How to Read Body Language for Love Signals

Flirting is instinctual, report researchers at the Social Issues Research Centre. It is one of the basic foundations through which the human race attracts and meets mates in order to propagate the species. While there are a certain amount of verbal components in the flirting process, as much as 90 percent or more of flirting for love is nonverbal. It is, therefore, important to understand some basic concepts to read body language for love signals.

A young man and women flirting with each other at a bar. (Image: Rayes/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Step 1

Read the eyes of people to find love signals. The eyes are the most common transmitters of interest and attraction. A widening of the pupils indicates that the other person is interested and literally wants to take in more of you. A genuine smile shows up around the corners of the eyes. Widened eyes are open to know you better.

Step 2

Consider the distance at which the other person stands from you. Social norms require an acceptable space of about 4 feet. When another person moves into that space at arm's length, or within about 2 feet, he is indicating a desire to get closer to you. Moving within that 2-foot parameter is a definite signal of an interest in intimacy.

Step 3

Take in the posture of another to determine the honesty of her interest. While facial expressions can easily be controlled in polite society, it is more difficult to hide what researchers at the Social Issues Research Centre call "leakage signals," which include a widening stance and open arms, each of which indicates interest. A person who wants to extend the relationship typically leans in toward his attraction.

Step 4

Pay attention to touch. When a person touches your shoulder or arm, he is indicating a fondness and friendliness toward you, report consultants at Be My Astrologer. Touching the hand is a more intimate gesture. When the person being touched does not pull away, that is a sign that she is open to the interest. When a touch is returned, that is encouragement for the aggressor to continue with the approach.


Watch for signs of preening. Men often straighten their ties, hike up their pants and smooth their hair, while women touch their lips, adjust their clothes and expose a little skin. Preening is a very instinctual mating ritual seen widely throughout the animal world.


Men have more of a tendency to mistake friendly gestures as sexual flirting, so women should be careful about the signals they send. Men also should confirm a woman's intentions when reading body language to be certain she is actually flirting with him. Women are more adept at reading flirtatious body language and often engage in friendly, harmless flirting.

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