It’s one of the most critical moments in the mating ritual. Your eyes meet from across the room, you hold each other’s gaze for that split second longer than feels natural, and then, it happens.
She flashes you a quick smile. And not just one of those curt, closed-lipped smiles flashed out of awkward politeness. It’s a genuine, sweet smile that brings her eyes and open heart into the game.
It’s a smile that automatically makes you smile back. It’s a smile that in one split second says … you’re in.
And the smile is probably one of the most universally understood forms of communications out there. A smile immediately communicates openness and fun and makes others feel at ease.
Research has shown that when you smile, your body releases endorphins that send a feel-good message to your brain. And when your smile causes that cutie from across the room to automatically smile back, her body also releases endorphins that make her feel good about herself. So with one quick smile exchange you’ve said: I’m happy and her brain has told her that she is happy and associated that happy feeling with you. Who needs pickup lines when you’ve got all that going for you in a quick flash of teeth?
Of course, while a successful smile exchange will get your foot in the door, don’t make the mistake of throwing it open and waltzing on in. You’re liable to scare the person off. Instead, move in slowly.
According to British sexpert and body language expert Tracey Cox, women are more likely to respond if men approach them from the front. Men are best approached from the side.
And, once you’re in the person’s personal space, Cox offers some other body language signs that signal the person is into you, like shiny eyes.
“The eyes don’t lie,” says Cox. “Sparkling eyes denote interest, and this can’t be faked.” Also, she says, the raised eyebrow flash is unconscious and indicates attraction and interest.
A woman will show interest in a man by looking straight at him, playing with her hair, flashing her wrists, gliding her hands over her arms and neck, whispering and leaning into the conversation, moving her head closer to you and smiling broadly.
Men show interest by raising their eyebrows when they first meet you, raising them while talking, stroking his tie or smoothing his shirt, and trying to attract your attention with a masculine “cowpoke” stance, and an “open” face.
And, when you do finally open your mouth, Cox has some advice.
You have two ears one mouth, use them in proportion.
“The more you let the other person talk, the more fascinating they will think you are,” says Cox.
Josey Vogels is a sex and relationship columnist and author of five books on the subjects. For more info, visit joseyvogels.com.