Carnegie’s 9 Important Principles of a Lasting Relationship


Men, we know that navigating dating with success can be difficult. However, it can be simplified by using the nine simple principles of a lasting relationship, which has been adapted from the Carnegie classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People. While this advice has traditionally been set in terms of how to improve your business relationships, it should come as no surprise to you that it can also aid in the success of your dating relationships.

1. Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain about Your Ex’s
Criticizing other people, including your ex-girlfriends, is not only damaging to their self-images but also puts a dent in your own. “Any fool can criticize, condemn, or complain—And most fools do,” Carnegie says. “But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

2. Offer Honest and Sincere Appreciation
Carnegie recommends, “leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips,” and the same could be said about each date you find yourself on. No woman likes to have smoke blown up her rear unless truly deserved, so to keep things real, offer only plausible (sincere) compliments about your date. This may include praise about her glowing skin, or the great pair of stilettos she’s wearing.

3. Arouse an Eager Want in Your Date
Unfortunately (and fortunately) we’re not talking about the desire your date has to take you to bed (although if that happens, kudos to you). Instead, this advice is about giving your date a reason to set aside some time to really get to know you. Carnegie would say the best way to do this is to give every woman something of value. Instead of concentrating on bragging about yourself, find out what it is that she wants out of life. Once you know that, you can focus your conversational topics on the reasons you might be the person she’s been looking for.

4. Become Genuinely Interested in the Women You Date
You will get more dates in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other women, than by trying to get them interested in you. Don’t play games with women, trying to get them to go out with you for purely your own benefit. Instead, show a genuine interest in getting to know them, and that compliment will open the door to a mutually beneficial relationship, which just might result in a second and third date.

5. Smile
There are far too few smiles in the world today, but one smile can go a long way. Whether it is the picture on your dating profile or the one you give your date as you meet her for the first time. Dating can be nerve-racking, but don’t forget about the importance of smiling. As Carnegie would say, “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”

6. Remember that a Woman’s Name is the Sweetest and Most Important Sound (and Visual) in any Language
Carnegie says, “The average person is more interested in his or her own name than all the other names on earth put together.” While this tip is generally used in business situations, there is something very important to consider when dating in a modern world. When you write out a woman’s name in a text or e-mail, you have just paid her a very effective compliment. However, if you misspell her name (or any other word, for that matter), you have just placed yourself at a very sharp disadvantage. Check the spelling of her name, and then check it again to make sure.

7. Be a Good Listener–Encourage Your Date to Talk About Herself
One common complaint among first dates, that they never let the other person get a word in edgewise. Sometimes you will do far better on a date if you stop talking and start listening. It is natural to want to present your best case as to why you are deserving of her company, but in order to truly impress, you must first know where she is coming from. If you can understand her point of view, you will have a much easier time relating to her on an intimate level.

8. Talk in Terms of Your Date’s Interests
In order to grasp the interest of a woman, it is usually best to talk in terms of her own interests. This doesn’t mean that you have to do this the entire night, but just be aware of the topics that might interest her the most. How can you accomplish this? Well, President Roosevelt used to sit up the night before, reading up on the topics he thought his guests would enjoy discussing. You can do the same by studying a woman from afar (at the bar, work, school) before reaching out to her. This way you will have a better idea of what topics (date ideas) might capture her attention.

9. Make Your Date Feel Important, and Do it Sincerely
Carnegie’s advice to make others feel important and respected can be extended in dating situations to refer to saying thank you for a thoughtful gift or expressing appreciation at the end of the evening. Perhaps even more important is if the two of you are butting heads on a particular subject. If this happens, accept her opinion respectfully, and then politely move onto a different topic. By acknowledging her thoughts, whether you agree with them or not, you will remain in her good graces, and continue to be in the running for another date (if you want to be, that is).

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About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created, a site for every guy.

About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created, a site for every guy.