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Much has been said about the need to communicate well during a date. But there may be a need to emphasize the importance of reading the “body language” of your date as well. What your date is expressing in speech could be radically different from what his/her body language is actually telling you. That is why it’s incredibly valuable in the dating world to accurately read body language.

Take note that no book or essay can teach you how to read body language the right way. This is something you have to learn through actual experience. However, there are some common “words” in body language that you may want to pay attention to when you start to learn.

For example, the eyes of your date will express a lot (both good and bad). This is why some experts recommend making meaningful eye contact is key on a first date. If you are going on a blind date and meet the person for the first time, the eyes can give away whether he/she is pleased to meet you or not. Take note of which direction his/her eyes are directed to – if he/she makes a quick glance at your clothing then looks away, it may mean that your date was expecting someone better dressed. Or maybe there is something about your physique that he/she finds distasteful. Either way, the eyes will always tell you if your date is happy to be with you or not.

The lips of your date, surprisingly, also can speak volumes even if he/she thinks they have hidden what they’re really feeling. Sometimes your date may purse their lips or pout when the topic of the conversation is not something they’re pleased with. If they seem to be open-mouthed at something you said, it may mean that they’re trying to process the information but are not yet sure what to say in response. If they tend to chew on their lower lip a lot, it may signal anxiety.

Take note of the posture of your date, as well. A person who tends to slouch forward with his/her shoulders could be indicating that they’re looking for some privacy or trying to block you out from their personal space. If they tend to stare at their plate and pointedly avoid eye contact, that is a dead giveaway that this person is really not willing to spend time with you and is just biding their time until the date is over.

You should also be aware that as you are reading the body language of your date, he/she is probably also taking in your own body language. This is why you can tell that people on some dates may seem to be interacting on a civil level with their date in speech but in reality are already looking for ways to flee. If you seem to have offended your date somehow and he/she is not welcoming your presence with open arms, you can still save face at the end of the date by bidding the other person a polite goodbye.