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Body Language Attraction: 58 Male & Female Signs and How to Read & Use Them

If you don’t know if someone thinks you’re hot, then you need to know the signs of body language attraction. Here is everything to look out for.

body language attraction

From the first impression to the kiss goodbye, body language is a vital part of the attraction process. But because it happens at a fairly subliminal level, even though most are aware of how important body language is, very few of us understand how it manifests itself in our everyday actions.

With the added pressure of being in a dating situation, especially on a first date, our ability to manage body language goes right out the window. It does take a very long time indeed to achieve total mastery of the art of body language. 

However, just to help you on your way, the following list provides insight into some of the areas of the art that are most likely to pay romantic dividends.

The science behind body language

While most people are so worried about what they say, they should be more interested in what their body does and the messages it gives off to other people. Believe it or not, the nonverbal/body language part of a message accounts for 80-90% of the meaning.

That’s where the phrase, “actions speak louder than words,” comes from. Analyzing someone’s body language will help us detect their intentions, motivations, and internal state.

The importance of body language as a form of nonverbal communication is also evident in the number of studies that explore the science behind body language and its perception. [Read: Subtle body language moves to appear more confident]

Here is a summary of the scientific studies about nonverbal communication.

1. Communicates our feelings and attitudes

It’s a lot easier to control what we say than it is our bodily actions. That’s because when we speak, we consciously choose our words. But our body language happens at an unconscious level. 

We’re not always aware of what our body is telling other people. But our actions are always telling them what our feelings and attitudes are. [Read: 25 subtle, developing signs she likes you but is hiding her feelings for you]

2. More believable than words

As we just said, it’s easier to control what we say rather than what we do. Because of that, people find body language much more believable than they do the words that someone says.

For example, someone can say “I love you” or “I like you,” but if their actions tell you otherwise, then you will believe that they do over what they say. It’s easier to tell someone what they want to hear than to act in a manner that goes against your true feelings.

3. Plays a major role in relationships

Whether people are aware of it or not, they are always looking for clues as to what someone else is thinking and feeling. Some people are not good at expressing themselves with words, so many of us rely on our actions. [Read: 71 subtle signs to tell if a guy is into you even if he’s hiding his feelings]

Because of that, it plays a major role in relationships. If someone’s body language is giving out messages of rejection, then that will impact how the other person perceives them and the relationship as a whole.

4. Ambiguous

While there are a lot of body language experts in the world who try to pinpoint exactly what a particular gesture or facial expression means, most actions are quite ambiguous.

In other words, it’s difficult to assign definitive meanings to them.

For example, when one person twirls their hair for one reason, another one might do it for a different one. So, sometimes body language can be specific to one person and not universal. [Read: 23 strong signs he caught feelings for you and is falling hard too]

5. Continuous

We are always giving off messages with our body language whether or not we even realize it. It’s happening 100% of the time. So, that means that other people always have the opportunity to assign meaning to what we do.

6. Shows levels of arousal and dominance

A lot of the body language moves show people your levels of arousal – meaning how interested you are in someone. Do you like them? Do you dislike them? 

It can also show the levels of dominance between two people. In other words, who has more power in the relationship? Who is the dominant one and who is the submissive? [Read: Dominant girlfriend – the pros and cons of dating a woman in control and how to handle it]

7. Multi-channeled

There are many different channels of body language. We give off messages with our eyes, faces, gestures, posture, voice, and touch. All of these channels have the ability to give off nonverbal messages to people we are communicating with.

8. Culture-bound

One of the frustrating things about body language is that it is not universal. Instead, it is culture-bound. So, what something means in one culture doesn’t mean it will have the same meaning in another.

For example, in some cultures, the thumbs-up gesture is a positive one that says, “Good job!” But in others, it is the equivalent of giving someone the middle finger and telling them to F*** off.

And in some cultures, direct eye contact is respectful, but in others, it’s disrespectful. [Read: FYIs for dating someone from another culture]

Why is it important to understand body language attraction? 

Most people think that saying the right thing to someone is more important than their actions. They think that sweet-talking someone or telling them something they want to hear is going to win them over.

While that might be true in some instances, it doesn’t mean that they will always believe your words. There are too many players in the world who like to play games with their words and actions.

So, the reason it’s so important to understand body language attraction is to get a better idea of who someone is truly feeling. They can hide their emotions and attitudes with their words, but not with their actions. [Read: 25 subconscious signs of attraction that show up between two people]

If you want to know the truth about someone, just look at what they do and ignore what they say. 

Are women better than men at reading body language? 

It is common for people to think that women are better not only at communicating in general, but also better at reading other people’s body language. But is this necessarily true?

It’s not an easy question to answer, but some researchers have attempted to do so. [Read: 35 cute signs of attraction from a guy who’s clearly falling for you]

The reason most people think that women are better at reading body language is that they tend to be more interested in and concerned with relationships. They have babies and so people assume that it’s their instinct to pay attention to humans’ nonverbal communication.

But that’s not necessarily true. There are women who are terrible at reading body language and men who are great at it. And vice versa. 

So, here’s the interesting variable. It’s not so much whether you’re a man or a woman that makes you better or worse at reading body language, it’s a person’s level of emotional intelligence *EI*. [Read: Emotional immaturity how to recognize them and help them grow up]

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, interpret, control, demonstrate, and use emotions to communicate with and relate to other people effectively. This ability to control and express emotions is essential to the ability to understand, respond, and interpret the emotions of others.

What that means is that someone who has high emotional intelligence will be better at reading body language than someone with low emotional intelligence, regardless of whether they are male or female.

With that said, women have been found to be better decoders of nonverbal language compared to men. That could be because women tend to have higher emotional intelligence than men.

But of course, there are men who can have high EI and women who can have low EI. [Read: Body language for women at work]

How to use body language in the dating world

Forget the clichéd lines and opt for a more primal approach when it comes to ensuring the interest of your date or expressing such interest. Here are a couple of ways you can use body language to your advantage.

1. The eyes have it

Eye contact, the first call of any exploration into body language, is a hugely important part of maintaining your date’s attraction to you. 

Prolonged eye contact by the object of your future affection is a dead giveaway that they’re interested in what you have to offer. [Read: Prolonged eye contact when flirting – what it means and how to do it]

The trick is to successfully return such eye contact, something that needs to be done with just a very occasional flick elsewhere, to avoid turning your gaze into a stare.

It’s a difficult balance to get right, but you should have at least SOME intuitive understanding of the length of contact required. 

Too much is far better than too little, however. They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, and if yours are forever shifting around, then you look, well, shifty. [Read: Subtle eye contact moves that work]

2. Footloose

There are other ways that you can point than just with your fingers alone. One of the main ways you can do this is with the feet. 

For this reason, it’s always good to sit on stools at some point during the meeting, as this facilitates easier viewing of their position, and if the other person’s feet are turned firmly towards you, then it’s game on!

A very physical reflection of the subconscious, having feet turned towards you shows that they are interested enough to stay put and don’t feel in any way threatened, bored, or otherwise disinterested. [Read: 20 clear signs of attraction in the first conversation]

Reciprocate this action to give the same impression back. They may not be aware of its meaning, but their inner consciousness will.

3. Turn it on

This tip refers to the direction of the body. As we mentioned, the body will point or direct itself away from the other person in the conversation if there is a lack of interest or a feeling of threat. The body is showing that it’s ready to make a swift escape.

For this reason, it’s important to make sure your body is turned squarely toward the person you’re trying to impress. However, if their body is a little off-kilter, you don’t need to worry too much. [Read: How to wink like a total tease and catch anyone’s eye in a flirty way]

Square-on-body exposure is quite a major thing for the subconscious to engage in, and it may take them a little while to be comfortable enough to do that. But it is one of the signs of body language attraction.

4. Happy hunting

One of the greatest tools in the charmer’s arsenal is the smile. Even when all else has gone awry, a killer smile can salvage even the most disastrous of situations. 

It helps if one has a naturally beautiful smile, of course, but knowing how and when to use it is just as important. [Read: 17 life secrets to smile more often, feel great, and laugh your stress away]

A sharp flick of a smile corrected too quickly can seem fake. Smiling for too long can make you look like an escaped psychotic. Smiling so widely that your gums are exposed all the way back to the eyeballs is just downright unattractive!

A broad, lingering smile is best, with a little tooth action, but no gums. Just don’t forget to smile with your eyes at the same time as your mouth, though. 

This is the secret that makes a smile special, and only half a smile without it. [Read: 15 subtle but very obvious signs of flirting between two people]

5. Tongue and groove

There are some body language motions that are extraordinarily subtle and difficult to detect, and there are those that are positively explosive.

When a woman patently and languidly licks her lips whilst giving full or near-to-full eye contact, then you’d better hope your house is tidy – because there’s no way you’re going home alone tonight!

Do remember, though, that this is, without any shadow of a doubt, a move that only a woman can pull off – unless you’re a drag queen or a cannibal! [Read: Giveaway signs she’s ready for you to kiss her]

6. Smooth operator

The speed of any motions you make, with your arms and hands, especially, says a lot about your emotional state.

Quick, frequent, and jerky motions make you look nervous and not very confident, whereas the opposite effect is achieved by motions that are languid and occasional. Slow down and exude the kind of confidence that is attractive to either gender.

7. Lean machine

This is one of the big signs of body language attraction. Having your opposite number leaning towards you slightly during conversation is another giveaway that they are more than a little interested in you. [Read: 18 signs the person you’re talking to likes you a lot already!]

In fact, this is the strongest of the directional body language clues, as it implies a certain amount of potential for kissing.

When trying to execute this particular move yourself, make sure your incline is of a detectable level, but not so far forward that your date has to constantly avoid the possibility of an accidental head-butt!

8. Hair

This one needs to be mentioned to avoid a very major misunderstanding that often occurs around the touching of hair.

Yes, it can indicate that the executor of this particular move is attracted to you, but it can also indicate unease, trepidation, and even fear. [Read: How to tell if a woman likes you – 33 subtle signs most men ignore]

Basically then, never try to interpret anyone’s mood using this clue alone, and instead, use it in tandem with other signs to get a clearer understanding of what to do next. Getting this one wrong really can have disastrous results.

9. Touching moments

If at any point, your date risks reaching out and lightly touching you, no matter how seemingly innocuous, this is one of the strongest indications of attraction available to the student of body language.

When attempting to execute this particular move yourself, though, you need to remember three things. [Read: Lusty signs of attraction that can be noticed by everyone]

Firstly, make sure that there have been other strong enough signs to justify such an audacious move. 

Secondly, make sure that there is an appropriate point in the conversation to allow you to do this, not just spring it out of the blue. 

Thirdly, make sure you touch the right part of their body. A hand, arm, or even a knee is fine in the right circumstances. A full frontal, two-handed assault, however, is more the stuff that nightmares are made of than dreams! [Read: Body language attraction – touchy feely flirting]

10. Lip service

The kiss goodnight is so difficult to get right. Do you kiss on the cheeks, on the lip, or do you even kiss at all? 

The key to executing this most troublesome point of any date is in committing to one course of action and doing it smoothly, calmly, and firmly. 

They say that he who hesitates is lost, and in this case, that old saying is most definitely true. [Read: 15 tips to make your first kiss memorable]

Signs someone is attracted to you

Now that you know how to use body language in the dating world, let’s take a look at some of the signs that someone is attracted to you.

1. Pupils dilate when they look at you

Pupil dilation in someone’s eyes is an instinctive and biological response to attraction. So, if you want to know if they are attracted to you, just look at their eyes and see how big they are.

2. Blinking more

In addition to dilated pupils, if someone starts blinking around you a lot, then that means they are probably attracted to you. It is an unconscious thing that people do, but it’s one of the things to watch for. [Read: Subtle eye contact flirting tips to catch someone’s eyes from afar]

3. Blushing and flushed skin

Another sign of attraction is if someone’s skin is flushed or if they blush. However, it’s more common for fair-skinned people than it is for darker-skinned ones.

4. Tonal voice changes

When someone is attracted to another person, their voice tends to change. It might go up, which is more common in women. Or it may go down, which would be more common for men. Either way, it’s a common sign of body language attraction.

5. Open body language

If someone is not closed off, their arms aren’t crossed, and they can sit back and relax, then that is a signal that they are open to romantic advances.

If they are closed off with their body, then they are trying to keep you at a distance and give you the message they aren’t interested in you. [Read: Signs of strong physical attraction that reveal a mad attraction]

6. Leaning closer to you 

If they are a “lean machine,” meaning that they try to lean in to be closer to your body, that is definitely an indication that they want to be closer to you. If they didn’t like you, they would lean back to put more distance between your body and theirs.

7. Mirroring your behavior

Mirroring is something someone does when they mimic your behavior. For example, lean forward, then they do too. Or, if they put their chin in their hand and elbow on the table and they follow suit. People usually only do this when they are attracted to someone.

8. Sneaky gestures to enhance their appearance

If you see the person doing things like readjusting their shirt, applying lipstick/lip balm, or fixing their hair that means they want to look good for you.

These little “sneaky” gestures are in an attempt to enhance their appearance so you will find them attractive. [Read: Physical attraction – 20 hot secrets to look way more desirable instantly]

9. Increase in body temperature

Now, you may not be able to access this one unless you hand them a thermometer. But they might say things like “is it hot in here?” or “I have to take off my sweater because I’m burning up!” The reason they are so hot could be because of their attraction to you.

10. Holding deep gazes

As we said earlier… the eyes have it. When we look someone in the eyes, it’s like looking deep into their soul, which is a very intimate thing. Eye contact “invites” someone in. If we’re not interested, we will avoid eye contact so we don’t give them the wrong impression.

11. Fidgeting in your presence

Sometimes people get nervous when they are in the presence of someone they are attracted to. Because of this, they might get fidgety. This can be by touching their body or an object, moving around in their seats, or any other gesture that makes them appear nervous.

12. Flirty physical contact

It’s common knowledge that people like to flirt when they are attracted to someone. So, if they do things like “accidentally” brushing up against you when they walk by you, they might be doing it on purpose to send you a message that they like you.

13. Clammy hands

When someone’s body temperature goes up, they might start to sweat – even in their hands. So, if you happen to touch their hands and they feel clammy, you might be the cause of it because they find you hot. [Read: Nervous sweating – recognize the triggers and stop stress sweats]

Female body language

We talked about the more general signs of attraction, so now let’s narrow it down and discuss the body language signs of attraction for females.

1. Her shoulders will move toward you

Just as we discussed above, when someone leans in toward you, that means they want to get closer. And it doesn’t even have to be her whole upper body. It can just be her shoulders. 

2. She’ll “accidentally” touch you

Touch is a definite sign that someone likes you. Think about it – if you don’t like someone, why would you want to touch them?

So, if she is finding excuses to “accidentally” touch a part of your body, then she’s into you. [Read: How to flirt by touch and use subtle body language to seduce anyone]

3. Her face will show desire 

Micro expressions are involuntary, tiny little facial expressions that people make that are virtually undetectable by other people. 

They are reflexive movements that reflect a person’s true emotions regardless of what they are trying to portray. They also happen in a flash – lasting for half a second or less.

4. She’ll open up her body

Sitting with her arms open, and maybe even her legs is a way to “invite” you in. It’s like she is leaving the metaphorical door open for you to walk right in and claim her.

If she didn’t like you, she would close up her body by crossing her arms and keeping her distance. [Read: Body language of a girl – 37 signs to instantly tell if she likes you]

5. She’ll blink more

The average person blinks anywhere from nine to twenty times per minute, with the average being twelve. Rapid blinking indicates high stress or emotional shifts within that person. It’s an unconscious behavior that indicates that she could be nervous talking to you.

6. She’ll roll her lips

The lip roll happens when someone opens their jaw slightly *such as biting their finger* with their lips closed.

Then their jaw shifts from the side that the person is “lip rolling.” Then they use their tongue to the point where the lip roll will be and use their tongue to pull inward.

7. She’ll stick her chest out

Women know that most men are fascinated by their breasts. So, she will try to accentuate them either by wearing something tight, showing some cleavage, or sticking her chest out.

She wants you to notice them and get turned on. [Read: Why men love staring at breasts and how to take a peek like a gentleman]

8. She’ll do the hair flip

The hair flip is something most people are familiar with. If she has long hair, she will use her hands to flip her hair around herself. She might not even use her hands at all and just use the force of moving her head to swish her hair around. 

9. She’ll make herself look more submissive

Biologically speaking, men are stronger than women. And historically, they are the dominant ones. So, a woman might make herself look more submissive so she won’t intimidate men and scare them off.

10. She’ll slowly caress nearby objects

If there is an object nearby, such as a knife, she might start to caress or stroke it. This is a subconscious message that she would also like to caress a part of your body too, and vice versa. [Read: Is she flirting with me or being friendly? 34 signs to read a girl’s mind]

11. She’ll lick her lips

When someone licks their lips, they are trying to call attention to them. Why would someone do that? Probably because they are unconsciously saying “Please kiss me!” to you. It’s telling you to pucker up.

12. She’ll move to the groove

If you’re in a place that is playing music, a woman might start swaying and grooving to it. Whether she’s on the dance floor or just sitting in her seat, she will try to pull out some of her sexy moves in order for you to see how her body reacts to the beat of the music.

Male body language

Finally, let’s talk about the body language signs of attraction for males.

1. He’ll touch you back

If a woman is accidentally – or even purposely – touching a man, then she likes him and wants to get his attention.

And if a guy is also interested, he will make a point to touch her right back to let her know that he wants her too. [Read: When a guy touches you on a body part – how to decode his intentions]

2. His pupils will dilate

As we have mentioned before, pupil dilation is a biological response to physical attraction. And both men and women have the same reactions. So, keep an eye on his eyes to see what they do.

3. He’ll make extra eye contact

Having eye contact with someone is a way of showing connection. You are paying attention to them, and you want to let them know. So, if a man is attracted to a woman, he will make sure he has extra eye contact so she is sure that he likes her.

4. He will flex his muscles

Most women are attracted to a man’s muscles, and most men know this. That’s why they all dream of having a six-pack.

So, if he starts to flex his muscles, it’s the male equivalent of a woman sticking out her chest. [Read: Male body language – 48 subtle signs to instantly read a man’s thoughts]

5. He’ll turn his torso toward you

Just as leaning into someone is a body language sign of attraction, so is turning their torso in the direction of that person. So, if a man is facing his body square onto a woman, it’s because he is definitely interested.

6. He’ll point his toes

You might not think that a man’s toes have anything to do with their attraction for someone. But for many, it is. If he’s pointing his toes in the direction of a woman, then he is into her.

7. He’ll play with his drink

Just like a woman will start caressing an object nearby if she’s interested in a man, he will also fidget too. However, he is more likely to play with his drink instead of other random objects. [Read: Does he like me? 101 subtle signs and body language guys can’t hide]

8. His face will be more expressive

Many men are known for being non-expressive with their faces. They can be quite stoic and sometimes lack emotional expression. So, if a man’s face is more animated than usual, that’s because he is excited to be in a woman’s presence.

9. His voice will be more positive

Men’s voices also tend to be more monotone than women’s voices. That’s because emotions tend to come through someone’s voice. So, if he has more inflection in his voice than normal, it’s because he is physically attracted to a woman.

10. His body language will open up

As we discussed prior in the article, anyone who has open body language is “inviting” someone in. So, it’s like he is welcoming a woman with open arms when his arms and legs are outstretched. [Read: Does my guy friend like me? 25 signs he’s crushing on you]

11. He’ll mirror the woman’s body language

When people mirror others’ actions, it’s because they want to appear like they are accepting of them. So, if a man repeats the body movements of a woman, that’s a good sign.

12. His lips will part

A woman will lick her lips as a sign to pay attention to them and a signal to kiss her. When a man parts his lips, it’s because he’s subconsciously looking at the woman’s lips and “getting ready” to kiss them.

13. He’ll tilt his head when you speak

When someone tilts their head, it’s an unconscious way that they show empathy and caring. They are trying to connect with you and identify with you.

Showing these emotions through a head tilt is an attempt to get the other person to like them. [Read: Lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]

14. His smiles get larger

When someone is in the presence of someone they are attracted to, they are happy, right? Men are no different than women. They will smile more when they are with someone they think is hot.

15. His nostrils flare and his face generally “opens”

Just as a person can be “open” with their arms and legs, they can also be “open” with their faces. Raised eyebrows, parted lips, and wide eyes give the whole face a friendly, “open” expression.

[Read: 25 subtle signs to know if you’re attractive and others find you hot and sexy]

Now that you know the signs of body language attraction, pay careful attention to how your body interacts with the general flow of conversation. This will ensure that you successfully pull off the romantic coup of the century!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...