When two singles spot each other across the room and feel an immediate attraction, who do you think makes the first move – the man or the woman? Many of you will probably guess that it’s the man that makes the first move, but studies show that this isn’t necessarily true. A recent study conducted at Bucknell University revealed that males rarely approach women without significant eye play first. In fact, women had to make an average of thirteen short and direct glances before a man dared to approach.
“Women have to make an average of 13 short and direct glances before a man will dared approach.”
But before the man approaches, he will subconsciously engage in “space maximization movements” where he will use his body to make himself appear bigger and more dominant. For example, he may stretch his arms across the backs of the chairs, spread his legs while seated, or put his thumbs around his belt loops. These are open body movements that convey social power, potency and persuasive personalities, whereas closed body positions such as folded arms or rounded shoulders convey a lower position in the pecking order. The study showed that men made an average of nineteen space maximization gestures (all while sneaking glances at the target female to gauge interest) before he approached.
“Closed body positions like folded arms or rounded shoulders convey a lower position in the pecking order.”
For women who want to be more attractive and increase the amount of interested suitors, it’s important to master the eye gaze. Psychologist Monica Moore states that no successful romantic encounter happens without the eyes meeting first, and she identified three main forms of gaze in the courtship dance. First, there is the room-encompassing glance, a five to ten second scan of the room (during which a woman raises the chin, arches her back and sticks out her chest). Second, there is the short darting glance which is targeted at a specific man and repeated several times. The third type is the gaze fixate, a direct gaze that lasts longer than three seconds. Smiling while initiating the gaze fixate is extremely powerful in garnering interest. Once eye contact is made, the dance begins. The woman’s head and neck become the focal point, and she will subconsciously draw attention to this area by flipping her hair or using her fingers to trail along her neck. When interested, she will also subconsciously laugh and nod a lot and adjust her body to face the object of her desire.
So – is it the prettiest woman who gets the most attention in a room? The answer is no. Approachability is more important than pure looks when it comes to encouraging guys to make a move. A study examining the effects of body language and attraction was conducted on a group of women who all had a similar level of physical attractiveness. The women who displayed more than thirty five signals an hour were approached by an average of four men, whereas those with less flirtatious body language were not approached whatsoever. Single ladies, take note. Regardless of your looks, if your body language is closed and intimidating and your vibe is unfriendly and cold, no one will dare approach you.
“Approachability is more important than looks when it comes to encouraging a guy to make a move.”
Being attractive is a learned skill. By being conscious of your body language and the signals you give off, you can tweak your eye contact and movements so that you appear more approachable and inviting. The more you practice, the more it becomes natural and a part of your way of being. One trick to improve this is to practice your eye contact skills. Next time you walk down the street, try to look at people you walk past and hold their gaze. It’s extremely uncomfortable at first, and you’ll notice that most people will look away. But the more you do it, the better you become at making eye contact and when it comes to the real deal, you won’t be too shy or nervous to hold someone’s gaze.
Photo credit: Kübra Sağın