They say a man’s body language tells you literally everything you need to know about him—even if he never explicitly says anything. And luckily for you, if your boo struggles expressing his ~emotions~ for things other than sports, his mannerisms and what he does with his hands, legs, feet, eyes, and every other part of his body while talking with you, can reveal if he’s actually got the hots for someone other than Tom Brady.
“Unconscious body language signals can be extremely telling,” says body language expert, Patti Wood, author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language. You can figure out what a guy is thinking—or how much he’s into you, by the way he moves when he’s around you. So in the early stages of a new relationship when you’re too scared to initiate the DTR convo, pay attention to these body language cues to reaffirm that your guy is totally into you.
A wise woman once told me that someone’s body-language can be extremely telling in almost all circumstances—but especially when dating.
I have to say, as a woman as single as a Pringle who frequently bops around from date to date, I completely agree that in 99.9 percent of all cases, a Tinder dude’s body language tells me everything I need to know about him. (Besides his bio, which is only good for indicating that he loves The Office. How original.)
This probably has to do with the fact that body language is like the gate-keeper to someone’s inner thoughts, even if no one is deliberately saying anything. It’s the kind of thing where people show how they’re feeling—through hand gestures, smiles, tilts of the head, etc.—instead of explicitly saying it. And I don’t know about you all, but I’d much rather date someone who shows me they care rather than tells me they do.
So if you, too, want in on this little inside world of ~body language~ speak, there are a bunch of different cues and movements you should look out for. Below, find what experts advise to pay close attention to if you want to see if the person you think you’re vibing with is actually, legitimately into you too.
1. His posture is open. (Body-Language Signs #1)
What this means: His feet are shoulder width apart, his shoulders are relaxed, his hands and arms are uncrossed, and his jaw is unclenched. “Open body language is an indication that a guy is curious and attentive to you,” says licensed therapist Shamyra Howard, author of Use Your Mouth.
2. You can physically see his hands. (Body-Language Signs #2)
Consider it a good thing if, when you’re with this guy, he doesn’t keep his hands chillin’ in his pocket or behind his back. “When a guy is comfortable around you, his hands are usually visible” confirms Howard. (In other words, grab those bbs and put them on the table where you can see ’em).
3. He tilts his head in two directions. (Body-Language Signs #3)
You know when dogs hear a new sound they haven’t heard before, they do that cute lil head tilt? Yeah, well dudes are a lot like our fluffy puppers in this case. “When a guy tilts his head to the side, it shows that he’s curious and tuned in.” You’re obvi occupying that left brain of his, so play into that you smart one, you.
4. His breathing is relaxed. (Body-Language Signs #4)
When his breathing is at a slow pace, this indicates that he is relaxed and can fully be himself around you. “This is a good sign, as men like to feel comfortable around their partners,” says relationship expert and psychotherapist Melissa Divaris Thompson.
5. He has clammy hands. (Body-Language Signs #5)
If his palms feel a bit sweaty when you’re strolling down the street, this could mean that he’s, like, physically hot, yes—but it could also indicate that he’s nervous. “Being nervous is a sign that they could potentially have interest and not want to mess anything up,” says Thompson.
6. He inadvertently grazes or touches you. (Body-Language Signs #6)
Whether he accidentally touches your hand or can’t stop hitting your foot underneath the table, it’s a great sign of contact because it shows he wants to be close to you physically, says Thompson.
7. He plays with his necktie. (Body-Language Signs #7)
“When people get nervous, they often touch the visible dip area where the neck meets the collarbones as a form of self-soothing,” says David Bennett, counselor and relationship expert. “Since the knot of the necktie is in this area, guys will often play with their neckties when really into a woman and bothered by it.”
8. He stumbles over his words. (Body-Language Signs #8)
If he stumbles over his words a lot when he’s most often the life of the party, he’s nervous around you. “When you know he’s not normally awkward but he’s being awkward and can’t seem to formulate sentences around you, this could be a sign of interest,” says Bennett.
9. His face gets flushed…and not because it’s warm. (Body-Language Signs #9)
“When someone is really into someone, it can cause a stress reaction and the adrenaline that gets released can lead to facial flushing,” says Bennett. Before you read too far into this, though, make sure it’s not 90 degrees out and he’s not on his third tequila drink.
10. He stands inches from you when you’re face-to-face.(Body-Language Signs #10)
In line at a restaurant, on a subway car, saying goodbye, whatever the situation may be, he just can’t resist the urge to be as close to your face as possible. “If he’s not afraid of body closeness and makes his desires clear but not creepy, it’s likely he wants to take advantage of being as close to you as possible,” says online dating coach Andi Forness.
11. His pupils are huge. (Body-Language Signs #11)
Either you’re in a super-dark place or this subtle signal means he’s into you. “Dilation is a brain response that occurs when you like and are attracted to something,” Wood says.
12. His eyebrows raise up when he sees you. (Body-Language Signs #12)
“If he likes you and likes what he sees as soon as he sees you, he wants more of you. Soon, the aperture of his eyes increases, making his eyebrows raise,” Wood says. This also means he’s interested in whatever you’re saying.
13. He shows you his front teeth when he smiles. (Body-Language Signs #13)
“Guys stop smiling like this around the age of 5—unless they’re really happy,” Wood says. He might not show off a toothy grin while casually flirting, but on a really awesome date when he’s having loads of fun? Look for teeth: “When he feels really happy, he’s not covering that up,” Wood says.
14. He smiles above the mouth. (Body-Language Signs #14)
Real smiles extend well beyond the mouth: They lift the forehead and give you slightly squinty eyes. If his smile involves his whole face, it means you’re genuinely affecting him in a good way.
15. He licks his lips in a cute (not creepy) way. (Body-Language Signs #15)
When you’re attracted to someone, your mouth produces extra saliva, Wood says. In response, he might quickly lick his lips or press them together.
16. He locks eyes with your face—not your eyes. (Body-Language Signs #16)
You might think that a guy who is totally enamored by you will find it hard to peel his eyes away. But now that everyone is used to being glued to their phones, nonstop eye contact can make people feel uncomfortable. So, new rule: If he spends about 80 percent of your interaction looking from your eyes to your nose and lips, he’s into you, Wood says.
17. He takes a deep breath when he sees you. (Body-Language Signs #17)
Yes, men do require oxygen (lol). But when he subconsciously takes a deep breath—he’ll pull in his stomach and puff out his chest—it’s a subconscious way to make his upper body look broader and his waist look smaller, two qualities that make him look more fit and (from an evolutionary perspective) more desirable, Wood says. In other words, he’s into you and trying to attract you.
18. The moment he sees you, he wants to touch you or really look at you. (Body-Language Signs #18)
“What someone does as soon as they come through the door says a lot about what’s important to them,” Wood says. He won’t just walk into your place and settle down without a hug, kiss, or long glance first.
19. He leans toward you when you talk. (Body-Language Signs #19)
In a noisy bar, this sign might not hold much weight, but when he can physically hear you perfectly well and leans in anyway, it means he’s interested in what you have to say—and you in general.
20. He puts his hands on his hips with his elbows out to the sides. (Body-Language Signs #20)
This stance takes up more space than standing with his arms against your sides, so this is a male power signal, Wood says. They use it to show physical superiority over other men. In this situation, and if he’s angled toward you, it means he’s seeking attention from you.
What body language signs do you look for to tell if someone is into you? Sound off in the comments below
Nicole Gibson is a junior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, where she is pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism and theatre studies.