Zipped into your favourite dress, you've got a mojito in one hand and the perfect bar-stool positon from which to pounce. Then, suddenly he looms into view: the six-foot actually real version of your perfect man. It's 9:30pm- you've got a good hour and a half left to lure him to your side and make him fall in love with you. Sounds implausible? It's not.
Science has proved that 90 minutes is the perfect time to get two hearts pounding to a single beat. A US study introduced couples and asked them to spend 90 minutes exchanging details about their lives, explaining what they liked about one another and gazing into each other's eyes. Afterwards, the couples said they felt very close and one pair even got married. Nicholas Boothman, author of How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You In 90 Minutes Or Less has devised the perfect make-love-happen formula. Ready to try it? Then identify your target and synchronise watches. We'll see you on the other side.
0-5 mins First impressions
"Of the 2,100 couples I've studied, over a third believed they'd fallen in love at first sight," explain Nicholas. "It takes someone just two seconds to decide if they like you or not and they'll view everything you say from then on in a favourable or unfavourable light". Before approaching the object of your affection, make sure you're standing tall-subconsciously, the most important attribute a man looks for is good health, so slouching gives off all the wrong signals.
Next, remember a moment you felt fab, and your internal positivity will show on your face and in your posture. Keeping your head slightly lowered will make you seem approachable, and make lots of eye contact. It might sound like a clichÃ©-but it's a clichÃ© for a good reason: it works. Eye contact can create intimacy with someone you barely even know.
5-10 mins The approach first
Introductions at social events are easy. You know the host, he knows the host-how hard can it be? But making the first move on a stranger is a different story. The braver among you can try the 'instant rapport' technique. Simply get close and start talking as if you know him-but keep it fun and flirty. So, if it's raining and you've just got on the bus, saying, "Look at my hair, it just can't cope in this weather!" is a lot more interesting than, "I hate rain". If he responds, great. If not, you haven't lost anything.
If you're not ready to plunge into a conversation, break the ice by asking advice. "Use 'talk-show host' questions-a statement followed by an open-ended (not 'yes' or 'no') question," Nicholas says. "If he's clutching a bottle of wine in the supermarket, say, 'I'm hopeless at choosing wine, which red do you recommend?'" So you've got chatting-now how do you land a date? While nodding slightly, say, "I was wondering how you'd feel about grabbing a coffee?" By using words like 'wonder' and 'feel', you're asking his opinion, not a question he can say no to.
10-30 mins The set-up
While you're racking your brain for the perfect anecdote, he's busy taking in the visual cues you're giving him. 55 percent of how we respond to people is based on what we see, so keep your body language 'open' and relaxed. At the same time, drop his name into the conversation, which is a great way to flatter his ego, and use the 'me too' trick. "People like people who are similar to themselves," Nicholas says. "So the best way to show your similarities is to say 'me too' as much as possible-as long as you mean it." Being animated is more attractive than staying stone-faced.
30-60 mins Make chemistry
When we feel connected to someone, we synchronise our body language-so one of the quickest ways to make him feel closer to you is to mimic him. Done right, it can send sparks flying-as long as you stick to subtle movements. He won't be impressed if you scratch your nose whenever he does.
So match and mirror him-when he moves his left hand, you move your right. When he leans forward, you do too, and when he crosses his legs, cross yours. You can even throw in some flirty moves. Licking your lips, playing with your hair and tracing your collarbone with your fingers are top tricks. As he talks, flick your gaze from his eyes to his mouth and back again, then linger on his lips for a second or two. And try not to laugh.
60-70 Mins get flirty
When Zara came to India recently, women queued for hours. Make something exclusive and we want it-a rule that works in relationships too. "If you give the impression you're in demand, he'll want you more," Nicholas says.
If he suggests a date on Thursday, tell him your diary's full-but if you change things around, you can meet him on Friday. If you want to snag him in 90 minutes, you need to be sexy, not cute- and confidence and mystery are two of the most tantalising qualities you can offer.
70-90 mins Create intimacy
He should be under your spell by now. So now you can create intimacy by taking him into your confidence. "We find someone attractive based on how they look," says Nicholas. "But we fall in love by talking". The key is to tread very carefully.
Low-risk disclosure includes your likes and dislikes, and facts like where you're from. Medium-risk-where you should aim- involves sharing opinions and dreams. And high-risk sharing is telling him your deepest feeling, insecurities and fears. Going this far can lead to getting super-close super-quickly, but there is such a thing as too much information. Avoid talking about past relationships and don't spill all your secrets at once-confide in him, then wait for him to give something back.