People (sub-)communicate almost 90% of their intentions through their posture, movements, and tone of voice. The reality is that what a person says matters, but can be completely opposite of how he or she feels. So, how can you tell the difference, especially regarding men? Pay attention to what his body says before you listen to the words coming out of his mouth. You'll be surprised at what you might pick up on.
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Is He Flirting with Me?
On a date, understand that men don't listen to, touch, or look into the eyes of women they are not interested in. If he is engaged in conversation, preens, looks into your eyes occasionally, touches you on the arm (good) or on the small of your back (better) and is relaxed while doing it, then guess what? Ignore everything he says, and recognize that he's flirting with you (even if he says he's not).
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Are We Just Friends?
Men tend to treat women they are friends with more like sisters than potential dates. If you're not sure where you stand, ask yourself if he treats you like his "girlfriend" from third grade. Sure, you may hug. He may be polite and chivalrous. If, however, he does not hesitate to look at other women, and adjusts his body language for them but not for you, then he's telling you that you're not date-worthy. He may love you as a friend, but he probably doesn't see you as a lover if he's willing to look for one in your company.
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Having "The Talk"
When you feel the need to ask your partner "Where are we going?" check to make sure his body language shows that he is open to the conversation. Looking down or away, with crossed arms and legs or a tight jaw, is a clear indicator that he is not open to talking. His mouth may say "yes" to discussing this, but if his body says "no," then try changing direction by asking him to go for a walk (so he uncrosses his legs), holding his hand (so his arms aren't crossed), or leading him somewhere else, where you can sit and talk. Body language creates and builds positive or negative momentum. Then again, don't force a discussion if he's clearly not open to it.
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