Body Language: What are You Communicating?

28 Apr

Most people don’t give much thought to what their body language is communicating, but an otherwise perfect date can be soured by poor body language.

Couple agruingm standing with bad body language in the open window at home in the morning.

While we sometimes spend hours prepping for a date, trying to pick the right outfit and style our hair just right, we often get lost in the moment when we’re in front of our prospective lover. Most people don’t give much thought to what their body language is communicating. But just because you aren’t being mindful of the message doesn’t mean it’s not being received – one famous study by Albert Mehbrabian claims that 55% of our communication is through body language, with verbal communication coming in at a shockingly low 7% according to this theory. Sure, you feel you’re saying all the right things, but how is it translating?

The key to addressing unappealing body language is to first identify it. Are you prone to nervous tics like the tapping of your foot, touching of your face or hair, or fidgeting with whatever your hands can find? Perhaps some nail biting? Consider what this might convey to your date (versus what you want to convey) and aim to distract yourself from falling on these unhelpful habits. If you’re interested and enjoying yourself, make a concerted effort to show this.

An otherwise perfect date can be soured by poor body language. As a professional matchmaker, I’ve seen far too many instances in which my client believes they showed dire interest in their date, yet the feedback I’ve received tells a different story. Worried about putting themselves out there or being too vulnerable, they play it safe and their date doesn’t get the message. Striking a balance of showing enough (but not too much) interest can be a delicate game to play.

Mirroring your date’s body language can be a good place to start. Try to gauge how they’re feeling and meet them there. Be mindful of what you may be communicating to them – leaning in at the right time can demonstrate intent listening but leaning away to contemplate deeply is another way to do the same. Try unfolding your arms as to not appear defensive or unwelcoming, and ensure you’re not being avoidant of eye contact. While an unflinching stare can feel uncomfortable, maintaining their gaze can spark some chemistry.

Overall, be yourself and be natural. Be confident, comfortable, and warm so that your date feels safe to do the same. We know this might be easier said than done for our shy singletons, so if all else fails, a smile is a great place to start, as long as it’s appropriately placed and you’re not giving them a scare instead! Not only does smiling help your body relax, it can go a long way to show your date that you’re interested.

Scoring the date may be the hard part but getting through the first dinner is likely to determine your future together. We can help in either department. Contact us to learn about our date coaching and matchmaking services. Let us assist you in not only finding love, but keeping it.

by Elise Braunschweiger

Matchmaker, New York City

Elise was born and raised in New Jersey. After graduating from Montclair State University with a degree in Humanities, in which she focused heavily on psychology, Elise enjoyed a fruitful career in client-facing roles, honing her interpersonal skills and customer service abilities. Elise believes the key to truly exceptional matchmaking is ensuring her clients receive only the finest service. She works with integrity, determination and fervor, and her passion for helping people find happiness makes her the perfect fit for the matchmaking industry.More by this author