By Jared Sais

First dates aren’t always easy. If you ever find yourself wondering how a date went, then use my expert love advice to look for clues during the date. There are five main body language cues to consider: making eye contact, showing a real smile, leaning in, “peacocking,” and using a flat palm on the chest.

Dating Expert Talks Body Language On a First Date

1. Making eye contact: Eye contact is the first non-verbal cue I look for because it is the gateway to truth and emotions. Your eyes smile. They love, they hate, and they lie. When you are on a first date, I would look for these four main eye movement cues:

a. Eye to eye contact: Eye to eye contact shows respect and a liking. We tend to hold eye contact (in American culture, that is) of people we like, respect, and find attractive.

b. Elevator eyes: Elevator eyes are when your date looks you up and down. It’s a sign that they find you attractive, but it may also be a sign that your date wants you for only one thing. As a dating expert, I find this type of eye movement to be disrespectful.

c. Wandering eyes: This form of eye movement is a type of flirting with the outside community. It’s checking out other people during a date with you. Now, I’m not saying your date should hold perfect, elongated, and constant eye contact. In fact, that would be weird and creepy. But if you constantly see your date not looking at you when you’re speaking and doing elevator eyes at other women as they walk by, I would say that’s a big red flag.

d. Dilation of pupils: This is a very good sign but extremely hard to spot. If you do spot their eyes dilating, that means that your date finds you attractive and likes the way you look.

Related Link: Expert Dating Advice: Is He Going to Dump Me? Your Partner’s Body Language Before a Break-Up

2. Showing a real smile: Well, easy enough…or is it? As a dating expert, the smile is the second non-verbal cue I would look for on a first date. A real, true smile involves the entire face — from your eyes to your cheeks to your lips. If you see wrinkles on the corner of their eyes, that’s a great sign. Those wrinkles are called crow’s feet, and they’re a big part of observing a true smile. Also, in a real smile, you will see the cheeks rise and puff up a bit. Finally, look at the mouth. If their teeth show or there is a big grin where the tips of the mouth raise up a lot, that too is a non-verbal cue of a genuine smile.

Here’s the catch: You should see almost all of these things happen at once for it to be a real emotion of happiness. In a fake smile, only the mouth will move. You will rarely see any movement in the eyes, and the cheeks may only move slightly.

3. Leaning in: When speaking with your date, take note if they are leaning in or leaning towards you. This non-verbal cue shows interest in what you’re saying and/or that they’re interested in you. If you notice they’re leaning away from you, this would indicate that they’re not interested, as they are creating distance between the two of you. Distance is one of the number one indicators of attraction. The closer you two are, the more they like you and feel comfortable in your presence.

Related Link: Expert Dating Advice: How to Spot a Man Who Only Wants One Thing

4. “Peacocking”: Just like the bird, we too strut our stuff. There are four main ways we use this strategy when trying to impress someone:

a. Clothes: The clothes we wear can catch someone’s eye, and we often use what we wear to impress others. A nice watch, that dress that fits like a glove, even those beautiful earrings are all used to capture the attention of that special someone.

b. Dramatic hand and body gestures: Non-verbal cues that are used to catch the attention of others can all fit into this category of “peacocking.” Big hand gestures that take up a lot of space or flipping your hair are both ways people use their body to “peacock.”

c. Space/dominance: Taking up more space then usual or using space to grab attention, like renting out a VIP table at your favorite bar, demonstrates a way to use space as a “look at me” tool to grab the attention of people.

d. Tone and pitch: How we speak and the tone we use can be a way to grab attention from others as well. Accents or even singing your favorite song at a karaoke bar are ways to use tone and pitch to “peacock” to others.

5. Using a flat palm on the chest: This non-verbal cue is a sign of trust. When speaking with someone, if you see them make this hand gesture, they are being genuine and sincere. They are showing you trust and honesty. This is a non-verbal cue that can let you know the person you are with has let down their guard and is ready to open up to you. When you see this non-verbal cue, it would be nice if you reciprocated by opening up a bit to them as well. As a relationship expert, I’ve come to believe if the person you are with places their palm on your chest, that is one of the biggest compliments you can receive. It shows complete trust, loyalty, and love for you.

Jared Sais is the co-author of the website The Non-Verbal Game, where you can find free downloadable content. He is a dating expert in non-verbal communication, who specializes in body language, micro-expressions, and lie deception as they relate to relationships and love.