Sunday, September 10, 2006

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u engaged in the next stage of courtship: “grooming talk.” “It’s called ‘grooming talk’ because it really doesn’t matter what you say,” Dr. Fisher says simply. “If someone’s interested in you, they’ll keep talking.”As the conversation heats up, a behavior called “mirroring” can kick in, says Dr. Fisher, furthering the connec“See how her body’s twisted toward him in the ‘crouch’ position, with her hands near her face when she laughs?” Dr. Fisher whispers to It’s the ‘broken wing’ tactic. She’s sending a subtle signal his way that says, ‘protect me.’ Men love that.” Indeed, Dr. Fisher says that secret signals of sexual attraction are at work whenever people mingle. The way you sit down with your cappucciWhen mirroring, couples sip their coffee or cross their legs in unison, subtly mimicking each other’s movements. “It’s a very powerful way to develop rapport, since it actually helps your brain waves get in synch,” Dr. Fisher explains. Singles should also keep an eye out for “intention gestures.” “Basically that means the other person wants to touch you, but since she’s not sure if you’re receptive, she’ll rub her own arm or leg,” says Dr. Fisher. We notice a couple in the corner, plying each other with forkfuls of cake. This is more mating in action, says Dr. Fisher. To further forge a bond, couples may engage in “courtship feeding”—each offering the other a sip of tea or a bite of food. “Nuptial gifts of food are common among many animal species,” Dr. Fisher notes. “When a male chimpanzee offers a female a piece of sugar cane, she’ll copulate with him and then eat the sugar cane. Humans don’t move that quickly, but we all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch!” While both men and women respond similarly to many courtship cues, one area where they’re wired very differently is eye contact. To prove her point, Dr. Fisher gestures towoman the seat against the wall to signal he’s protecting her,” says Dr. Fisher. “But in this case, he’s in the back seat and she’s sitting facing him with her back to the room. It could be due to what she’s wearing.” The clothes in question? A camisole with a plunging neckline that, had the woman been seated facing the crowd, would have probably had every guy in the vicinity eyeing her. “By dressing that way, she’s asking to be mate guarded,” Dr. Fisher explains. “And maybe that’s why he took the back seat: So she attracts less attention.” Such displays of possessiveness are hardly unnene recent study found that 60 percent of men and 53 percent of women admitted to “mate poaching,” a practice of stealing partners who are already taken. While it’s distressing to think that someone we love could be so easily ensnared by new prospects, Dr. Fisher points out that a little competition also pushes us to become more caring, attentive, and in short, better mates. In fact, as we look across the bar, we see this principle in action: A woman in a slinky tank top, jeans, and stilettos who’s flirting with two men. “She’s giving them equsers? Is the game of love really that cutthroat rather than warm and fuzzy? “The game of love is not nice,” Dr. Fisher says, “but then again, you’re playing for the biggest stakes in town. Nothing is so imp

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