22 Examples Of Body Language Attraction
By: Michael Arangua
Updated July 24, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Deborah Horton
One of the most important things to understand when facing the single dating world—or online dating world—is body language attraction. Knowing when your date or a person of interest is attracted to you is important for knowing whether or not you are wasting your time and whether or not you have a green light. Sometimes someone might be polite and not want to let you down harshly, but their body language will lack preening gestures and other signals of attraction, which tells you that they are not interested in a romantic liaison.
Male body language and female body language do differ somewhat, as each sex indicates their interest in a potential partner differently through body language. Some forms of body language attraction tend to be things that women do, such as making their eyes appear large and inviting, and there are things that men tend to do, such as widening their legs while sitting to appear larger and more impressive. Although research shows each sex exhibits different ways of demonstrating attraction, there are also many different types of body language attraction that are common to both sexes. It is also important to note that, depending on gender identity and sexual orientation, there may be some crossover between the sexes; being gay, dating, and demonstrating attraction may differ from someone who identifies as heterosexual or bisexual.
Women Body Language Attraction
Women show their attraction to a man through specific female body language. You can tell if a woman is attracted to you by the way she holds her body and what she does with her hands. Scientific studies have shown that women may be most attracted to men whose specific male body language exudes dominance and masculinity and is suggestive of physical size. They may answer this interest with body language that shows submissiveness and fertility. If you pay close attention, the signs are difficult to miss.
Body language attraction has much to do with sexual attraction, which is in some way related to fertility—even if the human body is acting in ways the human mind is not entirely cognizant of. When a woman is attracted to a man, she may show signs of her own fertility, though the exact way this is carried out may differ from person to person, and may require you to pay close attention. She may keep or take her hair down, tilt her head to expose pheromones, or keep hands and wrists visible to display the soft skin there.
How a woman holds her purse may be able to tell you a lot about how well she is engaged with a potential partner and whether or not she is attracted to the possible new partner. If a woman is feeling uncomfortable or isn't attracted to who she is talking to, she might clutch her purse in her lap, or up against her body. On the other hand, when a woman is attracted to someone, she likely wants her purse out of the way for further interaction, and may place it on the table or the floor, or even on a chair behind her. Keep in mind that if you are in a crowded place with limited security, she may keep her purse clutched to her for the purpose of safety, and this may not be a reliable indicator of interest in new relationships or partners.
Women will frequently lick their lips when they are attracted to someone. They may do this intentionally to show interest, but more often, it is a reflexive movement that they may not even be aware that they are doing. It could be that her lips will automatically part, and she will sweep her tongue over her lips, or it could be a quick flick of quick dip over her lips with her tongue, which may be barely noticeable. Combined with constant eye contact, this is a sure sign that a woman is extremely attracted to you.
A woman who is sexually attracted to someone will frequently stand with one hip thrust out, and possibly a shoulder lifted up. This stance may be used to show off a woman's body and could act as a sort of invitation to love, dating, or more. The one hip thrust out opens up the lower body and brings attention to fertility, while the shoulder lift brings attention to a woman’s breasts. This is usually consciously done by women to show interest in a possible paramour, but it may also be an example of unconscious preening gestures.
Men Body Language Attraction
Men have their way of showing attraction to a woman. Generally, men’s body language involves preening gestures and showing off—typically to encourage the idea of masculinity and strength. Men’s body language attraction indicators also include gestures and movements that are very suggestive of what it is that they hope to happen with the woman in question—namely, the desire to remove space or obstacles in the way of a closer, more intimate connection.
Like women, men are likely to show off their virility when they are attracted to a woman. They may stand up straight, square off their shoulders, and plant their feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. This open but dominant stance shows off their body and shows their confidence in their sexual prowess. They may also open their hands and show their palms in invitation. It does not take a dating coach or body language expert to recognize that a man in this stance is interested in the person he is talking to or looking at.
Men will frequently raise their eyebrows when they are attracted to someone. It is typically seen as a sort of invitation to more interaction, or a suggestion of something more to come after the official date. If you pay attention, you may see a slow raising of a man’s eyebrows, or you might notice a quick eyebrow flash, where one eyebrow goes up quickly and then comes back down. Some men do this intentionally, but it can also be a subconscious sign of his interest in dating and attraction to someone.
Men do not lick their lips as women do, or use makeup to make their eyes appear bright, large, and inviting, but they may part their lips briefly when they make eye contact with a woman that they are attracted to. This could be prolonged or brief and usually accompanies eye contact or some other indication of attraction to the other person.
Flared nostrils and open expression in a man's face is a sure sign that he is fully engaged in an interaction in the dating scene. Flared nostrils and accompanying open expression indicate that a man is very interested in the conversation or what is going on between him and the other person. Flared nostrils can also be a sign of physical, sexual attraction. This is usually a subconscious body language attraction impulse, and is unlikely to turn into a willful manipulation of one’s nostrils.
Stand with Hands On Hips
A man who stands with his hands on his hips is likely very attracted to the woman he is talking to. This may be an example of conscious or subconscious body language. The hands on the hips present an open view of his body, as sort of an invitation to others frequenting the dating scene, and can be zeroed in on someone he finds particularly compelling. His hands may be pointed toward his penis for emphasis, or could be used to frame the general groin area to invite a closer look. Another similar sign of attraction is sitting with legs open, or adjusting himself while standing.
Gender Neutral Body Language Attraction
There are a great many forms of body language attraction that are common, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. If you see these signs of body language from someone that you are on a date with, you can rest assured that the date is going well, and they are very interested in further interaction.
Men and women both are more attracted to people who show that they are available, and men and women both tend to show their availability when they are interested in getting to know someone better. Showing availability could be having an open posture with arms uncrossed and legs uncrossed. Men and women will also show availability by looking upward at the face of the other person rather than down at their feet, the table, or their phone. In essence, if you are interest in someone, you will pay attention to what they are saying and will mirror what they are doing.
Smiling is another way that men and women show their availability when engaged in the dating scene. Smiling is also a way to show interest and attraction to another person. Some smiles can be forced to make a good impression or to try to appear attractive. However, if the smile is genuine, it will be obvious, as the smile will also reach their eyes. In search of some solid relationship advice? If a person is genuinely smiling at you and cannot seem to do anything but smile, they are probably attracted to you.
When people are engaged in interactions with others, they lean in toward that person. If you are in a group of people and someone leans in toward you specifically, it shows that they are attracted to you and are paying more attention to you than others. The closer he or she leans in toward you, the more attracted they are.
Tilting the head is a sign of body language attraction that shows engagement and interest. When someone tilts their head during a conversation, it means that they are paying attention and care about what is being said. If someone is attracted to you, they will tilt their head to show their interest and engagement. Women are more prone to head tilting than men, but both sexes do use this form of body language.
Flushed Or Blushed
When someone is physically attracted to someone else, they will become flushed or begin blushing. As the attraction grows, blood rushes to the face, making one look flushed. This is not something that either sex can control. It is a natural form of body language that the body does on its own when someone is physically attracted to a person. The lips may also become redder, and the eyes whiter and brighter.
Heart Rate Increase
This is another unconscious and automatic response when someone is attracted to another person. Your heart rate will increase. You probably don't want to try to take someone's pulse while on a date or in a bar to see if they are attracted to you, but there are other signs. A quickening of the breath and warmness to the palms are indications of an increased heart rate and attraction.
People will automatically point their feet in the direction of their interest. While someone's feet pointing toward you isn't a sure sign of attraction, it does mean that they are at least interested in the interaction and in the present moment with you. If their feet are pointed toward the exit, they are probably thinking about getting out of the conversation, situation, or even the current dating scene altogether.
When someone makes eye contact with you, it is a sure sign of interest. Eye contact means that they are paying attention to only you, and you can be certain that you have their interest. Prolonged eye contact is a sure sign that they are attracted to you and interested in what you have to offer them. On the other hand, if you are talking to someone and their eyes shift focus frequently, they may not be fully engaged in the interaction.
Just as when the feet point toward what you are interested in, the same is true of the rest of your body. If someone is interested in you and fully engaged in the conversation, they will likely be facing you head on. Their body may be tilted slightly off center for comfort, but for the most part, they will be facing your direction with their whole body, and not just their face or feet.
Speed Of Movement
The speed with which you move or shift your body says a lot about your mood. When you move slowly and deliberately, it shows that you are extremely confident and attracted. When movements are fast and jerky, it shows that the person is extremely nervous and may not be confident in the situation.
Touching the hair can be a sure sign of attraction, but it can also be a sign of nervousness and being uncomfortable. If a man sweeps his whole hand through his hair, it usually shows that he is interested and acts as a kind of preening for the attention of a potential new entry into his love life. If a woman is lightly twirling her hair or playing with the ends, while displaying other signs of attraction, it can be a sure way to know that she is attracted to you. However, often women will touch and play with their hair when they are nervous, uncomfortable, or even scared, so it is best not to use this body language alone to base your opinions.
The accidental-not-quite-an-accident touch is a sure sign that someone is attracted to you. If someone reaches out and intentionally touches you, even if it is seemingly innocent like just the briefest touch of a hand or the arm, or more forward, like playing with the buttons of someone’s shirt, it shows that they are interested. Likewise, when men touch a woman's elbow or the small of her back to guide her, such as from the table to the dance floor, it is a sure sign of attraction.
Mirroring is when someone copies the movements of the person they are engaged with. It usually happens subconsciously. The person may copy movements of shifting body weight or taking up a similar posture or pose, or they might copy someone's movements of touching their face or playing with the straw on their drink. This is a sure sign of attraction, and indicates that the person is completely engaged in the interaction. Verbal mirroring may also be present; if on a date, a woman is talking to a man and likes what he says, she might repeat something similar back to him, thus cementing similar likes and interests.
Getting Help With Body Language
If you have been on the dating scene for some time and are still single or have been running into problems where people say you are giving mixed signals, it could be that your body is giving off signals that you are not aware of. Sometimes the body will show body language reflexively that goes against what we are actually trying to convey to someone.
Conflicting body language could suggest you do not want what you think you want from dating or relationships, or could suggest you are trying to follow relationship advice you are not comfortable with or sure of. Your body could be betraying your real feelings about dating, whether that comes from nervousness after ending a codependent relationship, a fear of rejection, or an inability to commit to dating. One way to conquer this problem is to visit a therapist. A licensed relationship therapist can help you learn how to use body language to your advantage, and how to navigate dating, even if that means talking you through online dating, or offering some guidance for date ideas to help you feel safe. They can also help you examine your real reasons for dating and whether or not you are emotionally ready for a relationship. This way, when you are ready for a relationship, your body language and your conscious language will match, and you will have an easier time making a connection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are body language signs of attraction?
There are many different signs of body language attraction, some of them minute and some of them operating on a larger scale. The more minute signs include pupil dilation, increased heart rate, and increased sweating. Although others can notice these signs, they are more likely to be detected by the person actually experiencing them.
The more visible symptoms of attraction include touching your person—finding excuses to touch hands, arms, legs, or even hair. Smiling and leaning in are also often identified as symptoms of attraction, as people who are attracted to you are, even if they do not realize it, seeking out ways to get closer to you, whether that means getting close to you mentally, through a shared joke, or literal physical proximity. Other body language signs include an open stance (toes pointed outward, shoulders back, and hips forward), and trying to appear more physically impressive, whether that means a jutting chest, or a straight spine.
How do you know if someone is attracted to you sexually?
Sexual attraction can be conveyed in a number of ways, the most common being physical indicators. Physical indicators can be small, such as widely dilated pupils, or can be more substantial, such as a continual and even distracting effort to be close to the object of one’s interest. Sexual attraction often encourages people to seek contact and closeness, even in the absence of literal physical touch: if you find someone constantly glancing over at you, maintaining strong eye contact whenever possible, or constantly smiling in your presence, sexual attraction could be chief among the reasons for the sudden or added attention to you.
Verbal cues can also indicate someone’s sexual attraction. Regularly bringing sex into the conversation, or regularly finding ways to be alone with you to talk privately, or about matters that are best left to only two individuals could suggest someone is sexually attracted to you. Auditory clues do not necessarily have to involve sexually explicit or implicit messages; men and women may both deepen their voices in response to sexual attraction. If someone’s voice seems to resound with a deep timbre more when they are with you than when they are engaged in casual conversation, sexual attraction could be responsible.
Even if sexual attraction is present in body language, though, communication is always vital, and sexual attraction should not be acted on without explicit consent from all parties. Sexual attraction is so frequently conveyed implicitly, through flirtatious language, attempts to get physically close, or overt sexual advances. Even so, though, the best avenue to determine whether or not someone is sexually attracted to you is to have a conversation about expectations, interests, and intentions.
What are some types of body language?
Although there are many different types of body language, there are a few types that people frequently focus on when disseminating a person’s meaning or intended stance. The most common type of body language is posture: people identify whether or not someone feels confident, strong, and self-assured by their posture. Someone with a straight spine, shoulders rolled back, and palms open is likely to be identified as someone who is strong and self-possessed. Conversely, someone with rounded shoulders, a bent spine, and downcast eyes will likely be survived as timid, uncomfortable, and nervous.
Gestures are another way of expressing or communicating using your body. Gestures could be as simple as pointing, but are often more complex, and can involve waving a hand in dismissal, pinching the bridge of your nose in irritation, or hiding a smile behind your hand in absolute glee. Gestures typically involve the hands, and orienting them with your body or in relation to someone else in order to convey meaning or intention.
What is confident body language?
Confident body language is typically expansive body language. While people who are nervous or uncertain frequently try to make themselves smaller, while confident people effectively and happily take up space. This can be seen in the posture of confident people; instead of having curved shoulders and downcast eyes, a confident person will likely have a straight back, with shoulders rolled back, and eyes directed ahead. Confident people are also typically quick to lean into others for introductions and greetings, and may be more likely to be able to stand still or rest than people who are more insecure, nervous, or uncertain.
Confident body language also usually involves nonverbal communication that involves some body language and some facial expressions. Confident people may feel more comfortable smiling, for instance, and may have a “resting” or standard expression that conveys calm and openness. Confident people may also exhibit body language that suggests strength and humor, and may take up the space designated to them with wide shoulders, relaxed legs, and open palms.
What does body language tell you?
Body language is actually an extremely important part of communication; although verbal communication is wonderful, and does a great deal for overall communication goals, verbal communication may be more easily manipulated or shaped than body language. Much of body language involves movements and postures that are not wholly willful or intentional, which means that body language may be able to be trusted as an honest or manipulation-free form of communication. This isn’t to say that body language cannot be changed or learned, but because many of the components involved in body language are involuntary—jerking away from someone you do not trust, for instance, or flaring your nostrils when you are angry.
Body language can provide a window into someone’s emotional state, their degree of comfort or familiarity with someone, and their overall mood and temperament. Body language is also used to calculate confidence; confident body language is often associated with an “open” stance, while insecure or unsure body language is often associated with being hunched or closed off. Although people often talk about the virtues of conversation in communication, body language has a significant hand in communication overall, and signals and metaphorical wires are often crossed in the absence of body language, such as when texting or talking on the phone.
What are the 7 types of nonverbal communication?
Nonverbal communication makes up a substantial portion of communication efforts between humans; although there is certainly something to be said for verbal communication, words are easily constructed and manipulated, while nonverbal communication is not so easily molded or shaped. While body language may immediately come to mind when the phrase “nonverbal communication” is used, there are actually 7-9 different types of nonverbal communication. These include:
- Facial Expressions. Facial expressions are usually involuntary, and include expressions such as smiling, frowning, furrowing the brow, and creating a blank mask.
- Body Language. Body language is the type of behavior that a person’s body expresses. Leaning in or leaning away, standing with open palms or standing with crossed arms, and orienting yourself to face someone or orienting yourself to face away from someone can all convey a great deal of information about someone’s state of mind or mood.
- Posture is a wonderful source of nonverbal communication, as it conveys a great deal of information in only a short time. Confident? Your posture will say so. Insecure or nervous? Your posture will identify those feelings, as well.
- Eye Contact. Eye contact can be comforting, soothing, aggressive, or assertive, depending on the person meeting your eyes—their motives, their personality, and even their relationship to you.
- Gestures are usually unintentional or unpracticed, but they can convey a great deal of information—both about the person using the gestures, and about the topic of discussion.
- As the term suggests, paralinguistics describes the non-verbal auditory cues someone uses to communicate. These include tone of voice, inflection, and volume, as all of these can dramatically alter the meaning of an interaction.
- Proxemics describes the proximity in which people operate. Proximity to someone can be extremely telling, and the space between two people can take on a host of different meanings, some of them seemingly contradictory. Two strangers sharing a close space, for instance, might put someone on edge, while they would not mind sharing their personal space with a partner or other loved one.
- “Haptics” simply refers to touch in communication. People can impart plenty of meaning through giving touch, withholding touch, or vacillating between the two.
- Appearance is often an important part of nonverbal communication, as communication is often used as a measure of an individual’s character or worthiness. Far from being a matter of simple preference, an individual’s appearance can communicate multitudes.
Which behavior is an example of nonverbal communication?
Perhaps one of the most commonly seen types of nonverbal communication is the simple hand gesture; hand gestures can be simple and straightforward—someone pointing at something, for instance—or can be more subtle or nuanced, such as placing a hand on one’s cheek. Pointing at something is a direct form of nonverbal communication, as it is expressly and directly communicating without words, while a gesture such as placing a hand on one’s cheek is not directly stating something, but instead suggests a need for comfort or closeness, or an indication that the individual is lost in thought. Both are nonverbal communication, but each communicates something differently, and communicates in a drastically different way.