6 Mistakes even smart daters make

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You’ve been dating a while and just not clicking with people like you’d hoped. Could you be doing something wrong? “Well, yes. Yes, and yes”, writes Rachel Smith.

Dating can be a slog at times, but we’re guessing many first meet-ups go awry simply because of dodgy body language or a lack of attention to detail (fresh breath, people, cannot be underestimated).

So, we took a look at the simple things – like, really simple – that researchers swear by in terms of making that all-important first impression. In fact, a study by AXA – which polled 2000 daters – found that we only have 12 minutes to impress someone on a first date and it’s actually surprisingly easy to make those minutes count – and make someone think, ‘Yep – I’d like to see you again’. So, if you’re having some issues getting to that second date, here are some common mistakes you might be making.

  1.  You don’t smile. You’d think this one would be a no-brainer but we’re mentioning it anyway because a whopping 64 percent of people judge you on your smile first off, according to the AXA research. It’s the single most important thing you can do when meeting someone new and could mean the difference between success and dismal failure in the dating trenches.
  2. Your posture sucks. Being hunched over or keeping your limbs close to your chest – say when sitting at a table or at the bar – can be the body language dealbreaker when meeting someone new. New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that when your posture is ‘expansive’ – ie, involves widespread limbs or a stretched out torso – you literally double your chances of appearing attractive. Apparently these postures signal both dominance and openness.
  3. You don’t move. People connect with movement – facial expressions, laughing, hand gestures. Part of the posture study involved filming couples at speed dating events and it found that those who gestured with their hands and moved their arms a lot also nearly ‘doubled their odds’ of getting the green light from the person sitting opposite them. Sitting still and not moving your arms is super unattractive, apparently, which kind of makes sense – who wants to sit opposite a rigid statue?
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  4. You avoid eye contact. Being shy around new people is something many of us face, but staring at the floor does you no favours, according to the AXA study. They found that a whopping 58 percent of people judged a potential partner on whether he or she looked them in the eye, while 25 percent of daters judged the person on their tone of voice – think warm and friendly, next time you’re with someone you like!
  5. You smell. There’s no easy way to say it, but if your hygiene isn’t tip-top studies show you’re fighting a losing battle getting anyone to agree on a second date. The AXA research found 58 percent of daters were completely turned off by body odour. Fresh breath is also important to 45 percent of daters. Sometimes, of course, it’s not possible to shower pre-date, especially if you’re coming straight from work – but changing your shirt, spraying on some deodorant and brushing your teeth or popping a mint are quick fixes.
  6. You’re too rehearsed. It’s natural to have a game plan in place when you’re on a date, but being TOO rehearsed or trying to engage a date with well-worn jokes or empty compliments could see you crash and burn, according to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Focussing on topics around helpfulness, generosity, athleticism, culture and wealth rated higher with the college students who participated.

Have you judged dates based on bad body language? We’d love to hear your experiences! Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.

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