- Keep an open posture. It’s no secret you have very little time to make a first impression on others, and studies find that people generally form a knee-jerk reaction to you (that they stick with) in about 30 seconds, which means that the way you present yourself matters. And that’s if you can even get into the same room as them—in the world of online dating, you may only have two seconds and a single picture to get a yes or a no. Recent studies have found that women are attracted to men who fill the space around them by both standing up straight and extending their limbs. This is a powerful posture that conveys a sense of power and control.
- Speak with your hands. Speaking with your hands is doubly important. The first benefit is the same as the posture: The more space you fill, the more dominant and comfortable in a space you’ll seem. But studies also show people feel they can’t trust those who hide their hands under a table or in their pockets. It’s important to use your hands because it’ll ensure they remain visible, and women will feel like you are trustworthy.
- Make eye contact. Eye contact is one of the easiest ways to build stronger relationships. A lot of people find maintaining eye contact to be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable, but the eyes can do a lot. They assure the person you’re talking to that you’re listening, and they can also indicate attraction if the pupils dilate. As little as two minutes of eye contact is proven to increase passion (even between strangers!). A popular New York Times love test made the rounds a few years back, in which participants ask each other increasingly personal questions before staring into each other’s eyes in silence for four minutes. Asking someone to try it with you could be the final step you need, and definitely will let her know you’re interested.
- Show interest with your body. Tilting your head shows that you are paying attention and interested in what the other person is saying. Leaning in is another good gesture to show interest, as well as shortening the distance between you two. It’s proven that when you’re attracted to someone, you often end up mirroring their movements. Even your feet can give you away. They’ll often point directly to who you’re interested in.
- Engage her physically. Whenever engaging with someone physically, be it a woman you’re interested in or otherwise, the most important thing is to make sure they’re comfortable. If they are, go for it. Humans are wired to crave physical contact, and studies find it’s an effective way of communicating: Not only does touch convey love, gratitude and compassion, but also people can actually differentiate between these three things depending on the type of touch. Brush her hand, pat her on the back or give her a hug. Let your body speak for you, and she’ll appreciate it.
- Don’t underestimate her desire. A 2016 study found that while men often over-estimate a woman’s sexual desire the first time they meet, the reverse is true in a long-term relationship. Men often perceive their wives or girlfriends as less interested in sex than they really are. The easiest way around this is to be communicative and ask them what they want—this gesture makes them feel comfortable but also ensures that they’re getting the attention they want.
- Share memories. Men and women have a different capacity for memory. While there isn’t an exact reason why yet, the divide seems pertinent, with women having much better recall than men. That can be frustrating, and it can make it seem like you’re not listening or that you don’t value your time with your partner. Make an effort to remember the important events you’ve shared, and reference them when appropriate—it will make her know you value her and the things you’ve done together.