I sat across the table from her sipping my wine, appearing to be listening intently when she said, "What are you staring at?"
Quickly I shuffled my hands, corrected my posture and refocused, trying to recollect my thoughts.
"You keep looking at my mouth," she said.
And I was guilty. Not of being a pervert, but of committing one of the biggest non-verbal faux pas of dating. Vulnerable to the Cabernet, my guard had slipped and my body language was giving off signs without getting the okay from master control first.
You see, some of us men can be a bit naive — call it clueless — when it comes to knowing if a girl is "into us."
It's not like picking petals off a flower, saying, "She loves me, she loves me not." But do a little exploration into non-verbal communication and you'll find it's fascinating how insightful it can be in everyday life. Plus it often takes the guesswork out of dating. One study says 93 percent of all communication is non-verbal.
Later that same night, I happened to notice that my lady friend with the mouth I loved kept brushing her hands through her hair, pushing it over her shoulder, playfully positioning it as she went about her stories.
"Aha!" I thought to myself. Either she just had the greatest shampoo of her life or this is a sure sign the laws of attraction are hard at work.
The question is, Shannon, when we're out on the town and having a few sodas with the opposite sex, are we to sit on our hands and wear dark sunglasses — or simply let our body language do the talking?
Dave, body language is more powerful than words. You can tell a girl you like her all you want, but the way you turn your shoulder away is more telling about your waning interest.
And vice versa: Deny you're into that juicy mouth all you want, but the staring is a dead giveaway. As is the way you cross that invisible line between her public and personal space.
But revealing your true feelings via body language is a double-edged sword that can wreak havoc on a friendship or help a relationship blossom. The key is knowing when to touch her arm for an extra few seconds. Will she appreciate it? Or will it make her uncomfortable that a friend is making such advances?
If she's into you, you'll know it. You stared at her mouth like a hungry puppy, and she called you on it, but proceeded to toss her hair around like a Pantene model. My feminine instincts tell me she knew you were watching her lovely locks fly.
Revealing your true feelings with body language carries some risk. But if she's willing the receive the message, the rewards can be fruitful.