Decoding underlying physical attraction
You’re at a popular NYC bar, hoping to meet someone who can go on to be a part of your life. The many singles around you are hoping the same – the opportunity is right here and choices many!
There’s a small issue – how do you know if a man or woman at the bar is attracted to you? After all, you don’t want to spend your time chatting up someone who might be engaging you simply out of courtesy.
Observe their body language
Non-verbal cues offer an indication of how you might be feeling at a given time. An eye-roll, smirk or grimace. Leaning in to listen, unbroken eye contact or a shifting gaze. Animated, placid or continually frowning. There are some of numerous non-verbal expressions that you can read and decipher in just about any situation.
Sure, body language cues alone cannot give you the full picture of a person’s emotions or behaviors. But they can hint at people’s emotions, especially those non-verbal gestures that happen instinctively, like the guy across the room raising his eyebrows at you (he finds you attractive or interesting!).
Observing facial expressions, posture and hand gestures is easy. You just have to know what those non-verbal signs of attraction are, and that’s why we have put together this guide for you.
Five Body Language Cues that Reveal He’s Interested In You
1. The Eyebrow Flash
It lasts less than a second, but it is a powerful indicator of initial attraction. An eyebrow flash also suggests that someone you know is pleased to see you.
The rising and falling of eyebrows is automatic and spontaneous. You might be doing it too, without realizing it. When you lift your eyebrows, your eyes open up, allowing more light to reflect off the surface, which makes your eyes appear more pleasing and inviting.
A guy who has noticed you but doesn’t find you interesting may not display the unconscious eye flash. If he does, he’s saying, “I see you”, so go ahead and strike up a conversation with him.
2. He pays attention to your eyes, nose and lips
The locking of eyes is a quintessential romantic moment celebrated in movies and wedding photographs everywhere. However, it isn’t a certain sign of attraction when an unknown guy locks eyes with you – and if he maintains contact for many seconds, you’ll obviously feel uncomfortable and he should know better.
A guy who is romantically interested in you will lock eyes with your face. Say you’ve begun a conversation with someone who greeted you at the bar. If he keeps looking from your eyes to your nose and lips, that’s a reliable sign of romantic attraction.
3. He puts his hands on his hips and spreads his feet
This is a sexual display – the guy facing you at the corner of the room places his hands on his hips, and assumes a wider stance by spreading his feet. He is surveying you while drawing your attention to him with a manly pose. It also indicates a dominant attitude and a show of power when a man wants to indicate his superiority or physical prowess before another man.
4. His lips do the talking
You look over at the guy at the snooker table. He briefly locks eyes with you and his lips simultaneously part. He’s attracted to you – at least he likes what he sees.
The lip lick can throw you off a bit. If it looks creepy, don’t bother engaging the guy. There’s the other thing – arousal releases more saliva, causing men to lick their lips or press their lips together. Guys who find you attractive may lick their lips but never in a creepy, disrespectful way. So, choose carefully!
5. He leans towards you many times during your conversation
In a noisy bar, a guy may lean in to hear you better. When there is no practical need to move close to you, it often means that the guy is interested in you and taking the risk to share your personal space.
Sitting close together is a form of intimacy. If a guy plonks himself next to you even though there is an empty couch next to him, it hints at romantic interest. At the very least, it indicates that he is very comfortable around you and believes that you like him too.
That said, be wary of guys who disrespect your personal space without so much as an introduction or soon after you’ve exchanged a few words.
Thankfully, most men don’t take such liberties even on a first date, and especially in the aftermath of the Me Too movement. A gentleman will touch your arm or the small of your back, and follow your cues of affection.
Signs Suggesting She is Into You
A woman seeking romance will not be afraid to express interest in someone she finds attractive. Her body language cues may not be similar to a man’s, but she will respond instinctively all the same. We break it down for you.
1. She blushes
Well, you may or may not be able to see a woman blush in a dark bar or if she is wearing blush, but it is an important sign to note. When a woman’s face turns pink or red upon seeing you, her autonomic nervous system is being triggered by physical or emotional stimuli.
Blushing is an involuntary response that she cannot control. She may have noticed you and instantly found you physically attractive. Or she may have seen you admire her and felt embarrassed and happy at being noticed. In either case, blushing is a positive indication of romantic sparks, so go for it!
2. She smiles a lot
A woman will smile at you to see if you return the smile. It signals to her that you might be interested in her. Notice if she smiles often at you. She may be having a conversation with friends and still turn her gaze briefly toward you and smile.
She can also be smiling out of courtesy whenever she moves her head to check out the people and environment around her. You just might happen to be obstructing her line of sight.
How do you know the smile means more than ‘you’re in the way’ or ‘oops, it’s you again’? She holds eye contact for three seconds and smiles. She turns towards you a couple of times and smiles (cue: she wants you to approach her). If she’s sitting at the next table, and you find her making eye contact with you, smiling at you and occasionally shifting her gaze towards your lips, it’s your lucky day because she’s definitely attracted to you!
3. She preens
Preening can be a sign that the woman wants you to notice her physical beauty. Observe if she sits up straight to emphasize her breasts, crosses her legs or turns her feet outward to show her pins to best advantage, and flicks her hair. All three can imply that she is interested in drawing the attention of someone sitting near her.
4. She tilts and/or dips her head
A study of over 700 women between ages 18 to 73 sought to understand how women perceived men who exhibited ‘benevolently sexist’ behaviors like opening the door for them, handing them their coat or offering to help them carry a heavy bag or box.
The study found that women perceived benevolently sexist men as more patronizing and more likely to take a dominant role in the relationship. It also found that the women perceived the men to be more attractive, regardless of these drawbacks.
Women who subscribe to the view that men are ‘protectors of the fairer sex’ may adopt gestures that express vulnerability and the need to be protected. Most often, these gestures take the form of a head tilt or head dip.
When a woman tilts her head, she is showing her neck – a vulnerable part of her body. The pose also brings to mind a baby resting its head on the parent’s shoulder. It’s an unconscious signal that she wants to be taken care of.
A woman facing you may lower her head and look up at you to make her eyes appear wider, and herself seem smaller. It is a strong sign of submission, although sometimes it can indicate exhaustion.
5. She tries to enter your personal space
This non-verbal cue applies to women just as much as it does to men. If she moves physically close to you and sits such that her arm or leg makes contact with yours, it shows that she’s comfortable around you and feels that she can trust you.
A woman who finds you attractive and wants you to note and hopefully reciprocate her feelings may whisper in your ear and touch you gently, as a way to establishing intimacy.
Use body language cues to your benefit
Notice people’s non-verbal gestures to get a sense of their present state of mind. You may not always get it right, but you can also make accurate conclusions, improving your odds of hitting it off with the man or woman who has caught your interest. It never hurts to try, and if you make a genuine attempt to connect romantically, you could land a date very soon.