Be the most memorable person
in the room.

I'll show you how.

I'm Ready

Get FREE tools to increase your social influence

Body Language of Attraction


body language of attraction

Body Language of Attraction Video Course…Coming Soon!

Body language is an essential ingredient of attraction. When we talk about love, dating and romance, body language plays a big role.

So many people wonder:

“What happened in this relationship?”

“Do they like me?”

“Why didn’t they call?”

Body language will give you the tools to know where you stand.

The question is how do we use body language to be attractive and how does body language play a role in attraction? I’m currently writing a course about Body Language and Love and thought it would be fun to do a post on body language and attraction as I do my research.

The Basics of the Body Language of Attraction:

To understand modern day nonverbal signals of attraction it is helpful to look at the history of where our body language comes from. Our caveman ancestors used the same body language we use today. Here are the messages we are trying to send with our body language to potential mates, and what is seen as attractive:

  • I’m open
  • I’m harmless
  • I’m interested
  • I’m approachable
  • I’m fertile

How Does Attraction Happen?

Step One: First Impressions

Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, says that the human body knows within one second whether someone’s physically attractive or not. Here are the body language cues that humans find most attractive:

  • Availability: Both males and females find people with available body language the most attractive. Available body language is smiling, uncrossed arms, uncrossed legs and upward gazing (not looking down at shoes or phones).
  • Fertility: From an evolutionary perspective, humans are tuned into body language cues that signal fertility and youth. Luckily, these can be emphasized with body language. For men, standing up straight, squaring the shoulders, planting feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and displaying hands are all signs of fertility. For a woman, keeping your hair down, tilting your head to expose pheromones and keeping hands and wrists visible to display the soft skin of the wrists are highly attractive for men.

Step Two: Attract Them While You Can

Once our mind decides we like someone as a potential mate our body automatically begins to change physically to attract the person. Our cheeks flush to make us look like we are aroused, our lips swell to look more fertile and even our pheromones pump to attract the other person. There are a few things we can do to attract a mate from a body language perspective.

  • Lean In: Leaning towards someone is a nonverbal way of telling them you are engaged. This works especially well if you are in a group of people and you are interested in one person in the group. A way to show them you are interested is by leaning towards them. This subconsciously will pull them in your direction.
  • Head Tilting: Head tilting shows interest and engagement. If you are speaking with someone, let them know you are present and interested by tilting your head and gazing at them. Be sure to not look over their head or around the room, this shows lack of interest and sensitivity.

Step Three: Find the Signs

So, what are the actual signs of attraction? How do they come out in the body? Here are some body language cues for attraction:

1. Flushed and Blushed

When we are attracted to someone, blood will flow to our face, causing our cheeks to get red. This happens to mimic the orgasm effect where we get flushed. It is an evolutionary way the body tries to attract the opposite sex. This is why women wear blush. This also happens with lips and eyes. The redder the lips and the whiter the eyes the more fertile and attractive someone is.

2. The Power of the Purse

Purse behavior is a form of nonverbal communication. It is how someone interacts with their environment based on their emotions. The purse is an interesting indicator of nonverbal behavior. For example, if a woman is feeling uncomfortable or not attracted to someone she will either clutch her bag tightly or place it in front of or covering her body. When a woman is attracted to a man she literally and figuratively wants nothing to stand in the way between her and her man. If she is loosely holding her purse and it is not blocking her front this shows she is at ease and feels more attraction. Better yet, if she puts it on the floor, a nearby table or on the back of the chair she wants it out of the way for her interactions with you. [Please note context here, if you are in a very public or potentially dangerous location she could be gripping her purse for safety concerns, but in a casual place or on a date this can be a good indicator].

I was actually at a singles event the other night and watched a man and woman talking. The woman had her purse partially blocking her body and was tightly gripping the handle under her arm. Then the man told her he was a doctor and the woman literally swung her purse up and over her shoulder out of the way. It was amazing.

3. Their Heart Races

“He makes my heart race” is no cliche. Studies have found that when someone is near an attractive person their heart rate increases. AND this works both ways. Researchers tried increasing someone’s heart rate and then put him or her near a stranger. This then artificially made the person seem even more attractive. People seem more attractive when our heart is racing. I wouldn’t recommend taking someone’s pulse on a date or in a bar, but you can see someone’s breathing rate increase and you can feel the heat of their palm if you are holding their hand and want to go in for a kiss.

4. Their Feet Like You

The feet serve as a direct reflection of a person’s attitude. The key is to recognize where a person’s feet are pointed. When the feet are pointed directly toward another person, this is a sign of attraction, or at the very least, genuine interest. If, on the other hand, the feet are pointed away or towards the exit, this means that signs of attraction are probably not present.

We have more posts on Body Language and Attraction coming your way. Here is what we are working on for you:

  • Body Language for Couples
  • Body Language of Love
  • Body Language of Flirting
  • Body Language for Dating
  • The Biggest Body Language Dating MISTAKES 

 Like this post? Want to dig a little bit deeper into body language? Check out our Body Language of Love and Dating Course:

Find relationship success with the nonverbal science of seduction. Learn the subtle romantic signs to decode your date.

  • The Science of Attraction
  • The Nonverbal Science of Flirting
  • Use Body Language to Build a Connection

Check out the free preview of this course here.

Citations:

Pease, Allan, and Barbara Pease. The Body Language of Love. [Buderim, Qld.]: Pease International, 2012.

Burgoon, Judee K., Laura K. Guerrero, and Kory Floyd. Nonverbal Communication. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010.

http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Love-at-First-Sight-Helen-Fisher-Love-Column

http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1997-38342-007

Pease, Allan, and Barbara Pease. The Definitive Book of Body Language. New York: Bantam, 2006.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator. She is a Huffington Post columnist and her courses and research has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. As a published Penguin author, Vanessa regularly speaks and appears in the media to talk about her research. She is a sought after consultant and speaker.


  • http://Karenfriedmanstudios.com Karen Friedman

    I think knowing these cues can only give confidence to proceed forward, with less self consciousness, while engaging with someone you find attractive. To know in a few moments that someone is interested would take a great chunk out of the awkwardness I feel when I like someone! The beginning is always the hardest part for me. I think it would free me up to just be myself! Thank you Vanessa!!

    • Vanessa Van Edwards

      The beginning is the hardest part for EVERYONE! You are not alone in that at all. Body language can take that edge off…it has for me just giving me something else to focus on other than nerves. Cheers!

  • Stephanie

    Love this article! I hadn’t heard many of the tips before. Thanks!

  • Joshua F

    Dating is so hard and reading the attraction signals are the worst. This makes it a bit easier.

  • Maggie

    I have a lot of practice to do. I had no idea I was sending off all of the wrong signals. YIKES!

  • Danielle McRae

    This is so interesting! I’m not in the dating scene anymore (since I’m engaged), but I’m definitely going to use these tips to watch how dates are going and observe people!

  • Cait

    Love this Vanessa! So fun to have the upper hand and know why we do the things we do!

  • Pingback: 10 Ways Science Can Make You a Better Flirt | The Date Report

  • mustafa

    Nice I like it
    Ty Vanessa

  • Emma Weise

    Classic! Definitely not in the dating space… but will keep an eye out for this in the business realm! Haha

  • Ray

    unintentionally i was giving right cues. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Sabra Ann Huber

    Outstanding

  • Dave

    I’ve always thought how we think is the way act and vice versa. This is awesome info. Knowing this surf is almost like watching a movie with the sound off but you can tell what’s going on

    • Danielle McRae

      Hi Dave, exactly right! We like to say it’s like seeing the world in High Definition now. :) -Danielle and the Science of People Team

  • http://www.alanchavez.com/ Alan Chavez

    Interesting fact about the heart rate, it makes me wonder if a person is more likely to get attention from another person who just stopped exercising.

    For example if this happens at the gym a guy shows that is healthy (or at least trying to be), and strong, and probably fertile and a girl will be with a high heart rate, flushed, healthy, fertile, etc…

    • Danielle McRae

      Hi Alan, great observation. Many people do tend to hit on others/get hit on while at the gym or working out, so the connection definitely makes sense. Thanks for the comment! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

    • Danielle McRae

      Hi Alan, great observation. Many people do tend to hit on others/get hit on while at the gym or working out, so the connection definitely makes sense. Thanks for the comment! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

  • Alexander Peraza

    I’ve been trained by master pick up artists to point my feet away from women to create attraction as it reveals that I have options with other women.

    It may convey interest to point towards her, but if you want her to become interested you must show disinterest in the first interaction. Most men are interested in a beautiful women immediately, so being disinterested will make you more interesting and attractive.

    • Danielle McRae

      Hi Alexander, interesting perspective. I know, as a woman, that a man purposely acting disinterested in me would not be attractive in the slightest. If anything, the type of woman you are attracting most likely has incredibly low self-esteem if she’s interested in this disrespectful tactic. -Danielle and the Science of People Team

      • Alexander Peraza

        Ok, hey awesome reply. I think the pointing away is meant to be a replacement for the needy body language most men do by leaning in close, giving her their full positive body language while she tries to keep a reasonable distance and is inevitably turned off.

        A technique to avoid this creepy, needy feeling is by standing side by side the to person you’re talking to. You can get really close without making them feel uncomfortable. Cheers!

        • Danielle McRae

          I definitely see where you’re coming from. In no way are we condoning being creepy or needy. Creepy is very bad, hah. Standing side-by-side is an alternative if you’re worried about giving off the wrong signals. Look for other signs too: open torso or arms crossed, purse out of the way or clutched in front of her. Thanks for the insight! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

  • G Hollingsworth

    Great advice. However, men should never lean in when attempting to attract a female unless she’s speaking and it’s hard to hear her. When he’s speaking to her he should always lean back or sit up straight and speak louder if she can’t hear him. As for women.. leaning in is good. ;) Thanks.

    • Danielle McRae

      Hi, G. Leaning is not gender-specific. While it may be more common for females to “lean in”, it is perfectly acceptable for males to lean in to show interest during a conversation. The head-tilt is also a great nonverbal technique to show interest for both males and females. Thanks for your comment! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

As Seen On:

Free Tips:

Got Twitter?

Story of my life. RT @vvanedwards: Sometimes I worry that I worry too much. And that worries me.
Get FREE Tips: