Deciphering Body Language on a First Date

Stop guessing if your date is interested or not. Learn his body language instead.

Cheerful young couple stirring coffee at cafe while looking at each other
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Here's another myth: We think that when people are fidgety, they're bored or disinterested, or they want to be somewhere else. But we can't forget people's baselines. Before you get into the hot topics, get the baseline. How often does he normally move? We all have a body rhythm, and everyone is a little different. Get the baseline of your date in the first couple minutes when you're just small talking, before you get into why he's divorced, or why she's on Match.com or hasn't quit smoking.

[See Tips for Safe and Healthy Online Dating.]

What other advice do you have for folks going on dates this weekend?

If you like the person, make sure your goodbye is just as enthusiastic as your hello. This is a big mistake. We'll often get really nervous and excited when we say hi to someone, but when we leave, it's this kind of awkward, quick goodbye. If you don't like the person, fine—give him the cold shoulder. Shake his hand off to the side, face your belly button toward the door, and exit. You don't need to be overly polite.

Slow down your goodbye if you do like the person. Face your belly button toward him, give him a nice hug or shake his hand, and take your time. Make sure your goodbye is appropriate for what you want next.