Body Language for Dating- Top 10 Tips

Body language in dating can be difficult to navigate so we put together the top 10 tips from experts

Remember body language? It's that thing we did once upon a time when we interacted face to face with other people. Well as more of the world opens up and we get used to seeing people again, body language for dating and life in general is going to become more important than ever. Everything from facial expressions to the right amount of eye contact can help you make other people feel more at ease and create a deeper more unique connection.

We consulted a few great resources to put this together, notably: Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, The Definitive Book of Body Language and Be Aware by a female FBI crime analyst.

1) Practice your body language in a mirror

       Most people go about their lives with no idea of how much they telegraph through their body language. To really understand, try practicing in front of a mirror or take a video camera and record yourself going from one room to another, then watch it back. It's surprising how many little gestures add up to an overall impression.

2) Feet Pointing

This is one of the greatest most consistent tricks in the book: where your feet point is where you want to go. Same thing for those in the room with you. Feet kind of give us away. If you're speaking to someone and their feet are pointed away it means they are uncomfortable with the topic and would rather be somewhere else.

Feet also signal attraction. A lot of times when meeting someone new we pour on a lot of attention. We face them fully, our chests are towards them, our feet are pointing and we are paying attention. For a lot of people that can be too much too fast. A good trick here is to actually face your feet away from them so you can engage but aren't positioned too much at them.

3) Keep your body language open

Having open body language signals to the other person that you are giving the green light to listen and be open with them. Body language for dating means keeping your arms uncrossed, keeping your legs uncrossed and making your you don't place a barrier between you and the other person (like the coffee cup or mug or your purse). Keep the space between the two of you open. Keep your hand gestures nice and open - palms showing.

Bonus Fact: Lots of times we think that our brain is sad or angry or happy and then sends a signal to your mouth to frown or smile. But it can actually work the other way around! Your brain can actually take signals from your body about what emotion you are feeling. If you are sad and you smile... your brain will think you are happy. Give it a try.

4) Physical Contact - aka touching

A lot of guys touch too much or too little (or not at all) on first dates and there's an art to learning how to touch the opposite sex in a way thats playful without putting too much attention.

The secret to touching properly in social interactions is "Touch Progression."

When we meet someone we are sexually attracted to we want to jump right in (men and women) and who can blame us. Usually this manifests as us putting a hand on their waist or back. Women will usually touch a mans chest.

Instead, start off with just quick touches.

As a man, focus on shoulders first. Tapping their shoulder, putting your shoulder against hers for a second, creates very sensual moments that allow you to naturally progress.

As a woman, place a hand on his arm or knee. The knee will send jolts of electricity through his legs.

As the night and the relationship progresses you can touch in different areas and progress from casual glancing touches to heavier, longer touches.

The golden rule here is:

If it feels wrong, it is wrong. When we like someone and it flows we notice these touches but in an exciting way. If it feels wrong or awkward it's ok just dial it back and progress a little slower. Remember everyone gets used to touch differently so don't take it personal and let the relationship progress.

5) Eye contact

Ah eye contact is really important. Mostly because on first dates, you are trying to read each other and human beings are notoriously bad at reading expressions of strangers. Shifty eye contact or too much eye contact can really make it hard for people to trust you and figuring out the middle ground is helpful in both dating and business.

Main Tip:

Prolonged eye contact should last no more than 3 seconds.

During those three seconds, shift from their left eye to their right. Once 3 seconds have passed, move your eyes somewhere, think about what they said and then come back to them talking.

6) Eyes Up Here (and the proper way to check your date out)

Women are insanely good at tracking eye movements. This comes from evolution actually. Men see in a more wide - landscape style view which allows them to maximize hunting. Women see in an oval that allows them to view environment and any dangers.

Main point is this: If you check out her cleavage she will see it.

There is no sneaking around this. If you sneak a glance she is going to see and while its ok and even necessary to project sexual interest, it needs to be done the right way.

Male Tip: How to Check Out Your Date Without Being Creepy:

As men sure we get dressed up for dates but women really really go the extra mile. Even doing your hair is a whole process and dating life seems to merge into countless hours getting ready, especially for a first date.

So the way to check out your date is simple:

"Check her out right when you first meet your date and do a slow head to toe. Women really appreciate that you take the time to look at what they are wearing and acknowledge the work they went through to get there."

A woman on a first date showing cleavage WANTS you to look at her. In the right context sexuality is the best thing but you want to make sure you do it the right way.

So very simply, when you first see your date, check her out do the once over and then smile and say "wow you look incredible!" This will allow you to check her out while also making her feel great.

After that, for the first outting, keep your eyes up here soldier.

7) Head up - Take up Space

This is a good tip for both men and women and we are listing it here under dating but really it's a general rule of life. Take up space. When standing in an elevator or on the subway, do you hunch yourself and put your feet close together? Don't do this, taking up space shows confidence that you  deserve to make room for yourself.

8) Turn your chair to the side

When you sit down to dinner, most times you will be placed across from each other. The positioning and the urge can be to face each other head on and lead to the kind of body language you see more in job interviews than relaxed dates.

Instead, when you sit down turn your chair a little to the right or left so it gives off more of a lounging vibe and will set the tone that you are both having fun and this isn't a formal sit down thing.

9) Don't play it too cool

Study after study has shown that knowing somebody likes you increases attraction levels between the two people. (Read the original study here:) We've all had that experience where we didn't really notice a guy or girl, we weren't trying to attract attention, and yet we find out they like us and that kind of makes us start thinking about them. A lot of time it'..s the spark that ignites the relationship.

So while every dating coach and body language expert is right to say "play it cool for attraction", there is also tremendous value in going for it and telling people how you feel (in the right context and not out of the blue.)

10) If you're in a club and can't hear them - DON'T LEAN IN

There is very little different between that 1 inch where you lean in other than you leaning and projecting too much interest and probably hurting their ear drum. If you are somewhere loud I'm sorry but there is only one answer - talk louder. Don't lean in.

Conclusion:

There are tons of techniques that you can build that will help with body language in the dating scene. Mirroring and leading and all that but the above are some basics that will help get you started in the space.  

Lastly, remember that body language is just one part of the dating game. Many people are scared to put themselves out there and working on your body language can give you confidence to overcome this fear. Make sure to check out our article 14 Ultimate First Date Advice & Tips to help when planning that first date.

And to learn more about female body language, male body language, or just general body language signs check out the books we listed up top.

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