When you’re on a date, that elusive spark can be hard to grasp.

Sure, you think this person is wonderful, but do they think the same of you? Are they feeling that immediate attraction and physical connection?

No one likes thinking everything’s going great only to get ghosted or led on by someone who says all the right things but has no intention of taking things further.

Knowing how someone actually feels can be even harder to judge when we’re continuing to date over video chat (apparently we’re more open to virtual dating post-lockdown).

To help us all be better judges of how the person we’re dating actually feels about us, we chatted with Lily Walford, a dating coach and the founder of Love With Intelligence.

As a trained behavioural profiler, Lily knows how to read people’s body language and figure out how they’re really feeling. Below she points to the behavioural signs that someone just isn’t that into you, that you can easily spot over video call and IRL.

They protect vulnerable areas

‘When we’re stressed or scared, we change our body to protect areas where we have major arteries that could be vulnerable,’ says Lily. ‘This natural instinct is a perfect giveaway when someone’s feeling stressed or emotionally vulnerable.

‘Whether it’s raised shoulders, arms pressed against the torso or fingers curled into the palms, there’s a lot of telling signs to look out for.

‘These are all red flags that someone feels uncomfortable with a certain topic or question.

‘However, when someone is feeling confident and responsive, their body language will open up, which are all good signs someone feels genuinely comfortable with you.’

Keep an eye out for crossed arms, tense shoulders, and closed fists. This might be a sign that they’re uncomfortable with the current topic of conversation, but may also mean they’re closing themselves off to an emotional connection.

They do a dominant shoulder retreat

An easy way to spot if the person you’re chatting to doesn’t agree with or like what you’re saying: they position themselves in a fighting stance.

‘When we’re feeling hidden objections, we pull our body into a fighting stance,’ Lily explains. ‘Imagine a boxer ready to fight with his dominant leg and shoulder back. It doesn’t mean they are literally going to fight with you but it’s natural instinct that will flag someone objects to what you’re saying.’

There’s a single-sided shrug

If you don’t trust that the person you’re chatting to is being genuine and honest, keep an eye out for the single-shoulder shrug.

Apparently this is the body’s way of showing ‘I don’t believe what I’m saying’.

They cover or touch their mouth

Another sign of deception is ‘hushing’, when someone is always covering and touching their mouth.

Lily says: ‘This is another natural instinct we’ve been doing since we were young. Imagine a child who has just learnt to swear. They know it’s bad, so they cover their mouth to hide what they’re saying. We don’t unlearn this.’

Their blinking is speedy

Please don’t start counting and noting down every one of your date’s blinks, but this is something you’ll start to notice now we’ve mentioned it.

‘When we’re interested in something, our blink rate slows down,’ says Lily. ‘If you notice this happening, you know you’re saying things that really resonate with your date.

‘Of course, you don’t need to make it your mission to count exactly many times someone’s blinked, but if you’re aware of how little or often it is, you’ll be able to tell whether they are genuinely interested in the conversation.’

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