If there's one fear everyone shares, it's rejection. Everyone's been there where they can't help but obsess over a crush's body language and involuntary actions to see if they're giving off any noticeable signs of attraction. Yet, you can only keep eye contact with them while looking for dilated pupils and trying to decode flirting signs for so long.
Don't fret about your amorous pursuits - you're not the only one wondering how to tell if someone is attracted to you. Thankfully, even the most reticent person's body language and conversation choices will give them away. So, to ensure that the next time you slip into someone's DMs they won't leave you on read, arm yourself with these obvious and subtle signs of attraction. From different types of eye contact to more obvious manifestations of romantic interest, you can learn the giveaways.
What Are the Signs of Attraction to Look For?
With any potential relationship, you can be hyper-vigilant about every move your crush makes. From a lingering touch to an unexpected gift, there are a ton of ways that people show that they're interested in someone romantically. Of course, the worst part is deciphering what their go-to signs for showing attraction are before you've gotten to know them super well. Thankfully, science and human nature collide when it comes to the common signs of attraction, and these are ones you should be on the lookout for. Maybe you can sense or feel if a person likes you; but even if you don't know for sure, these common signals help reveal just how to know if someone is attracted to you.
Eye Contact as a Sign of Attraction
Long before the romantic conversation starters or intimate questions, it starts with the eyes. The "eyes are the windows to the soul" isn't just a saying; prolonged and frequent eye contact can be a major sign that someone is attracted to you. Can you identify eye contact as a sign of flirting and romantic interest? It depends. It's hard to tell when eye contact is a sign of attraction or when it's just someone being polite, but as the Scientific American attests - dilated pupils hint at a biochemical reaction happening in response to an onslaught of bubbly, endorphin-filled feelings.
The exact look on a person's face is also a good giveaway of if they're intrigued by your presence. If there's a hint of interest there, you can often see the spark of it in that initial eye contact. However, sustained eye contact with someone isn't an absolute indication that they're into you, because with timid or anxious people, eye contact can be uncomfortable. Other indicators to look out for when sussing out what someone's glances mean are:
- You can feel them looking at you even when you're pretending not to notice.
- You notice they can't take their eyes off of you.
- You catch them looking over at you and then quickly turning away.
Flirting as a Sign of Attraction
Sometimes, the best way to know if someone's interested in you is to flirt a little, send a flirting signal, and see how they respond. You can start with being a little friendlier and seeing if your crush reciprocates your energy. Because so many people flirt unconsciously, tossing out a flirtatious compliment or retort can really help you gauge how they feel about you on a subliminal level. But it's all too easy to project your own feelings onto their responses, so you should make sure that you're clearly dropping the line and stepping back enough to measure the degree that your shot has been reciprocated.
Open Body Language Can Indicate Romantic Interest
On top of making a lot of eye contact, leaning in or turning their body towards you might be a signal for attraction, according to Psychology Today. For instance, the University of Kansas explains some of these reactions in a study from The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, such as how some female flirters will show their wrists and hands to people they're interested in, or they might giggle a lot at them.
But not all involuntary body language can indicate positive feelings; someone might also show nervousness by excessively fidgeting or turning away from you. But, by the time we become adults, we've got a great social barometer, and you can usually get an idea of how someone feels about you based on body language alone without analyzing it too closely. If you need a refresher on positive body language to know whether someone might or might not be interested, some of the first clues to look for include:
- Someone finding an excuse to touch you just for a second.
- Someone turning to face you and not the space around them. They will constantly be turned to face you.
- Someone keeping their body language open (spread legs, loose arms, etc.).
- Someone looking at you when talking to someone else.
Mirroring Your Crush Can Be a Sign They Like You
Another unconscious behavior people do when they're attracted to one another is mirroring each other's movements. This is a lot less obvious than say, a flirty pick up line, so you'll need to pay attention. For example, you may notice that when some couples walk down the street, each person's pace matches the others exactly, down to when both of them swing their arms in tandem. Couples may also cross their legs, put down their glasses, and pick up eating utensils at the exact same time.
Amazingly, mirroring is actually based on psychological and biological phenomena that have developed over thousands of years. In nature, it's important for animals to perform in their social groups early to survive, and they learn to do so by mimicking how the people around them act.
It's called limbic synchrony and humans do it, too! These mirror neurons in the brain make you mimic the people you consider (or want to be) a part of your family, so-to-speak. So, seeing that you and your coffee shop date continue to reach for drinks at the same time might be the push you need to ask them on that second date. Then you can keep learning how compatible the two of you might be.
Proximity as a Sign of Attraction
If you've ever caught yourself leaning into your best friends, family members, or lovers in a crowded restaurant or on a busy sidewalk, then you've been an unconscious victim of the proximity effect. The proximity effect describes the reason that the more time you spend around someone, the more you enjoy their personality and company. You see, life partner bonds aren't built on experience alone - there's real science behind it! So, if you find that your crush constantly leans into your space, especially if you're in public or around a lot of other people, that's some strong scientific evidence that they're probably feeling pretty interested in you.
Compatibility Can Be Based on the Stars
There's nothing like the 2020s to let the stars guide you when it comes to your romantic life. Astrology is more popular than ever, and some people define their relationships by their astrological compatibility out of the gate. One way someone might instantly show they're interested in you is by having a positive reaction to your astrological sign. They might be looking for a specific type of person to add joy, levity, or money management to their life and your birth chart might just seal the deal for them. Just like other signs, astrology can be a starting point of attraction, but as you ask questions to get to know a person, you may continue to discover deeper connections.
Look for Positive Reactions to Being Asked for a Favor
One of the best ways to gauge how interested someone is in you is by asking them to perform a simple task for you and seeing what their reaction is. If you receive positive affirmation for being asked to reschedule plans or asking them to go out of the way to run an errand for you, then they're showing you they're happy to take on tasks that can lighten your own daily load. This kind of interest is more subtle than other types of attraction (such as overloading people with compliments), so you should listen carefully to how they react to make sure you don't miss the hints they're offering up.
Know the Signs of Attraction, But Don't Overthink It
Unfortunately, it's impossible to know with 100% certainty whether someone is attracted to you without asking them outright. Humans are super complex and fickle; keep in mind that someone might also feel attracted to you, but choose not to act on it. The best thing to do when you're sussing out the social scene for potential partners is to enjoy yourself and trust that you'll pick up on the signs that a person's giving off. With a little awareness, you can feel confident approaching the right person and asking them out. Occasionally, you might read the signs of attraction wrong, but what's life without a little risk? From recognizing that subtle eye contact as a flirting signal to the more obvious ways of how to tell if someone is attracted to you, understanding different gestures and behaviors can be key to solving the attraction puzzle.