Body language: attraction and its must dos and definite don’ts
In order to take a look under the covers of communication, EliteSingles spoke to dating and image therapist Kimberly Seltzer. A well-known expert and coach in body image, styling, and dating in Los Angeles, Seltzer shares her body language know-how with us in our exclusive article.
The body language of attraction - expert insights
The human body - our gestures and our physicality - constantly outwardly communicates, be it in a business or personal environment. Body language can arguably speak louder than verbal communication. Understanding that people are always scanning and interpreting the unspoken messages being transmitted, it is easy to realize the importance of body language, attraction and communication styles when on the dating scene.
Insight into the mechanisms of body language can empower you with the potential to read the unconscious signs of attraction and to send your own secret signals to fire up your date. For your own super powers of communication and connection, we look at both female body language, attraction, and its dialect and investigate reading men’s body language of attraction too.
How to read body language: attraction secrets unlocked
Body language is defined as the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which attitudes and feelings are communicated1. It can be simply understood as communication without words; it’s often unintentional, and multifaceted, leaving it open for interpretation and misinterpretation and thus adding a complex layer to communication2.
Kimberly Seltzer explains that 93% of communication is nonverbal, so what you say is not as important as how you show up3. You are communicating messages without even opening your mouth, and those messages are also being subconsciously ‘read’ and interpreted in a feedback channel of communication that forms between individuals in dialogue, on a date or even in the same room as each other!
When it comes to the body language of attraction, there are certain signals that one can learn to intercept and decode. Seltzer confirms, “I find there are distinct flirting techniques, messaging and body signals that both sexes display when they are interested in someone”. She goes on to explain that there are some easy signals that broadcast if he/she really likes you. It is important to understand these messages because, Seltzer expands, if these signals are not read or displayed people are left with a question of whether or not their date was interested in them, or they come away feeling there was ‘no chemistry’.
It’s important to notice these signals so that you can have confidence in pursuing things further! To give you this opportunity, we outline below the secret signals men and women use to unconsciously communicate attraction using only their body language.
Body language: attraction and reading the unconscious messages
Our body language expert Seltzer decodes the secret signals of the body language of attraction. She explains that there are three major methods for sending messages of attraction subtly, silently, but truthfully: facial expressions, body signals, and preening. Let’s take a look at how to read both men and women’s powerful but speechless body language messages. You can use these identifiers on your next date to send and receive the necessary details, if you so wish, to successfully turn on the heat and sweep your partner off their feet.
1.How to read female body language: attraction unpacked
So how do the single ladies put their hands up and say that they're interested. Are there any definitive signs she likes you?
The keys areas to pay attention to are the eyes and lips. One of the simplest ways of flirting is a smile. A smile is a way to catch your eye, and if a woman is smiling at you, she is probably trying to get your attention. But it does not end there. As the adage goes, eyes are the window to the soul. Research shows that a woman’s pupil will dilate when she is sexually attracted to a man and that eye movement will follow a specific flirtatious pattern. That eye movement is the basis of the notorious coy glance, eyes meeting, speaking and sparks flying.
Body posture speaks its own language of love - you just need to hone in on the signs and know how to translate it! Pay close attention to her chest and hands. Women will often draw attention to their neck, shoulders, and wrists in order to attract attention. Unconscious acts like shrugging the shoulders, twirling her hair, flashing the inside of the wrists and massaging her own neck are all subtle invitations for you to get closer to her. Women will engage in these alluring motions to subconsciously encourage a possible partner. Consider these signs a green light and go for it!
It is often a misconception that women are peacocks, preening and parading for their own pride. The purpose of this kind of display is rather an instinctual evolutionary response to attract a suitable mate. Like a bird cleaning and straightening its feathers, women fix themselves up to make themselves feel and look attractive and to catch a partner’s attention. Many men mistake this interest for vanity. If your date seems to be looking in the mirror frequently, puts on lipstick after returning from the bathroom, fixes and plays with her hair, or smoothes out her dress, she is more likely trying to impress you rather than being self-obsessed.
2. How to read male body language: attraction deconstructed
Now let’s explore ways to understand male body language and decide once and for all if he's into you.
As with women, pay close attention to a man’s eyes and lips. A man’s simplest way of flirting is also a smile; a roguish, lopsided smile, all James Dean carefree cool with playboy charm. A man will then do something very distinctive with his lips if he likes you. If he likes what he sees his lips will automatically part for a second when your eyes first meet, and then his eyes will scan his date’s body, communicating his physical attraction to their beauty. Finally, a man will display almost an animalistic expression by flaring his nostrils as you capture his eye! He is also communicating with his eyes. When a man sees someone he is attracted to he will lift his eyebrows up making his eyes look bright, large and inviting, giving a deeper meaning to the idea of ‘making eyes’ at each other.
A man’s body movement signals his interest and masculinity. There are unconscious acts that men engage in when they are first attracted to you. A man will accentuate his physical size by standing with his hands on his hips or spreading his legs while sitting opposite his potential partner for an “open” display. He can also move in an excited way and stand close, perhaps touching lightly to connect and say ‘I like you more than a friend’. Surprisingly, like women, men also play with their hair. He will either run his hands through it or smooth it depending on the style he is sporting to make him look more attractive.
Traditionally women are thought to be the sex who prance and preen to impress. However, although played out differently, men also ‘peacock’, engaging in preening and tidying behaviors to communicate attraction. He might fix his socks by pulling them up or adjusting them, play with the buttons nervously on his jacket (which can be an unconscious desire to remove his clothes) or stroke his tie. These are all ways of saying that he likes you enough to want to look good for you. So if he is fiddling and sprucing, it is not necessarily nerves, but is his way of ensuring he looks his Sunday best to impress!
Battle of the sexes: Morse code for body language, attraction, and communication
To sum up, men and women are designed to send and receive these signals of attraction. Although the patterns of behaviors which comprise their code do not differ that significantly between men and women, it is imperative that the messages don’t get lost in translation, as this layer of communication goes on silently and subtly, meaning a message can easily go amiss.
The greatest battle can be just to patch up the communication channels between a pair. Getting lost in your own nerves or feelings can result in neglecting to pick up the signals being sent to you, and not being selective and aware of the messages you yourself are sending. Remember to focus on the facial expressions, particularly eyes and lips, the body signals with flirtatious indications and preening gestures if you are uncertain. These are the hot zones in the silent game of the body language of attraction, and whether or not you choose to, you are saying something with your every moment, gesture and physiological response.
Learn this language of love to master the code, and confidently use it to be the author of the messages you send to your partner, bringing your relationships and communications to life in a whole new way. Body language takes communication back to a primal, often subconscious, level. In order to be empowered, leverage these skills to your advantage crossing the great divide from ‘he loves me not’ to ‘he loves me do’ using communication, including body language, to authentically connect.
The body language of attraction: expert dating tips
To use this super power to its full potential on your next date, Seltzer outlined her expert dating tips to send, receive and correctly interpret your date’s signs of interest and attraction, and how to send some of your own.
Sender: communicate your interest
Sit in close proximity so you can connect with your date’s body. Touch, smell and other senses really can create chemistry and stimulate attraction when you are close to them.
Dress the part. Put intention behind planning your date attire so you look and, more importantly, feel sexy, confident and attractive.
Use your eyes and smile. Eye contact and smiling are POWERFUL because it shows you’re interested, engaged and connected.
Receiver: reading your date’s signals
Get out of your own head and really pay attention to how your date communicates with their body. Most people are more concerned about how they come across rather than who they are with, in which case you lose the opportunity to cultivate that attraction.
Make eye contact with your date. Really look at them and connect with your eyes to see if they are giving you signals or if their pupils are dilated!
Sometimes the silent messages are the loudest. Look at your date’s hands and mouth, the angle they are sitting and movements they are making. The answer will be there.
Using insight into body language, attraction and the behavioral patterns of communication you can facilitate open and honest dialogue without saying a word, empower yourself to express your feelings and identify, without waiting or wondering, the real state of affairs with his and her attraction.
Kimberly Seltzer, the owner of SeltzerStyle.com, is a Makeover Expert, Therapist and Dating Coach based in Los Angeles. She utilizes the unique combined approach of therapy, in-field date coaching, and styling to help people with their confidence and dating life.