Picking up on the signals

Picking up on the signals

Wondering why your love interest didn’t call after your amazing first date? You may not have picked up on their body language. These unspoken cues are often performed subconsciously and are telltale signs a date is interested in you or not. We’ve compiled a few body language basics so you can analyse your date without wasting your time guessing how they feel.

Nervous or not interested – how can you tell?

First date body language is all about context. It’s normal to be a little nervous, and this usually shows in our body language and most people are forgiving in these situations. So, if a date is fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, crossing arms or sweating profusely, don’t immediately write them off as being uninterested. You might just need to give them a little more time to relax into your company. Some people get more nervous than others on a first date – be patient and allow them the time they need to get comfortable. The fact they are nervous to begin with signals that they car enough to want to impress you. In addition to nervousness, other factors may affect a date’s body language. Is it cold? They may be crossing their arms to keep themselves warm. If you see this, ask if they would like to go somewhere warmer, or lend them a coat (providing it fits!). If you’re on a date in an environment they are not comfortable with, this will also show in their body signals. If you’re feeling like they are projecting feelings of discomfort, suggest you both move on to another activity that is more suitable. On the flipside, if you’re nervous or uncomfortable yourself, it’s perfectly fine to express these feelings to a new date. They may be feeling exactly the same way…it may even help break the ice!

Raised eyebrow

If you blink, you might miss this gesture. However, a raised eyebrow is one of the most powerful telltale signs that a man or woman is interested in you. Upon meeting, a person will raise his or her eyebrows for a split second if they like you. This move draws attention to the person’s face, so you can be drawn to other features, like their smile. It’s a welcoming, inviting gesture. Keep your eyes peeled for this one on first meeting your date, and when it happens, you’ll know they’re keen.

Pointing their feet away from you

If a person likes you, they’ll want to be closer to you. All parts of the body should ‘lean in’ towards you, especially the feet. If their feet are pointing away from you, or even at another person, they are sending subconscious signals that they’re not interested. Be aware of your own feet on a first date too; if you like the person, make sure you’re sending out positive body language too by putting your best foot forward.


Take notice of your own body language. If your date is interested in you, they may ‘mirror’ your stance and expressions. Humans are empathetic creatures by nature, and we imitate the people we like to establish a mutual bond. Having a date mirror your signals or even your voice intonations can be a sign your date is getting along with you. You should also try mirroring your date if you’re interested. It’s an excellent way to build trust and understanding with your potential partner almost immediately, without having to communicate this verbally.

The eyes have it

We may have all the body language cues in the world decoded by psychologists, but the eyes are still key to finding out whether a person is attracted to you. Both sexes subconsciously dilate their pupils if they like someone. This is a sure sign they’re interested, as dilated pupils are hard to fake! If a date is interested in you, they’ll maintain eye contact with you. If your date is bored or disengaged, they’ll usually look around the room, avoiding your gaze.

Be aware of your own eye contact too. Maintaining eye contact while on a date sends a signal to them that you’re interested in what they’re saying. Try to keep your eyes focused when speaking to them too – avoiding eye contact often sends a signal to people that you’re dishonest, untrustworthy or lacking in self-confidence – something that is sometimes deemed unattractive in and of itself.

The final word

First dates are nerve-wracking for most, if not all people, so it’s okay if you’re picking up a few negative signals from your potential partner. Most people aren’t body language experts, and so it’s only natural that people subconsciously communicate a range of emotions involuntarily. But by knowing some of the telltale signs, we can minimise the unpleasant, and amplify the desirable traits that lead to more successful first impressions. If your date shows signs of unease, allow them time to become comfortable with the environment and…you!