Relationships

13 Unexpected Signs Someone Is Attracted To You

Their body language can say a lot.

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Even if they're trying to play it cool, you may be able to tell if someone's attracted to you by their mannerisms, the way they hold themselves — even the way they look you in the eye. And it may come in hand the next time you’re trying to figure out if your crush likes you back.

It all comes down to body language and the way it reacts to nervousness and excitement. For a quick example, people naturally sync up with folks they’re interested in. So if you're sitting across from a date in a restaurant and they're sitting exactly like you, consider it a sign that things might just be going well.

It's important not to jump to conclusions, though, however tempting it may be. "[Reading someone's body language] will give you only a superficial idea of what the person is thinking," Maryann Karinch, a body language expert and author of The Art of Body Talk, tells Bustle. Everyone's different and this isn't an exact science. But it may provide a few hints as to what they're feeling well before you're both comfortable enough to talk about it.

Read on for more interesting signs of attraction, according to experts.

1

Their Pupils Are Dilated

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One way to spot a budding connection is by looking the other person in the eye and casually noticing if their pupils seem small or large. Are they tiny pinpoints? Or are they wide?

"When we like someone we want to see more of [them],” Tiffany Toombs, a body language expert and owner of Blue Lotus Mind Coaching & Training, tells Bustle. The pupils dilate, she says, to allow more light in so they can quite literally get a better look.

Dilated pupils are also a sign of excitement, Holly Schiff, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. “Physiological responses like sexual excitement or attraction release oxytocin and dopamine into your brain, which affect your pupil size,” she says.

2

They Aren't Blinking As Often

Another eye-related giveaway is how often they do (or don’t) blink. If it seems like the person has been staring for quite a while, that’s a good sign.

According to Toombs, it’s not uncommon for someone experiencing attraction to sync their blinks with the person they’re talking to. It’s an unconscious way to take in more of you, she says.

Basically, they won’t want to blink and miss a second of looking into your eyes.

3

They Can’t Stop Fidgeting

When someone is feeling attracted, they might pull some nervous behaviors, like playing with an earring, rubbing their fingers together, or stroking the side of their neck, Karinch says. These are nervous habits common among people who are stressed — but in a totally good way.

“Attraction often involves a kind of tension we might call 'good stress,'" Karinch says. "Whether stress is caused by something 'good' or 'bad,' however, the body has some similar responses. On a date with someone you find exciting, and who finds you exciting, these self-soothing movements might occur more frequently."

4

They Angle Their Bellybutton Towards You

It may sound strange, but you’ve seen it before: “Two people sitting at the bar and instead of facing forward, one person’s chair is angled toward their partner,” Margaret Stone, a licensed therapist and dating coach, tells Bustle of another example of body language when someone is attracted to you.

Turns out it’s all about bellybuttons, which people apparently angle towards the object of their affection. And it has everything to do with the association between your core and nourishment or life. “Aligning our bellybutton with another is a sign of security, trust, and attraction,” Stone says.

They’ll probably also lean in, Schiff adds, possibly by moving forward slightly while they speak, tilting their body towards you, or angling their chair closer to yours.

5

They Lean Back In Their Chair

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Also, look at how your partner is sitting in their seat. "Another reaction — one that suggests some degree of comfort with a person as well as the desire to connect — is open body language," Karinch says. "Open body language involves leaving the front of your body 'unprotected' by arms or holding a phone or a glass of whatever you’re drinking in front of you, for example.”

Instead, they’ll lean back in their chair, keep their arms casually at their sides, etc. “This could also be called invitational body language, and it’s the body language of trust,” Karinch says. They’re looking to make a connection and want their body to communicate that to you — with nothing getting in the way.

6

They Change The Tone Of Their Voice

It might be tough to tell if someone’s changed the tone of their voice if you only just met. But take it as a good sign if they pitch their voice lower or higher mid-way through your day.

A 2014 study found that people vary the strength, tone, and pitch of their voice when speaking to folks they find attractive, which is something you may be able to pick up on. It was even possible, in the study, for those who overheard these conversations to tell when the sparks were flying, simply by listening to the participant's tone of voice.

According to Julia McCurley, a professional matchmaker and relationship coach, these vocal changes happen because we subconsciously want to stand out from the “pack” and attract a partner. A man might, for example, want to sound more masculine than the other guys in the vicinity so he gets your attention. Interesting, right?

7

They Seem Like They’re Glowing

If someone's falling for you, they might literally start to glow due to their attraction — as well as the fresh slick of oil on their skin. "When we like someone," Toombs says, "our pores open, allowing more oil secretion and our skin gets shinier."

8

They Seem Flushed

Add flushing or blushing to the mix, and you might just be justified in planning your entire future together. As Schiff says, “Our faces flush from a rush of excitement or adrenaline because it is the primary source of communication and emotion.” So keep an eye out for that shiny glow, as well as pinker cheeks.

9

They Start Copying You

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If you’re having a good convo with someone, and attraction is starting to build, don’t be surprised if they start copying the way you talk with your hands, the way you’re sitting in your chair, or your energy levels.

“This is called mirroring,” Schiff says. “If someone is attracted to you and comfortable with you, they subconsciously start to adopt some of your mannerisms and behaviors. They want to feel more aligned with you, so mimicking the things you do is a way to show they are engaged in the interaction and creating a bond.”

They might also start talking like you, throwing in a few catchphrases or maybe even (unconsciously) copying your accent or the way you speak. Side note? Toombs says this concept is also why couples begin to look like each other after some time together.

10

They Can’t Stop Teasing You

Ever go on a date with someone who keeps teasing you? They poke fun at what you order, have something to say about your go-to drink, and find ways to make jokes at your expense?

While it’s definitely a go-to flirting technique for grade school kids everywhere, it’s also a way for someone to ease their nerves. “Teasing is a less scary or overt way to let the person know you are attracted to them,” McCurley says.

The trouble is, not only is it annoying, but it’s also easy to dismiss. “Not everyone picks up on it as a sign of attraction because friends tease each other, too,” McCurley says. “But if it’s someone you don't know that well, for sure they are attracted to you and want to let you know a subtle way.”

11

They Seem Unfocused

While there are lots of reasons why a person might seem unfocused on a date — they’re distracted, they’re rude, they don’t feel the connection, etc. — there’s a chance it may mean they’re super attracted, and can’t get out of their head about it.

“People act differently when they are around someone they are attracted to because they want to make the best impression,” Stone says. “Wanting to make the best impression has the person turning their focus inward toward themselves and making judgments and self-assessments about their own looks, behaviors, and statements.”

Nervousness plays a role, as well. “It is this turning one’s focus inward that can create that awkwardness people often associate with being around a person they are attracted to,” Stone adds. “People become awkward because they start to censor themselves, regret things they say, doubt their looks, and in turn fall off the natural beat of interaction.”

12

They Glance At Their Phone

Similarly, you might notice that they can’t seem to stop looking at their phone. “Checking the phone has become a way of self-comforting when under extreme anxiety, so if someone is attracted to you, but very nervous about approaching you or talking with you, they may give you the phone check sign to show they think you are hot,” Patti Wood, MA, a body language expert, tells Bustle.

This is way different, however, from someone who is looking at their phone because they aren’t interested. The key difference, Wood says, is that they’ll look at you, glance down at their phone, then look back at you in a flirty way. It mimics the old coy “look at you, look away” flirting technique of yesteryear.

13

They Draw Attention To Themselves

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Take note if you’re talking to someone and they start biting their lip, rubbing their collarbone, or puffing up their chest. When someone wants you to like them, they’ll “use physical gestures that are meant to make themselves look more attractive,” therapist Laura Richer MA, LMHCA, NCMHCE, CHT, tells Bustle. These are “sexy” areas of the body, and they subconsciously want you to look at them.

Nine times out of ten, all these quirky little signs will mean someone is, in fact, attracted to you — or at least wants to get to know you a little bit better.

Studies referenced:

Leknes, S., Wessberg, J., Ellingsen, D.-M., Chelnokova, O., Olausson, H., & Laeng, B. (2012). Oxytocin enhances pupil dilation and sensitivity to ‘hidden’ emotional expressions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(7), 741–749. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nss062

Leongómez, J. D., Binter, J., Kubicová, L., Stolařová, P., Klapilová, K., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (2014). Vocal modulation during courtship increases proceptivity even in naive listeners. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35(6), 489–496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.06.008

Rieger, G. (2012). The Eyes Have It: Sex and Sexual Orientation Differences in Pupil Dilation Patterns. PLOS One. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3411709/

Experts:

Maryann Karinch, body language expert

Tiffany Toombs, body language expert

Margaret Stone, licensed therapist and dating coach

Holly Schiff, Psy.D., clinical psychologist

Julia McCurley, professional matchmaker and relationship coach

Patti Wood, MA, body language expert

Laura Richer MA, LMHCA, NCMHCE, CHT, therapist