Avoid Bad Dating Body Language

  • Bad Body Language

    Some romances may still be budding when Valentine’s Day comes around, and if you’re just trying to get to know someone better during this Hallmark holiday, remember that your body language could be more telling than flowers, cards, candy and words combined. Here are some signals that can make or break your chances for love before you even spend a dime. Photo Credit: Foxtongue
    Being Late
  • Being Late

    Being on time is one of the simplest ways to show you’re actually looking forward to a date, and being late may be more of a turnoff than you’d think. So how late is late? According to MainStreet’s informal surveys, being five or ten minutes late may generally be acceptable, but beyond that, you’d better call to let your date know you’re on your way even if you have a valid excuse. Suite101.com agrees: “Several minutes late is not [acceptable]. Plan ahead so you know the best route to take to get to your location. Allow enough time for delays such as traffic and construction detours.” Photo Credit: Matti Mattila
    Cell Phones
  • Cell Phones

    Making calls and texting at the table may be rude, but you don’t have to go as far as turning off your phone during dinner, as some more conservative columnists might advise. If you set it to silent mode, you can still quickly look up movie times or directions to a more cozy change of scenery after dinner and show off your smart phone resourcefulness at the same time. Photo Credit: ydhsu
    Eye Contact
  • Eye Contact

    When you finally do sit down for dinner, we hope you and your date make eye contact, but don’t go overboard. Keeping a gaze may indicate interest and confidence, but if you have a piercing stare, it could be interpreted as fake intellectual interest designed to cover a more intense, physical interest, suggests Cosmopolitan. On the other hand, no eye contact at all can make you seem too nervous. Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography
    Messy Food
  • Messy Food

    If you tend to get nervous on dates, you may want to avoid foods that are messy or awkward to eat during your first date or two with a new love interest. That is, unless you know you’re with someone who takes joy in eating messy foods (MainStreet assures you, these people do exist). In addition, having a basic grasp of dining etiquette actually does matter. While it may seem acceptable to some, slurping, chewing with your mouth open and chomping loudly can be a turnoff. Photo Credit: kevindooley
    Eating Like a Bird
  • Eating Like a Bird

    There has to be some level of symmetry between you and your date when you’re out to dinner. If you eat like a bird and your date eats like he or she is starving (or vice versa), it could make for an awkward moment in which one of you just watches the other eat. Waiters often forget that even empty plates shouldn’t be taken off a table when someone else is still eating, according to The New York Times, so avoid eating so quickly that you’re ready to pay the bill when your date is just starting on dessert. That sends the message that you’re eager for the date to end. Photo Credit: malias
    Getting Drunk
  • Getting Drunk

    Even if you’re an otherwise casual drinker, some might suggest avoiding alcohol altogether on a first date, but MainStreet disagrees. If both you and your date want a glass of wine with dinner and you know it won’t lead to things getting out of hand, by all means, enjoy yourself. A couple of drinks may help you loosen up if you’re the tense or shy type and help you act more naturally. But getting wasted while your date is sober is another story. Not a good idea. Photo Credit: bareknuckleyellow
    The First Move
  • The First Move

    We’ve heard stories of small talk dragging on for hours while two people on their first date wait for the other to make the first move. If you’ve been unsure in the past, we’re giving you the OK. You don’t need to wait for a go-ahead for a kiss. You don’t need to ask. If you feel like it, go for it. It may not work out, you could get the head-turn and a mouthful of cheek or hair, but you'll never know unless you try. Photo Credit: davidChief
    Calling Back
  • Calling Back

    You may have heard about the three-day or seven-day rule for callbacks, advising that a certain amount of wait-time after a date is necessary before one makes a follow-up call. This supposedly keeps the mystery alive and shows that you’re not too needy. Frankly, to use this method just screams “novice” and seems like a calculating and sadly scientific approach to finding a soul mate. Worse yet, some may assume it means that you’re not interested in anything more than a casual or physical relationship. Photo Credit: jumpinjimmyjava
    Paying Attention
  • Paying Attention

    It’s fairly obvious that checking out other single ladies or guys while you’re on a date is bad form, but there are other, less obvious indicators of how much attention you’re paying to your date. For instance, if you’re at a party or a bar and you’re directly facing the person you’re talking to, your body language communicates a high level of interest.  If you’re sitting down, the way your feet are pointed may indicate where your interests lie. Gentlemen, you might want to avoid certain stances that are an obvious indicator of your intentions, just to avoid coming off as “that creepy guy.” Photo Credit: eldar_
    Outfit Preparation
  • Outfit Preparation

    A date is not a job interview.  You probably don’t need to get out your three-piece suit, or even a tie for that matter.  But know what kind of personality you’ll be dealing with.  Even blind dates these days aren’t really blind when you’ve got Facebook to size up your date beforehand. Photo Credit: pretendtious
    Hand Holding
  • Hand Holding

    Hand holding isn’t as simple as it might seem at first blush.  Some people find it comforting and others find it annoying early on.  In either case, people are likely to read into it. While immediate pawing can be a turnoff, other mannerisms, like outstretched palms at a table, can be a more obvious indicator of genuine interest. Photo Credit: jimmyroq
    Going Too Far
  • Going Too Far

    Nice guys do tend to finish last, so don’t go out of your way to seem overly nice and polite, because it could look glaringly unnatural.  If you are honest about your intentions, even if they conform to gender stereotypes, you’ll likely be better off.  For example, don’t fake being the “sensitive guy” if that’s not who you really are. Being honest doesn’t mean giving up too much information right away, however.  There should always be more to learn. Photo Credit: Aoife city womanchile
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