Most of our communication is nonverbal—and we’re almost entirely unconscious of what we’re conveying through our expressions and body language.
On the flipside, we often unconsciously interpret another person’s expressions and body language, and respond accordingly. This is the case with mirroring, a fascinating example of nonverbal and unconscious communication—especially in the context of dating!
Mirroring is when you unconsciously mimic the speech or body language of the person you’re with. It’s extremely common because it conveys empathy, which means over our evolutionary history it’s been vital for cementing our bonds and ingratiating ourselves with those in our immediate communities. Mirroring shows we’re attentive and interested—which is why, if you know what to look for, it can be a surefire signal of romantic interest, too.
Mirroring is happening all the time, way more than you think. That goes both ways, of course—you’ll be constantly doing it yourself, too! Of course, on its own mirroring doesn’t confirm romantic interest, but it’s a strong indicator. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably already on the lookout for signs of romance—so let’s delve into 7 aspects of your communication (verbal or otherwise) that your date might be mirroring…
1. Your words
Are there phrases you use a lot? Any unusual words others don’t use in everyday conversation? Any pet expletives? If you clock your date using as well, there’s probably some serious mirroring afoot.
2. Your expressions
Smiling, frowning, grimacing, gurning, furrowing your brow… If you see your date reflecting your expressions, that is classic mirroring. If you’re feeling mischievous, you could even try slightly exaggerating an expression just to see if they pick up on it and follow your lead. (Just don’t try this with the gurning—you don’t want to get thrown out of the restaurant.)
3. Your body language
Maybe they play with their hair when you do. Or touch their face, shrug, shift their legs. There’s any number of ways you can express yourself physically during conversation—and any number of ways for your date to mirror those movements if they’ve got the hots for you.
4. Your tone
This one is pretty subtle—which makes it all the more exciting if you pick up on it. Whatever tone you’ve adopted for the subject of the conversation—calm and soft, harsh and agitated, slow and thoughtful—if your date is into you you may notice them emulating that tone to unconsciously signal that they’re on the same wavelength.
5. Your intonation
Again, this one is subtle—which is what makes it so cool. If you notice your date placing the stress on the same syllables when they say the same words as you, or they fall into the same up-and-down rhythm in their speech as you—congrats. You’ve clocked some next-level mirroring.
6. Your gestures
Do you speak with your hands? See if your date copies you. This is especially noteworthy if they’re not a habitual hand speaker. If they start flicking their wrists around, that’s a strong sign they’re into you—why else would they mirror something about you that doesn’t come naturally to them?
7. Your accent
This might be most surprising of all, because it sounds unbelievable, right? But no: When people are romantically interested, they really do start incorporating elements of one another’s accent into their own! It’s a subtle—and, as ever, unconscious—way of conveying empathy.
Of course, if you ’re a psychology geek like me you can get overly focused on the minutiae of the communication with your date—and ironically end up seeming uninterested in the topic at hand! So if you’re going to be on the lookout for mirroring, be subtle, and don’t let it detract from your enjoyment of being in the moment with someone lovely who wants to get to know you. And if you’re struggling to get to that point in the first place, to find someone highly compatible to date and potentially build a relationship with—you’re in the right place.
Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New Jersey, New York, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.