Flirting isn’t just about the sweet nothings you use to lure a new romantic interest. In fact, when it comes to romance, it’s usually what you don’t say that has a bigger impact on than what you do say. Often it’s the simplest gestures—flirting body language including everything from your stance to tucking your hair behind your ears—that speak the loudest when it comes to attracting that hottie from across the room.
So how do you let your body do the talkin’? And how do you know if your date’s feet are actually saying, “I’m into you”? It starts with knowing which cues to look out for, and which ones to put out there.
It’s all in the feet
The way you present yourself to the world, particularly your stance, speaks volumes about how, or if, someone should approach you.
For women, body language expert, Patti Wood, author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, advises having a small stance with their feet four to six inches apart. “Women want to be accessible, so part of that is taking up less space than more space, which is counter intuitive,” she says. “You want to be a confident woman, you want to appear as such, but it’s easier for men to approach women who don’t have a broad stance.” Though the feminist in you might cringe at the notion, Wood says, “You have to think about what makes you approachable. What makes it easy for a man to say, ‘I think she’ll talk to me. Or, I think she’ll rebuff me.’ That’s an interesting thing to be aware of.” Otherwise, Wood says you’ll attract guys who like a “challenging woman”. She calls them the “Sex seekers. They want to go to bed together that night.” And have not much else afterwards.
For men, Wood recommends what she calls “the toe stop” in which one foot is flat on the floor, while the other is crossed over the ankles, and the toes are flat. “They might be leaning against the bar or table. It’s a very distinctive pose,” she says. “It says, ‘I am better than any of these guys here because I am more relaxed. I don’t need to go into a cowboy pose [in which a man holds a very broad stance]. That should say to a woman that he’s a confident guy who doesn’t need to posture and he can get along with other guys.”
Get His Attention With Your Drink
Typically in a flirting body language situation, you might wonder what to do with your hands and arms. Never fear! That glass of wine is, in fact, a legitimate luring cue. “Our eyes are designed for movement, so out of a group of women, the man is going to notice the one who is moving her glass,” Wood explains. “Hold the glass in your left hand, not your right, because you want to shake hands without your hand being wet. You can let it dance and dip, you can let it subtly move and shift, and have it move in your hand.” However, Wood warns of closing off your heart, so if you’re holding a beverage, try not to hold it in front of your chest, and, instead, hold it off to the side.
The Power of Wrist Action
The wrists are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, so when a woman pushes her hair back behind her ear, so that her wrists show, the gesture combines both “movement and vulnerability, which is attractive to a man,” says Wood. Likewise, when a woman does this on a date, the man can be rest assured that she’s into him.
Touch is also important for both sexes. When a man is telling a story, a woman can make a very brief touch between his wrist and elbow. “If you do it when he says something funny, it acts as an anchor cue and he will keep saying funny things,” says Wood. “Or do it when he is open and honest, you can say, ‘Oh, that’s so nice. I am glad you said that to me,’ and gently touch him, so it becomes reward touching.” This easy, non-sexual touching, says, “I’m interested,” and also works on women, too.
The Importance of Eye Contact
Eye contact is important for both sexes. For men, extended eye contact from a woman means that she doesn’t think he’s a creep and is, in fact, interested in him. So, when a woman engages in extended gazing with the man she desires, she can almost guarantee that he will approach her. To ensure this, Wood recommends a luring technique for women that she equates with bass fishing. “You look across the room and see a guy you’re into, so turn your head, and bring your face and head across their field of vision, and then turn back, and then again,” she says. “You’re taking the lure out and moving it back in, and because people are attracted to movement, he’ll see your movement and then lock eyes with you. Once you lock eyes, you can hold it for a second and then look down, and then he’ll approach you.”
Eye contact is equally important on an actual date, especially in our digital world where we’re attached to screens 24/7. “Extended gaze is so important, but what’s happening now is because we are so used to looking at screens, eye-to-eye contact is uncomfortable for a lot of people,” says Wood. “Eye contact is a very important part of attraction and connecting of dating. It shows you are interested in them, it makes you likeable and it creates connection.” Ensure that you are connected with your date and making eye contact with them at least 60% of the time (more than that will come off as a little creepy). And just a warning, ladies: Wood says locking eyes with a man for longer than three seconds basically says to him, “I want you right now.” So be careful with those powerful peepers!
Flirting body language is so natural to us that often times we don’t even realize the vibe we might be giving off. Next time you’re on a date, or out at the local bar, pay attention to the signals you’re giving off, and it might just pay off.