Body Language of Love & Dating requirements are quite far fetched and easy for many to just nod along:
- Looking for Love
- Single Men or Women
- Interested in Building All Aspects of Relationships
- We think our signs are more obvious than they actually are: always give more signs
- How much women touch themselves is a great way to gauge how much they like you
- Women prefer being approached from the side
Vanessa van Edwards opens the course spiking our attention by saying that she’ll talk about all the nonverbal signs of seduction. She says she gives love advice like nobody else does and her course is not about gimmicks and sleazy stunts.
Her course sets itself apart because it’s science backed and tested in her lab, sprinkled with a sense of humour and solution oriented.
Body Language of Love
Vanessa van Edwards says that a man’s favorite body part in a woman are the legs, and a woman’s favorite body parts in a man is the butt.
She talks about congruency and incongruency, for example saying we like someone when we actually don’t have an expression of liking in our face. When we are faced with similar incongruencies, she says, we will always believe the non verbal signs.
Vanessa says that the body language of love is based on two main components:
- Trust: based on the ocytocin hormone.
- Attraction: estrogen and testosterone. Women are looking for men with high level of testosterone and men are looking for women with high level of estrogen.
Vanessa also says in couples where the nonverbal communication decreases, the satisfaction of the relationship also decreases.
Science of Attraction
Vanessa goes on to explain how do we know if someone is attracted to us. She lists five solid ways:
There are 3 different type of gazing, and intimate gazing is the way we show attraction:
Power gazing is looking at someone’s eyes and then forehead. Your gaze stays high and you want to use Power Gazing during business meetings or negotiations.
Social Gazing happens when you look at eyes and mouth.
Intimate gazing is eyes and chest -not eyes to boobs, eyes to chest-. If you want to send a signal you like someone, you should drop your gaze to their chest area.
The direction of someone’s toes will tell you about their mental activity.
Vanessa goes into the intimate, personal and social zones people tend to use when keeping their distances with other people.
You can gauge how close people feel with you by looking at how close they get to you. You can use peoxemics in two ways: show them how close you want to be when speaking with them. Or by planting: stand and see how close they get.
When seating the same is true for leaning. And we can use also use touching to close the gap: the more we touch, the closer we want to be.
4. Haptics (touching)
You can gauge how people feel about you not just by how much they touch you, but also by how much they touch themselves and how much they preen. Vanessa says we use touch to release oxytocin and feel more connected.
Women tend to do more self touching. Women tend to touch their:
- Necks (it releases pheromone),
- Hair (long healthy hair shows good nutrition and health)
- Lips (they might like to have something in their mouth, and it reminds of other lips).
5. Men Displays
While women tend to touch themselves more, men tend to:
- Show territorial displays when they’re around women they like (spreading harms and legs, drapes their arm around a chair)
- Inflate (puff up chest)
- Alpha Cross (in western countries mostly: it takes lots of space and releases pheromones)
How To Know It’s Time To Move
Vanessa suggests that before making a move you:
- Observe 3 different attraction signals or the same signal repeated for 3 times
- Baseline: make sure she’s not giving those signals to everyone
Vanessa says that a study found out that unattractive women with the right body language were approached more times than attractive ones who did not signal correctly.
Signal amplification bias: we tend to think that our signals are obvious. Most of the times they’re not.
Vanessa gives us some ways to send proper signals in what she calls “Primal Flirting”, composed of:
Fronting: move your toes, your torso and your top towards the person you’re interested in. Some women get nervous and move their torso away, that’s bad because the brain cannot relax to form a connection if someone is facing away.
Smiling: smile as soon as you see your date to signal you’re a friend and not a foe.
Eye Gazing: the intimate gazing already discussed, and deep gazing. Strong and prolonged eye contact releases oxytocin. On average we hold eye contact for 60-70% of the time. You want to stay in that rage, but if a topic you are particularly interested comes up, focus intensely as if you wanted to keep noticing their eye color.
Glancing: a study by Pamela C Regan found out that successful men directed more brief glances to the women they liked. The flirting for them started way before they even started talking.
Using Power Body Language will make you come across as more confident and will make you feel more confident too. Look at some great body language at a bar or some sexy poses for hands in pockets.
Low power poses are contracting yourself, head down, shoulder rolled.
High power poses are expansive. It’s claiming territory, head high, arms loose, shoulders back and chest open.
Vanessa says however that power poses are too obvious for normal situations and the ideal is in the middle (loose arms, open torso, shoulders down, head up and fronting) . But you can use power poses before a presentation or before going out and then the re-settle is in the middle.
I love how Vanessa suggests you to find a few ideal poses for you, practice them and then use muscle memory to revert back to them and never get into low power poses again.
Vanessa quotes again Pamela C Regan whom found out that successful men, the one who got most numbers or went home with most women engaged in more “space maximization movements”. For example hands out of their pockets and arms over chair.
And they displayed more non-reciprocated touching to the men around (patting, back slapping, playful shoving)
It’s important to highlight high level of testosterone for a man and high level of estrogen for a woman.
Body: The Hourglass, a waist-to-hip ration of 0.7
Face: symmetrical face, large eyes and large lips.
Deep Voice: when you’re tense the words tend to be higher pitched because of tense vocal cords. A good way to minimize this issue is to take a deep breath and speak after the out-breath.
Face and Body: prominent jaw and brow and large shoulders. Vanessa suggests that two button shirts and two button suits help to make your shoulders appear larger. Facial hair can also help accentuate the jaw.
The Psychology of Courtship
1 approach eye pattern:
The author says that the first 5 to 10 that people enter a new space they will be scanning the room.
Next we identify targets, which are one or two people that intrigue us and often out toes will be pointing towards them as well. This part lasts less than 3 seconds. If we feel there’s potential there people we will engage in longer than 3 seconds gaze and will look if there’s a smile and if the 3 seconds gaze is reciprocal. If all signs are positive, then there can be an approach.
The good thing about eye patterns is that you can do it before the approach to test the water, but also to invite more approaches. You can gaze at someone to invite the approach.
Monika Moore found out that on average women had to make 13 direct eyes contacts before being approached.
Women like being approached from the side because it can feel too threatening from the front. Men prefer instead being approached from the front.
Visual Voyaging: as already explained in What Every BODY Says human beings want to assess and see the full body before connecting with them. So while some people might feel discomfort and prefer not being seen fully it’s important that you allow a person to look at you fully from head to toe.
Joe Navarro for example suggests that you do something to take your eyes off your speaking partner so that he/she can take a full look at you while you look away.
Vanessa recommends never to speak as if there were a question mark at the end of sentences, not even for women as that’s often perceived as untrustworthy. Men with deeper voice are considered more attractive while women with higher voices tend to be more attractive in the dating arena as it shows estrogen (but it’s counterproductive in business settings).
Fronting, smiling and confidence.
Showing ourselves fully engaged in the conversation provides validation to our speaking partner.
We lean in when we are curious, engaged or want to connect on a deeper level. You can use leaning to show engagement and test engagement. You test by gauging their reaction to your leaning in. Do they stay put, do they lean in as well? If they pull back, you’re coming on too strong for now.
Eye Brow Raise:
It’s a sign of curiosity, used for example when saying “oh really (tell me more)?”. If people use it while they’re speaking it’s a way of saying “pay attention to what I’m about to say” or “this really matters to me”.
Eyebrow Flashes and Glances:
Eyebrow flashes and direct flashes are the way with which women show sexual openness. So when you see a woman giving eyebrow flashes and direct glances, that’s a go ahead signal.
Vanessa goes into micro facial expressions here. She says we take in information from micro facial expressions even if we don’t consciously see them or realize it happened. I will skip this part as you’re not gonna learn micro-expression in written form (and probably not even in a quick course to be honest).
Just one note, she is absolutely amazing in using her face to mimic facial expressions.
People who uses a lot of gestures are seen as warm and agreeable. People who remain still are seen as more cold and analytical. Vanessa says that in dating you want to be seen warmer and agreeable.
A tip from Vanessa is to feel the emotions your speaking partner is feeling and mirroring them in your face.
She also says that men using palm up gestures are more successful with women as that communicates an agreeable personality.
we unconsciously mirror those we like and the people whom we mirror also perceive us as more likable. Again, and rightfully, Vanessa recommends a happy medium: don’t mirror too much and only mirror neutral and positive signals.
You can mirror the body language, the pace of their speech, the volume or tone and the facial expressions.
Vanessa cites an MIT Media Lab research stating that men are more interested in women who vary their voice tone. The key to show emotions in your voice is to feel emotional and passionate about the topic you speak about.
Vanessa van Edwards tell us that women use more brain areas to decode nonverbals and that men and women interpret nonverbals differently.
short interjections are:”uh-uh”, “ok”, “I see”, “aha”, “yeah”, “yup”. Vanessa quotes another MIT Lab Media research saying the more men used short interjections in conversation the more attractive they were to women. The more short interjections the woman made, the more she liked the relationship outcome (she felt engaged in the relationship).
Nodding three times slowly has been proven to make people talk longer (slow though, doing it quickly shows impatience). Head tilt shows empathy and engagement. To learn more about relationships, check Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
Let’s Get Physical
There’s not much “physical” about this section to be honest, and it’s just another collection of dating tips, albeit there are quite a few useful ones.
Vanessa von Edwards cites Rebhahn research that men tended to overestimate women sexual interest and women underestimated men willingness to commit.
Women who want to be kissed will put their mouth somewhat closer to you. Women who are ready to be taken home and ready for action will revert to the “Marilyin“, which is the famous pose from Marilyin Monroe showing her neck, lowering her eyelids and opening her mouth, thus mimicking an orgasm.
Back Up Signal:
Some signs to back up are the lip purse (she’s holding back what to say), touching her neck (she’s nervous), using her purse as a block between you two.
Note: I don’t understand here why she says touching her neck is a bad sign. It can be a great sign, even if she’s nervous it can be a great sign if she’s nervous because of you.
Some behavior that show untrustworthiness are: leaning back, crossing arms, touching rubbing or grasping hands together, face touching (for men, as it shows nervousness).
Men should show their hands to heighten trust and offering protection is the ultimate alpha behavior (opening doors, offering coat, pulling out chair).
Men prefer backrub/massages and kisses on the lips. Women prefer cuddling/holding and holding hands.
Vanessa repeats again the main things you can do is: show you are attracted, show you are willing to adapt, and show you want to know them.
Real Life Applications
- Start speaking after breathing out if you’re nervous
- Use short interjections (“uh-uh”, “ok”, “I see”.. ) with abandon
Not as badly as Captivate, but some upselling is also present
Micro expression and lying
I feel that spotting lies has little to do with dating to be honest, and micro-expression shouldn’t have been covered.
Also focusing too much on “lying spotting” and “facial micro expression” can get you in the wrong frame of mind.
Vanessa van Edwards focuses much on “warmth” and “agreeableness”. But I feel that Body Language of Love & Dating misses on some core aspects of successful dating.
That being said the course comes packed with lots of actionable and useful information you will not find everywhere.
And what I loved the most is that Vanessa shows some real life examples from clips she took from a series called “Dating in the dark”. Those analysis are very good.
If you are reading this summary to improve your social skills, check out my Social Skills Summaries and my in depth Social Mastery Guide. If you’re a woman check out my summaries of all best dating resources: