A woman and a man sitting next to each other. The woman has a cup in her hands and smiles at the guy.

Looking at Body Language and Signs of Attraction

start free today
I am I am looking for

You can add more detail about your gender in your profile

For your security, use the following password format:

  • At least 8 characters
  • Letters AND numbers/special characters
  • Must not be the same as your email address
by eharmony Editorial Team - June 13, 2024
This article has been reviewed by Dr Lalitaa Suglani, an eharmony relationship expert. The content has been checked for accuracy and legitimacy based on the qualifications of our expert prior to publication.Reviewed by Relationship expert Dr Lalitaa Suglani

If you’ve found someone you’re interested in, body language and signs of attraction can give you useful clues to help you figure out if the feeling is mutual.

Body language is the non-verbal signals we give to others about our feelings toward them. They span the emotional range and have endless social functions. Let’s look at dating body language and how being more attuned to it can work in your love life.  

Reading body language: How we use our bodies to flirt

Many people are adept at hiding their true feelings in conversation, particularly around romance.  But the heart’s intentions are often betrayed by other parts of our body. These conscious and unconscious gestures help pick up the slack when our words can’t get the point across.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for reading your date’s body language and signs of attraction.     


The eyes are windows to the soul and eye contact has an ancient role in social interactions. Sometimes, a kind of agreement takes place first in the eyes before it’s realized in words, and we often feel that during a date, particularly with a cue like sudden pupil dilation. Women also seem to be attracted to men with larger pupil sizes, according to a study by the University of Edinburgh1.

But there’s something far more interesting occurring emotionally when our eyes lock. A 2017 study2 found that prolonged eye contact may contribute to the release of hormones related to love and affection. So eye contact may not be saying so much about your connection as helping to build one.

Eye Contact and Attraction

Eye contact is a body language expression. We have a deeper look at the hidden world of communication behind eye contact and attraction.


Beyond the classic frown or an eyebrow raised in interest, eyebrows can be more subtle when reading body language. You may have heard of an attraction eyebrow flash – a brief, sudden lift of the brow. It’s a gesture that immediately gives away a person’s interest in the interaction. The problem is it only lasts about one-fifth of a second so you could literally blink and miss it.

But people often repeat eyebrow flashes during interactions, which is what makes consistent eye contact and keeping your gestures open so important in flirty conversations.  


Our mouths tend are very expressive and can make reading body language and signs of attraction from them confusing. For instance, while slightly parting or biting one’s lips can indicate excitement and attraction, it can also mean nervousness and anxiety, as our lips become more sensitive in moments of heightened emotion.

Patti Wood, a body language expert, has noted that people tend to produce more saliva when they’re attracted to someone, so licking lips a lot can often be a sign your efforts are paying off. While it may not be the most reliable indicator of affection, it can give you some signals. 


Tilting your head forward can be a sign of interest, if not attraction. People also often fuss with their appearance – rearranging their hair or touching their jawline – to give the person they’re talking to cues that they should take more notice. This can be a dead giveaway of some kind of interest.

Other positive body cues from the head include rotating it slightly to hear you better or tilting it up to indicate agreement. We instinctively have a notion for positive and negative head gestures so try to go with your gut.


Very few non-verbal nasal cues bode well for people’s chances as a couple. A recent study at Universidad de las Américas found almost every one had negative connotations3. Flaring nostrils are a classic indication of anger, while fidgeting with the nose shows nervousness or discomfort.

However, negative body language can be an effective signal to know when to pivot away from certain topics of conversation. So try to use even negative body language as an opportunity to turn an interaction around.


Arms are one of the more obvious aspects of body language and signs of attraction. Many of us intrinsically understand that open or closed arm gestures  are accepting  or defensive indicators.

Crossed arms is generally not a good sign and can indicate that you’re not receptive to what’s being said or the person speaking to you. However, it can also just be a sign trust hasn’t been established. Conversely, having your arms akimbo is a sign of openness and confidence (these are called power gestures).


Legs are underappreciated but they can be very expressive. For instance, in body language, one foot pointing towards you or that person’s knee resting in your direction can be a sign of interest.

Also, take note of their leg position. If they are crossing their legs at the feet, it can be an indication of confidence and relaxation. However, crossing at the knees can often be an anxious or defensive signal. Of course, one of the worst cues is them tapping their foot, which doesn’t require an expert to tell you is a sign of impatience or irritation.  

General facial expressions

These are some of the easiest non-verbal cues to decipher as they tend to be hardwired into human beings. Facial expressions are often used in tandem with speech to communicate normally.

However, when reading body language and signs of attraction, remember that everybody is different. Some people may smile when they’re nervous or laugh when they feel awkward. They may give off classically positive facial gestures while not feeling the same inside. This is why it’s important to be equally sensitive to words as well as gestures, and what message they’re saying together. 

Some classic non-verbal cues that they might be into you

Most body language has an intentional, specific meaning to the receiver.

Humans have either developed these unconsciously or to get around awkward verbal declarations of attraction. But they can be useful in conversation to pick up if the other person would like to take an interaction further or even when you may be steering the conversation into uncomfortable territory. 


This is when someone copies your body language and mannerisms, thus mirroring you. This gesture is subconscious and often a sign the person likes you or is interested in what you’re saying. It’s also a way to make you feel more comfortable with them.

However, some people consciously use mirroring as a manipulative tool. Mirroring should make you feel positive, not uncomfortable.


Fidgeting –playing with your hair or constantly adjusting a clothing item – can often be a sign of anxiety or nervousness. But these gestures can also be positive signs. It shows that the person gets excited around you. 

Not all fidgeting is good.  Constantly checking the time or avoiding eye contact by fussing with some object may be a sign they want to end the interaction.   

Leaning in

Leaning in is one of the most positive indicators in body language and signs of attraction. It’s as simple as people having a natural inclination to be closer to the person they’re attracted to.

They’re no longer just hearing what you say but are engaged by the full notion of you. They want a closer look at how you say things and the expressions you give off when you’re excited. 


When someone is attracted to you, they’ll often open their posture up when interacting. This means they face you directly, make sure not to cross their arms and point their feet directly at you. On a basic level, this indicates trust and comfort around you.

Most importantly, it’s a gesture that says: I want to connect with you. If you feel the same, it’s important to reflect this openness to keep this body language and signs of attraction flowing both ways.

Smiling and laughter

We all laugh and smile to some degree during conversations, particularly to show people we’re easygoing and friendly. However, when people are around someone they’re attracted to, this instinct kicks into overdrive and they tend to laugh and smile much more than normal.

This is a cue that they are trying to endear themselves to you while being engaged in what you’re saying. There’s also an easy way to tell if you’re reading too much into things, which brings us to our next point.

Initiating touch

When they’re laughing, do they lightly touch your arm or hands? Because when it comes to body language and love, few unconscious cues are more obvious than the other person finding an excuse to touch you.

Some of these may even come across as accidental like touching your shoulders as they pass your chair, subtly nudging as they pass you or grazing your hand as you walk together.

But it’s important to respect people’s physical boundaries. So stay conscious of how often you’re doing it and how that person is responding with their body language. 

Tone of voice

People often change their tone to seem more attractive to someone they like. A study in the Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology found that men tend to lower the pitch of their voices to accentuate their masculinity. On the other hand, women tended to use a higher pitch to appear more feminine4.

While this may not be expressed in all gender dynamics and sexualities, voice pitch can still be a simple cue to look for.


Proxemics in communication deal with how close to each other two people stand during a conversation. They can tell a lot about their level of intimacy and comfort with each other. Like leaning in, proximity during the initial dating period can have a predictive effect on your chances of a successful relationship.  

A woman and a man sitting next to each other outside. They are both smiling and their hands are slightly touching.

Even though we don’t have that much conscious control over our body language, there are a few things you can try to improve to seem more open and approachable.

  • Make sure your posture is open and you aren’t placing physical barriers in front of you, like tables or a group of friends
  • Initiate touch politely like through a simple handshake
  • Maintaining eye contact during your interactions can increase the positivity of body language and signs of attraction
  • Make sure the interaction isn’t all about you. Create space for them to express themselves. This also gives you more topics to bond over
  • Smiling can make you seem more friendly and make the other person feel like they’re getting more positive feedback in the conversation

However, you should always try to be yourself so you don’t come across as inauthentic. Because at the end of the day, you still want them to like the real you. 

Body language: Men vs. Women

Women and men use different body language during romantic interactions and flirting. According to a Frontiers in Psychology study, men and women have different competencies for reading types of body language. Men are better at reading positive body language while women were better at reading negative and neutral body language5.

So if you’re a heterosexual woman trying to read body language he likes you, you may be more sensitive to cues you perceive as a lack of interest. Conversely, men are often over-confident.

We also use body language differently to signify attraction. According to a 1985 University of Missouri study, most women use quick glances to show interest, whereas men are more likely to hold a longer fixed gaze. Men opt for more subtle and nuanced facial expressions and body language to indicate attraction, despite being more likely to approach women.     

Digital body language

With the ever-increasing popularity of dating apps, reading digital body language has become more vital than ever. Things to consider when chatting to someone by text:

  • What kind of punctuation do they use? Punctuation marks are normally promising
  • How long are their responses? Short responses normally indicate aloofness or disinterest
  • How long do they take to respond and do they respond fully to your last message?
  • What’s their emoji use like? Is it more casually friendly smiley faces or do they often include affectionate ones like the heart-face one or the blushing one? 

These can differ from person to person though.

Use body language to make your dating life better not busier

When it comes to body language and signs of attraction, we give off different cues all the time. Whether it’s the way they sit, how they make eye contact or basic gestures like fussing with their hair or touching you for no reason, the signs are there if you’re willing to look out for them. They can also help you evaluate whether this is the right person for you.

But it’s not an exact science, with a lot of space for misinterpretation. Because ultimately everyone’s different. So while these may be useful cues to gauge interest, just talking to someone is always the best way to tell if you have a connection.

How it works

Your search for a great relationship has never been easier with groundbreaking overhaul of the eharmony you know and trust.