When you feel attracted to someone, it’s only natural to wonder if they feel the same way, too. After all, making a move would be a lot less scary if you knew for sure that they were into you. While you may never truly know how someone feels unless they say it, experts say there are several
signs of a mutual attraction that you can look out for.
A 2018 study published in the journal
Psychological Bulletin found that people behave in specific ways when they're attracted to someone and/or interested in making a connection. The top signs of unspoken mutual attraction? Mimicking or mirroring the other person's behavior, initiating conversation, and wanting to be in close physical proximity. These were followed by more nonverbal cues such as making eye contact as as much as possible, nodding while the other person is talking, smiling, and laughing.
According to researchers, these behaviors not only indicate romantic interest, but they're also related to trust. For instance, if someone's initiating conversation with you or wanting to be physically close, they're also saying they trust you and are interested in making a connection.
There are many different things that can clue you in to how someone thinks or feels about you. Here are some signs of a mutual attraction, according to experts.
1 There's Reciprocity
Michelle Henderson, licensed mental health counselor who specializes in relationship issues, reciprocity in interactions is one of the biggest signs of mutual attraction. For instance, this might mean you’re both contributing equally to conversations — aka you're not the only one asking questions like an interview.
You'll know what their vibe is just by how you feel. "If you feel like you're receiving as much as you're giving when you're flirting with someone or trying to plan a date, then they likely are into you, too," Henderson says.
2 There's A Special Look In Their Eyes When You Make Eye Contact
Julie Krafchick, dating expert and co-host of the Dateable podcast, tells Bustle, "You can generally tell there's attraction when two people have that 'look in their eyes' when they talk to one another." It's that look that says they're only interested in what's in front of them in that moment.
If someone's attracted to you, they’ll keep their eyes on you whether they're aware of it or not. If they're making eye contact with you, that's even better. "People who are attracted to each other tend to look at each other, look away, and look back at each other into each other’s eyes,"
Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist, owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle. "The eye contact gets more sustained as the interaction goes on, not less." If they're also smiling, that's a good sign. 3 You Like Their Smell & They Like Yours
Some people aren't as quick to compliment others on the way they smell. But if someone you're into tells you that you smell nice, there's a good chance of mutual attraction. "We all release pheromones and they play a bigger role in attraction than we think,” Henderson says.
4 Your Hips Face Each Other When You Talk
When it comes to knowing if there’s unspoken mutual attraction, pay attention to is the direction their hips are facing. According to
Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and dating expert, if both of you are standing with your hips facing each other, this is a strong sign that you have each other's undivided attention. 5 They're Curious About You & Remember Random Details About Your Life
If someone likes you, they'll be curious about you. They'll want to talk to you and ask you questions in order to get to know you better. "Maybe they recall that you had a big meeting you were stressing about at work or that you hate olives," Krafchick says. "If they make an effort to bring up a minor detail or interaction you mentioned, it means they were paying attention and subconsciously investing in a future with you."
6 There's Color In Their Cheeks When You're Around
When you're looking for clues that someone's into you, pay attention to small changes in their movements or behavior, like if they fix their posture when you come around. Another sign of unspoken mutual attraction is physical clues that they have no control over — like blushing. "People often blush when they're attracted to someone," Scott-Hudson says. "If the person you like has a lot of color in their cheeks, it's a good indicator that they're feeling something when they're near you."
7 They Find Small Ways To Make Physical Contact
Jeannie Assimos, chief of advice for eharmony, a major sign of mutual attraction is physical touch. "When they say actions are louder than words, this is definitely true when it comes to attraction," Assimos tells Bustle. If you have no problem grabbing their hand, or if they like touching your shoulder, you're showing unspoken mutual attraction.
"If you're newly dating someone, and you both are expressing attraction (whether it’s a casual touch, or even just sitting together closely), the best thing to do is to let things flow organically," Assimos says.
8 They Go Out Of Their Way To Do Something For You
Another telltale sign of an unspoken mutual attraction is when someone goes out of their way to do nice things for you,
Jenny Muscolo, relationship coach and co-founder of Connection Copilot, tells Bustle. It can be as simple as getting you an iced coffee when they notice you’re in need of an afternoon pick-me-up. It can even be as big as getting you a thoughtful and unique birthday gift that shows they remembered an obscure fact about you.
“Not only does this point to a mutual attraction, but the fact that it took effort to locate such as item makes the attraction even more obvious,” Muscolo says. If you notice that they don’t really make the effort anyone else, there’s a really good chance they’re into you.
9 They Linger During Brief Conversations
When you like someone, you’ll try to do what you can to be around them for as long as possible. It’s why lingering during or after brief conversations or interactions is often a sign of mutual attraction. “For example, if you and a co-worker are mutually attracted, you may both unconsciously linger a bit longer at each other’s desks, during breaks, or when accidentally intersecting in the hallway,”
Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of upcoming book, Date Smart, tells Bustle. Being around each other feels good, so it’s a way of hanging on to that feeling for as long as possible. 10 They Seem Anxious Around You
Some people have a hard time maintaining their cool when they’re around their crush. According to Manly, “A heightened sense of awareness of the other person’s presence, coupled with the often-unconscious desire to make a good impression or ‘get it right,’ can lead to what feels like a middle-school level of nervousness.” If the person you’re attracted to is acting unusually fidgety or nervously laughs off their awkwardness, they may like you back.
11 You Lean Towards Each Other When You Talk martin-dm/E+/Getty Images
If you're talking and you notice that your crush has somehow gotten much closer to you, this is a very positive sign of mutual attraction. “When we lean our upper bodies forward during a conversation, we are — often unconsciously — signaling heightened interest and attraction,” Manly says. This shows that they’re highly engaged and don’t want to miss a word of what you’re saying. It’s even better if they try to keep the conversation going.
12 They Immediately Perk Up Whenever You’re Around
When it comes to expressing attraction, some people are more transparent about how they feel. According to
Michelle Davies, professional life and relationship coach, some people can’t help how they react when they see someone they’re attracted to. For instance, smiling is one of the best indicators of attraction. “Unconsciously, we can’t help but smile when we’re close to someone we like,” Davies says. “A person may not be able to give direct smiles if they’re shy. Still, a person who’s attracted to you will feel a flood of giddiness and excitement.” What To Do If You Feel Like The Attraction Is Mutual
If you’re shy about making the first move but feel like the attraction is mutual, Manly suggests coming clean by being direct about your nervousness. For example, you can say something like, “I’m a little nervous about this, but I’ve been wondering if you’d like to have coffee with me?” According to Manly, a great deal of internal pressure can be released if you state your fear or concern. The person you’re interested in may be just as nervous as you are, and can relate to this.
If a fear of rejection is holding you back, Manly suggests approaching them in a less direct way. For example, “Would you like to go on a walk or have coffee together as friends?” By reaching out with a more friendship-oriented tone, the possibility of being flat out rejected may feel less worrisome for you. “Starting a new romantic relationship built on a friendship is always a plus,” she says. “There’s no downside to going this route if it feels appropriate.”
Studies referenced: Montoya, R. M., Kershaw, C., & Prosser, J. L. (2018). A meta-analytic investigation of the relation between interpersonal attraction and enacted behavior. Psychological Bulletin , https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29733622 Sources Michelle Henderson, licensed mental health counselor, owner of Next Chapter Counseling Julie Krafchick, dating expert and co-host of the Dateable podcast Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist, owner of Create Your Life Studio Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking Jeannie Assimos, dating expert and chief of advice for eharmony Jenny Muscolo, relationship coach and co-founder of Connection Copilot Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist, speaker, and author of upcoming book, Date Smart Michelle Davies, relationship coach and co-founder of The Best Ever Guide to Life
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 11, 2019