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Men, you have 30 seconds to impress women

Date: 2006-10-17

HALF of all women make their minds up within 30 seconds of meeting a man about whether he is potential boyfriend material, according to a study on speed-dating.

The women were on average far quicker at making a decision than the men during some 500 speed dates at an event organised as part of Edinburgh Science Festival.

The scientists behind the research said this showed just how important chat-up lines were in dating. They found that those who were "highly skilled in seduction" used chat-up lines that encouraged their dates to talk about themselves in "an unusual, quirky way".

The top-rated male's best line was "If you were on Stars In Their Eyes, who would you be?", while the top-rated female asked bizarrely: "What's your favourite pizza topping?"

Failed Casanovas were those who offered up hackneyed comments like "Do you come here often?", or clumsy attempts to impress, such as "I have a PhD in computing".

About a third of the speed dates were actually over within the first 30 seconds, but there was a marked difference between the sexes with 45 per cent of women coming to a decision within 30 seconds, compared with only 22 per cent of men.

Professor Richard Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, said: "Men are often accused of being shallow and judging women very quickly.

"However, this evidence suggests that women may make up their minds much quicker than men. It suggests men have only a few seconds to impress a woman, thus emphasising the importance of their opening comments."

The study also found that women were twice as picky as the men.

However, both the top-rated man and woman of the evening had a 100 per cent success rate, with every one of their dates wanting to meet them again.

Conversation topics were also assessed. Only 9 per cent of pairs who talked about films agreed to meet again, compared with 18 per cent who spoke about the subject found to be the most suitable for dating: travel.

It is thought women's taste for musicals clashed with the male liking for action films, while talking about "great holidays and dream destinations" made people feel good and appear more attractive to each other.

A total of 70 pairs of people agreed to meet again and they will be tracked over the next few months to see how they get on.

"If there were ten of them together [in three months], I would be amazed, but maybe we'll get a wedding out of it. That would be nice," Prof Wiseman said.

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