"Reading" my date

Originally Published: April 19, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 3, 1998
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Dear Alice,

I really liked my first blind date and thought we had much in common (even backgammon). He, however, was hard to read. Parting, he said, "Really enjoyed meeting you, hope we talk again soon." But his body language and lack of follow up hollered, "Don't bother me again, you fool."

Which to believe: Words or deeds?

Dear Which to believe: Words or deeds?,

Let's start by saying that actions usually do speak louder than words. We have all said things we really did not mean and had these words betrayed by our actions. Body language simply shines through with our true feelings most of the time.

However, do you think that there is a chance that you misunderstood your blind date's body language? Check out the following examples of body language, both positive and negative, and see what you then think about your original interpretation of your date:

Positive body language during a date

  • Relaxed posture, from feeling comfortable (however, your date may appear nervous and still be interested, because s/he may be wondering if you like him/her, and vice-versa)
  • Good eye contact (does not have to be for the entire date, as that may seem too intense or creepy)
  • Leaning in while talking with you to establish interest in you
  • Making some physical contact with you (could be as simple as grazing your hand or putting an arm around you)
  • Listening intently to you during the conversation, reciprocating and seeming interested in what you say

Negative body language during a date

  • Arms crossed throughout the date
  • Constant yawning (unless you have just finished a week of exams, this is not a good sign)
  • Infrequent or no eye contact with you (this may happen even if your date is interested in you b/c of possible dating jitters or shyness)
  • Physically distancing him-/herself from you
  • Not making physical contact with you
  • Seemingly uninterested in anything you two are talking about

With these in mind, what do you think now? Even if you may have misinterpreted your date, which surely most of us have done, and it now appears that "he's just not that into you," do not put all your eggs in that basket and set yourself up for disappointment if he does not contact you for a second date. Having a second date also does not necessarily indicate interest in going further; sometimes people pursue a second date to make sure that what they were feeling during the first date was not off.

Whatever happens, know that your blind date has opened you up to new, potentially more compatible dating opportunities and options. Dating can be frustrating and hard work at times, but if you are truly interested in finding a meaningful relationship with someone who feels similarly about you as you do him, then it's worth dealing with the risk of the occasional angst in return for enjoying the rewards. The more you date, the more likely it will be that you will find the guy that you can go out with a second time, and then look forward to even more.

Alice