When you’re attracted to someone but aren’t sure they like you back, it’s much more challenging to make any move on them. Why?
No one wants to come off as desperate, needy, or awkward. The more unsure we are of the outcome of any situation, the more uncomfortable it makes us feel. This is why we hate chaos but love order.
The good news is that when we are attracted to someone, our body language does a pretty good job of conveying that message even before we are aware of it. And most of these body language clues are universal physiological reactions. Meaning, we rarely have control over them, especially when we are genuinely interested in someone.
Hence, even if most people will rarely come out at first to tell you directly that they are attracted to you, when you see these signs, you can be sure that the person at least finds you attractive or desirable.
Proximity is the fancy body language word for the space between people. When we like something or someone, whether it’s a delicious cake, a handsome man, or a beautiful woman, we want to move closer towards them.
Whenever you have someone leaning towards you, wanting to stand closer to you, or being in your closer physical distance or your intimacy zone, you know that the person likes you. Behavioral investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards, refers to this as a micro message of love. As she put it,
“Pay attention to the space around you and count how many times they come into your intimate zone ― which is about 18 inches away from your body.”
Someone who likes you will also want to remove any form of barrier existing between the two of you when you’re interacting.
If, for instance, you’re talking with someone and they take their drink and place it between the two of you, they’re indirectly creating space between you. Meaning a rapport hasn’t been established yet. This also means that if you’re talking with someone and they begin to remove any form of barrier between you, they’re bringing down their guard, an indication that they’re becoming more comfortable with you.
The message in a mutual gaze
When someone is talking but isn’t looking at you, do you trust them as much? Do you feel like they are interested or paying attention to what you’re saying?
The other thing that produces oxytocin and a strong connection besides touch is mutual gazing. The more eye contact you have, the more bonded you’ll feel with someone, and the more oxytocin you’ll produce. As Jack Schafer Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today,
“Elevated oxytocin levels increase mutual eye gaze and provide a sense of well-being, which increases mutual attraction. Oxytocin also increases pupil dilation, which indicates interest.”
Pay attention to people’s behavior when you’re talking to them. Are they looking up into space? Are they checking their phone or are they looking straight at you? What kind of energy are they giving off based on how they look at you?
Furthermore, eye contact helps us rate the person we are with. It allows us to notice subtle cues and determine if they match our energy. For instance, as relationship coach Marni Kinrys explained, the eyes of a girl who is interested in a guy will give off signals that are soft and feminine. In addition, she will smile, play with her hair, lower her gaze, etc. In general, her energy will convey softness and warmness. She will convey the opposite if she isn’t interested.
When we are touched by someone we are attracted to, we feel all warm inside. And the reason for this is that the moment we have skin-to-skin touch, we release oxytocin. And oxytocin is the chemical that bonds us. It creates those butterfly feelings we get when we find someone attractive.
As Vanessa Van Edwards explained in an interview, “when someone wants to reach out and physically have that skin-to-skin contact, they are trying to produce the hormone that makes you feel bonded.” Observe how many times someone reaches out to cross the touch boundary with you. For instance, if a person reaches out and shakes your hands, touches your forearm, puts their hands on your shoulder, or even hugs you, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, someone pulling away from or rejecting your touch indicates dislike. As Jack Schafer Ph.D., also pointed out in Psychology Today,
“If you casually touch another person and they abruptly pull away, the person does not like you or is not ready for a more intimate relationship.”
This is quite a classic sign. People who find you attractive are likely to get nervous or even tongue-tied when they are around you. Why? According to Psychologist and relationship coach, Dr. Antonio Borello, they care a lot about what you think of them, and they want to do everything they can to make a good impression.
Think about how you feel before going on a job interview for a position you really want. You want to make the best first impression because you want the job. And this puts pressure on you and makes you feel nervous. A similar thing can happen when a person that likes you has an encounter with you. They want you, hence they are nervous about the kind of impression they’ll have on you.
The best thing about non-verbal communication is that it dates back to evolution. Most of the things we do when our hormones and emotions are engaged, in most cases, are not controlled by us. They are automatic responses our brains have learned over time.
Hence, those who can step out of themselves and their self-absorption and insecurities, are the ones who wield the most power in social interactions. Learning to spot these cues early on will put you at least a step ahead in every social interaction.