Dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Ok Cupid, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and Grindr came into their own during lockdown when it was tough to meet in person.
But now restrictions have eased, face-to-face dating is back big time as frustrated singletons looking for love arrange meetings Derbyshire’s cafés, bars, pubs, restaurants, burger vans, secluded car parks, country lanes and the alleyway by Derby bus station.
Having spent so much time in lockdown, single folk may be a bit rusty as to how to tell when someone is genuinely interested or whether they want to flee because your online dating profile picture was taken a decade ago when you were in your prime.
Read more: Women share weird online dating tales
Anyway, to help folk get back into the swing of things, so to speak, body-language expert Inbaal Honigman has outlined for us the key signs that show that he or she fancies you. Or not, as the case may be.
Eye contact is one of the key signs of connection and can be an important indicator of whether your date is interested in you.
Inbaal comments: “Eye contact is still the best indicator of desire. If someone likes you, they will look at you when you chat, maintain eye contact, and not search for their phone or the clock behind your back with their eyes.”
How your date holds themselves in your presence is a strong indicator for how they feel about you, and if they’re feeling relaxed in your company.
Inbaal says: “Are they breathing quickly? This means they’re excited to be sitting in your company! But it’s not a bad thing if they’re breathing slowly. This just means that they’re nice and relaxed in your company.”
Not an easy one to read, admittedly. Your date may be asthmatic or having an allergic reaction to you.
How they position their arms can be another indication of how your date is feeling, and depending on positioning, can mean they’re disinterested, on guard, or relaxed.
Inbaal says: “Crossed arms show a secret-keeper and someone on the defence, and make sure to keep an eye out for hand-in-pockets, as this might mean hand-on-phone! The ideal positioning is for someone’s arms to be nice and relaxed by their side.”
An open posture is a great indicator of interest, and if your companion is turning their body to face you, it could be a sign that the date is going well.
Inbaal says: “Be sure to check if they mirror your stance as this will tell you if they want to impress you. We’re not looking for someone to be overly familiar and too close, but a bit of obvious attraction is a sign you’ve pulled.”
After all, hips don’t lie.
Whether a date walks at your side, lags behind, or powers ahead can be an indication of compatibility, and of their desire to be with you.
Inbaal comments: “Compatible couples fall in step, walking at the same pace and striding similar lengths. You’re definitely not looking for someone who runs ahead and leaves you behind. When sitting down, look what way their legs are positioned – towards you is fab. Away from you and you know they’ve probably got a week full of dates to be getting on with.”
If your date can’t stop touching their hair, it’s a good sign that they’re attracted to you and are feeling flirty.
Inbaal says: “Hair twirling is still the best sign that someone is interested in you. Keep an eye out for how often your date plays with their hair, or if they’re adjusting their head covering. No hair? They might be messing with their scarf or collar!”
As in most walks of life, an unrestrained smile is a great indicator for how much your date is enjoying being in your company.
Inbaal adds: “It might sound obvious, but it bears saying – a bright, bold, toothy smile is such an open and honest way to know you’ve reached somebody’s heart! If you can see their teeth, you’re winning.”
Though if they bare their teeth like an angry dog then you might want to head for the exit.
If your date is facing towards you with open body language, this is an important sign that they’re happy to be on the date with you.
Inbaal says: “If they’re turning their back to you, turning away to message someone else or just generally feeling cagey, grab that bill.”
It’s often said that you can tell if someone likes you if they laugh at bad jokes, and that’s very close to the truth. At the very least, genuine laughter is a good sign that your date is having fun with you, and it could mean that they’re feeling their sense of attraction towards you grow.
Inbaal says: “We’re always on our best behaviour in a romantic setting, trying to impress. Listen to the sounds – anyone who laughs with wild abandon, spluttering and snorting, tears in their eyes – you can be sure you’ve got their heart.”
Try to see if they still laugh at your weaker material. If they do, they your either on to a winner or your jokes are just really good. Hopefully both.
If your date is giving you slight touches during your conversation, and finding ways to initiate physical contact, then you know they’re into you.
Inbaal says: “However tiny, however innocent – a comforting hand on your elbow when you talk about family, squeezing together to fit in a booth, a high five over a joke – it’s a gesture of interest, a gesture of connection.”
Anna Venturas, brand director of Foxy Bingo who’s working with Inbaal, said: “After so long doing virtual dating or not dating at all, it’s understandable that many singles might be feeling anxious to return to in person dating.
“We hope that our helpful advice will allow daters to spot the tell-tale signs of a potential romance and avoid wasting time on dead-end dates.”