Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for body language expert Tonya Reiman, author of THE BODY LANGUAGE OF DATING.  Herewith, she answers some of our pressing questions from people looking for their perfect match.  Her book has even more great advice, along with photographs and illustrations throughout, so you can see exactly what you should be looking for!  And now, without further ado–Tonya Reiman’s Q&A:

I like to leave two buttons unbuttoned when I go out. Is that too many? Does it send a specific message?

It really depends upon what you have under those two buttons.  Each of us is built differently and because of that some can wear things that others cannot.  A tall very thin, rather flat chested girl can wear a mini skirt with legs that never end and still look childlike. Put that same miniskirt on a girl with large breasts and the look changes completely.  Ask yourself this before you leave the house: will they still be able to make eye contact with me without being incredibly distracted?

I just started dating a guy but he won’t hold hands with me in public. What does that mean?

That’s tough to determine without seeing you guys together.  Perhaps he has a problem with public displays of affection. On the downside, however, he could be telling the world that you are not a couple. You need to have a conversation with him and gauge his nonverbal (report back to me and I will help you break down the nonverbal response).

I thought a guy was interested in me, but now I’m not so sure. How can I tell if he’s lost interest, or just needs a little encouragement? And what should I do?

Here are some signs of waning attraction: shoulder hug instead of full frontal hug. Forward leaning hug instead of lower body touching. Patting on shoulder during hug. Avoiding eye contact. Less touching. Sneering microexpression. Raise in vocal pitch upon questioning. Body orientation away from you. Less head-to-head contact/snuggling.  Shifting eyes. Increase in blinking when questioned.  Make a move and see how he responds.

On a first date for drinks, is it better to sit at the bar or get a table?

Sitting at the bar allows you to see his entire body so you can tell what his upper and his lower half is telling you – for example, is he jazzing his legs or pointing slightly away from you? Or, is he pointed toward you and keeping his eyes and face in your direct space.  If you are sitting at the bar you should feel like you are the only person in that room – if you get that feeling, you are golden!  The next time out, choose the table, it is more intimate in that there is no one directly next to you – however, the first time out, the bar stools are less intimidating and the lack of direct face to face confrontation is less invasive.

Do you have any tips for how to look attractive while on a dinner date? Spaghetti and sex appeal don’t always mix…

Men love it when you actually EAT. Believe it or not, spaghetti can show that you are fun and confident – two things a man LOVES. Have manners, make sure you place a napkin on your lap and keep one in your hands.  Try to stay away from foods that will stick in your teeth (like spinach), subtly fondle your stemware if it is available and somewhere in between dinner and dessert apply lip balm with your fingertips to look appetizing without appearing overly sexual.  You should occasionally move your hair from your face and fondle your jewelry.

How can I tell an awkward silence from a comfortable silence in a relationship?

The easiest way to tell the difference is in how you feel about the silence.  Do you start to feel anxious or does it feel “right”? Comfortable silence comes from the fact that you both feel good being around each other and recognizing that every moment does not need to be filled with conversation. Remember, A relationship is built on more than words. A wonderful exchange between people can happen by having the right kind of eye contact or being present together, in the same moment. If you do feel awkward there are many things to do: 1) Stop looking for the perfect conversation and say whatever comes to mind. 2) have your planned out one-liners, stories or newsworthy items (what is recent in sports, politics, crime, international news) ready to discuss. 3) last but not least, the best question to ask is “what do you think?

Help us decode “end of the night body language”—the date is over, so how can you tell if he wants to go in for a kiss? Or just a friendly hug?

Signals he wants a kiss: First and foremost – he repeatedly gazes at your lips. He put his arms around your shoulder or around your waist. He has moved hair away from your face.  He gazes for a long period of time into your eyes with bedroom eyes (droopy, relaxed eyelids). He acts somewhat silly and compliments you often. He tickles you (to feel out how you feel about intimate touching). Anything less touchy than these, prepare for a hug.