A simple change of stance could dramatically increase your dating success
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A simple change of stance could dramatically increase your dating success

Plenty of communication happens with no words at all, especially in modern dating where the choice of a partner could be based on a single picture (think Tinder). For instance, expansiveness—how far apart you spread your limbs—could signal to a romantic partner that a person is socially dominant, making them appear more desirable. To figure out whether this link holds in modern dating, researchers tested whether bigger postures—like outstretched arms and spread-apart legs—were more attractive in two scenarios where people meet mates today: speed dating and smartphone-based dating applications. Video analysis of 144 speed dates showed that for each one-point increase on a seven-point scale of expansiveness, college students’ chances of getting a “yes” response increased by 76%, according to the paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But that’s just a correlation. Next, to see whether a wider stance actually causes attractiveness and not the other way around, the researchers took to dating applications in San Francisco, California, recording how many people matched with fake profiles that had big or small stances. And indeed, profiles with widely spread limbs got 27% more matches than those with limbs held tight. In both experiments, the effects held for both men and women. These findings may not apply to all groups—but for Illinois college students and San Francisco online daters, at least, a spread-out stance could help net a second date.