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Figure him out before he opens his mouth.
Like women, men don’t always say exactly what they’re feeling precisely when they feel it. But guys don’t have to say much to show you what they’re thinking.
That’s because unconscious body language signals can be extremely telling, says Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 30 years of experience and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language.
So, in the early stages of a new relationship (like when you first meet an online date), look out for the following signs to get a sense of what he’s thinking.
1. His pupils are huge. Either you’re in a super-dark place, or this subtle signal means he’s into you. “Dilation is a brain response that occurs when you like and are attracted to something,” Wood says.
2. His eyebrows are raised. People tend to use this subconscious expression to help open their eyes when they like what they see. If he raises his brows ever so slightly while you’re talking, it means he’s interested in whatever you’re saying.
3. He shows you his front teeth. “Guys stop smiling like this around the age of 5 — unless they’re really happy,” Wood says. He might not show off a toothy grin while casually flirting, but on a really awesome date when he’s having loads of fun? Look for teeth: “When he feels really happy, he’s not covering that up,” Wood says.
4. He smiles above the mouth. Real smiles extend well beyond the mouth: They lift the forehead and give you slightly squinty eyes. If his smile involves his whole face, it means you’re genuinely affecting him in a good way.
5. He licks his lips in a cute (not creepy) way. When you’re attracted to someone, your mouth produces extra saliva, Wood says. In response, he might quickly lick his lips or press them together.
6. He locks eyes with your face — not your eyes. You might think that a guy who is totally enamored by you will find it hard to peel his eyes away. But now that everyone is used to being glued to their phones, nonstop eye contact can make people feel uncomfortable. So, new rule: If he spends about 80 percent of your interaction looking from your eyes to your nose and lips, he’s into you, Wood says.
7. He takes a deep breath when he sees you. Yes, men do require oxygen. But when he subconsciously takes a deep breath — he’ll pull in his stomach and puff out his chest — it’s a subconscious way to make his upper body look broader and his waist look smaller, two qualities that make him look more fit and (from an evolutionary perspective) more desirable, Wood says. In other words, he’s into you and he’s trying to attract you.
8. He leans toward you when you talk. In a noisy bar, this sign might not hold much weight. But when he can physically hear you perfectly well and leans in anyway, it means he’s interested in what you have to say — and you, in general.
9. He puts his hands on his hips with his elbows out to the sides. Because this stance takes up more space than standing with your arms against your sides, Wood says this is a male power signal that guys use to show physical superiority over other guys. It means he’s seeking attention. And if he does it while he’s angled toward you? He’s seeking it from you.
10. He touches your knee (“Soft pants!”) or tucks your hair behind your ear. When he initiates physical contact under the guise of another reason, it’s a test to see how you respond.
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