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Thomas has an acronym that he uses with his clients: SOLD — Smiling, Open Body Language, Leaning, Direction.Basically, keep a friendly face, an open body posture, and point your body toward your date.Which means, yes, you gotta go on some first dates.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.“Every single time you get more intimate with the touching, it has to be based on acceptance, aka consent.If you go for a hug and your date pulls away, you have tried to get too intimate too quickly.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.“I teach my students a number of other listening, empathy, and self-confidence skills before we progress to external techniques.
Of course, body language isn't the only way we flirt. Should you smile more or smile less or just wear a Guy Fawkes mask and not have to worry about what your face is doing at all? How are you supposed to remember all of these things anyway??But while I absolutely understand that impulse, if you’re looking for a romantic partner then it’s very unlikely you’re going to meet that person on your couch.Ben also recommends “smizing,” which any fan of America’s Next Top Model will remember means “smiling with your eyes” and Thomas told me that before he met his wife, he used to put on his favorite playlists to listen to in the shower before getting done up in his favorite threads in preparation for a date.(He also used to do push-ups to get the adrenaline pumping but I won’t judge you if you want to just stick to the fun music and power poses.)Thomas’ number one tip for body language on a first date is to “break the physical barrier,” which is dating coach-speak for “touch your date.” He points out that the biggest difference between friends and partners is physicality and that the way we touch a friend differs from the way we touch a romantic prospect. Simple: Hug.“You’re not here for a meeting,” Thomas tells Bustle.
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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.