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Forget conversation, pickup lines, and great texting skills: Body language is the unsung hero of the dating game."Body language isn't as much about the reality of what you're doing, it's about the perceived value of your actions," says Chris Ulrich, senior instructor at the Body Language Institute.

Basically, it doesn't matter how into someone you are if you're giving off the wrong signals.

Any touching beyond that and she’s basically hitting you over the head by letting you know she’s interested.

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That's because unconscious body language signals can be extremely telling, says Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 30 years of experience and author of So, in the early stages of a new relationship (like when you first meet an online date), look out for the following signs to get a sense of what he's thinking.1. Either you're in a super-dark place, or this subtle signal means he's into you. People tend to use this subconscious expression to help open their eyes when they like what they see. If he really likes you, though, he might pull back extra-slowly and smile sweetly as he does it, which means he wants to take the time to get closer to you. If he angles his hips away from you, it's probably the latter. "The feet tend to point where the heart wants to go," Wood says. If he crosses them in a way that turns his torso and upper body away from you, he might be disinterested. Wood says this could be a sign he's keeping his options open. So feel him out, and look for other signs on this list before you go reassure him. When he holds your hand, he presses his palm against yours.

"Dilation is a brain response that occurs when you like and are attracted to something," Wood says. If he raises his brows ever so slightly while you're talking, it means he's interested in whatever you're saying. He might not show off a toothy grin while casually flirting, but on a really awesome date when he's having loads of fun? Real smiles extend well beyond the mouth: They lift the forehead and give you slightly squinty eyes. When you're attracted to someone, your mouth produces extra saliva, Wood says. You might think that a guy who is totally enamored by you will find it hard to peel his eyes away. But when he subconsciously takes a deep breath — he'll pull in his stomach and puff out his chest — it's a subconscious way to make his upper body look broader and his waist look smaller, two qualities that make him look more fit and (from an evolutionary perspective) more desirable, Wood says. In a noisy bar, this sign might not hold much weight. Of course, timing is super important in interpreting the feet: If you're talking to a guy who seems interested, you touch his arm, and then see his feet angle away from you, the context says he's no longer interested. But if he crosses his legs away and turns the rest of his body toward you, it could just mean that he's shy, depending on the guy. But don't rush to judge a great conversationalist just because he chats you up while he faces forward. The throat represents communication and vulnerability, Wood says. This kind of full-fledged hand-holding signifies a desire to connect. If he's constantly two steps ahead of you, it means he's more concerned about himself than you, Wood says.

Everybody has different quirks and habits, of course, but some common body language signals are universal.

You can understand a lot from watching how a person uses his body – and he doesn’t even have to say a single word.

Body language is a reflex: Research shows that whatever we're feeling first shows up in our brain's limbic system, before showing up nanoseconds later in our conscious minds.

But since so many gestures have multiple meanings, even the most highly trained experts only have around a 60 percent success rate of figuring out what physical responses mean.

Over the last few years there has been an influx of dating apps, but dating seems to be more complicated than ever before.

One woman hoping to change that is body language expert Steph Holloway, 55, who is based in New Zealand.

They have to do something to display their potential.'Women also have signs to show someone that they're interested and one thing they'll often do is put their head on a "pedestal".

'They will do things to draw attention to their face, this is women saying "hey look at how pretty I am".

Like women, men don't always say exactly what they're feeling precisely when they feel it. When he initiates physical contact under the guise of another reason, it's a test to see how you respond to his touch, Wood says.

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