So you want to win a guy over, and you only have a few minutes, say 10 minutes or less. The best source of information on what a man likes is: you guessed it. Men. I happen to have one or two on hand. Wait- that doesn’t sound right. I’ve been married for 10 years, and I have a twin brother. I know a few things about what has “worked” for them and what hasn’t. My brother’s and my dating years were a blast. We’re very close, and after every date we’d come home and share what was awful, or the things that were wonderful. (Sorry, honey.)

Want to know how to win him? I’ll tell you, because men aren’t that hard to understand when you get right down to it. At least compared to us ladies. (We’re kind of a labyrinth of an emotional windstorm wound up into a ball of mystery, insecurity, and estrogen and shoved into a puzzle with no solution.) So I like to think of men as not so much simple, because that word has associations that do them an injustice, but straightforward. They will tell you what they want, and it usually isn’t complicated, or a long list. And if you try to do it, happiness ensues.

So I asked, and here’s what they said: He’ll like a happy, confident, pretty, feminine woman who listens to them, and makes them feel good about themselves.

1- Be confident. Stand (or sit) tall. Think of one of the most confident, empowered people you know and emulate their posture. My favorite is Wonder Woman. I know, I know. It might seem silly, but it works for me. It’s been proven that standing like a superhero for two minutes can improve your chances of getting a job- why not try something similar with getting the guy? Try it (if I’m somewhere public I go into a bathroom stall) and see if it works for you. I promise you’ll like the results. And trust me, to any guy worth catching, confidence = sex appeal.

2- Eye contact. Looking deep into someone’s eyes when they’re speaking to you is unusual these days. It surprises people, but it’s refreshing. Eye contact can tell us a lot about each other- whether someone is interested in us or not (dilation of the pupils), whether or not someone is lying (liars tend to make too much eye contact, not less, which is what most people think) and whether or not someone takes you seriously. But the most important thing about gazing into his peepers is that it will actually help him remember you. It’s been proven that mutual eye contact will cement your identity into his brain better than anything else.

3- Listen. Lean in when he talks, tilt your body toward him. Body language is important! If he is talking about his beloved dog Daisy, listen and nod and then ask him a question about her a little bit later. If he tells you that he’s been having a hard time dealing with his mom calling him all the time, tell him that you think it’s wonderful that he talks to his mom and is patient enough to go through that every night. Guys don’t get complimented very much- they certainly don’t compliment each other- and building him up might make him think that being with you would make him feel that good more often.

4- Be happy. This is a general rule for making anyone like you in conversation but especially in this situation! Try to smile, laugh, and use those cute cheeky expressions that you’ve been practicing in the mirror at home. If you don’t have any of those, try it! It’s fun and harmless, and will make you more comfortable with your face. Trust me, it’s a nice face, and you always look better when you’re confident and at ease.

Think of some of your favorite celebrity faces and try to emulate their expressions. It’s fun, and can help you feel a little like you’re pulling a trick out of a hat when you’re feeling nervous. I know that when I’m feeling shy and uncomfortable it helps to pretend I’m someone confident and happy- it fools my face and body into calming down and being at ease. And in the meantime it helps me to have fun feeling like I’m acting.

5- Be feminine. While this is a generalization and some may disagree (feel free to), most men like to feel manly and like women who make them feel that way. So be girly- find a way to make them feel protective, let them open a door for you or pick something heavy up for you. Be graceful and polite, and don’t sit like a guy and (a pet peeve of mine) don’t walk like a duck. You know, set one foot in front of the other, and all that- it’s pretty, and makes us look good when we walk. I don’t mean we should be methodical and calculating about this- not at all- but trying to remember some of this in general might help you out.

6- Don’t try too hard! Let him do the chasing if you can. See if there’s a way to let him initiate the conversation, or do something for you. You know, the whole rescue the damsel in distress thing? Or you could let him teach you something, and you can admire his talent. A little foresight or planning never hurt anybody. If you see an opportunity, take it. Let him see you in need of a helping hand with that heavy box at IKEA, or not having enough hands to carry the drinks back to your friends at your new favorite place which, hey- happens to be where he hangs out on Friday nights too.

In the end, it’s important not to take yourself too seriously. The better you feel about yourself, the more attractive you are, according to modern psychology. If you let little things roll off of your back, laugh off rejections (because obviously they don’t know what they’re missing) and live for yourself, you’ll exude that happiness. Don’t people like that seem to have a sort of magnetism? You will too.

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