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“Listening means being selfless and letting yourself be vulnerable, both of which are essential for a deep connection.”So what’s a socially awkward person who can’t stop thinking about what their body is doing on a first date to do?Well, unfortunately, the answer to that is a lot harder than any kind of dating “hack.” Ben says the key to great body language on a date is dealing with the root issue of why you feel awkward or self conscious.“That’s why I never focus on things like touch initially,” Ben says.If you go for a hug and your date pulls away, you have tried to get too intimate too quickly.So you have to rewind a few steps — like back to friendship touching, then work your way back up.”So far, so good, right?Therefore, understanding how we use these to our advantage can help with more effective communication overall.
I work from the ‘inside out’ because if you fix the internals, you actually don’t have to work on the externals.
I spoke with two dating experts — Benjamin Evans, dating and relationships coach, and Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman — to find out what really matters when it comes to body language on a first date and which tips you can stop worrying about.
(Full disclosure: Ben is my boyfriend.) Here’s what they told me.
Basically, keep a friendly face, an open body posture, and point your body toward your date.
It’s the kind of body language that we naturally adopt when we’re into someone, but Thomas’ knows that getting comfortable enough to automatically do these things can be really hard for people.“Practice until it becomes a habit,” Thomas says. Steph Curry doesn’t fake his three-point shots; he practices his three point shots.”Ben’s number one tip for body language on a first date was actually the most surprising: Forget about body language and just listen to your date.“The moment you focus on body language it means you're being self-centered — you're more concerned with your own inner voice or manipulating the situation to truly connect with your date,” Ben says.
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In fact, it can play a much more important role than even the words we speak.