Chances are, you're probably not going to come right out and ask your date—on the very first date—if they're feeling it as much as you are. But there is actually a way to figure it out that doesn't involve directly asking. In case you haven't heard, "actions speak louder than words," and learning how to read body language can help you determine if your counterpart is digging you or not. It can also help you give off the right vibe in exchange. Here, we chatted with a pro to get the lowdown on a few of the most common signs of attraction.
The Hair Touch
Vanessa Van Edwards, a body language expert who teamed up with Head & Shoulders, says that self-touching gives off the message that we want to be touched, and one of the most common types of self-touch is stroking or flipping your hair. Both genders engage in this action, but it tends to be more common in women. "Every time you touch your hair, it released pheromones." As you might remember from science class, pheromones are chemical messengers that are released from the body and trigger a response from the same species, something Van Edwards calls an unconscious attraction cue.
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However, when you're fidgeting with your bangs and playing with your ends as you look down at your toes? That's called self-soothing, and it's a cue that you're super nervous.
"When a woman strokes her hair or flips her hair open, that’s usually, 'I want someone to smell how fertile I am,' she jokes of its evolutionary beginnings. "That’s subconsciously what’s happening, and that’s a really good distinction because self-soothing is not hair confidence, whereas that flip, drawing attention to the shine, is."
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The Chin Touch
Another type of self-touch that's most common in men, and shows that he's potentially interested in his date, is the pensive chin touch, or when a man rests his hand on his jaw.
"They might even touch the side of their face, and that’s because a man indicates higher testosterone levels with a presence of a square jaw and stubble," says Van Edwards. "Any kind of facial hair shows he is off procreation age. He is of the correct age to be mated with, so he will often draw attention to his square jaw and the presence of stubble. That’s why you’ll often see a man will hold his chin subconsciously."
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Something as simple as the way your date is angling their legs can say a lot about how they're feeling. "If we really like something, we want to move towards it," says Van Edwards. The scientific term for this is fronting. "So we’ll subconsciously move our legs or our feet in the angle we want to move towards. So, for example, often times, I can tell who has a crush at an office holiday party because where someone’s feet are pointing. The person subconsciously wants to move towards someone."
She says that if you're at a bar and you see someone who has their body and feet angled towards you, they subconsciously might be more attuned to you.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if someone is not interested, they'll often angle their body in a way that creates distance—i.e. leaning back in their chair, crossing their arms to protect their torso, or angling their body outwards and away.
Ever wonder why couples start dressing alike? There's a science behind that bizarre action, and it can start happening on the very first date in extremely subtle ways. It's called mirroring, or mimicking.
"On a really, really good date, the couple will copy each other," says Van Edwards. "If a woman tucks her hair behind her ear, a man might even put his hand near his head. If a woman leans in, a man leans in. We don’t even realize we’re doing it. That can even be on the 1,500 date—a really good couple we’ll often mirror each other. Really, really good couples sometimes end up carrying themselves like each other, as a sign of, 'We are literally of the same mind.'" So that couple that always shows up to your parties twinning? Well, they might just be a perfect match.