Have you ever held off asking someone out until you know the other person is interested in you?
Or have you held back showing interest yourself because you can't tell if the guy is attracted to you?
Men and women often struggle to pick up on the involuntary signs of attraction, leading to some awkward encounters and missed opportunities.
When you struggle to know whether someone is attracted to you, your confidence as a suitor starts to melt away.
Fortunately, you can learn to read the signs and feel more confident about approaching a potential date.
Our bodies respond subconsciously to feelings of attraction. People tend to use a variety of nonverbal cues, often without realizing it.
You can stop missing out on dating opportunities due to your inability to detect interest.
But first you need to know exactly what you're dealing with.
What Is Attraction?
Attraction is a natural part of life and is experienced by almost every animal species. Without it, populations would decline rapidly.
As with other aspects of biology, researchers have thoroughly explored this phenomenon.
When talking about romantic relationships, psychologists often divide attraction into three main elements:
In a romantic situation, physical attraction is often the first element. People are drawn to others based on their appearance.
Then when you start talking to this appealing person, you may find that you enjoy his or her personality or discover that you agree on a lot of topics. This is a psychological attraction.
Behavioral attraction involves a person's behaviors, traits, and body language.
The combination of these three elements leads people to use a variety of verbal and nonverbal signs of attraction.
- What Is Attraction?
- 21 Indisputable Signs of Attraction
- Signs of Attraction from a Man
- 1. He lowers his voice when talking to you.
- 2. He checks out your figure.
- 3. He shows off and preens.
- 4. He goes out of his way to talk to you or be around you.
- 5. He flirts with you.
- 6. He moves closer to you.
- 7. He tries to get your attention.
- 8. He's extra courteous.
- 9. He offers genuine compliments.
- 10. He sneaks glances at you as often as possible.
- Signs of Attraction from a Woman
- 11. She uses open body language.
- 12. She leans in.
- 13. She connects with her eyes.
- 14. She smiles frequently.
- 15. She's touchy.
- 16. She blushes when she's with you.
- 17. She has nervous body language.
- 18. Her pupils dilate.
- 19. She licks her lips.
- 20. She moves her purse out of the way.
- 21. She mirrors and matches.
21 Indisputable Signs of Attraction
Let's take a look at the not-so-obvious signs that a man or woman is interested in you, as well as the cues you might get from someone who is an introvert.
Signs of Attraction from a Man
Traditionally, men initiate the courting ritual, approaching a woman and asking her out or sparking up a conversation.
However, not all men are direct.
Pay attention to the following signs from a man:
1. He lowers his voice when talking to you.
While men and women both lower their voices a few octaves, this behavior is more common for men. Psychologists believe that this is connected to biology.
Women are naturally attracted to a deeper voice as it is a sign of masculinity. At the same time, men naturally deepen their voices, often without realizing it, to appear more attractive.
2. He checks out your figure.
Studies show that men are easily turned on by visual stimulation. Simply looking at a beautiful woman's figure is enough to arouse most men.
Guys try to be discreet about staring. However, you may notice that his gaze occasionally lowers to your chest or follows your rear as you walk away.
3. He shows off and preens.
While women sometimes “preen” themselves to appear more attractive to potential mates, men also engage in this behavior.
However, instead of constantly fixing their hair or lipstick, they are more likely to show off their skills or physical traits. This type of “preening” occurs in nature with a variety of species, including most apes.
A guy may try to perform a stupid stunt, carry heavy boxes, or show off his strength in some way.
4. He goes out of his way to talk to you or be around you.
You may receive a text message as soon as you get out of work or find him waiting for you at your favorite lunchtime spot.
If he constantly tries to find excuses to spend more time with you, he most likely wants to develop more of a relationship.
5. He flirts with you.
However, it is much less common for men to actively flirt or engage in harmless flirting with platonic acquaintances. Men typically only flirt with women who they are attracted to.
These are just a few signs that a man is interested in you. Other potential signs include buying gifts or getting jealous when you are talking with other men.
6. He moves closer to you.
Have you ever noticed a guy pulling his chair closer to you or leaning in your direction while standing at a bar? If so, he finds you attractive and desirable.
He may start by moving closer slowly to see how interested you are. If you don't pull back of give a “get out of my personal space” signal, he will move even closer, as he feels safe and more confident that the interest is mutual.
7. He tries to get your attention.
Maybe he sees you across the room or at the gym when you are focused on your workout. He's noticed you and wants to be sure you notice him.
Moving closer is part of getting your attention, but also he may laugh loudly, start pumping iron to show off his physique, or make a point of ordering a drink near you at the bar.
A man wants to get your attention to see if you find him equally attractive so he can comfortably start a conversation.
8. He's extra courteous.
He races up quickly to hold the door for you or offers to help you carry your groceries. If you're out at a restaurant or bar, he buys you a drink or gives you a flower.
He's not looking for a humanitarian award. He's into you, and he wants to let you know he's interested. And he's looking for feedback that his gesture is accepted with reciprocal interest from you.
9. He offers genuine compliments.
We're not talking about trashy pick-up lines or insincere remarks that feel well-rehearsed — on other women. If he's interested, he's noticed something specific to you and has taken a mental note of it.
When he has the opportunity, he wants you to know he's noticed. Compliments like, “You have incredible style. You look lovely in that dress,” or “I couldn't help overhearing how you talked to your friend — she's lucky to have a friend who's so caring” show his class and sincerity.
10. He sneaks glances at you as often as possible.
It would be off-putting if he gazed at you adoringly (too much, too soon) or stared at you brazenly (ewww). There's a bit of shyness in his glances that say he likes what he sees but doesn't want to scare you away — or risk being rejected.
He holds a gaze just long enough to say, “It's hard to keep my eyes off of you,” but not so long that you feel like you're getting an eye exam.
If you're across the room, and you haven't spoken yet, you may catch him glancing your way and trying to catch your eye. A warm smile following the glance is the exclamation point at the end of his clear message.
Signs of Attraction from a Woman
Some of the most common signs of attraction from a woman include nonverbal signs such as body language. Women are less direct compared to men.
Instead of “hitting on” you, a woman is more likely to flirt using some of these signs:
11. She uses open body language.
When a woman is not interested, she is more likely to stand in a defensive posture. She may cross her arms or legs while turning her body away from you.
If a woman is interested, she will face you. She may even mirror your stance and posture. If your right leg is slightly forward, she may move her right leg forward.
Mirroring and facing you are signs that she is comfortable with you and potentially attracted to you.
12. She leans in.
Just like men will move closer, women tend to lean in when romantically interested in someone as they want to be closer to the person.
However, some people don't have a sense of personal space. Try to see how she interacts with others. Does she still lean in when others talk? If it only occurs when you speak, she may be interested.
Leaning in combined with some of the other signs listed here give you some strong clues that she's attracted to you.
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13. She connects with her eyes.
While maintaining eye contact is considered good social behavior, a woman is likely to hold her gaze when she is attracted to you.
During a conversation, most people will look at you but then look away occasionally. Prolonged eye contact is often a subconscious act.
If a woman is not interested, she is more likely to look around the room and avoid locking eyes with you, indicating that she wants to escape the conversation.
14. She smiles frequently.
Smiling is another nonverbal sign of attraction. As with eye contact, people smile to be friendly.
If a woman is attracted to you, she may also flash you a smile for no reason, give you a coy smile when no one else is looking, or smile every time that you enter a room.
She’s also likely to hold her gaze as she smiles at you.
15. She's touchy.
Touching you is a less subtle sign, but many guys overlook it. These light, flirtatious touches are great indicators of her interest in you.
In most situations, a woman does not go out of her way to touch a guy who she is not interested in.
When there is no reason for physical contact, touching you becomes a strong sign.
Keep in mind that some of these examples do not always signal she's into you. Look for repeated behaviors.
If a woman accidentally touches your arm once in a crowded room, she may not be interested.
If she repeatedly touches your arm throughout the conversation, such as when you tell a joke, she is showing interest.
16. She blushes when she's with you.
Blushing is an evolutionary adaptation to attract the opposite sex. Men and women both may blush when talking to a crush. It is one of the most common signs of a woman's feelings.
Women frequently wear blush to mimic this natural effect and appear more attractive. But when her face turns pink in places where she hasn't applied blush, you might be the reason. She wants to attract you because she finds you attractive.
17. She has nervous body language.
Nervous behaviors are subconscious signs that a woman likes you. All of the chemical energy has to go somewhere, and you may see her interest playing out in her body language.
To calm themselves, a woman might fidget when talking to a man that she likes. Twirling her hair or picking at a loose thread are a couple of examples of nervous behavior.
She may also rub her hands together, swing her foot when her legs are crossed, blink more frequently, or touch her face a lot.
18. Her pupils dilate.
Dilated pupils (the black dots in the middle of your eyes) are the biggest clues to her interest in you.
Research shows that your eyes dilate when you look at something or someone who you are attracted to.
The purpose of eye dilation is to allow you to focus on what is right in front of you.
Research also found that you only need a small amount of arousal for your pupils to start dilating, making it one of the earliest signs of attraction.
If her pupils appear large, she's likely attracted to you.
Blushing, nervous behavior, and dilated pupils are things that people cannot control.
While these may occasionally be signs of poor health, they typically mean that the person is attracted to you.
19. She licks her lips.
No, she's not the big, bad wolf — but she is licking her lips in anticipation. A woman does this unconsciously (mostly) because her lips and mouth can become dry when she's attracted to a man.
She also may be drawing attention to her lips as an invitation for an eventual kiss — a not-so-subtle reminder that she's a potential sex partner.
20. She moves her purse out of the way.
What does a woman's purse have to do with attraction? More than you might guess. Notice where a woman's purse is when she's talking to you.
Is it on the floor or hanging off her shoulder away from you? Or is clutched in front of her or sitting in her lap between the two of you?
If it's between you, she's putting up a barrier that says, “Not interested. Stay back.” But if she moves it away from her, she's inviting more closeness and is probably interested in you.
21. She mirrors and matches.
You cross your legs, she crosses hers. You take a sip of a drink, she sips hers. You touch your hair, she touches hers.
If her body language is mirroring yours, she's trying to establish rapport with you and highlight your similarities. Why would she do this? Because she's attracted to you, of course!
Can you recognize the subtle signs of attraction?
You are likely to use a variety of verbal and nonverbal signs to show that you are attracted to someone. The person who you are attracted to may also use subtle signs of attraction to let you know how they feel.
If you fail to pick up on his or her cues, you may miss out on a great new relationship. So remember to stay alert to the other person’s subtle signals.
Extended eye contact, touching, flirting, and leaning in are often nonverbal signs of captivation that can make you more confident that the feeling is mutual.
In the end, if you still cannot tell if the other person is interested, go for it and just ask the person out. You don't have anything to lose — except for a little bruised ego.