Relationship coach and founder of Spark Matchmaking Michelle Fraley says learning to read your partner’s body language can be key for deciphering whether they've fallen for you. “Nonverbals are a big part of healthy and loving communication,” she says. Below are six physical signs someone is in love with you, even if they have yet to say it.
Can You Really Sense When Someone Is in Love With You?
The short answer: yes. It is absolutely possible to get a sense of whether or not someone is in love with you based on physical and non-physical signs. “Usually, we sense this through their microexpressions or the others’ behavior,” says relationship expert Parisa Bady. “However, sometimes it’s just a feeling, maybe a warm feeling of openness and safety. This is possible because every interaction is an exchange of energy that we learn something from. Also, our subconscious has a tendency to pick up on things that we don’t consciously realize.”
6 Body Language Signs Someone Is in Love With You
If someone is in love, they’ll close the gap between you as often as they can. According to Fraley, you’ll want to consider the following four questions:
- Do they make an effort to get closer to me?
- Do they inch closer to me while seated?
- Do they place objects, like their drink or phone, in your physical space?
- Do they lean in closer when talking, or put their body (arms and legs) near your physical body?
If you answered yes to any or several of the above questions, it's clear this person has a desire to be physically close. To be a love signal, this proximity should feel comfortable and easy, not necessarily charged, says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD. “When someone is falling in love, they’ll often lean in toward their partner in a way that feels different from being sexually interested,” she says. “It’s a leaning-in that says, ‘I enjoy you. I want to be close to you.’”
Think about it: You rarely touch people you don’t have feelings of affection for—whether it’s a kiss from a partner, a hug from your mom or a pat on the back from your best friend. Watch for the potentially unnecessary use of touch, because it's one of the physical signs someone is in love with you. “Do they make an effort to touch you?” asks Fraley. “Do they brush up against you, or touch your arm or hand when talking? If your partner is craving your physical touch, that is another indication they are in love.”
Ever feel unsure as to whether your date is actually paying attention to your words? Attentiveness is a huge physical sign someone is falling in love; they’re enthralled, says Fraley. “Love often brings with it tunnel vision,” she says. So if it seems your partner is able to focus exclusively on you and not get overly distracted by other stimuli, it's a good sign.
And, bonus, Fraley adds that full attention is not only a sign of love, but of respect, too.
4. Eye contact
Eye contact is so intense that researchers have even used it to trigger feelings of love. So, if your partner is looking deeply and comfortably into your eyes, it communicates a lot about their desire. “Eye contact is an intimate and vulnerable act, so intense eye contact can be very meaningful,” says Fraley. “Deep eye contact, or holding your gaze for at least four seconds, may indicate feelings of love.” Bonus points if they smile in your presence too. “When we’re in love, we almost cannot help but smile around our love interest,” Bady says.
You may catch this gesture (or lack thereof) while standing, sitting, or after a tense discussion about your relationship. “Crossed arms often indicate that someone is closed off to feeling loved or giving love,” says Dr. Manly. “When someone is ready to love and be loved, they’ll be open in their heart space rather than close off.” You’ll see a much more relaxed stance as one of the physical signs someone is in love with you.
Bady adds that openness in their extremities is also a good sign. “Our bodies often reveal our deepest feelings, despite our efforts to hide them,” she says. “As such, we tend to carry emotions in our hands and feet. When someone has their palms up while interacting with you, this is a clear indication that they are emotionally open and receptive to you.”
6. Protective Gestures
Dr. Manly says it’s common for people in love to feel highly protective of the person they care for. This may take the form of gestures or of lending extra help. “When we love someone, we care about their safety,” she says. “A person who is falling in love will often take great care to protect [the person they love], whether it's by opening doors, walking street side, or putting an arm out in front at a crosswalk.” If they seem to be extending an extra hand without thinking twice, they might be falling in love. And if a person’s actions make you feel loved and cared for, you’re likely in the clear to take the leap and say those three words without fear of being left hanging.
What Body Language Shows a Man Is in Love?
In addition to the above physical signs someone is in love with you, men may also exhibit some other signs to look out for. If he acts childish and awkward around you, for instance, that may point to love. “You may see him drop things, mix up his words, or act little-boy type embarrassed,” Bady says. “This is a clear indication that a man has fallen in love with you. It shows that he’s nervous and filled with angst about what the future may hold for the two of you.”
If he divulges intimate details about his life, that’s another sign that love is in the air. “Due to gender roles, men don’t do this sparingly,” Bady says. “Instead, intimate conversations are typically reserved for those they want to connect emotionally and bond with you.”
Also, note the way he walks with you as well. Does he adjust his pace to yours? Or does he walk two paces ahead of you, which could be a sign he’s more self-involved? Bady says people tend to mirror the mannerisms of the people they like.
What Body Language Shows a Woman Is in Love?
One way women may show physical signs that they’re in love with you is by giving you their undivided attention. “She’s putting her time and energy into learning more about you through what you choose to share,” Bady says. She may also focus more on her appearance when she’s around you by fixing her hair or repositioning while talking to you to ensure she looks her best.
Playing with her hair is another big sign. “When a woman is interested in you, she’ll play with her hair or jewelry while talking to you,” Bady says. “It’s sort of like a self-soothing technique to calm down the butterflies.”
The way she positions her body is another physical sign of love from a woman. “A woman that is in love with you is open to you, and that’ll be reflected in her body language,” Bady says. “Her body will be facing you, especially her hips, knees, and feet. She will often lean in closer towards you.”
What Are the Stages of Falling in Love?
1. Curiosity and Attraction
According to Bady, there are seven stages to falling in love. The first stage of falling in love is curiosity, as in you're curious to explore being more than friends and want to learn more about them. The second stage is attraction when you want to spend more time together and your brains are flooded with dopamine (the feel-good hormone) and oxytocin (the love hormone).
2. Coupling and Discomfort
Next, Bady says, comes the coupling stage when the relationship solidifies. Then comes the fourth stage of discomfort during which a couple faces their first major obstacle. “This is when the two of you stop idolizing one another and may even resent your differences or become dissatisfied with the relationship,” Bady says. “You may begin to argue more. The bottom line is that the love high is over, sobriety has set in, and it’s now time for the two of you to face a challenge together.”
3. Vulnerability and Creative Intimacy
During the fifth stage of falling in love, the couple opens up to vulnerability in turn strengthening the relationship. Then comes creative intimacy in the sixth stage when things get really juicy. “Couples that have made it to this stage have let their walls down and are ready to find creative solutions to any issues in the relationship,” Bady says. “This is where the two of you learn to love each other for who you actually are, flaws and all.”
4. Stable Love and Partnership
And lastly, Bady says, the final stage of falling in love is achieving stable love. “This is where things begin to reel back in after the challenges faced in the previous three stages and adjust to any new understandings,” she says. “The two of you are learning to feel safe beside each other again and settle in.”
What Happens Physically When You Fall in Love?
So, is falling in love physical or psychological? It’s both. “Falling in love is actually a chemical process that produces positive feelings in the body,” Bady explains. “Being in love triggers neurochemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin to be released into our brains, signaling responses in the regions associated with pleasure and reward. This produces physical and psychological responses in the body like a feeling of euphoria, increased sexual desire, an increase in energy, etc.”
With that in mind, to recognize if you’re falling in love with someone, there are signs you’re in love to look for. Bady recommends paying attention to your own physical body language when you’re around the other person. If you smile a lot around them, make an effort to look good when you see them, mirror their body language, and turn your body towards them, those are all signs that you’re falling in love. Internally, also notice if your mood or energy changes around them and if you think about them often.
What Are Signs Someone Is Thinking About You Sexually?
Here’s an FAQ you may be too embarrassed to ask, but really want to know the answer to: How do you know if someone is thinking about you sexually? The most obvious sign, Bady says, is if they make flirty, suggestive jokes. They may also try to be alone with you as much as possible, even briefly, by inviting you out for drinks or asking you to help them with something.
However, the biggest sign that someone is thinking about you sexually is if you feel—like really feel—fiery sexual tension when you’re around them. “This is a subconscious indication that someone is sexually attracted to you and has spent time thinking of you in that way, manifesting as a physical sensation,” Bady says. “People around you can also pick up on the tension, maybe some of them have even told you as such. In fact, it might be quicker just to ask anyone who has been around the two of you if there seems to be any sexual tension. Sometimes those around us can pick up on things before we do.”
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