Your face is the most expressive part of your body and the feature that attracts online daters. Championship poker players may be able to master their expressions, but the rest of us have little control over our facial muscles. When we’re happy, annoyed, interested or bored, we unconsciously reveal our emotions with a smile or a glance or the arch of an eyebrow. When you’re on a date, the ability to read a person’s face can tell you when you’re on track and when you’ve stepped into dating quicksand, hopefully in time to keep the date from sinking into oblivion.
Use these clues to decipher your date’s facial expressions:
- Smiles. Like quick hugs and “Sup?” smiling has become a convenient social convention that carries little meaning. In the same way that a fast hug doesn’t invite intimacy and asking someone “What’s up?” doesn’t mean you want a blow-by-blow account of their day, most smiles don’t mean, “I like you” or even “I’m happy to see you.” We’ve all been at the giving and receiving end of perfunctory, mean-nothing smiles. To tell if a smile is genuine, watch your date’s eyes. A true smile engages the eye muscles and makes your eyes sparkle.
- Narrowed lips. If your date’s lips start to compress into a thin, grim line, back off and start apologizing or get ready for a blast of wrath. Narrowed lips are a clear sign of anger.
- Lip nibbling. Chewing, nibbling, licking or sucking on your lips is a sign of nervousness. If your date is a nibbler, the mannerism should stop as your date becomes more at ease. If it doesn’t, don’t expect a call back.
- Raised eyebrows. If your date arches an eyebrow (or both eyebrows), it shows interest and curiosity.
- Lowered eyebrows. If eyebrows start to dip, the ground is getting shaky. Lowered eyebrows indicate anger, fear or confusion.
Next time: The eyes have it