But Do They Really Love Me? Interpreting the Cues from Your Date’s Smile

Feb 05, 2014, by Dr. Becky Coats

A smile is a universal social signal. It’s so universal, in fact, that it can be unclear just what someone means when they smile. Smiles can mean so many different things, and you can find yourself in an embarrassing situation if you don’t interpret them properly. Here’s a guide to some of the biggest perils in reading smiles so you have a better idea how things are going.

A Genuine Smile

Smile psychologists talk about two different types of smile, the social smile and the genuine or Duchenne smile. The social smile is made up just with the lips, but the Duchenne smile incorporates muscles around the eyes, and is more likely to be associated with genuine emotion.

For most women, it’s easy to tell the difference. Men are not as good at identifying the cues and should try to look consciously for the signs of movement around the eyes.

But be aware, perhaps 10% of people can fake a so-called genuine smile.

He Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

Your date smiles at you, so that means they must like you, right? Not necessarily. Men tend not to smile, but when they are romantically interested the smile comes automatically. It’s more likely to mean he’s interested in you.

Women, on the other hand, have been told they need to smile more often, so they do. A woman’s smile is less likely an indicator of true interest.

The Waiter’s Smirk

Other times, people have jobs where they are habitually told to smile. People in service industries, for example, smile as part of their profession, so they are more likely to break out a smile at any time, especially as a means of defusing tension.

On the other hand, people in positions of leadership are less likely to smile. When they do smile, it’s more likely a sign of true interest.

Talk to your date about their job before deciding what their smile means.

Is Your Smile Ready for Getting a Little Closer?

Of course, there’s another reason why people don’t like sharing their smiles. If you’re unhappy with teeth that are discolored, chipped, gapped, or poorly formed, we can help. Teeth whitening can improve the color of your teeth, and dental bonding can conceal chips, gaps, and poorly formed teeth in just one visit.

To learn how we can help you get a smile you’ll be proud to share, please contact Grapevine Dental Care today.