ...

Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 years ago

I would be interested in reading this actual study. I have had terrible luck with people on first impression and have usual more "grown" on people!

Geoff Price
Past Member 4 years ago

Never never interrupt a woman if you know what's good for you

Angelene B.
Angelene B4 years ago


Harbor Hag
Harbor Hag4 years ago

I'm still trying to get a date...and not the raisin kind neither.