7 Types of Body Language to Look Out For on a First Date
First dates are the best. They can also be the worst. There’s so much riding on a first date and the pressure is on to be your best self but also just be yourself and maybe get a juicy smooch or serious relationship at the end of it…
It’s a lot. Dates are some of the most exciting, nerve-wrecking and adrenaline fuelled experiences that sometimes end in beautiful love stories.
But we’ve been in lockdown so long, do we even know how to date IRL anymore?
If the thought of going on a date after lockdown freaks you out, that’s totally okay. Socialising, in general, is going to be an adjustment. We’ve gone through a lot in the past two years and it’s good to remember that and celebrate ourselves for getting through it.
My advice? Try to think of the exciting elements of dating again. Remember how good it feels to get butterflies, to kiss someone you’re into for the very first time, to watch rom-coms and dream about the main characters being you and your crush.
To make the transition back into the world of IRL dating just that little bit easier, we’ve put together some body language to look out for on a first date, that clearly indicates how both you and your date feel about each other.
Here are seven types of body language to look out for on a first date:
As humans, we tend to touch the things we like. Touch makes us feel closer to a person we like and can also allow us to play with any sexual tension we might feel. Touch is one of the most obvious signs that your date is into you. It doesn’t have be loads of touching, just a hand on your back as you walk into the bar or a light touch on the arm throughout conversation go a long way.
Direct eye contact is always a good sign. Not only does it show that your date is socially confident, but it also shows that they’re listening to you and are really in the moment with you. Looking into someone’s eyes is also a really nice way to see if there’s a physical connection or every romantic’s favourite word: “chemistry”.
Did your date open the door for you? Take your coat off? Reach to touch or hold your hand over the table? Bring you a small gift? If yes to any of these, they liiiiike you. Gestures are basically our nonverbal form of communication that says ‘Hi, I like you.’ Often, people that don’t feel confident verbalising their feelings will do so with nice gestures instead.
Depending on the person, facial expressions can say a lot. They’re also a big part of what makes us attracted to someone. You might particularly like the way someone’s eyes crease when they smile, or their expressive eyebrows might add an element of endearment that makes you swoon or the shape of their mouth when it moves might make you want to kiss it. Try not to study your date’s face, because it will probably make them feel self conscious. But definitely take notice of their facial expressions and how they make you feel, because your instinct is almost always right.
When we like someone or are attracted to someone, we like to be physically close to them. This goes hand in hand with touch. If your date is walking super far ahead of you or doesn’t sit close to you at a bar, then this might be a sign that they’re not physically attracted to you. On the other hand, if someone sits extremely close to you (this goes for not on dates too), it’s almost a definite sign that they’re into you.
One of the most well-known signs of positive body language is how your bodies are positioned in relation to each other. If you’re standing up, say, waiting in line for the movies and your date is facing you, then that’s a really good sign. If they’ve got their arms crossed and/or are facing slightly away from you, this might mean that they’re either feeling uncomfortable or awkward, or just not feeling it. Facing someone is a sign that you feel comfortable with them, that you want to be close to them and that you’re interested in them.
These body language signs are slightly less subtle, but arguably some of the most fun to experience with someone you’re into. Subtle intimacy is those moments where you don’t know why, but you feel a tingly sensation in your body, a fluttering in your chest and you just know that you want to be intimate with someone. Subtle intimacy could be a hand on your thigh under the table, a lingering moment of direct eye contact, a ‘hello’ kiss that falls close to your mouth, a soft playful touch on the neck or head, holding hands in the dark movie theatre… these clear signs that someone is into you.
In these moments, when it’s clear that your date is into you, how your body reacts is a telling sign of how you feel back. You’ll know if you like how it feels or not: and that’s your answer.