We’ve all been there…the date where you just missed the cues… She wanted you to kiss her and you shook her hand instead. He wanted to be anywhere but there and you couldn’t stop telling that story about your grandmother’s teacup poodle. When you forget to pay attention to your audience… you run the risk of being “that” date living on your date’s oral tradition of crazy date stories.
How to avoid missing the details within the big picture? Pay attention to the non-verbal cues. She may say yes to date #2, but is she really going to answer your call?
- The eyes say it all. Big Pupils. Extended eye contact. Focus on you. Good. Very Good.
- Grooming signals. Hair flipping. Lip stroking. Straightening clothes. Your date is interested!
- Touching you. Arm brushes. Small of back squiring. Toe or finger contact. The distance has been bridged — unless the touch is inappropriate or friend-ish (ie. punching you on the upper arm) — you are in like Flynn.
- Body Positioning. Leaning towards you? Shoulders squared towards you? Feet pointing in your direction? Wrists or palms of hands exposed to you? The signals are all green.
- Mirroring behavior. Same speech tempo. Body synchronization (moving at the same time in the same direction). Using words you use. Breathing or shifting at the same pace. (All of these are usually unconscious patterns that rise to the surface as you warm up to each other.)
- Crossed arms, legs or eyes. This suggests a wall or barrier between you.
- Looking at everything and everyone but you. Yes, many of us are “people watchers” but if you are doing it on a first date — its because you are more interested in watching people other than the person you are with.
- Distance. Do you feel or see a “great divide” and it has nothing to do with the table or cleavage between you? Your date is distancing from you like someone would with a slobbery dog and a favorite suit. This is typically not an indicator that they want to swap spit with you.
- Not even trying to carry their side of the conversation. If someone is totally checked out of the conversation and it’s a first date… you aren’t likely to get another date. Yes, some people are shy and some are quiet. Some are interested in quirky topics and really only discourse on those subjects. All of that may be true — but they are still going to try to make a connection if they are interested. Another note about conversation red flags — they discourse on their ex. Extensively. Really not good.
- Back patting, hand shaking, side hugging at the door. Bad news… you have now entered the friend zone.
- They never show up for your date. (This is usually seen as a really really bad sign.)
- They actually act on their friends “emergency you have to come meet me” phone call and leave the date before dinner gets to the table.
- They hand their phone number to the waiter/waitress. In front of you.
- They offer to set you up with an acquaintance instead of accepting the second date offer.
- Excessive yawning, eye rolling or name calling. Unless your date was up running through your dreams all night, lost a contact and has Tourrette’s Syndrome (and you like it that way)… don’t go in for the goodnight kiss.
(Yes, this is a repost, but perhaps 2 years is long enough to let it linger in the back files. Please feel free to pick up the conversation where we left off and mention body cues that I may have missed or share your own story of body language gone wrong…)