You know, I always find it strange when my girlfriends say
they don’t know if a man is really interested in them. And most blokes seem to remain resolutely
oblivious to the most obvious of flirtation signals. Prior to my becoming a respectable married woman (cough), I
had quite a lengthy flirtation with internet dating. Now I know a lot of people are still quite
sniffy about meeting a partner this way, seeing online dating as the refuge of
the dateless and socially inept, but I found it immense fun and an excellent
way of deciding what I wanted in a man.
A long-time single girlfriend of mine (and I mean years) would love to meet a special
someone but won’t try online dating on the grounds that she’d have to have a
profile picture. It’s funny how we’ll
happily supply the most ghastly of photos for passports and driving licences
but when it’s a question of our attractiveness being judged, nothing less than
a photo-shoot with David Bailey will do. She also worries about work colleagues
finding her out. Frankly, unless you’re
‘M’ at MI5, I’m not sure this is too much of a problem. Rather than view my dates as a nerve-wracking experiment, I
pretended I was ‘auditioning’ the latest candidate, thus making him the one on
trial rather than me. Possibly a weird
mental switch, but try it, it works.
Anyone who works in HR or who interviews as part of their
job knows that the first judgement of a candidate is normally made in the first
few seconds of meeting and that most of our communication is non-verbal. Yes, what you say is less important than how
you say it and the various signals you give out. I could read body language tomes all day from self-styled
‘sexpert’ Tracey Cox to the grandfather of body language study himself, Desmond
Morris. So, when you are at a party or a
date, take a moment to observe your potential partner in action. This is no bad thing because the late Helen
Gurley Brown (Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine) once said “if you’re
doing all the talking, you’re boring somebody”. Silence is power.
Here’s what to look for.
eye contact – particularly if they look into your eyes and then at your
– are they sitting close to you or if not, are they turned towards you? If you
are standing in a circle with others, have a quick glance at the floor to see
if their feet are pointing towards you.
- Preening –
I’m sure we all know the classic preening gestures such as toying / flicking
hair or licking lips. Some men will hook
their fingers in their belt loops unconsciously ‘pointing’ to their groin. Some
women will stroke their throat, drawing attention to their breasts.
– if you both have a drink, look to see if you both lift your glasses to sip at
the same time or, if you change your posture, do they change theirs too?
– if you are sitting across a table from each other, try putting your glass or
a piece of cutlery down on their ‘side’ of the table. If they are comfortable, they’ll probably let
it stay there. If they’re not, it’s
likely to be handed straight back.
– do you both finish each other’s sentences? Are your questions being answered without just a curt yes or no?
gestures – the inside of the wrist is considered to be an erogenous zone –
watch to see if there are lots of palm up / wrist revealed gestures. Revealing the wrist whilst smoking is a
classic flirtation gestures and you could probably write a book about
Hollywood’s use of smoking as flirtation. Now such a thing would be not quite Disney and I suspect that trying the
same femme fatal routine with an e-cig probably won’t have the same effect. Far
sexier these days not to smoke unless you’re happy to keep leaving the table
this festive season to stand outside with the other lonely souls and light up
in the rain while your date eyes up the other women in the restaurant.
- Lack of
eye contact – that thing where you’re dancing and you just know he’s
checking out other women over your shoulder
checking a mobile – be honest. If
they are checking their email or updating their Facebook status, they aren’t
– they sit with both hands behind their head maximising their physical size and
space. This is the gesture of arrogance
and superiority. Him Tarzan, you
probably one of many Janes. Either way, you’re
not considered an intellectual equal.
answers – yes/ no answers that leave conversation in the air, not asking
about you, talking about the Ex – no, no, no!
attempt to prolongue the date – if you finish the last mouthful of your
dessert and they ask for the bill rather than coffee, not good. Some women think men should pay on the first
date; I’m more pragmatic, particularly if you earn more than he does but if he
splits the bill to the penny, run.
Let’s be honest. If
your date is not making every effort to know when they will see you again, then
in the words of that famous dating bible inspired by “Sex & The City”, he’s
just not that into you. You may remember the book “The Rules” which was popular
about ten years ago which contained rather militant advice such as “if he
phones after Wednesday asking for a date on Saturday tell him no”. You were supposed to be a creature of
mystery, alluring and just that little bit hard to get. When you get to a certain age, all that game
playing is very wearing, decidedly not sexy and, generally, a complete waste of
time. Many women say they just ‘know’
when they’ve met the ‘one’ so if the one you’re with is Mr or Miss Right Now
rather than Mr or Miss Right, keep auditioning!