Evidence-based tips for Valentine’s

Need to woo a partner in time for Valentine's? Follow these simple, evidence-based instructions for boosting your irresistibility.

When asking a lady for a dance or for her number, your chances will be improved by lightly touching her on the arm. Try not to do it in a creepy way.

Use mimicry, bodily and verbal. Use mimicry, bodily and verbal (see what I did there?)

If you're male, try to make yourself look taller and vice versa for women.

Hire a sports car, if you're a man, but don't bother if you're a woman. Both sexes should avoid Toyotas – that's a joke, please don't sue, they're lovely cars. 

When flirting with a man, use direct, no-nonsense chat up lines rather than the subtle or witty approach. Men are very easily confused.

When wooing a woman, use chat-up lines that demonstrate your helpfulness, generosity, athleticism, ‘culture’ and wealth. Don't bother with jokes, empty compliments and sexual references. This ought to do it – ‘Hey gorgeous, sorry I'm late: the opera over-ran, then I had to race to my neighbour's to help carry her piano upstairs – the one I bought her as a moving-in present'.

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If all else fails, impress them by telling them you read Farnam Street.