There is a language of love that goes beyond words, Valentine’s Day cards and doing kind things for each other.
It’s the unconscious body language that we use to signal attraction and connection. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, it’s good to be aware of these signs. You’ll instantly know whether someone likes you… you’ll know that you’re putting out the right signals when you like someone… and you’ll be able to non-verbally gauge the health of your relationship if you’re in one (like knowing if your partner is saying “I love you” but his or her body language says otherwise).
The Basics of the Body Language of Attraction
Body language hasn’t changed much since the dawn of man. The messages we are conveying with the body language of attraction are: I’m harmless, I like you, I’m approachable and I’m fertile.
Not that romantic, is it? But it’s an essential part of the human mating game.
If your body language says “unavailable” or “not interested” you can be sure that’s what people will pick up on, no matter what you say!
It happens very quickly. There’s a direct line of communication between the brain and the body that lies outside our conscious awareness. Once we decide we like someone, the body automatically begins changing physically to signal attraction:
Leaning toward the person (shows interest and engagement) – leaning away signals dislike or withdrawal.
Head tilting (also shows interest and engagement) – looking over someone’s head, avoiding eye contact and looking around, signals lack of interest; even if you’re extremely shy, try to maintain eye contact as much as possible!
Flushing/blushing: the body’s way to mimic the effect of orgasm – probably the most obvious involuntary evolutionary “I’m available and interested” signal you can give (one reason women wear blush and lipstick).
Racing heart. Another unconscious response – if you’re attracted to someone, your heart rate rises; and interestingly, if your heart rate is high, it makes the person appear more attractive!
Feet and knees pointed to the person. If your feet are pointed directly at someone, it’s a sign of attraction or interest. If they’re pointed off to the side, it indicates lack of interest.
- Mirroring, where one person copies the body language, gestures and speech patterns of the other, or orders the same food or drink
It may surprise you – or not – that women typically exhibit about 52 ways to signal attraction, where men use only about 10!
Male/Female Body Language of Attraction
Raised eyebrows and/or an eyebrow flash (a quick rise/fall of the eyebrow). Often subconscious but you can do it deliberately to show interest.
Parted lips. May happen just for a flash when your eyes first meet.
Flared nostrils and an ‘open’ facial expression.
Unconscious self-grooming (stroking his tie, smoothing – or tousling – his hair etc.)
Standing tall with legs slightly spread
Standing directly in front of you
Standing close to you (this has cultural overtones, but in general a man will approach you and stand as close as socially acceptable)
He checks out your body (he’s already done that, but now he lets you see him do it)
If sitting, he will spread his legs to display his “potential”
Is he’s standing, he’ll adjust his package
He will stand with his hands on his hips, accentuating his physical size while also subconsciously “pointing” to his sexual assets
If he’s wearing a jacket, he will play with the buttons
He will touch his face while looking at you – a complex mix of preening, nerves and erotic touch!
He will sit on the edge of his seat to be closer to you
He will guide you, by putting his hand on the small of your back or gently on your elbow (a woman will consent to being guided like this, thus expressing interest in him)
will lend you his coat (it’s a protective and possessive gesture; a woman will ask a man to hold her purse)
He will play with his beer bottle or can (any round object), rolling it in his fingers and squeezing it (women will use cylindrical objects in the same way)
He will try to attract your attention by standing slightly apart from a group
He will smile at you and establish eye contact
(adding to men’s signals, many of which are used by women as well)
Pouting and licking her lips while lowering her eyelids and gazing upward at the man
Show her hips off by standing with one hip thrust outward slightly; also walking with more of a ‘sway’ than usual
The “boob shoulder” – a sideways look at a man while raising the shoulder slightly upward to symbolically emphasize her breasts
Showing the wrist, a delicate and vulnerable part of the body
She will sit with her ankles crossed (to make the legs appear slimmer and hips wider) and to subconsciously point the knees at him
Head pedestal: if she’s looking at you with interest while resting her chin on her hands, she’s subconsciously saying, “I put my face on a pedestal for you. You like?”
Of course there are more… like “accidentally-on-purpose touching… but one universal signal of attraction is a smile – a genuine, eye-crinkling smile.
It’s also interesting that just as these signals are often given unconsciously, they are also received unconsciously. You don’t stand there and think, “Oh yay, there’s the face touch… or the hair flip…” you just know that thre’s chemistry.
The body doesn’t lie. Attraction is either there, or it isn’t, and by knowing these subtle signals, you will know without any doubt!