Remember IRL first dates when you could suss out a person’s interest in you via physical cues like touching? Sigh. Now that it seems like social distancing is the new norm, we’ve gotta adapt in our body-language reading skills for video dating on Zoom and FaceTime. Not to worry: Even though you might be able to see only your date’s face (maybe shoulders if you’re lucky with the Zoom angle, maybe), you can still glean quite a bit about someone’s interest in you.
To help us better understand how to read body-language cues over Zoom or FaceTime, we asked body-language expert Karen Donaldson, a public speaking and confidence coach and best-selling author, to give us some things to look out for to tell whether or not a Zoom date is going well.
5 Signs Your Date Is Into You
The key here is to focus on the other person’s facial gestures, head positions, eye movements, and micro gestures, says Donaldson.
1. They’re Blinking Very Fast
While regs blinking is just a natural human function, the speed at which someone blinks can be very telling, Donaldson explains. If they blink slowly, it’s a sign of disinterest. On the other hand, fast blinking is a sign of stress, but it can potentially be good stress, like excitement or nervousness to make a good impression.
2. They’re Blushing
One easy sign your date is into you? Blushing. It’s tied to the release of adrenaline and cortisol hormones, which get released when people are excited, feel pressure, or are nervous, embarrassed, or stressed, according to Donaldson. It’s Bad News Bears if you’re giving your date a stress rash, but if there’s some light blushing happening on their cheeks or upper chest with your banter, you’re good.
3. They’re Smiling Continuously
How do you tell a genuine smile from an “I’m smiling to be polite” smile? Look for crinkling at the sides of their eyes, explains Donaldson. If someone is continuously smiling at you, they’re more than likely interested in you.
4. Their Eyebrows Are Slightly Raised
Another surefire sign of attraction is in the eyebrows, according to Donaldson. Quick eyebrow lifts make a person seem more bright and inviting, says Donaldson. If their eyebrows stay slightly raised the whole time you’re talking, it means they find you pretty damn interesting.
5. Their Pupils Are Dilated
Oxytocin and dopamine, commonly known as the love hormones, have an effect on pupil size, says Donaldson. “Our brain gets a boost of these hormones and our pupils dilate when we see something stimulating or when we are sexually or romantically attracted to someone,” she adds. If you notice that your date’s pupils are dilated, it likely means they’re highly interested or aroused.
5 Body-Language Tricks to Show Your Date You’re Into Them
As for ways for you to broadcast your interest via nonverbals, there are some quick things you can do to reflect your own interest in a person.
1. Mirroring Them
Mirroring is the act of mimicking another person’s movements and can be done to quickly build rapport and bond with them, says Donaldson. If you want to use nonverbals and get someone to “like” you, try calmly (don’t go crazy here) mirroring their movements, suggests Donaldson. Don’t start mirroring right away, as you might look awkward and draw the wrong type of attention to yourself, she adds—you want to do so in a natural way. “When we calmly mirror someone’s movements, it increases the other person’s comfort level with us,” she explains.
2. Biting Your Lip
“When you bite your lower lip, if even for a millisecond,” Donaldson says, “that’s a telltale sign that you are interested.” Donaldson calls this move a “showcase of seduction and sexual attraction.” 😉
3. Maintaining Eye Contact With the Camera, Not the Person
This one is tricky because it can be a bit counterintuitive to look into a little webcam instead of looking at the person’s face. By looking into the camera pinhole, it appears to the other person that you are looking directly into their eyes, says Donaldson. Otherwise, if you’re looking at their image on the screen, it can appear as though you’re distracted or not looking at them. Looking distracted on a Zoom date can easily be interpreted as “not interested,” so remember to look at the camera! If you’re having trouble doing this, try dragging their image on the computer screen to where it’s right below the camera so you can look both places at once.
4. Tilting Your Head to the Side
Tilting your head is a sign of interest that shows you’re interested and listening, and in a dating context, it also signals vulnerability, says Donaldson. “The tilted head exposes the carotid artery on the side of the neck and may be a sign of submission and a willingness to be vulnerable,” she explains.
5. Intentional Head Nodding
Small head nods paired with a smile is a sign of encouragement and signals that you’re bonding, says Donaldson. On the other hand, slow and lengthy nods can be a sign of agreement and understanding, showing the person that it’s okay to take their time talking and that you’re interested.
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