Beirut Love Life: The ABCs of Body Language


Body language is a huge part of social interaction – and attraction! Before humans had language as we know it, body language was a major factor in how they attracted a potential mate. Today things aren’t much different. Scientists have studied body language extensively and according to many, how we communicate is mostly based on our bodies, not our words. In fact, studies show about 55% of our communication relies on body language, as opposed to 38% on tone of voice, and a measly 7% on our actual words. So the next time you’re talking, keep in mind that it’s not just what’s coming out of your mouth that counts.

Since not everyone is fluent in body language, and some of us could use a little brushing up, here are the basics of body language explained:

Eye contact

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and it’s one of the most important points for body language. A long piercing gaze is intense, and can be very sexy. Holding a gaze for more than 5 seconds is said to be a seduction technique, or alternatively a sign of anger. People who look to the side a lot can be nervous, lying or distracted. On the other hand a person who always looks at the floor might be shy or hiding something emotional. On closer examination, check if his or her pupils are dilated – this is a sign they’re interested. However one too many drinks (or other substances) can also dilate pupils, so don’t mistake intoxication for attraction!


People’s eyebrows automatically lift and lower when they are interested in what they’re looking at. If a man flashes his eyebrows at a woman, he’s definitely attracted. The reaction happens to most people subconsciously, and physiologically it’s a way to open the eyes more and allow more light in, making them look brighter, larger and more inviting. If the person’s eyebrows remain slightly raised during conversation it could mean they’re fascinated by what he or she sees and hears.


When a person’s nostrils flare slightly, it’s said the face is generally open and gives a more friendly expression to the face, making it more attractive to others.


More than just for talking, the mouth can be a huge indicator of a person’s attraction or interest. A man’s lips might automatically part when he sees a woman he is attracted to. A half smile or devilish smirk might not be a very sincere expression of attraction (meaning the person is attracted, but maybe isn’t very serious). A smile with no teeth is a sign of attraction, but also means she’s trying not to reveal too much too soon. Of course a big, broad smile is a sign of openness and friendliness.


According to experts women and men who lick their lips are in anticipation of something they desire. Also when we are nervous our mouthes get drier because glands stop secreting as much saliva, and we need to lick our lips.


A tilted head is a sign of sympathy, and if paired with a smile is a sign of being playful. On the other hand a lowered head means they’re trying to hide something or it’s a sign of being shy, ashamed or keeping a distance.


Playing with our hair or other kinds of fidgeting are a sign of nervousness and often happen when we’re attracted to the person we’re talking to. Men are said to not care as much about whether a woman’s hair is up or down, but love watching a woman in action, either putting her hair up or letting it down.


There’s the expression that a person “talks with their hands”, and this is often the sign of a good communicator. Wide gestures usually mean the gesturer likes you. A person who rests their arms and hands behind their neck are usually laid pack or very open about what they’re discussing. Clenched hands are a sign of irritation, anger or nervousness.


Men standing with legs apart and pelvis facing a woman are in a primal, biological position to show they are attracted to what’s front of them. On the other hand a man who stand with toes pointed towards each other signifies he’s insecure, but probably attraction as well. Placing the hands on the hips actually accentuates a man’s physical size and shows confidence.


The direction a person is facing (regardless of where he or she is looking) is the direction that’s most meaningful to him or her. When sitting with legs crossed, the leg on top is subconsciously pointed at the person we’re attracted to.


When men or women move towards you, it’s a clear sign of attraction. The closer they get, the more warmly they feel about you. Many people will also become a lot more dynamic and flashy to get attention from an object of affection. Clowning around and exaggerated gestures means the man or woman is trying to get noticed.


Many people will start to mimic the body language of the person they’re attracted too. If you fee like you’re being mirrored, it’s a sign they’re trying to become more like you and thus establish a connection.


Lightly tapping, touching, or stroking another person is another sign of interest. Men and women do this softly and playfully, a lot of times to test the waters and also as a subconscious act of wanting to touch the other person. Some people also tend to touch themselves. That needs clarification… People who are attracted to someone will often touch their own faces, stroke their own cheeks, and rub their chins. This is because the senses are heightened and it feels extra good to touch just about any part of our own body. It can also be a sign of being nervous.

Below the belt

They say if a man touches his belt or sticks his thumb into his front pockets, he’s subconsciously trying to draw attention to the area.