Some really smart people have decided that when it comes to communication, only 7 percent is verbal and 93 percent is non-verbal. Breaking that non-verbal down, 38 percent is reportedly tone of voice and 55 percent is body language.
That’s good news for those of us who aren’t exactly sure what to say; instead of worrying so much about content, we should focus more on what are arms, legs and face are doing. Seems easy, right? Easier said than done.
When it comes to dating, nothing could be harder than giving off good body language! We are usually so nervous, we probably don’t even realize the body language messages we are communicating to our dates. Think about it—what kind of message do each of these body language cues give off?
Crossing arms: I don’t want to talk to you. Please leave me alone.
Frown: I am unhappy or frustrated.
Body turned away: I am paying attention to something else.
Eyes looking away: I would rather be somewhere else.
These are all pretty negative, aren’t they? But how many times do we do them? And when we are nervous, maybe we don’t mean to do them, but many times we fall into what feels most comfortable, not realizing the message our body language may be sending to our dates.
So here are some tips for body language success. Practice them all the time, and pay particular attention to doing them while on dates. It may feel awkward at first, but the more you practice the more natural it will be. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even get more dates!
Tip #1 – Smile. This may seem obvious—who doesn’t love a smile? Most people will smile when they greet others or when someone says something funny. But try to smile even more. Even if you’re just driving or shopping or doing laundry. Smiling makes you happier inside, and it portrays happiness on the outside. Your date will feel like you are a happy person—a definite plus.
Tip #2 – Watch your hands. In this instance, what you don’t do with your hands is the important thing to remember. Keep them out of your pockets and unfolded. Keep them free (I mean don’t hold your cell phone). Empty hands that are open and ready are the most positive type of hands. If your date is open to it, perhaps you can even hold hands! Test the waters by touching his or her arm and gauging a reaction. If it’s good, try again later and gauge a reaction again; then you’ll know if your date is ready.
Tip #3 – Eye contact. Eyes can tell you a lot about a person. Someone who is comfortable with eye contact gives the impression that they are a confident, honest person. That is definitely someone very date-worthy! If you are a shy person, eye contact may seem intimidating. It may seem silly, but practice in your mirror. Practice with strangers. The more you do it, the more natural it will be to do on a date.
Tip #4 – Body proximity. On a date you’ll have opportunities to sit or stand by your date. This can be tricky because some people like their space, and others have no bubble at all. So pay attention to your date and what he or she is doing with her body—if you sense tenseness as you get closer, maybe back off slightly. If your date doesn’t mind touching you, then you’ll know you can get a little closer than you would a stranger. It’s all about balance. If you are too far away, your date will assume you don’t even want to touch at all, but if you’re too close it could be creepy.
Tip #5 – Body position. Always turn your body and your head toward your date. This will give the signal that you are interested in them and what they have to say. That’s a definite plus.
Tip #6 – Saying goodnight. Now that the date is over, what do you do? Well, that depends on how the date went. In general people typically end a date at a doorstep. Here is a great opportunity to use body language to say you had a good time. Maybe rest your hand on your date’s shoulder and smile; if your date is welcoming to that gesture then maybe a hug or even a kiss could be in your near future. Those are some of the most fun body language of all!