Your Behavior On Dates Determine If You're In Love (Yes, REALLY!)

A married couple went out to dinner and found out how "in love" couples REALLY are.

We suspect you've probably heard the song with the stanza, "The look of love." Based upon years of research and observation, we subscribe to the notion that people in love do, in fact, look in love.

We test out our long-researched theory every time we go out to a movie, dinner, or shopping. Last evening, we ate at a new neighborhood restaurant near our home. It was snowing outside and very cold so we thought a night out with no cooking responsibilities would be just what we—the doctor's—ordered.

The hostess seated us at a window near the restaurant's fireplace. The snow was beautiful as it fell from the sky, and the crackling of the fireplace made for a perfect evening.

We ordered dinner and a good bottle of wine, and engaged in our usual non-stop conversation with each other as we ate and drank. We called this our early Valentine's Day dinner because on Valentine's Day evening we are doing an extended radio show from South Carolina.

Over the past nearly 33 years of research around the world, we've met a lot of people in our quest for knowledge regarding the perfect marriages and relationships; we've interviewed thousands of couples. It's interesting how good our observation skills have become, as we've intently observed people in our interviews and in our travels to 49 countries and all seven continents (yes, even including Antarctica).

As we continued eating, our conversation changed to the other couples like us who were out to dinner that night. It dawned on us that we were, in many ways, witnessing what we wrote about in our several books and hundreds of articles.

You could actually see love (or the lack thereof) as you observed the couples eating together. There are lessons to learn about these couples and we wanted to briefly share them with you. At the end, we will give you a quiz, so pay attention.

Couple #1 sat at the table next to us. The husband was about 50-55 and the wife a little younger, perhaps 45-50. They were a married couple (both had rings on). They sat on opposite sides of the dinner table and when they talked to each other (very infrequently), they only moved their heads slightly and rarely made eye contact. Never during the hour did we see them touch. Not once.

Couple #2 was apparently on a date. No rings, and their conversation as they sat down suggested it was a date. She was about 5'2" and he about 6'5"; both were attractive and in their thirties.

She looked as bored with him as one could be, unless you enjoy watching paint dry. When the meal was over she left the table and waited for him at the door. During dinner they did not touch, rarely talked, and never make eye contact.

Couple #3 was clearly married. They were both in their 40s and sat side by side in their dinner booth. Their bodies touched at the legs and shoulders. When they talked they looked directly at each other's face, which was never more than 15 inches apart.

She had a look on her face like, "I love every word that comes out of his mouth. He is the most amazing man I've ever met." He looked at her the same way. He obviously is a class clown and constantly spits out one-liners that make her laugh.

They touched each other continuously and kissed on the lips every now and then. When they left the restaurant they departed with their arms around each other's waist. We heard her comment to him on the way out, "It was nice to get away from the children for a couple of hours."

Couple #4 was on a date. They sat adjacent to us on the right. They were talking when we got to our table and continued to talk the whole time we were there. Their conversation increased in tone and volume over the hour.

Her last words as she stood up were, "I'm tired of taking this bullsh*t from you. I'm outta here." She walked to the door. He paid the bill and went after her, and they disappeared into the night.

In life and love it is the simple things that matter. Do the simple things and your relationship with each other will thrive. To not do them diminishes the quality of your relationship and is the leading cause of relationship failure.

On the other hand, successful love and relationships are the accumulation of the little things. Our nearly 33 years of research certainly validates this notion.

Now the quiz—if you were to observe these couples having dinner this Valentine's Day, which couple do you think is the most in love? What couple do you think is living proof that doing little things is important? If each couple were actually married, which one would probably have the best chance of enjoying a successful marriage?

Couple 3, of course, is the correct answer. You can learn a lot by observing couples interacting with each other. There is, indeed, a look of love.

Happy Valentine's Day 2015.

Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz are America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts. Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy. For hundreds of tips to enhance your relationship get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.