While most people pay little or no attention to their posture or their body language, a recent study suggests that people who are more open and expansive with their body language tend to get far more second looks than those who don’t. This is even more critical, it seems, when it comes to online dating and even speed dating.
Researchers at UC Berkeley studied 144 four minute speed dates conducted at Northwestern University and they found that posture and bearing makes a huge difference in how you are perceived and whether or not you might move forward with someone you have had your eye on.
The findings, basically, have concluded that, for both men and women, larger and more expansive postures and bearings were quite often the most attractive. Women, for instance, found men who sat with their legs more open, man spreading if you will, far more attractive than men who sat with their legs more closely held together. And, of course, a smile, a sympathetic and attentive nod, and an intimate lean-in scored big with both genders.
With the advent of speed dating and all of the online dating sites, your first impression is likely the only one you are ever going to get. As everyone swipes past potential candidates, the research states that you only have around 40 milliseconds (yes-40 milliseconds!) to make an impression online. The researchers studied various gestures and postures trying to determine if the person was a likely choice for a second date.
More positive reactions, from both me and women, involved those people who were in more expansive and relaxed postures such as sitting back with legs extended, open arms and spreading out which seemed to indicate a relaxed and friendly state. Those who were rather stiff in their photos, ankles properly crossed, arms in at the sides taking up less room in the photo were not seen as viable potential dates or mates.
The relaxed and smiling expansive postures indicated to the viewer that these people had resources and confidence. These are always important considerations when trying to evaluate a potential mate.
The study concluded that, with so little time to make a great first impression, displaying a posture of relaxed dominance and confidence received the most attention from the opposite gender. So, ditch those selfies awkward photos taken by your BFF and put the magic of body language, and a smile, to work for you instead.