If laughter is the best medicine, Mary Ellen was seriously overdosing. She had always had a habit of laughing when she was nervous, and first dates were nothing if not a hugely nerve-wracking experience.
“I laughed too hard at their jokes, and I giggled inappropriately,” she recalls. On one date she’ll never forget, she laughed out loud when her date told her about his dog getting hit by a car. “I can’t explain it,” she winces. “I was expecting his story to be leading in another direction, and by the time what he said had registered, I was already laughing. I felt so awful.”
Focusing on a date’s breathing, body language, and voice did more than nip the nervous laughter in the bud. She discovered that after mirroring his body language, her date would start following her movements.
“I’ll never forget the date I was on with Tyler,” a big hunk of a man she’d met at a fifties car show. “Here I was, mirroring his body language, and then he said something that made me laugh, and I covered my mouth with my hand, then noticed that he did the exact same thing.” Seeing this burly guy put a hand to his mouth so daintily was adorable, and she’d felt a surge of interest between them at that moment.
“The connection was unmistakable,” she recalls. “And we ended up staying out until 3 a.m. just talking. He told me he felt like he’d known me all his life.”
After four months of dating, Tyler proposed. “He told me he wanted to hear me laugh every morning for the rest of his life.”
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