The Body Language Of Attraction: How To Read If Someone Is Into You

So, you have this massive crush on a certain person but you're not sure the feeling is mutual. How do you figure out whether they feel the same way before admitting your feelings? We've all been there, and while we might not be able to read each other's minds, you can tell a lot about a person based on their body language. The most intriguing part? Most of us don't even realize that we pick up subtle cues from people's body language (so, yes, if you suspect your crush is into you, too, you might very well be right). Nonverbal communication researcher Albert Mehrabian discovered in the 1970s that humans communicate nonverbally (in other words, with their body language) 55% of the time. Say what?


Our brains are amazing at picking up nonverbal cues. How people hold themselves, how they use hand gestures, and the small movements their facial muscles make when they're experiencing a certain emotion all convey subliminal messages to fellow humans. Psychology Today refers to body language as a "silent orchestra" that provides those around you with subtle clues about your mood and personality. It's an interesting field of study for sure, and you can use these cues to your advantage when figuring out whether that someone you have your eye on is actually into you. Read on for some tell-tale signs that it's time to make your move.

They lean towards you or touch you physically

A tell-tale sign that someone is into you is when there is a lot of accidental-on-purpose touching between the two of you. This typically indicates that the person is interested in more touching and possibly an intimate relationship.


Another sign is he tendency to casually turn their upper body toward you so they face you directly. This shows they are invested in you and that you are the most important person in their immediate space. Next time you and your potential partner are out and about, watch the way they angle their body towards you and keep an eye on their feet — if they are pointed your way, it means you have their full attention. These are all good signs they might be attracted to you as well.

Speaking to the Independent, dating coach and psychologist Jo Hemmings explained that someone who's attracted to a person will typically find excuses to get closer to them, usually by facing the person and leaning closer to them. "This suggests that someone is enjoying your company," Hemmings says. Sometimes, your crush might even ask you to repeat something you just said in an excuse for them to lean in even closer. It's an old trick, but it works, and it's a good sign they are really into you.


They pull their sleeves up when you're close

Next time the man or woman you have your eye on approaches you and subtly starts rolling up their sleeves, you can bet there's a good chance they want to be more than friends, as dating coach and psychologist Jo Hemmings tells the Independent. The most intriguing part? They might not even notice they tend to do it when you're around, but if you keep an eye out, you sure will. "Pulling up the sleeves of a dress or a top to reveal the lower part of our inner arms — the softest skin on our body — is often a subconscious sign of attraction," Hemmings says, adding that this gesture is common in women.


Men also tend to roll up their sleeves when they feel attracted to someone but for different reasons, body language expert Adrianne Carter tells Joe. "When he rolls his sleeves up, he wants you to see his forearms to show his strength," Carter explains, adding, "If he rolls his sleeves up he is interested and ready for action — it is the same with women." So, if there's plenty of sleeve-rolling going around, you know it's time to make a move.

They subconsciously use protective gestures

We get it: Body language can be as confusing as it is telling, but a dead giveaway that someone is into you is using protective gestures around you. So, what do protective gestures entail? It's simple: Look out for small signals that indicate they want to keep you safe. Do they take your hand in theirs when you cross a busy street? Or, do they, perhaps, gently place their hands on your shoulders when you're in the midst of a big crowd? Maybe they place their hand on the small of your back as you enter a room. This is their way of guiding you and making sure you stay close. It also sends a subtle message to others that you're close and that they've got your back (literally).


Another common protective gesture is offering you their jacket to protect you against the evening chill. We see it in movies all the time — once the guy or girl offers their potential partner their jacket, it is on. Also, it gives that person an excuse to hang out with you for the rest of the evening (because you need to give it back eventually) or to come by your place again the following day if you don't. It's a win-win situation. No wonder it's such a popular, smooth move.

They pay attention when you speak

A good sign someone is interested is that they listen when you speak. A person who hangs on your every word is invested in you and what you have to say. Relationship coach Michelle Fraley tells the Deccan Chronicle that someone in love tends to develop a sort of tunnel vision when they're with the person they're attracted to. They won't let anything else divert their attention from you, and they might also listen intently as a way to show their respect. So, if their phone is blowing up and they're completely ignoring it because you're speaking, this is a very good sign.


What's more is that someone who listens well likely also remembers well, which means next time they see you, they'll probably ask you about some of the things you told them previously, as dating coach and psychologist Jo Hemmings tells the Independent. This shows that they really did listen and are interested in your life. Not only does it feel good, but it also indicates there's potential for an intimate relationship.

How they look at you can speak volumes

If your legs turn to jello when your crush holds your gaze, you're not alone. It turns out that someone's eyes can speak volumes, and the way they look at you might be their way of silently telling you they're interested, too.


When someone is attracted to you, they will hold your gaze longer than they would other people, best-selling author Vanessa Van Edwards explains in an article for Science of People. So, if you and your crush are exchanging long, intimate gazes, you can bet there's the potential for something more and that they know it, too.

What's even more telling is when they move their eyes to your chest and back up again. This is, quite fittingly, known as intimate gazing. When two humans maintain eye contact, the body starts to release oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for creating the warm and fuzzy feelings we experience when we feel we're connecting with someone else. Needless to say, if your oxytocin levels skyrocket when you're with your crush, chances are there are a lot of longing glances involved, which is a good sign your relationship is moving in a romantic direction – though it's also important to keep in mind that an instant spark can sometimes indicate a red flag.


They raise their eyebrows when they see you

Next time you're curious whether someone likes you, keep an eye on their eyebrows. Our eyebrows play a significant role in silent communication, and when we're interested in someone, we tend to raise them ever so slightly. If the other person raises their eyebrows in return, you can cue the fireworks because there's obviously some mutual attraction between the two of you.


The tricky part is that this whole eyebrow-raising happens in the blink of an eye, so you might miss it if you don't know to look for it. So, next time you meet up with your crush, keep your eyes nailed to their eyebrows (but try to be inconspicuous about it, of course). You can also consciously start to employ this silent communication method when you're with someone you find attractive — keep your eyebrows raised for a second or two to let them know you're very much interested.

So, why exactly do humans raise their eyebrows when attracted to someone? Well, it seems to be something instinctual our bodies do to show off our eyes to a potential partner. When you raise your eyebrows, your eyes automatically widen, which not only makes them look slightly larger but can also make your entire face look more receptive and inviting. The human body is pretty cool, and, clearly, we're biologically engineered to make instinctual movements (like raising our eyebrows) when checking out a potential partner.


They smile a lot when they're around you

This one is a little trickier to decipher because people can fake smiles, and we all smile when we're happy and among friends, but it might be safe to say that having your crush smiley-faced around you all the time is a good indication they might be interested in you.


In an article written by certified relationship coach Sira Mas for The Truly Charming, she explains that a person who is attracted to someone will smile a lot more when in their presence than when they are with, say, their friends or family. But still, how do you know if it's a genuine smile or they're just being polite? The secret, Mas says, is to pay attention to their facial muscles. When someone is genuinely smiling, their whole face will be involved.

Psychologist and nonverbal communication expert Paul Ekman coined the term "Duchenne smile," which he defines as the smile of attraction. This is, in short, the smile of ultimate happiness, and if your crush sports one, it means they enjoy your company. So, how do you spot a Duchenne smile? Pay attention to someone's eyes. When someone is truly smiling, their eyes smile, too, with small wrinkles appearing at the corner of their eyes (also known as crow's feet) that indicate their smile is genuine.


They are emotionally attentive

Another way to gauge someone's interest in you is by paying attention to how emotionally attentive they are. In an article for Science of People, author Vanessa Van Edwards explains how emotional attentiveness can manifest in many ways.


Typically, someone emotionally attentive will show empathy toward you in some way. This usually manifests as deep, meaningful conversation accompanied by equally thoughtful questions. In an article for The Truly Charming, certified relationship coach Sira Mas explains that someone who is attracted to you looks for ways to keep the conversation going. They'll ask questions that help them get to know you better, whether your favorite Netflix series, the places you'd like to travel to, or the novels you like to read. Mas cites a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior which found that asking questions to keep the communication going is one of the tell-tale signs of attraction. If you and your crush spend hours talking, there's a good chance they're very much into you.


Someone emotionally attentive is also quite adept at figuring out your love language and will treat you accordingly. Some show their emotional attentiveness in physical ways, such as lending you their jacket when you're cold. Needless to say, any of the above-mentioned signs are a good indication that the relationship has potential.

They subconsciously adjust their appearance

We all want to look our best, especially when with someone we like. Someone who is into you might subconsciously adjust their appearance. Men will often draw their hands through their hair, either in an attempt to make it look more presentable or to give it that gloriously messy look. Many men do this subconsciously, and it's definitely a tell-tale sign to watch out for.


Another sign someone is into you is subtly adjusting their clothes. Men might adjust their ties or straighten their jackets when you're near. In an article for Science of People, author Vanessa Van Edwards explains that someone might quickly check their appearance in a nearby mirror when with you or brush their hair out of their face. People who wear makeup might reapply it in an attempt to look their best. So, if they suddenly seem very conscious of their appearance when you're around, there's a good chance they're interested in something more romantic.

They behave differently around you than others

When someone who appears totally cool in front of their friends turns into a nervous, stuttering mess when with you, it's almost a guarantee they like you. According to a 2020 study published in Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, people often resort to nervous behaviors such as giggling, smiling, and blushing when around someone they like. The person's speech might also resemble that of a runaway train and make increasingly less sense as they try (and fail) to express themselves properly — nerves will do that to ya! Women in particular may raise the pitch of their voice when speaking to someone they're attracted to.


According to certified relationship coach Sira Mas, blushing is the most common physical sign that someone is into you, along with other nervous behaviors which include stuttering and sweating. This is all thanks to the adrenaline rush that occurs in our bodies when we're with someone we like. It's not something we can control, so it's often a dead giveaway someone is attracted to you.

They touch their face when looking at you

Next time you're in the presence of your crush, pay attention to whether they constantly touch their face while their eyes are locked on you. When they thoughtfully rub their chin, touch their ears, or stroke their fingers over their cheeks, it often means they are interested in being more than friends with you. They might also subconsciously touch their mouth, which is a nonverbal invitation for a kiss.


Interestingly enough, our lips and skin become more sensitive when we're attracted to someone, which is why we result to autoerotic touching (subconsciously touching ourselves where we'd like to be touched). Some people cover it up by taking additional sips of their drink or taking multiple drags from their cigarette. If you know what to look for, you'll spot the signs, and it'll help you decide whether or not to make a move.

They appear jealous when you're around other dateable people

Ah, jealousy. We all know her, and she tends to rear her head when we really like someone and notice others showing interest in them as well. It's normal human behavior, but it's also a sign to look out for when you're curious whether that special someone is attracted to you, too.


Men are known for getting just a tad (read: very) competitive when other men or women start showing interest in their potential partner. When they have their eye on you, basically any other dateable person around you is competition. If the person you're into constantly tries to draw your attention away from other potential partners, it's a good sign they like you, too. They might resort to telling some of their best jokes or humble brag about a recent win at work to make themselves appear more attractive. Some might even use humor to take subtle jabs at the person they feel threatened by.

Jealousy typically causes people to try and show off in any way they can because they're desperate to impress you and keep someone else from frisking you away. Often, people don't even notice they're acting out of jealousy, but you can bet that this kind of behavior from your crush means they're interested and hoping you are, too.


They subconsciously mirror your movements

When someone likes you, their body language mirrors yours. What this means is that they will make changes to their own gestures or speech to match yours. While this is something that happens on a subconscious level, if you know to look for it, you'll be able to spot it easily.


In an article for Science of People, author Vanessa Van Edwards explains that, when someone is interested in you, you'll notice they tend to copy the way you stand or sit. Are their legs crossed like yours? Do they stand tall like you are while you speak to them? These can all indicate they are mirroring your movements. You might also notice that they adopt your tone and volume when they speak and use similar words to the ones you use in conversation. They might also alter their facial expression to match yours. Yes, mirroring can be incredibly subtle, but when you know what you're looking for, this type of body language can be a dead giveaway as to whether someone likes you in return.

They'll subtly try to draw your attention to them

When someone is into you, they'll want you to pay attention to them, and when you're not, they'll make subtle moves to catch your eye.

If you're in a crowded place and they're in the corner with their friends and notice you arrive, they'll likely put a bit of distance between them and their companions in an attempt to ensure you notice they are there and that they're not completely engaged with the group and, therefore, are available to strike up a conversation with you. Subtle? Sure. Smart? Absolutely. Another smooth move often employed by men is making subtle adjustments to their clothing and hoping the movement caught your eye.


Sometimes, however, people throw all caution to the wind and go all out to attract the attention of someone they're interested in. This behavior is especially common among men. They might start talking louder or making bigger gestures or movements to draw your attention. When they're going to such great lengths to make you look their way, you can be sure they're very interested indeed.