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  • Jan Gleisner

How to know when someone is attracted to you (and to improve your odds)


You know the feeling of attraction: The closer to The One you are the faster your heartbeat, the heavier your breathing. Your cheeks or neck might blush and your pupils be big. These are physiological signs of attraction. And the body language also can send more or less intentional messages too. Would be a good thing to know if you're making the right impression? To check if your flirt efforts works at the mingle party? Then read on. But as always when reading body language: Never take a single non-verbal cue for a message. Read clusters to be sure.

Lazy, in a hurry or looking for at quick fix? Skip to to the resummé at the bottom.

Common signs

Leaning and tilting

Leaning is a way to show interest in someone. People tend to lean somewhat towards people they are interested in, perhaps even attracted to. This non-verbal cue is easier to spot when in a group, as it's easier to see if someone lean more towards a specific person compared to the others. Tilting head is another non-verbal cue of interest.

Eyes

There will most certainly be some gazing at the object of interest. A more obvious sign of attraction when looking sideways towards the object while trying to keep the head a slightly turned away - a gazing in disguise. At a closer look, the attracted person will probably have enlarged pupils. If struck by beauty, like when you suddenly meet someone attractive up close, the upper eyelids will probably go up a bit along and be accompanied with a smile (while your brain says "wow..."). On the other hand: Looking away, closing/blinking eyes and showing small pupils would more likely be non-verbal signs of uninterest or even dislike.

Feet pointing

Like leaning, feet tend to point towards the person of interest and point away if there is no interest or something else is occupying the attention.

Touching

A touch is a way of making contact. It might not be of attraction or even interest but it is about reaching out. Touching skin is more intimate than touching clothed bodyparts. And touching other bodyparts than lower arms, shoulders or upper back is being more intimate. There are cultural differences thou, like cheek-kissing wouldn't be seen as intimate in some parts of the world (like in Spain) but be quite intrusive in another (like in Japan). And it makes a difference if the two persons meeting already know each other. But considered the cultural differences and a possible level of an already ongoing relation, a touch more intimate than ever earlier and/or beyond the norms for formal contact in the situation at hand would express an interest in deepening the relationship.

Being life producers

A basic instinct is to appear as someone who can produce and provide for a lot of healthy children and in that way keep our specie alive. Therefore attraction sets off non-verbal communication to show life-producing/-prevailing abilities. Even thou these features may not be the best for an already overpopulated world the will, as strong survival instincts for keeping mankind thriving, still be triggered when attraction sets in. Both men and women will make more or less obvious announcements about having a sex and being ready to use it - the more fertile, the more obvious. Men may show alfa male behaviors like demonstration their size and strength (to keep foes away and build shelter) and women may emphasize their curves (to give birth and feed children).

Dressing

Making one self attractive through cloting is mainly about exposing as much of the life prevaling features mentioned earlier. Tight clothes may do the trick for whose who's got the muzzles/curves in the right places, loose clothes for those who do not and/or hopes to attract less with physical features.

Female attraction

Besides generic non-verbal cues for attraction there are some cues that are more or less gender specific. Among many here are some of the more obvious ones.

Showing skin

Showing more skin than normal could be a sign of being a potential partner, but the circumstances need to be considered to: Bikini on the beach is not a sign of attraction. And clothing is more often an intentional non-verbal cue to send a message, to project an image. Therefore it is not very safe to assume that a lightly and sexy dressed woman is attracted to someone special unless she is booked to meet a single person and has dressed for that specific meeting. Under other circumstances it could be about boosting her own ego by others attention or about setting an example.

Smile

Intended or not, she smiles at whom she likes (unless smiling comes with her job). She may try to conceal the smile, turning away or putting something in front of her mouth, to avoid being exposed. She is probably aware of that the smile may be taken for an invitation either she planned for it or not.

Blush

Another non-verbal sign of attraction - a more sincere one, as it's harder to fake or hide. It may not happen when the person of interest is far away, as the tension is to low. But as the distance closes it starts to show: The closer, the more she'll blush. Not only the cheeks and throat may blush; as the heart pumps more blood to the face the lips gets more red and filled. Make-up may conceal most of it but as women compensate the loss of color with red rouge on the cheeks and red lipstick on the lips, the visual signals are still brought through. Even thou the official intention with this act, in a strict sense of body language it's sending an open invitation: "I'm available".

Open front

The more attracted she is, the less obstacles she will keep in front of her. If she loosens up her crossed arms, moves her handbag aside or pushes the items on a dinnertable aside it creates an open front. But if she buttons her shirt, crosses her arms or holds the wineglass in front of her she is setting up a shield against her opponent.

Pelvis

When moving in close women tend to tilt their pelvis slightly upwards/towards a person they are attracted to, and downwards/away from a person they uncomfortable with (at least in a short distance).

Touching the hair

This can be an intended sign of attraction. The gesture aims at putting the hair right, making her a little more pretty. She may not even touch the hair but instead whip it to get it right. But scratching the hairbottom or for practical reasons simply putting it behind an ear (like keeping it away while tying shoes) are practical reasons and not a nonverbal signs of attraction. Make a note of which, and if the gesture is immediately followed up by a glance at someone specific.

Male attraction

Men are said to be less sophisticated when showing attraction. Within the range of nonverbal communication, acting alfa male and showing beautiful feathers is still the main theme for many.

The feathers

Instead of wearing beautiful feathers to impress with men wear substitutes like a tie, a long hair, a tattoo, jewelery, carkeys (signaling the possession of something expensive and therefore exlusive) - something extra that's supposed to give an edge, an advantage against the rivals. When a man gets attracted he will instinctively touch or discretely point at his "feathers" and make sure they are showing and looking their best: "Look what I've got!"

Being big - taking up space

Standing straight instead of slouching, keeping the head up instead of tilting it down, standing with feet a bit outside the shoulders range or sitting with arms and/or legs stretched far out. He may also claim space around him: Occupying most of the sofa or making more noise (yes, burps and farts too) than necessary.

Being strong - using/showing muzzles

Close fit clothings (like t-shirts in stretch materials) would be quite obvious, so that muzzles can be displayed while still dressed. And while striking formal poses an alfa male will take the opportunities to show strength when there is a chance. Lifting a buddy, making a bro'-hug, giving a bone-breaking handshake or lifting the beer with a pumped bicep and may (after several beers) crush the empty can with one hand or (after even more beers) against the table or his forehead. More sophisticated ways making the same point may involve carrying around a workout bag or taking the opportunity help someone (attractive) else carry something.

Being able to mate - pointing at the tool

To show fertility he will point at his crutch in different ways: Like standing with hands in the pockets and thumbs on the outside pointing towards his crutch. Sitting and standing with spread out legs also seem to draw other peoples attention towards his crutch. And he'll happy about it.

Before you start flirting

Nonverbal communication has it's limits. Not every woman falls for a machoman and not every man falls for a curvy blushing bride. Acting like such may even push some potentials away. Attracting with intelligence and humor for example, will surely require some verbal performance. But while body language easily can express a sexy beast ready for mating, it can also express a sophisticated maner. Or both.

Resumé

Common signs: Attraction are shown through nonverbal communication. And while some can be manipulated others are physiological reaktion that are harder to fake or conceal.

Common signs are eyes looking at the objekt of attraction, especially when sidelooking in disguise. Pupils may become large while looking the attraction and feet will point in the same way. Touching is a way of reaching out but is not safe to interpret as attraction - consider circumstances like cultural differences and the level of an maybe already ongoing relationship. Attraction is connected to a basic instinct to produce and provide for children and human race. Therefore it's natural focus lies on features important to produce and protect life: Mens strength, womens curves and both men and womens ability to have sex.

Female attraction: Showing skin may be a sign of attraction if she dresses for meeting someone specific, otherwise not. Blushing can be a physiological sign, a smile an intended or unintended sign. Open front towards the attraction, free from obstacles can be a sign. Tilting the pelvis upward/forward the attraction another.

Male attraction: Wearing attributes like tie, long hair or a hat to give an edge agains the rivals are intentional signs while making oneself big, demonstrating strength and taking up space and "pointing" at the crutch are others.

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How about a tiny piece of theory?

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