We are often told to smile—for the camera, for a date, and during a job interview. Yet how important is this element of body language? According to numerous research studies, this is very important.

Yet for all the evidence that points to the benefits of smiling, is it really enough to snag (and keep) a date? Studies suggest that it takes more for a man to know that you are interested than a mere smile. Since many men avoid rejection at all costs, the result is that it takes more than your pearly whites to secure a date. Here’s why:

1) Men need more than mere hints
You might think that a smile conveys interest. However, your smile may make him think that you’re just being polite. Coming out and letting him know you’re interested is the only surefire way to ensure that he “gets it.”

2) Flattery works
According to the book Are You Normal About Sex, Love, and Relationships? 51 percent of people state that flattery is the best way to indicate interest in another person. Meanwhile, 25 percent of singles report that touching the other person is an effective way to flirt. These signals come across much more clearly than a smile.

3) Fear makes us inactive
When polled, 40 percent of men acknowledge that they are “scared” when first interacting with a potential date, according to a commonly cited statistic from Neil Clark Warren. The fear of rejection holds people back, underscoring the importance of making your interest unambiguously clear.

4) Being confident makes women stand out
A woman who unambiguously gives clear signals to a man sets herself apart from the crowd. Her confidence will undoubtedly impress him. A woman who knows what she wants and goes after it conveys a unique attitude that many men find attractive.

5) Clarity conveys success
Being direct is imperative to success in any aspect of life. Many men want a woman who will be successful, both in and out of the home.

Jasbina is the founder-president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. Jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com

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