Swipe rights, meet cute’s, set up’s, slide in the DM’s — that, friend, is the easy part.
Now comes the element of actually going on a date. And for a handful of people, meeting someone new can be a nerve-racking experience. It can leave you vulnerable.
A few dating tips would surely help, wouldn’t it?
We turned to body language expert Linda Clemons for her professional advice, and she did not disappoint.
So if you’re curious about how to become the object of someone’s desire, these pro tips will surely help you romance-wise.
The Power of Nonverbal Communication in Dating
Did you know that a huge chunk of your overall communication is nonverbal? At least 93% of it, according to Linda, who’s also the trainer for Mindvalley’s Body Language for Dating & Attraction Quest.
In a sit-down with Vishen on The Mindvalley Podcast (which you can listen to the episode below), she breaks it down:
- 7% is the words you use
- 38% is your tonality
- 55% is nonverbal communication
A great example of what Linda means is in the movie, Hitch, where Hitch, a.k.a. the “Date Doctor,” teaches men how to not be socially awkward. Case in point: his client, Albert Brennaman, to whom Hitch teaches how nonverbal cues affect his chances with his dream girl, Allegra.
Remember the scene where Albert’s dancing in front of Allegra at the art exhibition? His smooth dance moves show he’s suave. But the second she turns around, he busts out his not-so-smooth groove (as is his personality).
“Your words are a small part,” Linda explains. “It doesn’t matter what you say. Your nonverbal will get in the way.”
What’s nonverbal communication exactly?
“It is the first language before the spoken word,” according to Linda.
Your eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, movement, distance, tone of voice, touch, and body language — all are forms of nonverbal communication.
Let’s turn to Hitch again, specifically, the scene where Hitch teaches Albert about kissing. Fiddling with keys before heading into their house is the nonverbal signal women give when they want to be kissed, according to Hitch.
It is everything but the words coming out of your mouth.
What is positive vs. negative nonverbal communication?
Where there is a positive, there is also a negative, and it’s no different when it comes to communication skills. Here are the differences between both:
- Positive nonverbal communication makes a person seem interested and engaged. This includes leaning in, making eye contact, and nodding on occasion to show they’re present. In regards to their tone, they talk loudly enough to be heard but not so loud that they seem arrogant.
Use this when you’re trying to attract someone you like or to show affection towards someone you love.
- Negative nonverbal communication makes a person seem closed off. Examples of this include slouching, avoiding eye contact, and crossing their arms. Even physical behaviors like cracking knuckles, biting fingernails, or constantly checking their watches can make the person seem withdrawn.
Because dating can be a tricky game, there are, oftentimes, unwanted advances. Use negative nonverbal communication to show that you’re uninterested.
When it comes to dating, friends, your cues will speak volumes.
How is nonverbal communication important in dating?
It’s all about giving insight. With nonverbal cues, you can tell a lot about…
- How a person feels
- What kind of mood they’re in
- If they’re being genuine
And likewise, they can tell a lot about you when you send out your signals.
Unfortunately, in this day and age where dating sites are commonplace, nonverbal communication has taken a backseat to ‘the word’ (and in the case of digital exchange, the written word).
“While the online dating industry has created an effective mechanism for matching and accessing profiles, it has largely neglected the quality of communication between individuals,” as per a 2013 study on the effects of nonverbal cues on relationship formation.
Thankfully, though, the results suggest that using nonverbal cues via avatars was associated with…
- More favorable perceptions
- Greater exchange of information
- A stronger desire to pursue a relationship
This goes to show how incredibly important these types of cues really are, like subtle eye contact, a warm smile, or even a light, affectionate touch. And within the dating realm, they help us create connection and affection as well as feel worthy and secure.
So what are some dating tips — for women and men? Let’s look at what advice Linda has to offer.
Dating Tips for Women
Women, when it comes to tips for dating, it may not be one-size-fits-all. However, there are a few general pointers that can help you enjoy your next date to the max.
1. Use eye contact
The eyes are the window to the soul, as the saying goes. Linda explains, “The one thing you cannot change is your pupils because when you get excited, the pupils dilate. So you can’t control that. The moment the mind feels your excitement, you can see that.”
Maintaining eye contact creates a bond between you and the other person. According to a 2019 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, the highest degree of arousal occurred when clear eye contact was both sent and received. Once the gaze was blocked (either by sunglasses or blindfold), the arousal level significantly decreased.
[The eyes] allow you to see the beauty, the integrity, and the honesty of another individual.— Linda Clemons, trainer of Mindvalley’s Body Language for Dating & Attraction Quest
2. Flash your smile
Your face is extremely expressive; it conveys countless emotions without saying a word.
In her conversation with Vishen, Linda talks a lot about facial expressions. She explains, “We have 43 facial muscles. We use 37 of them to make at least 27 different expressions.”
One of these is the smile, which is synonymous with happiness and is one of the most exceptional interpersonal skills you can master, especially when it’s genuine. It communicates friendliness and can help diffuse tense situations.
3. Listen with your head titled
Head movement is highly correlated with the way we speak. Nodding, lifting, and tilting our noggin’ can send different messages.
For women, especially, listening with your head tilted is known to be a more feminine gesture. While it signals that you’re showing attentiveness, it also leaves the neck exposed and vulnerable. This type of nonverbal cue signals nonconfrontational behavior.
A 2015 research paper looked into how the head tilt contributed to different aspects of female facial attractiveness. The results suggest that a downward head tilt is seen as more attractive.
4. Breathe from your belly
The way you breathe affects your facial expression, posture, movements, and tonality.
Breathing deeply from your belly is a calming strategy. It allows you to relax and pause, which then helps heighten your ability to listen and be aware of your emotional expressions.
And as you relax, the person can get into cadence with your breathing pattern. This is a form of mirroring, where they subconsciously switch their body posture to match yours.
This signals that you’re both connected and engaged, and it’s incredibly helpful when you’re trying to make a romantic impression.
5. Subtle touch on the hand
“We do not like to touch people who we do not like,” says Linda. But when it comes to people we do like? Our touch can create a loving bond.
There are various types, depending on the situation. This includes handshakes, touching the person’s arm or wrist, hugs, a pat on the shoulder, and even kissing.
Studies show there are tons of benefits to touch. It signals safety and trust, releases oxytocin, and decreases levels of stress.
Keep in mind to do it with permission, of course. You don’t want to chase your interest away with an unwanted gesture.
Dating Tips for Men
The dating game may have somewhat changed since the days of yore, but there’s still a lot of pressure on men. Here are some tips that can help you be more charismatic.
1. Give an eyebrow flash
The eyebrow flash is a small, yet powerful gesture that often signals sexual attraction. For example, a “Hey, pretty mama” with an eyebrow flash — swoon.
“The eyebrow flash is an exciting way to greet someone new or someone you’re attracted to or someone you desire,” Linda explains in her Quest on Mindvalley. “It signals goodwill. It says, ‘I am friendly. I welcome you in.’”
2. Stroking hair
Hair is not just a flirtatious signal for women. It’s for men, too.
A 2021 research article in Evolutionary Psychological Science found that a man with locks has “socially desired aspects of personality (such as warmth, sophistication, kindness, etc.).” What does that mean? They are perceived more positively.
So imagine this: you take your hand and stroke your hair. The other person follows this movement with their eyes as it draws attention to your head. This then makes it easier for your eyes to meet. Cute, right?
3. Adjusting clothes
You might have heard how clothes affect a person’s perception. In a 2013 study looking at the influence of clothing on first impressions, the results suggest well-tailored clothes can “positively enhance the image [men] communicate to others.”
As a way to boost their attractiveness, men will often preen (or make themselves sleek, according to Merriam-Webster) by adjusting their clothes.
So if you’re looking to use subtle preening gestures, here are some examples to note:
- Unbutton the top of your shirt
- Adjust your shirt sleeves
- Readjust your tie
As the saying goes, “Clothes maketh the man.”
4. Crotch display
Talking about things that “maketh the man”…ahem. Okay, it’s not as crass as it sounds.
Let’s take a look at that dancing scene in Hitch again. The space Hitch advises Albert to dance in is facing Allegra at all times. This is known as the crotch display.
It’s when a man’s feet point toward the other person, legs apart, and with their crotch ‘on display.’ It’s also more prominent, according to Linda, when a man sits with his legs wide open.
This power stance is a subconscious way a man shows that he’s present and interested.
5. Look and lean in
Humans are wired to put distance between themselves and anything unpleasant or dangerous. But leaning in, on the other hand, indicates interest and curiosity.
In Hitch, there’s the scene where Hitch teaches Albert about the 90-10 rule for the first kiss. He says, “The secret to a kiss is to go 90% of the way and then hold…for as long as it takes for her to come the other 10.”
So leaning in will indicate that you like them, trust them, or are interested in them.
Additionally, Linda talks to Vishen about a technique she calls “recognize and acknowledge.” Here’s how to do it:
- Scan the room
- Catch the eye of your interest
- Lean in, smile, and nod to them
- Look away
- Then come back
- Catch their eye again
- Lean in, smile, and nod
“What did I just do?” explains Linda. “There’s a room full of women [and] I caught her eye. I made her feel special.”
And as you get more aware of your body’s subtle cues, you can use these gestures to take your dating life to find love.
Great Change Starts Here
We often hear that dating is a game. But if it is, then love is the sweet, sweet victory when you win.
But it all starts with your mindset — how you think about yourself, love, and the person you want to attract in your life. As Linda says, “Seduction starts with how you think. Whatever you think about, you bring about.”
If this piques your curiosity, head over to Mindvalley and make a date with Linda at the Body Language for Dating & Attraction Quest. With her guiding you, not only will you pick up on more dating tips, but you’ll also learn how to…
- Connect with people
- Persuade people
- Get anyone’s attention
So go forth, friend. This is the beginning of a beautiful love story.