So you’ve been in the online dating pool for a while, and during your swim, you found a particularly intriguing match. And now you’re ready to meet them in person and woo them on the first date of your dreams! But how can you set yourself up for success? How can you help to make sure the time, money, and effort you’re putting into your date will be worth it? How can you make yourself look like an impressive and attractive romantic prospect to the date who’s captured your attention? And how can you show them affection without drowning them with compliments and endearing words that could scare them away?
The secret to success is body language. It’s a tool that anyone can use with a little bit of research and a basic level of practice. Without baring your soul to your date, you can express your interest in them effectively. You can say everything you want to without uttering a single word. Using body language correctly, you can make sure your date feels comfortable for the entire duration of your time together while leaving them wanting to see you again!
According to experts, body language accounts for 90% of our communication. So even if you stumble over your words, with the correct body language, you can make your romantic interest swoon on your first date! That doesn’t mean that your words aren’t important – you should always be mindful of what you’re saying to your date. But what you’re communicating to them isn’t limited to your words – it’s not even close, actually. The majority of messages you’re communicating to your match are being sent through your body language. So keeping these body language tips in mind for your first date is an excellent way to make sure you’re sending them the messages you want them to receive!
Make yourself the most attractive romantic option by showing your potential partner the date of a lifetime. You don’t need to take them to the most expensive spot in town or present them with artful and poetic professions. Open and attractive body language will have more influence on their opinion of you than a bouquet of flowers ever would.
Body language is the key to success on a first date. It’ll make you come off as open, honest, authentic, compassionate, attractive, endearing, and trustworthy. Everything that you want to show your potential partner that makes you the best dating option for them can be shown through body language – little movements and physical actions to keep in mind and practice during your date!
And this isn’t a deceptive practice, either. You’re not duping your date into thinking you’re a good romantic prospect for them. You’re actively and thoughtfully altering your body language so that you can accurately convey how great of a find you really are. You’re maximizing their ability to see your true potential as a partner. You may be manipulating your actions, but you’re not manipulating them. It’s almost like you’re wiping off the lens of a magnifying glass in order to clarify what they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise!
So pay attention to the following tips! Try to incorporate them into your daily life so you get some practice with them before you go on your date. Then, make sure you utilize this powerful knowledge during your first date so you can show your match the personable, confident, and enticing romantic prospect you are without any miscommunications. Use these techniques, and get ready to have a successful time with the person you’re interested in continuing to date!
Body Language Tips: Your First Date Guide
So without further ado, let’s dive into the tips you should use on your first date! While all of these can (and should) be used throughout your date, we’ll go through them in the order in which they’re likely to pop up and become applicable. Use these tips as your guide to using body language effectively on your first date!
1) Make Eye Contact
There’s one thing that you want to make sure you’re doing from the very start of your first date – make eye contact with them! If you’re looking away from them and avoiding eye contact, you’re not conveying confidence or even interest in your date. It might take some focused effort, but making sure you’re keeping eye contact with your date is well worth striving for.
With that being said, don’t give them the perma-stare. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable by making too much eye contact, where you link eyes and you simply refuse to look away. You don’t want to come off as nervous by breaking eye contact every time you make it, or aggressive by holding eye contact and forcing them to break your gaze every time. Try to mix it up – be the person who looks away first, and the person who’s not afraid to stare into your date’s eyes. Mix it up! A healthy balance will keep your date interested, intrigued, attracted, and comfortable.
It can take a minute to get used to this little dance with eye contact. That’s why it’s always best to practice a bit first! Actively engage the cashier on the other side of the counter with eye contact. Do the look away and hold dance to try it out. Within your first 3 attempts at achieving this balance, you’re almost certain to become a pro. We all have the natural instinct and ability to do this. All it takes is making a concentrated effort and putting this skill to use a couple of times to make it an integrated and effective part of your body language repertoire.
Relax, and naturally incorporate this tip into the way you act without even thinking about it! It’s as easy as practicing it a few times. Honestly, the hardest part is getting up the courage to make the initial eye contact. The first step is the most difficult for almost everyone. So, if you can bridge the gap between nervously looking away and initiating eye contact, it’s all downhill from there! And you’ll be an eye contact-making expert before you know it.
2) Keep Your Body Language Open
Once you’ve made eye contact, the rest of your first date will be underway! And you’ll be on the fast track to having a successful and enjoyable time with your potential partner. But body language is more than eye contact alone, and the wrong actions can throw you and your date off course. So continuing to effectively utilize body language is a must.
The next tip to keep in mind is to keep your body language open. Conveying a sense of openness will make you come off as confident, which is one of the most attractive traits people look for in romantic partners. Because of this fact, you’ll seem more attractive to your date as well if your body language is open! On the other hand, having a closed-off body language look isn’t going to serve you at all. It’ll make it seem like you’re not interested in spending time with your date, and you’re nervousness is more important to you than showing them a good experience.
So choose to show your date that you’re open! Show them you’re open to dating them in the future, open to being authentic with them, and open to enjoying time together. You’re openly interested in getting to know them better. You’re the honest, open, and authentic partner they’ve been looking for.
And how do we do this? Through body language and using open gestures when communicating with them. We’re going to avoid closing ourselves off while actively keeping our bodies open in the direction of the date!
Crossing your arms is the first big faux pas you’re going to want to avoid. It makes you look unapproachable and essentially asks them to start thinking about dating someone else who’s more open to the concept of dating them. Crossing your arms, closing your hands into fists, or even crossing your legs can make your date think you’re not engaged in the conversation, not looking to get to know them, and not interested in how they’re doing at all. Folding and crossing up your body in any way is going to send messages that you’re not looking to send. If it’s done too much and too severely, closing your body off in this way can ruin your chances of setting the foundation of a healthy and fruitful relationship.
So what should you do instead? Open up! Keep your arms loosely by your sides. Sit without crossing your legs. Don’t close your hands into fists. Any time that it seems reasonable and organic, show your date the palms of your hands. As long as you’re not giving them the “stop” sign with your open palm, it’ll show your date that you’re open, authentic, and honest. Everyone wants to date someone who’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and showing the palm of your hand sends the message that you’re that type of person – the one they’ve been looking for for so long!
Another thing we want to keep in mind is that folding your chin down into your chest will also send off a closed vibe. Keeping your chin open and organically up and your chest relatively open and wide will send your date the confident message you want them to get. As long as you keep these moves looking natural, you’re good to go! If you’re worried that you’ll look a bit awkward because you’re more used to closed gestures, practice in the mirror before your first date – and see how amazing, attractive, and open you look when your body language game is in gear!
3) Use “Mirroring” Thoughtfully
“Mirroring” is a term that describes the natural phenomena people experience when they naturally match each other’s movements. One person will create a gesture, and because the other person is aligned with them, they’ll perform that same gesture. It’s like they’re playing the mirror game, where people copy what the other person is doing.
The reason why this happens is that people get in tune with each other. They subconsciously want to show the other person that they’re captivated by them and that they’re on the same page. It’s like subconsciously agreeing with someone without talking, or saying “yes” to what the other person’s saying or doing without words.
So without being manipulative, you can actively engage in mirroring to show your date that you’re digging them! While you’re doing it consciously, it’s still going to convey the same message to your date on a subconscious level. It’ll make them more comfortable than if you used your words to tell them that you’re into them.
Thoughtfully using the tactic of mirroring to your advantage will effectively improve the chemistry you have on your first date. Just match their poses and gestures to send their body language back to them. Try to pick gestures and poses that are open, but nothing’s off-limits for one stint of mirroring. The point is to make sure to match what they’re doing at least once in order to form a subconscious camaraderie with your date!
Once you do this intentionally for a while, you’ll start to do it without even thinking about it. Again, you’re tapping into the most effective body language tendencies that you’re born knowing how to do! You’re maximizing your ability to communicate effectively on your first date.
Mirroring will improve and strengthen your shared experience with your partner. It will make them feel understood, and let them know you’re having a great time getting to know them! It’ll tell them you’re actively listening to them and are attentively focused on what they’re saying to you. They’ll feel heard and understood, which will send them the message that you’re the attractive, attentive partner they’ve been searching for.
Once you’ve thoughtfully used mirroring, make sure to watch for it as well! If you see your date starting to mirror your postures and gestures, you’ll know you’ve got them fully on board. Try using a different gesture for the first time during your date, like touching your neck briefly. Then, watch and see if they do the same thing shortly after. No matter what gesture or posture you choose, see if they’ll mirror it back to you. While it may not happen immediately, it should happen within a few minutes of you performing that action. If they end up mirroring your action, your date is subconsciously confirming that they’re having a great time, they’re interested in what you’re saying, and they’re up for getting to know you better in the future! And you can find out all of that information without asking any questions, and without your date having to say anything at all!
Mirroring is so effective that if your date mirrors your actions after you’ve mirrored them for a while, it’s almost like getting a clear yes or no answer in terms of getting a second date. If you get mirrored, keep in mind that if a second date is what you’re looking for, you’re likely to get it if you ask!
4) Don’t Be Afraid to Smile!
Smiling has a bad rep nowadays. People want to seem cool, nonchalant, and unattached so that they don’t seem vulnerable and they can’t get hurt. Well, a first date is no time to be this type of “cool”! You’ve already made the vulnerable choice to let your date know you’re interested in them – that’s how you got on your first date in the first place. So now that you’ve put forth time, effort, and money, and you’re already in a vulnerable position, stopping yourself from smiling simply doesn’t make any sense.
Free your smile! Don’t be afraid to show your pearly whites. It’s more than okay to let your date know you’re having an awesome time on your first date. It’s even okay to seem eager to get to know the person you’re with. If you weren’t eager, you wouldn’t even be there, so trying to “play it cool” and stunt your smile is already a lost cause! Give up the fight against your smile – it’s a natural component of your body language repertoire for a reason.
And that’s because smiles are powerful. They’re infectious. They’re alluring. And possibly most importantly, they’re attractive.
While the perma-smile is never recommended, let yourself smile naturally! You don’t want to force a smile – your date will be able to tell. Real smiles sport physical attributes that forced smiles can’t mimic. These attributes are commonly referred to as microexpressions, and they give away how you’re truly feeling – especially when you try to force yourself to convey a disingenuous facial expression.
Microexpressions are involuntary. So if you try to force a smile, your face is going to show your date that you’re forcefully putting on a fake smile within a millisecond – and they’ll subconsciously pick up on what they see. It doesn’t send a great message!
Genuine smiles show scrunched-up crow’s feet or outer-eye areas. This can’t be faked by many people. While 1 in 10 people can command the muscles around their eyes to contract, their microexpressions will still give away the fact that their smile is fake.
So we don’t want to stop ourselves from smiling, and on the flip side, we can’t effectively force ourselves to smile either. So where does that leave us?
The trick is to make sure we’re actively engaged in an interesting conversation with our date. If you’re having a great time and you’re intrigued by what your date is talking about, all you have to do is allow yourself to show it through your big, beautiful smile! It’s really that easy. As long as you’re focused on your date and you’re into the experience, this will take almost no effort at all. And if you’re having such an awful time that you have no genuine smiles to offer, it might actually be best to save these body language tips for your next first date with someone you’re more compatible with!
Say you’re just in a bad mood because you had a bad day. And your lack of a genuine smile has nothing to do with your date, but you know a forced smile isn’t gonna get the job done. What can you do then?
Think about something that makes you truly happy! Do you have a pet or know a baby you love? Think of them until you smile! Is there a joke or a trending sound that makes you laugh hysterically? Tap into it – even if you chuckle out loud, it’ll be worth it! Maybe you can share that funny thing with your date and apologize for it being random – but it’s honestly just that funny. They’ll probably like it and feel like you’re letting them into your personal loop of awesome things you know about! Did they run to the bathroom? Close your eyes and meditate for 20 seconds, no matter what’s going on around you and no matter where you are. Clear your mind from your bad day and reset so that you can have an authentic and enjoyable time on your first date with someone you could really care about. Have a go-to memory or a happy place? It’s time to put it to use – this is why you have it lodged in your brain in the first place!
Once you tap into your smile, use it! It’ll keep your date on a wonderful track. If you can incorporate a genuine smile throughout your date from start to finish, you’ll make a lasting positive impression that your date won’t soon forget. You’ll relax your date, relax yourself, and create a foundation where you can start building meaningful trust. And all you really have to do is have a great time and allow yourself to show it through your attractive natural smile!
5) Use Confident Body Language
One of the most important goals to focus on when using body language on your first date is conveying a confident demeanor. As we mentioned, confidence is one of the most attractive traits in people looking for a romantic partner. So while no one wants to seem like a narcissist, using body language to convey confidence rarely takes the message you’re sending to that level. Utilizing body language rather than words to show you’re confident is a surefire way to convey the right amount of confidence in order to effectively attract your romantic interest on your first date.
The first step to conveying confidence with body language is to focus on your posture. Slumped shoulders aren’t going to send your date a confident message – they’ll do quite the opposite. If you want your date to think you’re nervous, shy, depressed, and down on yourself, slumping your shoulders is definitely the way to go. If you’re going for a different, more confident approach, roll those shoulders back and leave them there! This can take a bit of practice – no one can achieve their ideal posture overnight. But there’s no time like the present to start working on this skill, because it’s an extremely effective skill that can have important effects on your dating life – from your first date and far into the future!
The next step to conveying confident body language is to stop the little, twitchy, fidgety actions we rely on as self-soothing tools. Do you bite your nails? You don’t want to do that on your first date! Do you blink a lot when you get nervous or annoyed? Try to keep blinking at a normal pace for the time being. Do you pick at your nails in order to help yourself calm down? There are better ways to soothe yourself, like engaging in breathing exercises, that’ll be far more attractive to your date!
There are actually some confident actions that incorporate fidgeting to make your transition from your go-to nervous movements to conveying confident body language smoother – or even seamless! These confident, fidgety actions are commonly referred to as preening. It’s when someone “grooms” themself in order to make themself seem more attractive to a romantic interest, and it’s built into our DNA. It lets your date know that you’re interested in them actively trying to make them find you attractive as a mate. And with a confident message like that, these preening actions give you every right and a free pass to fidget!
So what do we do when we preen? Well, common preening actions include fixing your clothes, playing with your accessories, or stroking your hair. And giving your hair a twirl is a much more attractive action than chewing or picking at your nails. So given the choice, if you have to fidget somehow, always go with preening on your first date!
6) Show Them You’re Being Attentive
There are clear ways that you can show you’re dating you’re paying avid attention to them. This will ensure they know you’re interested in them, in getting to know them better, and that you’re having an enjoyable time with them on your first date!
While these body language moves will occur naturally, mindfully using them will make sure that you stay engaged in your conversation. If you’re nervous, your attention might be diverted momentarily to something else in the room you’re in. Keeping tabs on your body language won’t only show your date you’re fully immersed in your conversation – it’ll actually help to keep you fully immersed!
The first and most important factor here is the direction where your feet are pointing. Naturally, your feet typically point at what you’re paying attention to. If you keep this in mind, you can point them back at your date if your attention starts to stray. This will keep you focused on the task at hand and the most important thing in the room – your attractive date! And if your feet are showing your attentiveness, the rest of your body will naturally follow suit, confirming the fact that your date is commanding your attention.
Also, it’s important to note that paying attention to your phone is not convincing body language that’ll keep your date interested in you! Obviously, any apparent actions that show you’re not paying attention are not going to serve you well. Unless you’re trying to drive your date away, there’s no good reason to break out your phone for more than a second during your first date.
7) Thoughtfully Incorporate Physical Touch
A little physical touch can go a long way on your first date! While it’s important not to do anything that could come off as aggressive, the slightest, gentlest touch can take the chemistry between you and your date to a whole new level.
There are tricks to incorporating this type of physical touch into your first date so that it’s seamless. Start by getting closer in proximity to your date. The last thing you want is to look like you’re reaching out to touch them because it’ll seem far too forced. And forcing it to happen doesn’t send the right kind of message. You want the whole experience to feel as natural and organic as possible.
Then, you go in for a simple, gentle touch on the arm or shoulder. It’s imperative that your physical touch is well-placed. Do not get creative. The point is to be subtle and bridge the gap between not-touching and touching – and that’s it! Your first date is not the right time to try to make leaps and bounds with physical touch. The arm or shoulder will definitely get the job done and accomplish your goal!
Bridging the gap also opens the door for them to engage in physical touch as well. If they want to kiss you, they’ll lean in. If they’re open to more physical touch, they’ll have the invitation to initiate it. The point is to start with a soft and subtle touch to let them know that they’re wanted. And to rely on their cues from then on in order to ensure they’re completely comfortable.
So thoughtfully incorporate physical touch into your first date in a way that respects your date’s boundaries. You’ll be able to bridge the gap between not-touching and touching, offer them an invitation to continue engaging in physical touch, and take your chemistry to the next level!
8) Use Body Language to Show Interest
Last but not least, there are body language moves you can use to show your date that you’re genuinely interested in them. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your date knows that you’re attracted to them and interested in continuing to get to know them better. Use these correctly, and you’ll be setting yourself up and laying the groundwork for a successful second date!
One of the easiest ways to show your date that you care about what they’re saying is by leaning toward them, even if it’s the slightest bit. By leaning in, you’ll be telling them that you’re actively listening to what they’re saying. This is more effective than repeating what they say back to them because it doesn’t involve words! You can show them you’re actively listening to them rather than telling them, so you never have to talk over them or interrupt them when they’re speaking to you. This will make them feel heard, valued, respected, and appreciated.
Leaning in is a natural action that we all do without thinking about it when we’re interested in something. Think about how you act when something unexpectedly interesting comes on the tv, like a commercial for your favorite show’s season premier or a breaking news alert. What do you do? What do everyone and anyone do in that situation? They lean in towards the television.
So thoughtfully incorporating this natural action won’t ever seem out of place. At no point will your date be wondering, “what are they doing? Why are they leaning in?” because everyone understands what this action means! It’ll make them feel as interesting and exciting as your favorite show, and as important as breaking news. When your date feels like you’re that interested in them, they’ll naturally have an increased desire to build a relationship with you!
Another body language move that you can use to show interest is the slight head tilt. Not only does the head tilt make anyone seem more attractive, it shows that you’re actively engaged in what your date is saying. You’ve seen this move before – and it isn’t just limited to our species, either. Have you ever seen an extremely cute dog tilt their head to the side when they’re thinking about what you’re doing? Well, that’s the basic concept of what you’re going for! It increases your cuteness (or attractiveness) while clearly stating that you’re thoughtfully processing what your date is saying. It says “I relate to what you’re talking about” without you having to say a word. It shows you’re present, in the moment, and interested in your date!
9) Use These Tips to Read Your Date
With the knowledge of these body language tips in hand, you’ll be prepared to adequately read your date! Without explicit knowledge of body language and what it means, you’d be limited to feeling whether or not your date is having a good time. By paying attention to the tips you’ve learned in this article, you’ll be able to know if your date is having a good time, feeling open, feeling confident, being interested in the conversation, and so much more!
So remembering and reviewing these tips will also provide you with invaluable insight into how your date is feeling when they’re with you. You’ll be able to know how they’re reacting to your shared experience on your first date!
Is your date closing themself off by crossing up their arms, their legs, or their hands? Maybe they’re feeling nervous, or you haven’t captured their attention. Since you’ll be able to notice this, you’ll be able to pivot. You can change the course of the date! You can ask them if they’d be more comfortable in another location, or if they’d like to change the purpose of the date and choose an entirely different activity altogether. Or, maybe it’ll let you know that you’ve been dominating the conversation, and it’s time to start asking them questions. Maybe they started closing themself off after you asked them a question that they seemed to take the wrong way. That could be an indication that you may need to clarify what you meant, state what your intention was when you asked that question, or simply apologize. If they start to open their body language back up, you’ll know that what you did effectively resolved whatever issue they were having and you’ve gotten your date back on the right track!
Body language is our most effective way of naturally communicating with each other. Are they making eye contact with you and holding your gaze relatively often? That’s a great sign that they’re having an awesome time on your first date! Are they sporting a smile that’s accompanied by the sides of their eyes scrunching up? That’s a genuine indication they’re enjoying your company as well. Are they mirroring your gestures, keeping their posture open, pointing their feet toward you, or even touching you every so often? Your second date looks like it’s already in the works!
And if you’re not seeing these signs, it can let you know that your date really isn’t very interested in the experience you’re sharing together. At the end of the day, it’s better to know that they’re not interested rather than getting your hopes up, having no idea that they had a bad time, and being disappointed. If you can tell that they just weren’t into you, you won’t ask them out for a second date. This saves you from experiencing any disappointment or rejection you’d incur otherwise.
In any and every case, knowing body language tips is a powerful tool to use on any first date. It sets you up for success by giving you the power to control the messages you’re sending, and to read the messages that your date is sending to you! Understanding body language can help you to accommodate your date, pivot when you need to, and save your date from a potential downturn. So don’t just use these tips to convey messages – use them to read the messages your date is communicating as well.
Anyone can use body language to improve their lives. It takes communication in general to a whole new level, enriching our social interactions and helping us create more meaningful connections. This can be especially effective and significant when we utilize body language tips on a special and groundbreaking occasion like a first date!
By taking note of these tips and putting them into practice, we’re increasing our self-awareness. There’s no way to manipulate our body language to convey something false. Our bodies naturally tend towards showcasing what we’re genuinely feeling. So if you’re worried about the utilization of body language being manipulative, you can stop worrying about it! Between microexpressions and other involuntary movements, our bodies are bound to show what we’re truly feeling. The point isn’t to convey false messages to our dates. The point is to maximize the amount of genuine positive messages we’re conveying to our dates in order to make the most beneficial impact that we can. And to make the most out of every moment we have while sharing our experience with a potentially special someone.
By paying attention to these tips and mindfully using them to show the most positive parts of ourselves, we’re able to communicate our efficacy as excellent partners to our romantic interests. We’re able to showcase the most honest, confident, attractive, and authentic version of ourselves to others. And that ability creates conducive conditions for a truly amazing first date!
At the end of the day, by staying positive, interested, and engaged with our date, we’ll be able to activate our most positive body language moves without even thinking. While mindfully and thoughtfully incorporating these tips into your first date will help you find success, it’s even more important to make sure you enjoy yourself! If you’re having a good time, your body language will communicate that to your partner. Enjoying yourself will maximize your ability to communicate attractive messages to your date in both intentional and unintentional ways. Body language is a natural way to communicate with others, and it’ll let your date know that you’re up for getting to know them better on an equally entertaining second date!