Even if they’re trying to play it cool, you may be able to tell when someone’s attracted to you simply by keeping an eye on their body language. Without realizing it, we all do a few bizarre things when we’re interested in someone. And these clues can, in some cases, accurately represent a person’s true feelings.
Humans can be thick sometimes. We miss the mark in a lot of ways. People can be all but yelling I love you at us and we’d still miss the cues right in front of us.
Attraction can catch us off guard sometimes, especially when someone we know well declares their love for us.
It’s something we all want, but it’s not always as romantic or welcomed as we might imagine.
As an example, we naturally sync up with those we’re interested in. So if you’re sitting across from your date in a candlelit restaurant, and they’re sitting exactly like you, that can be a big tell. But body language isn’t the only way to know someone’s intrigued. There are also physical changes (like dilated pupils) and other mannerisms that can be a positive sign.
Attraction scares us and keeps us from actually making a move in the world of love. If you think someone might be crushing on you, but you aren’t sure, here’s a list of ways to tell.
What you do with this information is up to you. If it were us, we’d make a move. What’s the worst that could happen? You might just fall in love.
It’s important not to jump to too many conclusions, though, based on what someone’s doing. “[Reading someone’s body language] will give you only a superficial idea of what the person is thinking,” Maryann Karinch, body language expert and author of The Art of Body Talk, said.
Read on for some more interesting signs someone is attracted to you, according to experts.
1. Their Pupils Are Dilated
This is a great sign to look for as it’s something we can’t control.
One way to spot a budding connection is by looking the other person in the eye, and casually noticing whether or not their pupils are dilated.
Research from the University of Kent found that eye dilation happens when you’re looking at someone or something you’re attracted to.
“When we like someone […] we want to see more of [them], so the pupils dilate (get bigger) to allow more light in,” Tiffany Toombs, life coach, body language expert, and owner of Blue Lotus Mind Coaching & Training, tells Bustle. Their eyes — or, at least, their pupils — will literally get larger as they look at you.
Also, “pupils dilate when cognitive effort increases,” Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer at the background checking site PeopleLooker, said. And that can be a sign they’re fully engaged, interested in the conversation, and want to know more.
2) They don’t stop looking at you.
It’s not just you: they can’t take their eyes off you. They stare at you so much, it might make you uncomfortable, but that’s just because you are not used to that kind of attention.
Enjoy it. If they are looking at you with love in their eyes, it’s a good feeling.
If you catch them staring at you, they might look away, suddenly embarrassed at the realization that they have been burning at the hole through you for minutes at a time, but they won’t wait long before looking back. And when they do, it’s a good thing.
It’s commonly known that people often touch the person they are attracted to.
According to behavior analyst Jack Schafer, there’s a technique you can use to see if they are really looking at you because they like you:
“You can increase mutual gaze by maintaining eye contact as you turn your head to break the gaze; the other person does not perceive your extended gaze as staring because your head is turning. If the person you are with maintains eye contact, they like you.”
3. They Aren’t Blinking As Often
If it seems like this person isn’t blinking as often, it could be another sign they’re interested in you. “Same as with the pupils dilating, when we want to see more of someone, we unconsciously match our blinking time to theirs so we see more of that person,” she says.
While they’re still blinking, it may seem to you as if they haven’t wet their peepers in a while, all because your blinking rates have synced up. Interesting, right?
4) They touch your arm or shoulder or back repeatedly.
Whenever you are around this person, they make a repeated effort to be near you, touching you in some way. They want to feel you and connect with you. It’s interesting how our bodies seem to take over and we are attracted to someone.
According to behavior analyst Jack Schafer, “women may lightly touch the arm of the person they are talking to. This light touch is not an invitation to a sexual encounter; it merely indicates she likes you.”
According to research touch plays a vital role in human connections. It promotes the release of oxytocin, the love hormone.
According to Matt Hertenstein, an experimental psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana:
“Oxytocin is a neuropeptide, which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust, and bonding. It really lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people”
Watch and see how their body gives away their attraction. They’ll reach out and touch your hand, brush your hair away, or slap your arm while laughing – anything to be near you.
Here’s a great example of touching that someone might do if they if someone likes you:
“If you walk near each other, he’ll place his hand near the small of your back to guide you through a noisy party or bar. Plus, he wants to show all the other men that he’s got this. Plus, it’s a reason to touch you and seem like a gentleman all at the same time.”
5. They Start “Glitching”
Attraction often involves a kind of tension we might call ‘good stress’. Whether stress is caused by something ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ however, the body has some similar responses.
And that’s why you may notice them fidgeting or acting a bit awkward, in response to their rush of feelings. When most people are nervous, they have some ‘glitchy’ behavior like playing with an earring, rubbing fingers together, or stroking the side of their neck. On a date with someone you find exciting, and who finds you exciting, these self-soothing movements might occur more frequently.
6) They laugh with you.
Speaking of laughing, you’ll find that someone who is attracted to you will laugh louder, longer and more frequently than others in the room.
You might not be funny at all, but this person will see all the funny things about you. It might seem like they are making fun of you at first, which doesn’t feel great, but you’ll soon realize that they are just trying to find a way to connect with you and maybe it’s coming out all wrong.
7. They Have Open Body Language
Another reaction — one that suggests some degree of comfort with a person as well as the desire to connect — is open body language. Open body language involves leaving the front of your body ‘unprotected’ by arms or holding a phone or a glass of whatever you’re drinking in front of you, for example. This could also be called invitational body language, and it’s the body language of trust.
Basically, instead of sitting hunched up in a chair or crossing their arms, they might turn towards you and seem open and ready to talk. And if you’re looking to make a connection, that can be a great sign.
8) They lean in.
Nothing gives away a sign of attraction like leaning in. If you are talking and your love interest leans in to say something, trust that it’s not just because the music is bumpin’.
They want to be near you. This is how the body relates in the world: touch. It might seem overwhelming, but once you recognize that they aren’t just a close-talker, but a love interest, your point of view will change and you’ll become comfortable with them around you.
According to this research, proximity is important when it comes to relationship formation.
Needless to say, you only get near to people you want to form a relationship with, either platonic or romantic in form.
9. They Change The Tone Of Their Voice
A 2014 study found that people vary the strength, tone, and pitch of their voice when speaking to folks they find attractive, which is something you may be able to pick up on.
It was even possible, in the study, for those who were overhearing these conversations to tell when the sparks were flying, simply by listening to the participant’s tone of voice.
These vocal changes happen because we subconsciously want to stand out from the pack and attract a partner, which can be easier if your voice is deeper or higher than normal. So the next time you’re on a date, or witnessing one, see if you can pick up on these variations.
10) They keep fixing their hair and clothes.
Anyone who is trying to get your attention is going to be moving a mile-a-minute in their seat trying to ensure that their hair and clothes look presentable.
Whether they realize it or not, you can see how they feel by the number of times they fix their hair or check their shirt.
They’ll reposition themselves several times in their chair, especially as you approach them.
It’s really like it is in the movies: picture a young, nervous man in a bar being approached by a beautiful, confident woman.
Exactly like that. Which one you are in this story doesn’t matter, just watch for the signs.
11. They Steal Your Hand Gestures
“When we are attracted to someone, we easily fall into rapport with them and want to be more ‘like’ them,” Toombs says. And that can include copying certain gestures and mannerisms, or acting the same way, without even realizing it.
“We unconsciously adopt common words or phrases of the person we are attracted to, we adopt their hand gestures, postures, and even the rate and depth of their breath,” she says. “Side note: this concept is also why couples begin to look like each other after some time together.”
12. They Start Glowing
If someone’s falling for you, they might literally glow due to their attraction, as well as the new crop of oil on their skin. When we like someone, our pores open, allowing more oil secretion and our skin gets more shiny.
Folks in love may also start to look different, too, thanks to the way blood circulates through the body. They might literally have a natural flush to their face, due to increased blood flow to the skin. So keep an eye out for a certain glow, as well as pinker cheeks.
These things can all add up to mean someone is, in fact, interested in getting to know you better. Because even if this person initially tries to hide their attraction — whether it’s due to nerves, doubt, etc. — these subtle clues can give them away.
13) They flirt.
Wondering if someone is attracted to you? Follow the words. If someone is flirting with you, it’s because they like you.
We’re not in the business of wasting anyone’s time these days. In a flash, you can have a partner with an app like Tinder, so if someone is taking the time to flirt with you instead of just hauling options out of their smartphone, it’s real.
14) They single you out in a crowd.
You might be one person in a room out of a million, but to this person, you are the only person in the room. Their gaze could cut through the crowd and find you.
You notice they stare a lot, but this is intense. They might not even realize they are doing it. When you approach them, they can’t look away.
They want to, but their eyes win that war. They love what they see.
According to Jack Schafer Ph.D. in Psychology Today, not only will you have their attention, but they’ll also remove barriers between the two of you:
“People who like each remove any obstacles between them. People who don’t like the person they are with often place barriers between themselves and the person they don’t like.”
15) They pay attention to the details.
Someone loves you when they pay attention to the little things. If they’ve ever given you a gift just because or thought of you and sent you a text about something you said or did, it’s love.
We’re all so busy we don’t have time to connect with people in our lives on a meaningful level.
If this person is going out of their way to tell you things and recalls important details, it’s because they love you. Whether they realize it or not.
Research from Loyola University suggests that people who are in love have lower levels of serotonin, which could be a sign of obsession.
“This may explain why we concentrate on little other than our partner during the early stages of a relationship,” said obstetrician-gynecologist Mary Lynn, DO, in a news release.
16) You get to meet their people.
Someone loves you when they introduce you to their family, friends and circle. Whether it’s 5 people or 500 people, when you are introduced, it’s because they think you are special.
They want others to associated you with them and vice versa.
They might not have asked you out yet, or told you how they feel, but if you are being paraded in front of family as a friend, it’s more than just friendship.
They see a future with you, now or later, and want others to know about you.
And this makes sense. When someone is in love, they can’t stop thinking about that person, so it’s likely they’ll talk about them to their friends.
In the book “The Anatomy of Love,” by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, she says that “thoughts of the ‘love object’ begin to invade your mind. …You wonder what your beloved would think of the book you are reading, the movie you just saw, or the problem you are facing at the office.”
17) They are using the same body language and words as you
If it suddenly feels like you are looking in a mirror when you are talking to someone, there’s a good chance they are not doing that on purpose.
When people like and connect with one another, they subconsciously start to act like them. Sitting in the same position, taking on the same posture, and even quickly adopting the same language and word usage.
All of these mirroring acts mean that the person you are talking to likes you – it doesn’t always mean they like you romantically of course, but it could be.
If they “see themselves” in your actions, it could be for real.
This is actually rooted in the brain’s Mirror Neuron System.
This network of the brain is the social glue that binds people together.
A greater level of activation of the Mirror Neuron System is associated with liking and cooperation.
18) They’re nervous around you
If they like you, and they don’t really know you, then they’re likely to get nervous around you.
After all, they’re feeling the pressure of making a good impression.
According to Business Insider, there are six signs to look for to tell if someone is nervous: –
1) They touch their face: This can include rubbing their forehead, pushing their cheek and squeezing their face.
2) They compress their lips.
3) They play with their hair: This is a stress-reducing behavior.
4) They blink more frequently: Eye-blink rate increases when someone is nervous.
5) They contort and rub their hands together.
6) They yawn excessively: Yawning helps regulate our body temperature (the brain gets warmer when we’re stressed).
So if they are showing these signs around you, they might be nervous because they like you. You’ll also want to get a baseline of how they act around other people, too.
19) Their feet are pointing towards you
According to psychologists, this is one of the best nonverbal cues to know if someone likes you.
“When the feet are pointed directly toward another person, this is a sign of attraction, or at the very least, genuine interest.” – Vanessa Van Edwards in Huffington Post
This is because humans aren’t really conscious of what our feet are doing.
Watch out for:
– If their feet are pointing towards you, that’s a really good sign.
– If they are pointing completely away from you, or to the door, then they may not be interested.
– If they have their feet under them when they are sitting or their legs tightly crossed, they may be nervous or uncomfortable around you.
– People who sit with their feet away from their bodies may be relaxed when they’re around you. This is a great sign that they are comfortable spending time with you.
20) They blush around you
Blushing is when they develop a pink tinge in the face from embarrassment or shame.
It’s common to blush when you get an unexpected compliment, or you like someone.
When you are attracted to someone, blood will flow to our face, causing our cheeks to get red.
According to behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards in Huffington Post, “this actually mimics the orgasm effect where we get flushed. It’s an evolutionary process to attract the opposite sex”.
So if you find that they blush when they’re around you, then it’s a good sign that they like you.
However, make sure they don’t easily blush around other people as well.
21) They preen themselves around you
What is preening? This is basically the act of “fixing yourself” in certain ways.
It could be adjusting your clothes, running your fingers through her hair, or putting lip gloss on.
The reason they naturally preen themselves when they’re around you is that they want to look better when they’re around you. It can also be put down to nerves. People are naturally fidgety when they’re anxious and nervous.
According to a study by Monica M. Moore, preening, primping and pouting are things women do when they’re attracted to a man in their vicinity.
Men also do it, too, when they are around a female or male they like.
Here’s a 20-second example of preening – though it’s slightly exaggerated – people will usually be a little more subtle unless they’re incredibly direct.
22) The space between you and her is open
According to the Science of People, blocking is a form of nonverbal communication. It is when a
person covers their body with a purse or anything if they feel uncomfortable.
But when someone is attracted to someone else, they will literally want nothing to stand in the way between them. They will make sure the space between the you is open.
This action shows that they are at ease and feel attracted to you.
Want to know the best way to figure out if someone is attracted to you? Ask them. While it may be difficult to ask such a direct question, at least you’ll get a definitive answer.
But if that’s not your style, and granted, it’s not many people’s style, stick to focusing on the above signs. If you can pinpoint at least a few of them, you can be confident that they’re into you.
23) She sweats
Sweating palms is a classic physiological response to the attraction. According to Claire McLoughlin from the Royal Society of Chemistry, it’s like we have butterflies in our stomachs which can make us sweat.
This is due to surging brain chemicals called monoamines. It includes dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin – hormones that excite and make us happy.
Needless to say, if their hands are sweaty, it could mean that they like you.
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