Looking for a sign that proves your crush likes you back? How about a physical one? Sometimes, a simple smile or a laugh from your date could mean they totally dig you. Nevertheless, there’s also those nights out that seem like they’re going really well, only to end in being ghosted. Ugh. If you find that your love language is lacking, it might be helpful to take a deeper look into body language. Actions speak louder than words, after all.
While smiling may seem like an obvious sign of attraction, sometimes it’s meant to be more friendly than flirty. "The reason we’re bad at seeing when they are interested is people show it in a variety of ways," communication studies associate professor from the University of Kansas, Jeffrey Hall, explained in his study on flirting styles. Yes, it turns out that it can actually be quite a science.
If they’re gazing into your eyes, it can look like they’re in love with you, but love can also be shown in other weird ways, such as rapidly frequently and pointing your toes in the direction of your date. Want to know for sure? Here are some easily dismissed signs that might mean someone’s into you.
Dilated pupils are a physical sign that someone’s into you
Eye contact is obviously important when it comes to clear communication, but just because your date’s eyes are locked into yours doesn’t necessarily mean they’re interested. Instead, check out those pupils and determine if they’re dilated.
When we see something intriguing, our sympathetic nervous systems flood our bodies with various hormones, like oxytocin and dopamine. Known as the "love hormones," these chemicals play a key role in determining the size of our pupils, according to Healthline. Being wide-eyed helps us be able to evaluate all the interesting details in front of us — like our attractive date — so it could be a sure sign that someone’s into you.
Interestingly enough, an older study published in Scientific American even found that bigger pupils are actually seen as more attractive (via Healthline). Basically, your date’s eyes can show that he’s into you, and may even feel similarly after seeing his eyes. What an easy way to fall in love!
If someone matches your breathing, they just might be into you
It’s a pretty romantic notion to think that you and your partner’s hearts beat together, but it turns out that may just be true. Someone’s heartbeat and breathing pattern could sync up with yours if they’re into you.
Researchers from the University of California Davis found that couples began breathing in and out at the same intervals simply by being in the same room. They didn’t even have to touch or say anything to experience this effect. Their partner’s pure presence alone made it happen, which is pretty adorable. "Additionally, both partners showed similar patterns of heart rate and respiration, but women tended to adjust theirs to their partners more," the university revealed.
You may be wondering how this happens. Unfortunately, science still can’t exactly explain this phenomenon. However, this strange occurrence seems to serve a purpose. When someone is in sync with you, it instinctively makes it much easier to trust them, Emily Butler, director of the Health and Interpersonal Systems research group at the University of Arizona, told The Cut. Maybe we could say that it’s just meant to be. How romantic.
Sweating can be a physical sign that someone’s into you
A sweaty date may be a total turn off, but this may actually be a sign that they’re into you. When you’re falling for someone, your brain releases all kinds of chemicals. These hormones are what help to get us excited and feel happy, The Naked Scientist explained. Since our bodies are surging with many hormones, we tend to get, well, a bit sweaty. Norepinephrine is the chemical to blame, which causes us to drip sweat and have a dry mouth when we’re interested in somebody (via eHarmony).
Unfortunately for dudes, they just may find themselves sweatier than ladies when in love. According to a study by Rutgers University, men’s brains make more norepinephrine, which is also responsible for keeping their hearts pounding (via North by Northwestern). When your heart is working hard, it only makes sense that you’d break a sweat.
So the next time your date’s pits start to perspire, take it as a compliment. They’re probably just crushing hard on you.
Open posture is a physical sign that someone’s into you
Depending on how your date is sitting, you may easily be able to tell if they’re totally into you. When someone is open to a relationship, they’ll likely keep their posture open too. "Crossed arms often indicate that someone is closed off to feeling loved or giving love," clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly explained to Well+Good. "When someone is ready to love and be loved, they’ll be open in their heart space rather than close off."
Multiple studies have proven this to be true too. By opening up your arms and stretching out your body, you look more comfortable and relaxed. That’s a surefire way to make your date feel more comfortable too. In fact, one specific study performed by Princeton University in 2016 even found that an open posture makes you more attractive to other people. After all, nobody looks more disinterested in a conversation than someone with crossed arms. If you’re open to love, open up your posture.
Raised eyebrows are often a physical sign that someone’s into you
When your date is raising their eyebrows at you, you may wonder if they’re skeptical, but it could actually be just another sign that they’re into you. Raising your eyebrows is a common communicative gesture that shows interest and, maybe more importantly, opens up your eyes. Not only are you able to physically take in more information this way, but dating therapist Kimberly Seltzer explained to Elite Singles that the appearance of your eyes immediately becomes more inviting when you open them up.
Though this is an easily recognizable sign of attraction, you may have to be quick in order to notice it. An "eyebrow flash" happens fast, but it could be a clear indication that someone is into you. Most of the time, it only takes one fifth of a single second to show this sign (via Reader’s Digest). So if you see your date’s eyebrows go up in interest, you could score yourself a second date.
Pay attention to this physical sign showing that someone’s into you
Eye contact is probably the most basic way to broadcast your interest in what someone has to say. However, there’s a specific place someone will be gazing if they think you’re pretty great — and it’s not just deeply into your eyes.
A study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2017 found that a sure sign of interest in someone is looking at their chest. If you’re a woman, this may sound creepy, but it’s not quite what you’re thinking; women look at men’s chests when interested as well. In fact, the women in the study who made more eye contact strictly with someone’s head were less interested in pursuing a relationship with them.
Still, looking into each other’s eyes is a good sign too. An older study published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that the longer the mutual gaze, the more connected the couple can even become. So the next time you can’t figure out if your date is interested, just watch where their gaze goes and for how long they hold that gaze. And we can probably all agree that if they’re looking at your feet, they most likely just want to be your friend.
Blinking rapidly is a physical sign that someone’s into you
Blink and you’ll miss this next sign of attraction. That’s right. We’re talking about blinking — specifically rapidly blinking.
A study published in 2018 discovered that longer blinks seem to indicate less interest in the conversation. Interestingly enough, none of the study’s participants even noticed the length of someone blinking at them. It was simply something that all participants subconsciously responded to in all the same ways.
Blinking rapidly may seem like a strange sign of attraction, but there is some science behind it. "When you feel stress and like you have to protect yourself, your eyes stay open longer to keep you safe from any danger that may be lurking," licensed marriage and family therapist Katie Zisk explained to Elite Daily. When you’re relaxed, you can give yourself a break and blink a little extra. Next time you’re on a date and are hoping for a second one, pay attention to how often you open and close your eyes. You may just be blinking more than usual.
Does your crush lean into you? Chances are they’re into you
If someone is standing back and seems to be giving you space, it could be out of respect, sure, but it could also mean they’re not all that into you. A true potential lover is most likely going to lean in.
Proxemics, also known as the study of personal space, explains how people have various categories of distances they like to keep from others. They range from four to 10 feet in social settings to closer proximities in personal and intimate environments.
Almost every American prefers to have around 18 inches of personal space when having a casual conversation, but if you’re trying to show you’re interested, this length begins to lessen (via Psychology Today). If you think someone might be into you, see how close to you the person stands. Just maybe don’t take out a tape measure — that could get weird.
The feet hold a clue that someone’s into you
If you’re in love, you’ll feel it flowing through your entire body. Because of this, it only makes sense that your toes can show if you really like someone.
The next time you’re standing around talking to a potential suitor, look down — to the floor, that is. "[If] their feet are pointed toward the door or nearest exit, it’s an indication that they want to get out of the conversation and leave," body language expert Lisa Mitchell explained to Elite Daily. If their toes happen to be pointed toward you instead, it can mean they’re interested.
However, maybe their toes aren’t exactly pointed toward you or away from you. What if both of their feet are pointed in toward each other? This position, called "pigeon toes," may look timid, but it turns out it might mean something more. "It’s a subconscious attempt to shrink in size and appear harmless, approachable," Judy Dutton, author of How We Do It: How the Science of Sex Can Make You a Better Lover, told Marie Claire, "which may very well mean someone likes you, a lot."
Voice changes are a physical sign that someone’s into you
Admit it: You’ve gotten tripped up on your words when chatting with a crush. We’ve all been there. In addition to stumbling your words, did you know that your voice can actually change completely when you’re around a special someone?
One 2018 study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B found this to be true. Men tend to lower their voice — perhaps to appear more masculine — while women speak in a higher tone toward someone they’re interested in.
While the conversation carries on, another sign to look for is similarities in the other person’s speech. A lot of times, they’re subconsciously changing the speed at which they speak to match their potential suitor’s. "If they are attracted to each other or if they experience positive emotions towards each other, [their voices] start becoming more similar," speech and language researcher Dr. Marina Kalashnikova explained to ABC Radio Melbourne. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "sweet talk."
Mirrored behavior is a physical sign that someone’s into you
You know what they say: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And it even happens to be true when it comes to determining if someone is into you. As human beings, we long to belong. As such, we are most drawn to people who are similar to us. Because of this, it’s an age-old trick to act similar to someone you’re attracted to.
"You might observe how a person is standing and moving, then implement the same movements and posture to signal that the two of you are similar, which implies that you belong together," body language expert Tonya Reiman explained to Brides. While this may seem a bit over the top, being a copycat doesn’t just stop at the initial attraction. The deeper you get into your relationship, the more likely you are to mirror each other’s actions — without even noticing it.
Walking beside you can be a physical sign that someone’s into you
If you’re looking for a partner to walk beside you in life, it may be as simple as seeing if your date is literally lagging behind you while you’re walking. According to science, everyone has their own everyday walking pace; the speed of your stride has a lot to do with your height.
One 2013 study published in PLOS One found that men will slow down to match the walking pace of a woman they’re in a relationship with. It doesn’t even matter if they’re much taller than their love interest. On the other hand, if a man thinks of that woman as just a friend, he’s more likely to keep his usual speed. If your crush is lingering a few steps behind or keeping a brisk pace ahead of you, it could be a bad sign.
Loss of appetite can be a physical sign that someone’s into you
Many of us dream of a certain kind of love — that "can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of stuff," as the Olsen twins so eloquently describe in the movie It Takes Two. While it may seem like this type of romance is purely a Hollywood fantasy, it turns out that you actually are more likely to lose your appetite when you’re into someone.
The chemical serotonin is responsible for helping with "sleeping, eating, and digesting," according to Healthline. Our bodies produce a ton of this serotonin when we’re in love, Everyday Health explained. As such, you may "feel little need for food or other basic necessities while floating through each day on a cloud of hope," the publication revealed.
In fact, when we end up in healthy relationships, our bodies produce excess adrenaline which can even keep extra weight off our bodies (via Self). This phenomenon helps explain why brides and grooms have trouble eating on their wedding day.
Blushing is a common physical sign that someone’s into you
We blush when we’re embarrassed, sure, but there are other reasons for ruddy cheeks. When you see someone’s face turning red, it could mean they’re into you.
When we are initially attracted to someone, it gets our adrenaline pumping. This has a major effect on the capillaries that carry blood throughout our bodies. These tiny vessels begin to expand in the presence of our crush, bringing the blood closer to our skin and, in turn, making us blush.
Blushing is something we aren’t able to control, so it can be an involuntary sign that someone likes you (via The Atlantic). You may be embarrassed that your face can show how you’re feeling so easily, but don’t worry. Blushing has long been seen as a sign of attractiveness. It explains why some put on blush before heading out on a date — that and a favorite smudge-proof lipstick. You know, just in case the date goes well and it ends with a kiss.