He never says it aloud, but his body language screams it: he likes you. It’s no secret that guys can have a difficult time expressing their feelings to their special someone, but oftentimes their nonverbal communication reveals their affection more so than words ever could. You notice when a handsome fellow holds eye contact too long, leans closer into you and wakes those butterflies in your stomach. Did he say anything? Nope. He didn’t have to. According to Psychology Today, 55 percent of communication is body language and 38 percent is tone of voice. That makes the importance of what was actually said only seven percent!
But how can you be sure? Her Campus compiled the most common clues that he’s falling for you, so you can see how your potential crush measures up:
“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” – Saint Jerome
You’ve all heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Whether he holds his gaze too long, maintains perfect eye contact or constantly glances at you among a group of your mutual friends, his eyes are often the first clue that he’s crushing on you. Research from University of Chicago’s Eckhard Hess found that men’s pupils dilated when they find a person attractive (often referred to as the “bedroom eyes”). Likewise, men are more attracted to women with larger pupils. A quick eyebrow raise is another ancient signal of interest— it’s an unconscious, long-distance “hello” to acknowledge a person, according to Psychologia. Besides the size of his pupil, research proves that an eyelash flutter is also a sign that he’s interested.
“Eye batting is not just a female cue,” David Givens wrote in his book, Love Signals: A Practice Field Guide to the Body Language of Courtship. “Studies show that both sexes blink faster with partners they like.”
Also, if he gives you that cinema-famous look (which you will likely never see yourself, but your friend might), you know he’s falling hard for you.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” – Charles Caleb Colton
Isopraxism, a term coined by neuroanatomist Paul MacLean, is the mimicking of posture, facial expression or same behavior of those we find attractive. Does he cross his legs after you’ve crossed yours? Does he run his fingers through his hair after you’ve readjusted your ponytail? This chameleon effect reveals when two people like each other, but this isn’t just a human trait— animals of all species do this too.
“Acting alike is psychologically reassuring to the animal mind,” Givens wrote. He also compares this trait to unacquainted couples, as copying another person’s gestures makes a person seem more “likeable.”
“Our nonverbal behavior (including posture) gives away our inner personality and reflects our inner attitude.” – Cindy Ann Peterson, My Style, My Way: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours Today
His body position can tell you just how focused he is on you. In a group of friends or acquaintances, does his feet face toward you? When you’re talking, does he lean toward you? Leaning in not only shows that he’s engaged, but also pulls you toward him without you realizing you’re leaning in too.
Body language expert Patti Wood, author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language, told Cosmopolitan that angling his pelvis toward you is another sign that he’s interested— very interested. Also, he may stand with his hands on his hips or sit with his legs spread apart, both male power signals that allow him to take up more space and more attention, especially if he’s angled toward you.
“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” – Maya Angelou
Just as every snowflake is unique, all smiles are not all equal. Although women tend to smile often to indicate they like someone, men tend not to smile as often.. A man’s smile can have an entirely different meaning. While a small smile could read, “I’m interested in you, but I’m shy,” it could also mean, “I’m forcing this smile right now.”
“Look for teeth,” Cosmopolitan wrote, in its article on men’s body language, featuring Wood. “If his smile involves his whole face, it means you’re genuinely affecting him in a good way.”
“That’s what it feels like when you touch me. Like millions of tiny universes being born and then dying in the space between your finger and my skin. Sometimes I forget.” – Iain Thomas, I Wrote This For You
Beyond body language, if a guy really likes you, he will initiate physical contact. Without that special touch, your “flirtationship” will never blossom to anything more than that.
He will often find an excuse to break the touch barrier to see how you respond, Wood told Cosmopolitan. If he grazes your arm while he’s talking to you, Wood said, he’s sending a clear sign that he wants your attention.
Oftentimes women are the ones to break the touch barrier since men can feel unsure about how their physical contact might come across, according to Art of Charm. But once that door is opened, a wide range of benefits could stem from a simple touch: a deeper emotional connection, more trust and confidence in each other and an invitation to the other person to reciprocate.
Despite all the nonverbal cues he might display, it’s important not to read too much into his behaviors. No single behavior confirms he’s attracted to you— we are all complex creatures, eHarmony reminds its daters. Stress, feeling sick or simply having a bad day plays a huge role in body language, so putting everything into context will give you more insight into how he’s feeling and how he feels about you.