How To Read Someone's Body Language Attraction To You
By: Sarah Fader
Updated February 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Dating is hard. Knowing who to ask out on a date, who would be receptive to you, and who is attracted to you can feel difficult to determine. Having anxiety and being nervous about asking someone out on a date is common.
Most people fear rejection to some degree so the possibility of a potential date declining our invitation can be nerve-wracking. For people who have social or general anxiety, this fear of the unknown can be downright debilitating and may even stop someone from social interactions with others.
The ability to read a person's body language can be helpful in moments of doubt. Learning to look for cues of a person's interest can help you determine what their reaction to you might be. Many people pick up on body language cues, but for some, they can be harder to decipher. Below are some tips on reading body language.
Adjusting Appearance of Outfit - If someone is adjusting their hair or clothing, or moving around in a place they could be nervous, or they might care about the way they're presenting themselves. If they're concerned about how they're presenting themselves it may because they want your attention and want to look their best in the situation.
Eye Contact- If you're making eye contact with someone and they don't break away immediately, or they do and look back to you, it could be a sign that they have noticed you and wouldn't mind more interaction with you. Eye contact during conversation conveys interest, so if there is a lot of eye contact during a conversation, your companion may be interested in what you're saying. Looking away, checking a phone, watching the door, and other looks away may be signs of distraction or disinterest.
Touching- Casual arm brushes or light touches during conversation may be a sign that further physical contact is welcome. If you don't know someone well it is important to figure out what they're comfortable with or not. Some people hug everyone they meet, even strangers, while others are more guarded with physical contact. If you're not sure what physical contact is ok, its best to discuss it.
Blushing- Sexual arousal and attraction can cause a person's cheeks to flush. It can also happen when people are nervous, embarrassed, or scared. Take note of other signs if you notice someone is flushed.
Closeness- When people are attracted to someone they may lean in, slide closer, or point their bodies or legs toward the target of their attraction. If this is happening, your companion may be interested in spending more time with you.
Looking Away- If you lean in and your date looks away or you close in for a hug or kiss and they step back or look away, your attention may not be welcome. Each person has their own idea of what is acceptable and when as far as physical contact.
Smiling- Smiles speak a thousand words. A genuine smile includes movement around the eyes and lips, both should turn up. If the mouth moves and the eyes don't, the smile usually isn't genuine.
Crossed Arms- Crossed arms can mean different things. If arms are crossed over the chest it could be a sign that someone isn't interested or is closing themselves off from the situation. Arms folded over the lower part of the torso may indicate feelings of insecurity or a need for protection.
Stance - Men may sometimes extend to full height, square shoulders, and try to appear more masculine when they're trying to attract a woman.
It's true that words are sometimes not enough, but words still hold value. Honest and open communication is a key to starting and continuing a good relationship, whether friendship or a romantic relationship. Much of the communication that goes on between people is nonverbal. Chances are you already notice some of these things and now that you've read this, you'll pay more conscious attention.
While understanding body language is a good way to help yourself feel more comfortable about taking the next step with someone, whether asking them on a date or leaning in for the first hug or kiss, it's important not to rely on it solely. When things aren't clear, speak up!
If you are struggling with communication or relationships, contact Betterhelp.com to get started on improving your communication skills with online therapy.