Reading body language is one the best way to study a person. Much of human communication is expressed through body language, flirting included. It's not enough to flirt through words, as words can seem fake or dishonest if they don't match the nonverbal message being sent.
Men as well as women utilize body-language flirting all the time, often subconsciously. Yet what good does it do for a man to flirt if the woman doesn't recognize the flirting for what it is?
Here are nine tips for decoding the sometimes confusing world of men’s body-language flirting.
1. He Attempts to be the Alpha Male
Men are raised with the belief that women are most attracted to the dominant male in a room. Biologically, this makes sense, as female animals seek out males that are likely to be good providers and pass along excellent genes.
The rules and customs of modern society, of course, generally outweigh these biological instincts.
But when it comes to flirting, we tend to revert to our more primitive instincts.
Many of a male’s attempts at body-language flirting may simply go unnoticed, or may be misinterpreted.
A woman may see a man who struts around a room or attempts to make others appear subordinate as a jerk.
He may, as a peacock does, simply be using a primitive form of body language.
Of course, whether you respond to this type of flirting is entirely up to you.
A slightly more refined version of this "alpha male" body-language flirting involves carving out personal space.
He will settle himself into a seat and spread out his personal belongings.
Keys, cigarettes, any items that he has readily available will be placed on the table.
These actions send the signal that he has carved out his territory.
2. He Catches Your Eye
When a man is ready to flirt, he will scan the room for available females.
If he catches your eye, it is a sign of interest. His gaze will pass quickly over women that he does not find attractive.
If you're interested in a man who catches your eye, let your eye contact hold for just a few seconds, then look away.
If you're not interested, hold the gaze only long enough to let him know that you saw him and then turn away.
When he sees that you maintained eye contact momentarily, he will know you are also interested in him.
At this point, he may be interested in approaching you.
If he starts in your direction, and you are interested, encourage him with a warm smile.
You do not want to appear desperate or needy, but friendly and approachable expressions are important.
Catch his eye again and then drop your gaze.
3. He Approaches You Confidently and Respectfully
If a man is truly interested in you, he will respect your personal space.
A shy or insecure guy may not approach at all, or will show hesitation and nervousness.
If a guy is a jerk, or only interested in hooking up with you momentarily, he will invade your personal territory too quickly. Feel free to give this type of guy the cold shoulder.
A guy who wants to flirt to get to know you will allow you to take the lead in the next step.
He will remain standing and introduce himself.
He may ask if he can join you, but will most likely wait for your invitation before sitting down.
4. He Demonstrates Active Listening
Once you are in a conversation with a guy, his body-language flirting will be evident by the way he responds when you speak.
He will turn his body toward you slightly.
He will make eye contact, nod and show other signs of actively listening to the things you say.
5. He Subtly Enters Your Personal Space
Most Americans follow the 3-foot rule.
We are most comfortable when others stay outside of our 3-foot personal bubble.
In a crowded room, we can tolerate others who come somewhat closer, and sitting at a bar table may bring two people quite close together.
Nonetheless, if the personal bubble shrinks, it should not disappear.
If a man enters your personal bubble in a slight and subtle way, it is a clear sign of body-language flirting.
He may shift in his seat to come closer to you, or lay a personal item such as his keys on the table close to you.
6. He Initiates Touch
Unless the guy is a creep, your first physical contact will be subtle and almost accidental.
He may brush your shoulder slightly when gesturing, bump your knee with his, or make some other contact you might barely notice consciously.
Subconsciously, however, this is a sign that the guy is interested in getting to know you better.
7. He Ignores His Cell Phone
This is a clear body-language flirting sign.
Most men, like women, are conditioned to reflexively respond to stimuli such as a cell phone.
Purposely ignoring or turning off his cell phone sends a clear signal that he finds you more interesting than whoever might be calling.
This is a big step and may not occur during an initial meeting.
If it does, it is a definite sign that you have captured his imagination.
8. He Takes Things Slowly
If a man is only looking for a hookup partner, he will rush through the stages of flirting.
His goal is to meet a like-minded woman and move on to other activities.
However, if he is sincerely interested in you, he will move slowly.
He will let you set the pace. He may throw out small clues that he is interested in progressing, but he will see if you are amenable before proceeding.
He is patient and willing to accomplish nothing more than a conversation with a fascinating woman.
Some women misread these cues and assume that if a man is not trying to grope her by the end of the evening, he is not interested.
In fact, it is often the opposite.
If his actions signal body-language flirting, and he is patient and willing to progress slowly, odds are good that he has respect for you.
9. His Goodbye is Warm and Friendly
When you part company, a man who is flirting with you will smile warmly and appreciatively.
He will likely ask for your phone number, and his eyes will show appreciation if he receives it.
He will open the opportunity for a hug by finding another excuse to subtly touch you, but he will most likely not initiate the hug.
If he does, it will be a warm, friendly hug as opposed to an attempted groping.
He will maintain eye contact while he tells you how nice it was to meet you.
Body language flirting is complex. Men and women often have very different ways of flirting through body language.
This can lead to confusion or unnecessarily hurt feelings when each assumes that the other is not interested.
Therefore, it is important to understand how men flirt.
Understanding men’s body-language flirting techniques can make you more likely to correctly interpret a man’s signals.
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