Dating is kind of the worst, especially in the app age. You never know what kind of weirdos are going to message you, or why the people you actually wanted to slide into your DMs never did. We’ve tried a lot of different (and borderline crazy) tactics to “optimize” our profiles and improve our chances: wearing neutral colors, crafting good Tinder profiles and messaging guys on Tinder using only Kimmy Schmidt quotes. But according to some new research, there’s a much simpler way: just opening up. Literally.
In a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academies of the United States of America (yeah we know, nothing says “good at dating” like “proceedings” — but hear them out), there’s evidence that “humans are more attracted to individuals displaying their bodies expansively.” In other words, that photo of you doing your best “I’m flying, Jack!” at the edge of a sailboat is probably a great bet for your next Tinder profile pic.
Researchers tested their theory through two different field studies: one at a speed-dating event and one using a “popular Global Positioning System-based online-dating application” (AKA Tinder). They coded the postures of live participants and online profiles, and found that when you’re making split-second decisions about a potential dating partner, whether or not the person exhibits an expansive posture is highly likely to determine whether or not you find them initially attractive. And those preferences are the same across genders.
But it’s not just about your gut telling you “physically open = open-minded.” Apparently, this kind of body language is also proven to indicate dominance (at least in our first-impression lizard brains). And so the research suggests that if you at least look like you’re confidently winning at life, you’ll be the person people swipe right for. (Your emo eighth-grade boyfriend must have been some sort of anomaly.)
So if you want more match notifications, better start practicing looking “open” and “expansive” in your photos. If you really want to go for it, get a shot doing jumping starfishes in the sand or making snow angels on a ski trip. But even if a date doesn’t seem to be going well at the beginning, still wait until after it’s over to cross your arms and curl up into a fetal position.
How much do you notice body language when you’re on a date? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)