Dating is scary.
Whether you’ve been hurt in the past, or are still trying to work out your other half’s intentions, sometimes you wish you could be a mind (or body language) reader.
Body language expert Patti Wood shared her top tips with Cosmopolitan on the signs to tell whether your new love interest is on the road to a loving relationship or if they’re just not that into you.
Here are some of the signs to watch out for when working out your next steps on the dating scene:
Their pupils are REALLY dilated… because they like you. Unless you’re both sitting in a dark room.
According to Woods:
“Dilation is a brain response that occurs when you like and are attracted to something.”
Takes in a deep breath… This one is for the ladies looking to see if their man is into them. According to Woods, men who subconsciously take a deep breath — where they pull in their stomach and puff out their chest — are attempting to make their upper body look broader and his waist look smaller.
Wood claims these are two qualities that make him look more fit and desirable from an evolutionary point of view.
They smile with their teeth… a toothy grin might look cheesy, but smiling with your teeth indicates someone who is really happy and not trying to cover anything up. It’s also a lot more open and inviting to another half.
Wood also says to look for signs of a real smile. If the smile includes wrinkly eyes or movement above the mouth, it’s a real smile. Smiles that don’t extend beyond the mouth muscles tend to be posed for and less genuine.
They lick their lips… not in an “eating my prey” kind of way either. When you like someone, your mouth will produce more saliva, which means you’re more likely to lick your lips or press them together.
Small little touches… if your dating spouse is finding little ways to initiate physical contact, they are slowly testing you to see your reaction to touch. According to Woods, gentle touches like a hand on your knee, or placing your hair behind your ear create intimacy without advancing to a sexual level.
Woods suggests if they pull back and smile at you while gently touching you, they are showing you they want to take time to get to know you.
Leaning in towards you when you talk… showing they’re interested in your conversation. It also indicates wanting to feel closer to you.
Sits with legs spread… This applies more to women dating men, but exposing your genital area in your body position is an indicator of being sexually attracted to someone and open to getting to know someone both physically and emotionally.
Pointing toes… Apparently body language can run from your head to your toes.
Feet are largely controlled by your subconscious mind, and can really tell if your other half intends to stand in unison or walk away from you.
According to Woods:
“The feet tend to point where the heart wants to go.”
Grazing your forearm during conversation… is a little trick. They want your attention without outwardly asking for it. The move shows an intimacy and desire to be heard without having to ask for it.
Holding hands with palms pressing… interlocking fingers and palms pressed show a body’s desire to connect. Woods warns there could be some holding back from a person who arches their palms or is awkward with holding hands.