Communication is a necessary – and vital – part of any relationship, but all too often we think that communication just means words, and perhaps our tone of voice. Body language is actually equally as important as verbal communication, and something we should definitely pay attention to, especially in the early stages of a relationship. After all, a man can lie to us with what he says, but an increased heart rate, dry mouth, and darting eyes might give away the truth.
Getting to know how a guy feels about us can be difficult, since we can’t exactly just come out and ask him (at least, not without risking self-consciousness). Noticing the cues his body is giving us can help guide us to his real feelings – namely, if he’s interested in us!
On the flip side, it’s always worth knowing when we’ve lost someone’s interest and when it’s not worth our time or effort to continue trying. Politeness and social decency might prevent him from saying what’s really on his mind, which is why the signals his body sends are important to pay attention to. We’ve compiled 20 signs that do both – 10 to let us know when he’s really feeling us, and 10 that tell us when he’s already checked out.
20 INTO IT: He’s Open
A guy who is into us will be open with his body language, to show that he has nothing to hide while also expressing vulnerability. For example, he’ll sit with his legs spread wide (or “manspread”) as a way to literally and figuratively put himself out there. (Note: This is for a dating scenario, not just some random on the subway who’s taking up too much space.)
Angling his torso towards us also means that he’s opening up his heart to us and trying to get to know us better. When matched with his hips – which convey his subconscious attraction –this is a clear signal that he is very, very interested.
19 CHECKED OUT: He Crosses His Arms
Unless we’re outside or in a particularly cold corner of a café, it’s not usually a good sign when a dude crosses his arms. Crossing his arms and his legs is a way for him to physically close himself off from us and create a barrier between the two of us. It’s his body’s way of protecting itself, because he doesn’t want to be vulnerable since he doesn’t feel safe around us – or isn’t willing to risk anything.
Crossing his arms and closing himself off – assuming the temperature is pretty balmy otherwise – is a definite clue that he’s not as interested in us as we are in him.
18 INTO IT: He Stares
A dude who is into us won’t be able to stop himself from staring. Even if we haven’t actually met yet, a man who is attracted to a woman will find his eyes following her every movement. This isn’t a creepy, unblinking stare, though – it’s just him wanting to drink in as much of us as possible!
Prolonged eye contact when a conversation is finally initiated is also his way of letting us know he’s into us, because it conveys his attention and interest. He’s focused on the conversation at hand – and on us, naturally – and so he can’t bear to take his eyes off our faces!
17 CHECKED OUT: He Looks Elsewhere
The guy who is a cold fish and has checked out of a relationship or conversation is a lot less likely to maintain eye contact, or really look at us at all. If he can’t stay focused on what we’re saying and is constantly scanning the room, it’s not because he’s nervous or shy or trying to make us jealous – it’s because he’s not into us.
He can’t be bothered to even pretend to listen to us because he’s already mentally checked out. He’s busy looking for better prospects or something more intriguing going on past his eye line and we are just not it.
16 INTO IT: He Touches His Mouth
Under some circumstances, like in a heated argument, touching the mouth or lips could mean that the speaker is lying; they’re physically trying to prevent the truth from escaping. In a flirty scenario, though, it’s because the guy can’t help but think about kissing us!
Like with a delicious meal, he could lick his lips to deal with the fact that he is, quite literally, drooling. Touching or biting his lips is a way to prevent himself from leaping across the table and giving us a big smooch right in the middle of a busy restaurant.
15 CHECKED OUT: He’s Antsy
Fidgeting can be a normal exercise of nervous energy, especially on a first date. A guy who taps his foot or plays with his water glass is just a little anxious about wanting things to go well. He wants to make a good impression! This changes, however, if the dude behaves as though he can’t wait to get out of there.
Things like sitting on the edge of his seat, constantly looking at the clock or checking his phone and remarking on how slow the service is, are his way of not-so-subtly letting us know that he would rather be anywhere else – and with anyone else.
14 INTO IT: He Tilts His Head
Think of a dog that’s listening to a command, and the way it tilts its head to pay attention. Well, it’s kind of the same thing for a guy! When he’s interested in what we have to say, he’ll engage in this “active listening” pose of tilting his head just slightly to the side to convey his engagement and interest in what we’re saying.
Letting us see his whole face and giving us pretty consistent eye contact are his body’s ways of telling us he’s interested in us as a whole person: our thoughts and ideas, as well as our appearance.
13 CHECKED OUT: He Turns Away
When a person isn’t interested in the conversation at hand or the person they’re talking to, they will angle their body away. Same goes for a guy who finds himself trapped in a dud of a date. The guy may be looking to the side when he responds or shift his entire body away so that he’s facing someone else.
Facing or angling his upper body away from us tells us that he isn’t interested in what we have to say and that he’s already on the lookout for better options. He’s keeping his body language open – just not to us.
12 INTO IT: He Leans In
Similar to the head tilt, a man who is definitely feeling it will lean in when speaking, or to hear us better. In a noisy bar, club, or restaurant, this bit of body language may not hold much weight, but in a cozy atmosphere with dim lighting and a low murmur of chatter – i.e. where he can hear perfectly well what we have to say from his seat – he’ll lean in to show us that we have his full attention.
Plus, leaning in to listen also allows him to get physically closer to us, which he’ll definitely want to do if he’s interested.
11 CHECKED OUT: He Leans Back
If leaning in conveys his interest and attraction, then naturally leaning back should mean the opposite. The guy who leans back during a conversation, possibly with his arms spread wide, is showing us that the whole world is his oyster – and that we’d be lucky if we managed to snag him. It’s an egotistical pose and, while he might think it symbolizes his open personality and total honesty, he’s still leaning away.
He’s making us try to work for his affection, putting himself in a power position by forcing us to lean in to hear him, which isn’t something a guy who is totally into us will do.
10 INTO IT: His Smile Is Wide
This one should be simple, but when a guy is happy and really feeling us, he’ll smile to let us know. We’re not talking about that closed-mouth little smile, or the polite smile that flashes in and out for a second, but that big, wide, toothy grin. A smile like that means he’s truly elated, which can be the result of an awesome date or some seriously good conversation.
He’s happy to see us and be around us and get to know us better, so he’s already in a good mood. A smile that reaches all the way up to create a twinkle in his eye is something that can’t be faked.
9 CHECKED OUT: He Doesn’t Walk In Step
Here’s a body language cue to pay attention to: the way he walks. If we’re trekking off somewhere for a date, or even getting out of the Uber to hit up a restaurant, look at his feet. If his gait is in stride with ours, matching our pace, it’s a subconscious way of his body telling us that we’re in sync.
However, if he’s constantly walking ahead of us, it’s because he’s putting himself first. If he’s always hurrying or lagging behind, it’s because he doesn’t care much for our needs. A couple that is on the same wavelength will unconsciously match their steps, even for short walks.
8 INTO IT: He Sits Close
Even when there is plenty of available seating, he opts to sit next to us. He could sit on the big comfy chair but instead chooses to cuddle up next to us on the smaller couch. This is a clear indicator that he’s into us, and wants to create as much physical closeness as possible without totally giving himself away.
Sitting side-by-side in a restaurant booth or at a party is a way for him to let us know that he’s on our “team.” Plus, it’s a lot easier for him to slip his arm around us without seeming quite so obvious about his intentions.
7 CHECKED OUT: He Sits Away
On the flip side, the guy who is totally checked out and isn’t into us at all will sit away from us at every opportunity. He is physically putting space between the two of us in order to convey his lack of feelings. He has zero interest in closing the gap and would instead prefer to eliminate any possible heat between us.
In a group setting, this could be a result of circumstance, but we all know that a guy who is actually into us will make an effort, and that includes being nearer to us. Choosing to be far from us every time is a pretty obvious sign that he’s not interested.
6 INTO IT: He Adjusts His Hair & Clothes
When we see someone attractive, it’s natural to want to make sure we look out best. We’ll arrange our hair, make sure there’s nothing in our teeth, fix our makeup, or adjust our outfit – and the same goes for men! Guys want to look their best when they’re around someone they’re into, and so he might fidget with these parts of his appearance when he sees us.
This is the kind of fidgeting that is a green light to signify his attraction, because he can’t help that his hands get a little nervous when we come around. While most dudes won’t acknowledge that they do this, it’s definitely a subtle sign that he’s feeling us.
5 CHECKED OUT: He Focuses On His Phone
Unless there’s an emergency that he needs to take care of ASAP, there’s no good reason for a dude to have his phone out during a date, especially if we’re both still trying to make our best impressions. Checking his phone, texting, or stopping the conversation short so that he can take a call are all extremely rude behaviors and shouldn’t be tolerated.
A guy who is into us will keep his phone hidden away to give us maximum attention, but the dude who isn’t into us at all won’t have a problem spending more time engaged with his phone than with us.
4 INTO IT: He Treats Our Possessions With Respect
A man who is into us will likewise treat our possessions with respect when he’s taking us out. Offering us our coat or making sure we don’t step into a puddle and ruin our shoes is gentlemanly behavior, and something the chivalrous man will do when he wants to make a good impression. When he has respect for our things, he is respecting an extension of us.
In an era when genuine gentlemen are few and far between, it’s important to pay attention to how a guy treats our stuff, because it could very well tell us everything we need to know about how he’ll treat us.
3 CHECKED OUT: He Isn’t A Gentleman
When a guy is rude or boorish, he doesn’t care about making a good impression because, quite frankly, he’s just not that interested in us! Burping at the table, passing gas or picking food from his teeth show us the amount of respect he has for us and for the occasion – which is to say none at all!
Think about it like this: When we’re really into someone, we always want to present the best version of ourselves. If the guy we’re out with isn’t even doing the bare minimum, it’s because he has zero interest in impressing us at all.
2 INTO IT: He Finds Reasons To Initiate Contact
Decent guys are wary of being considered creepy, especially around women they’ve just met. However, if he’s really into us, he may try to initiate some instances of physical contact, to gauge how we’re feeling and let us know that he’s interested. A touch on the wrist to illustrate a point, an arm around the waist during a photo op, or a brush against the shoulder could all be to let us know that he’s there – and he wants to get closer to us.
That doesn’t mean the grabby guy is the dude to be with, though – he’s only got one thing on his mind!
1 CHECKED OUT: He Avoids Our Touch
When we’re turned off by something, we try to avoid it, right? Well, this guy may not be completely put off by us, but he’s not interested in us, either. Leaning back, never reciprocating any physical contact, and trying to keep some sort of barrier between us at all times is his way of shutting himself off from any kind of closeness. He’s not interested in opening up to us, and he doesn’t want us to get the wrong idea, so he will actively avoid touching us.
It could be that he’s just awkward and doesn’t want to come across as weird, but it’s more likely that he’s just not feeling it.