In the first two seconds of a first date you’re being evaluated – and in the first 20 minutes you’re telegraphing subconscious cues to the other person about your long-term potential. So, here’s what’s happening in that first 20 minutes, according to relation ship expert, Dr. David Givens, author of “Love Signals”:

  • Within 2 to 5 seconds you’ve already made your first impression. Your brain is working overtime judging the other person physically to see if you find them attractive, and to determine whether the other person is a good personality match for you. If it seems too fast to form any kind of real opinion, we can’t help it. That’s just what our brains do, whether we want them to or not. And that first impression is so strong that we’ll base all our subsequent perceptions on it.

  • Within 30 seconds of a first date we’re reading body language. We know subconsciously if the person is facing us directly, we have their full attention. If they’re leaning in, they’re interested. And we give off, and react to, body language without even realizing it.

  • 5 minutes into your first date, you’re already clocking similarities. We’re more emotionally compatible – and we feel more connected to – people who are similar to us. So we’re picking up on the things we have in common – our background, looks, and values.

  • After 10 minutes of a first date, if you’re feeling an attraction you’ll instinctively start mimicking each other. We’re wired to mirror each other’s movements, because it reinforces a connection. And if we sense that our body language is similar, we’ll feel closer to the other person. So you may start sipping your drink at the same time – or both lean on the table with one hand.

  • After 20 minutes, you begin to sense whether or not there’s trust. Our primitive ancestors would never accept food from a stranger for fear it was poison. But if you’re already sharing fries or popcorn, it shows trust – which is key to a relationship.