A Dating Tip From Joan Rivers


Picture this: You’re on a date with someone you really like, but…

…there’s no chemistry. No spark. Not a single firework. You’re nervous and a little chatty. You start wondering if it’s really a date—maybe you’re just two friends hanging out?

Well, Joan Rivers (of all people) shared a brilliant tip years ago: Pretend that you’re kissing. During the evening—as you walk to the movie theater, as you wait in line for popcorn, as you find seats—pretend in the back of your mind that you’re kissing your date the entire time.

I shared this dating tip on Glamour four years ago, but since a lot of people are new to Cup of Jo and weren’t reading my column back then, I wanted to share it again.

It sounds random, but I tried it on dates and it really works. Amazingly, the mental trick changes your body language (you’ll lean in closer and tilt your head slightly), slows down the pace of your conversation (especially when you’re nervous) and helps your confidence skyrocket (you’ll feel bold and sexy). Your date will pick up on your subtle cues; by the time you actually kiss each other, the sparks will be flying.

Isn’t that a great tip? Would you try it?

P.S. Just for fun, I kind of want to try with Alex the next time we’re on a date night:)

(Photo from Moonrise Kingdom; tip originally shared on Glamour)

  1. Cutting the calories out of mental kissing to actual kissing, that makes sense. I mean, I am a great fan of the Law of Attraction and this law negates any exceptions. The mind is involved deeply in the conditioning phase as the law of readiness requires a sound mind to even do the talking.

    Eye contact perhaps is another thing to consider. It’s either she loves you or not at all. It’s only two birds and love connotes frankness; it’s just us who prolongs this agony by trying to break even or find that silver lining.

    Love lots,

  2. This is such a great idea! Ha. I have never thought about it before but I have caught myself thinking about the kiss in the middle of the date. It is such a great way to get those butterflies going!

  3. Disappointed in all the comments saying this is ridiculous. I have been in situations where I’ve really been attracted to a person but there was for a period no apparent chemistry. Glad I stuck it out, kept my mind open, and that both of us had the patience to wait around while our nerves defrazzled. No matter how much I wish it, I’m never going to be the calm, cool, and collected type.

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  5. i don’t know if i would have the courage to do it (x … ~~~ i blush just thinking of it ! :P Thanks Jo*

  6. To everyone disagreeing and such, I think you have to read it in a different way/apply it differently..

    Yeah, if there’s no chemistry, there’s no chemistry haha, but if you’re on a date and you like the person and you’re so nervous/not smooth/awkward, and you just pretend you guys have already been kissing, it will make you feel so much more relaxed! And as mentioned, it’ll change your body language to be a little more intimate/comfortable so you’re more likely to actually kiss without worrying. :)

    But yeah, if you don’t like them.. well, no why would you do it?

    Totally going to use this when I’m nervous though!

  7. I can only see this working if you actually liked the person… and then wouldn’t you want to kiss them anyway?? When I think about kissing someone I don’t have any chemistry with, I just feel mildly repulsed..

  8. I’m going to try this on my husband. After ten years and now a baby together, it can be tough to keep the sparks flying sometimes! ;)

  9. I actually teared up thinking about using it on date night with my long term BF. Adorable. Thank you :)

  10. This is absolutely the perfect tip at the perfect time. Thank you, Jo!

  11. that’s really good advice! I am such a nervous wreck when I go on dates…it’s why I never really go on them!

  12. I adore this tip so much! I’ve been with my fiance for 5 and a half years and this is definitely a great tip to try to make things a little special again!

  13. The only thing that has me thinking is Blushes. I suffer of a bad case of them you see, and I always blush with a kiss, or thinking of a kiss and flirting. I’ll have to practice to see if the redness can be contained, because this sounds so mischeivously fun!

  14. Really insightful tip! I can completely see this working. However, you’ve got to question if the chemistry is real or if you have just fooled yourself. All in all, it’s a very cool thought and I am going to test it out on my boyfriend :)

  15. This is not meant to be passive aggressive at all, but I’m totally proud of you for the citation. Ethical blogging rules, keep it up!

  16. I need tips on getting a hot date in the first place :p

  17. hahahahaha oh my goodness this is fantastic! I’m just going to do it with husband though…. sparks be flyin!


  18. If I don’t have any chemistry with someone, the LAST thing I want to do is imagine kissing them. On a side note, that picture from Moonrise Kingdom is wonderful…loved that movie!

  19. D2 says...

    LOVE this tip. And I love that photo from Moonrise Kingdom (fabulous movie)!

  20. Lol. Really? No offense, but this is the silliest, dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! If there’s no chemistry, move on! Having to pretend to like someone … who’s that desperate?

  21. I don’t know. Taking a tip from Joan Rivers seems like a slippery slope.

  22. Yes! I will def. try it, good for my overall anxiety. :)

  23. The first time I hear this tip, but am definitely giving it a try asap!!

  24. I’m going to have to try that on my husband, but I don’t know why I’d want to do this with someone with whom I had no chemistry.

  25. Awesome tip!! I’m currently dating someone and sometimes i get so nervous about whether he is liking me or not that the conversation doesn’t flow smoothly… :s The other day i was wearing dark red lipstick whihc i hoped would make me look interesting and sexy but since he didn’t even mentioned it i started worrying too much where he had liked it or not and didn’t actually felt comfortable for the night. I ended up cleaning it discretely with my napkin… I’m definately trying this to be more confident next time! :)

  26. What a cute tip (and Moonrise Kingdom is a seriously cute movie)! LK’s comment made me think of my own NEW dating experiences, where most of our kisses ARE still in the car! After our first “in public” kiss–even just a little one–we were so nervous and, after, incredibly relieved! It was so silly. Joanna, have you written any posts on “pda,” or even just subtle sort of “public” gestures, like holding hands as you walk down the street?

  27. It’s also an awesome tip for date night with the hubby of 17 years!!!!

    • Ha! I was thisclose to posting the exact same thing (just switch your 17 years for my 12 years…). ;-)

  28. Love it – I’m totally trying this. Joan is such a bad ass.

  29. Haha I love that you used this of all scenes from Moonrise Kingdom for this post. Don’t you wonder if that’s not exactly what Suzy Bishop was trying to do here? Love this movie.. my husband and I are even dressing up as these two for Halloween!

    • That is a fantastic Halloween costume idea!

    • LOL that’s what my hubs and I are doing too, because he wears glasses and every year he has the hardest time finding a costume or mask that accommodates his specs!

  30. LK says...

    I totally did this on my first date with my boyfriend. Not because I was nervous but because I just really wanted to kiss him! He could totally tell but he didn’t kiss me until the end of the date and it was the most awkward kiss ever… We were sitting in a car so that didn’t help. But now our kisses are fantastic.

  31. Thank you for sharing, very sweet <3

  32. Who knew Joan was so wise?!

  33. Love this!!! Kissing is so fun. :)

  34. haha. I would be totally distracted. I think I will try this with my husband… maybe he will be totally seduced by it ;)