Adrienne Mides realized that her blind date, Tim, might not be boyfriend material two hours after they met. Exiting the restaurant where they'd just shared a fabulous meal, the twosome passed a full-length mirror where Tim stopped and primped for two very long minutes. Adrienne, a 30-year-old computer programmer in Tennessee recalls, "I'm not talking an understandable check for spinach in his teeth. Other people were watching him watching himself. It was mortifying." She took Tim's mirror duet as a sign there was room in his heart for only one beauty: himself. There was no second date, and Adrienne is relieved she discovered that Tim wasn't her cup of tea before she got too attached.
You don't need to read tea leaves or see a psychic to gauge whether Mr. Looks Promising is a dream come true. According to author Howard Schiffer (HeartfulLoving.com), first impressions offer ample information. "If you're watching for the signs, you'll find out a lot right away. Will he be a good kisser or should you give him the kiss-off? All you need to do is pay attention."
Basic InstinctsYour gut always knows which way to go ‑- it's ignoring the truth you feel deep down that can get you into trouble. Boston entrepreneur Marcy Kandle sighs, "When I met Ted my first thought was, 'This guy is totally not for me.' But my first great love had just dumped me. I was lonely ‑- and Ted was there." The now-30-year-old ended up spending two full years with someone she knew would never make her happy. "Every day I'd tell myself that eventually things would get better." When Marcy finally gave up on her inner sales pitch, she followed that original instinct and got out of the relationship. Six months later, she met someone who her heart, mind and gut agreed was the one ‑- and the two are now engaged.
Body Language LeadsHe may say one thing, but if his eyes or actions say another, don't disregard that disconnect. Laurie Bernstein, a 28-year-old physical therapist from New York City offers a cautionary tale. "When I met Dan at a friend's birthday party, I was blown away by his good looks ‑- so blown away that I allowed myself to ignore the way his eyes glazed over whenever I talked about my feelings or anything other than our attraction to each other. And if they weren't glazed over, they were searching the room."Throughout their six-month relationship, Dan displayed the same lack of interest in Laurie's life as had been evident that first night. She says, "When he forgot my birthday despite my having reminded him of it three times the week prior ‑- that was the last straw."
Want more eye-opening truths to help you discern whether a new guy is worth your while? Caroline Presno, psychotherapist and author of Profiling Your Date: A Smart Woman's Guide to Evaluating a Man, says, "When he talks about his history, can he meet your eyes? If not, he might be lying. And be wary if he smiles with his lips and not with his eyes," Presno explains. "A fake or masking smile where nothing moves but the corners of the mouth ‑- and often they curve down ‑- means the person is lying through his teeth. It's quick to appear and even quicker to vanish." Want a demonstration of a masking smile? Watch a politician in action.
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the rest of the body also often offers clues to a person's transparency. There are up to 1,000 body-language cues packed into every minute of interaction, according to research. Some clues to consider, according to Men's Fitness writer Marc Salem is excessive gesturing (e.g., nervous movements like scratching the body) or an extreme lack of gesturing (e.g., a stiff upper body and crossed legs). John Tyler, a 34-year-old lawyer in New Jersey, sheepishly admits, "When I'm not being totally upfront with a girl, I create a barrier between the two of us. My hands are in my pockets, clenched behind my back or folded, or maybe I'm fiddling with a pencil or some other object." Relationship writer Howard Schiffer adds, "Watch out if he overuses the word 'truthfully' or 'honestly' or the phrase 'I would never lie to you.'"
Sensually SpeakingThose first minutes or hours you spend together can also provide a roadmap to how he'll be in bed. Relationship expert April Masini says, "If he dances well, he'll be good in bed. Anyone who moves well on the dance floor will move well in other places." The advice columnist (AskApril.com) and author of Date out of Your League adds, "This doesn't mean that if he's tripping over both his feet you should drop him. It just means that you should approach sex with different expectations." Amanda Blake recalls dreamily, "At our first dinner together, Larry was so attentive to every little detail. When my water glass was empty, he called to the waiter for a refill. When I gave a slight shiver he offered me his jacket." The 24-year-old Philadelphia botanist says, "I wasn't surprised that when we finally slept together, Larry was deliciously thorough in fulfilling my every desire."
How do you tell in those crucial first minutes if he'll be more of a dud than a dreamboat? Howard Schiffer reveals, "If he flits from topic to topic, that might signal that he won't be one for long, lingering kisses or deep caresses. He has a short attention span." Someone who doesn't make an effort to verbally or spiritually connect with you won't give his all when you finally get physical. He adds, "Also be on guard if he doesn't seem to truly listen when you talk or if he pushes you to discuss a topic ‑- like a past lover, for example ‑- when you say you'd rather not."