Sometimes it takes a while to really build a connection with someone you're newly dating. Other times, a date's just a total dud all around and you have no idea how or why you ever agreed to "meet up" with Chuck from Bumble in the first place. Although it's important to remember that you're not boring and anyone in the world would be lucky to go on a date with you, understanding the body language signals that mean your date is bored can help you redirect the conversation — especially when you're having a good time, but can't get a read on them.
"It would be very practical if there were body language positions that always meant something specific, but there are actually no special signs that at all times mean that someone is bored," Sara Nyström, certified Body Language Master Trainer, country manager of the Sweden Center for Body Language, and founder of Impact Pro, tells Elite Daily. "When we interpret somebody´s body language, it is very important that we keep in mind that the context influences our interpretations."
Though Nyström attests that there isn't a specific body language clue that counts as a literal neon "I'm bored" sign, here are signs that might be able to clue you into a lack of enthusiasm.
1. A blank face.
Don't get me wrong, "Wide Open Spaces" is a Dixie Chicks banger. Yet, when getting drinks with someone new, if your date's face is a wide open space, it might mean they're checked out. "It is so easy to zone out as a listener, but when someone gives you a blank, open-mouthed look that resembles the face of a kid after five hours of cartoons, they are not winning friends and influencing people," Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, tells Elite Daily. "Drool is not very appealing. A lack of facial expressions shows someone's emotional response to your message is a strong indication of boredom."
According to Wood, it's natural to mirror someone's expression without noticing it. When you're telling a funny story, your date is probably also smiling and laughing. If you're talking about your early childhood trauma, they (hopefully) look compassionate and pensive. If you've been talking for a minute, and you notice your date has nothing going on in their face, try asking them a question or shifting the conversation.
2. They seem distracted or are literally doing something else.
At risk of sounding like a middle-aged dad: Talking to someone who's texting is the worst. It sucks. If your partner seems to be counting the ceiling tiles, or if they're literally reading a book or playing a Rubik's cube (IDK your life), they may be bored.
"Boredom means we become more preoccupied with our surroundings instead of the person in front of us," Barbara and Allan Pease, relationship authors and founders of Pease International, tell Elite Daily. "When you’re on a date, the most noticeable body language gestures are usually those seen above the table, such as facial expressions, arm, and hand gestures. If someone is bored, they are less likely to make eye contact with you and more likely to fiddle with items like glasses and phones."
If your date is literally texting, or if they seem to be antsy and fiddling around, try switching up the location or doing something more active. Walking to a different bar or hitting up a dance night could help you both get excited.
3. Bad Posture
If you took dance classes as a kid, you may already know the importance of standing or sitting up straight. If your date is looking a little too relaxed in their chair, or if they're hanging over the table, they may need to check back in.
"Look for signals that show they have shut down or turned off," Wood says. "They may turn away from you or slump in the chair. Sometimes people will lean backwards and lazily rest their arm around the back of the chair or in mock nap time posture by slumping forward in their chair, leaning or lying across the table."
Getting comfortable on a date can be a good thing. If you're in a cozy coffee shop or sitting on a couch, it may be natural to slump into your seat. But if your date is hanging on the table, it's OK to call them out about it.
There's nothing worse than meeting up with someone and getting the vibe your date is totally bored. If they seem a little distant or slumped over, or if they're not making eye contact when you speak, try asking them questions about themselves or changing the setting of wherever you are. If they're still not on your level, you may feel a better connection with someone else. You are an exciting and vivacious angel who knows what you want from love — and there's nothing boring about that.