The first time you meet someone, it can be hard to tell for sure if you're actually vibing. Even if you think they're all that and a bag of chips, you might not be sure they feel the same way about you. Before you panic, instead of focusing purely on what they say on the date, it's never a bad idea to read between the lines. Learning to interpret body language clues on a first date is actually way more straightforward than it sounds — as long as you know what to look out for.
While it can be all too easy to harp on the things your date does (or doesn't) say, verbal communication is just one part of the story. For the most part, we're in full control of what we say and how we say it, but often, our body language paints a pretty accurate picture of what's going on inside our heads, on both a conscious and subconscious level.
The only way to know if your date likes you for sure is to ask, but this is just about one of the most awkward questions to spring on someone you just met. If you're interested in gauging your date's interest level without things getting totally awkward, being observant is definitely a solid way to go. I spoke with body language experts Traci Brown and Patti Wood to get an idea of what physical cues to look out for.
According to Wood, "leaning in as you say something positive" can be another physical sign that your date is into you.
Plus, on a practical level, sometimes it feels much easier to connect with someone when you can tell that they're listening intently to what you're saying. And if they're leaning in to catch every word, it's safe to assume that they're interested in what you have to say.
Isn't it trippy to think about how we have these huge orbs in our head that can signal our true feelings without us even realizing it? The notion that eyes are particularly communicative is nothing new, but when it comes to attraction, pupil dilation in particular is extremely telling.
According to Brown, when someone is into you, you may notice that "[their] pupils will dilate a bit." And if you think you won't be able to pick up on something this subtle, Brown urges us to be more observant. "Watching for the tiny things reveals all secrets."
Both Wood and Brown agree that if you find your date establishing physical contact or reaching toward you in a way that doesn't make you feel uncomfortable, then there's a pretty good chance they're into you.
"We reach for things we like," notes Brown. But the key here is that the touching shouldn't necessarily be overtly sexual.
"Touching innocently," reiterates Wood, "which means on safe, nonsexual parts of the body, like touching you lightly and briefly on the forearm, [is a good sign]."
According to Wood, if you notice that your date keeps switching between making eye contact and looking at your mouth, then they're probably thinking about kissing you. And wanting to kiss you is definitely a sign that they're attracted to you.
While it's obviously impossible to read your date's mind with 100 percent accuracy, picking up on their body language clues is the next best thing. So the next time you're on a first date, pay extra attention to what their body is telling you.
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