Dating advice: 5 great body language tips

Worried about your body language while on a date? Create a positive first impression and make it easier to meet new people by adopting the following habits.

Dating advice: 2 great body language tips
Chances are that by the time you open your mouth to speak your body has already spoken volumes. Your body language -- such as your posture, hand gestures and facial expressions -- is a significant communication tool and can be integral when it comes to your relationship-building success.

To learn more about how to improve and make better use of body language we turned to Stacie Ikka, a Toronto-based dating coach and the founder of Sitting in a Tree, a dating and relationship consulting service.

"Non-verbal communication is noticed about 60 per cent more than the words coming out of your mouth," says Ikka. "When you're flirting, which is a form of communication, body language is more important than the words that are said."

She shares the following body language tips to help you control the impression you're giving off, whether you're looking to meet someone or you're already on the first date.

1. Adopt an open position
It's a good idea to leave some details to the imagination when you're flirting, but your body language must be open in order for you to appear available in the first place.

"Simply put, open body language sends the signal that you're interested and includes gestures like facing the person you're interacting with directly, making eye contact and leaning forward," explains Ikka. "Examples of closed body language include folding your arms across your chest, sitting across from someone with your body angled slightly to the left or right, avoiding eye contact or making tense facial expressions, like frowning."

The more poised, open and self-assured you appear, the more comfortable others will feel approaching you.

2. Make eye contact
When you lock eyes with someone, you're directing your positive energy toward them, making it more likely that they will be drawn to you. However, maintaining eye contact can be difficult for some as their nerves kick in.

"Many people get nervous or shifty when they're attracted to someone. This is because, in those circumstances, the sense is that the stakes are higher," says Ikka. "The tendency is to turn away quickly and furtively when they meet that person's eyes, and it inadvertently sends the wrong signal -- that they're not interested."

If you find yourself becoming nervous and looking down or shifting your attention elsewhere after making eye contact with someone, remember that your actions could be interpreted as aloof or disinterested. Locking eyes, on the other hand, can be perceived as flirtatious and sensual.

Page 1 of 2 -- Learn three more helpful body language tips for dating on page 2

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