Use these four nonverbal cues to let someone know you’re interested. From Tonja Evetts Weimer, author of Thriving After Divorce: Transforming Your Life When a Relationship Ends
Letting people know you are interested in them requires that you send out signals. Transmitting nonverbal cues is the way to tell someone you’d like to talk, which could lead to a date. When you talk, you get to see if you are attracted to him or her. It is then that you decide if you want to go out with this person. This kind of conversation is like dancing: see if you are in sync, don’t step on each other’s toes, and see if it f lows. What exactly do the dating signals look like?
This is the universal signal in every culture that tells people you like something about them. It’s often an invitation that says, “Come closer.” If both people smile at each other, a connection has begun. A smile speaks volumes — from across a crowded room or face-to-face in a conversation. An attractive smile is your greatest asset, so check your teeth after you eat a salad or spinach or olives. A big splash of green or black on your front tooth can throw people off balance; they don’t quite know what to say to you.
Communicating your interest in someone becomes more compelling with eye contact. Some people can’t help but feel drawn to a person who holds their gaze. To enhance the possibility of attracting someone you are interested in, wear an accessory or piece of clothing that is the exact color of your eyes, and wear it near your face. If your eyes are blue and your shirt is the same color of blue, it’s hard for anyone to turn away from you. Ditto for brown or green eyes. You also might try the complete-eye-contact technique. Here are the steps:
- Make friendly eye contact that lasts just a little longer than is comfortable.
- Drop your eyes when you see you have connected.
- Look back up and gaze a little longer, with the hint of a smile.
Once you have made the eye contact and the smile connection and you want to start a conversation, try not to get sidelined as you move toward the object of your intention. If you stop to talk to other people, it is very hard, if not impossible, to pick up the thread of energy that has been started.
Don’t be put off if he or she isn’t moving toward you. Many people are shy and will stand there, frozen, hoping you will send more signals. When you are near enough to talk, ask a question:
Are you from this town?
Have you been here before?
Where did you grow up?
These three questions should lead to more questions and answers. After a few minutes into this conversation, you’ll know if you want to continue.
If you are attracted to the person and he or she isn’t saying much but is smiling and blushing, keep talking until the shyness melts. But if he or she is cold, distant, or rude, move away and look for other people to meet. Don’t waste time with anyone who is not kind or friendly. You have nothing to prove.
The Arm Touch
If your conversation is going well, there is nothing quite as effective in letting people know you like them as a spontaneous touch on the arm. If you laugh easily, reach out and touch the person’s forearm, hand, or shoulder. That touch releases the tension between two people who are feeling drawn to each other. The gesture should be totally natural, just as it would be with any other friend. If you don’t know how to do this, start practicing on old friends or family members.
The first conversation is also an opportunity to find out if this person meets some of your requirements. Ask questions about topics important to you or make comments on those subjects to get a reaction. (For example, If you are passionate about animals, mention an article you’d just read in a magazine and watch the response.)
The art of conversation can be used in any setting. In the dating world, reaching out to others is the way you communicate that you might like to know someone better. But when you are out meeting people, who can get to know you if you don’t talk or if you mumble or give abrupt answers?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tonja Evetts Weimer, author of Thriving After Divorce: Transforming Your Life When a Relationship Ends (Copyright © 2010 by Tonja Evetts Weimer), has an M.A. in Human Development, is a Master Certified Single’s Relationship Coach and a Certified Life Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a graduate of the Relationship Coaching Institute, and the Institute for Life Coach Training. She has been a keynote speaker in almost every U.S. state, as well as in Europe and India. She has appeared on numerous regional and national television interview shows, including CNN’s ShowBiz Today. Tonja was selected to be the Dating Expert for the USA/NBC TV Network mini-series, “The Starter Wife.” She wrote a weekly column for their website, and produced three self-inquiry tests for their readers and viewers.
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