Is that prospective hunk a player, or a keeper? Don't depend on words to figure out this age-old conundrum. Instead, do what comes naturally: look at his body...language, that is.
Thanks to Cosmopolitan Magazine, there's now a way to decipher the male body code. The Body Language Decoder lends readers useful tips from the first meeting up to the relationship itself. Hips and lips don't lie, after all; "by picking up on the subtle nonverbal messages he's sending, you'll discover tons of clues about his personality and how he really feels about you."
Don't worry if time is short, and the mixed messages are flying. Here is a crash course on the art of men's body language.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Other People Are Reading
Watch out for facial signals during a man's first approach to tell if he's a prince or a good-time boy. A cocky half-smile and piercing, long stares are signs that he's searching for a sexual partner, and nothing more. An uneven grin signals a potential chameleon; body language expert Patti Wood says, "It's a split-face gesture: each side of his face is telling a different story." The long stare means that someone has read a few too many pick-up artist manuals, and thinks that extended eye contact means sincerity. Move on if you want a boyfriend.
Tracey Cox, author of the book "SuperFlirt", points out that men show lots of signs of sincere interest. A cock of the brow, widened eyes and hair fiddling are all indicators of attraction. Other signals include a need to draw your gaze and attention. If he moves apart from his friends or starts to act out a bit, that's a green light that he wants your focus on him.
Watch for motions that pull attention towards his, er, better parts. These include fingers playing with a belt, sudden leg spreading, or hands in pockets. When a guy crosses his legs and hides the goods, then chemistry might be lacking. This sort of understates genital showboating is an evolutionary throwback, and is a method of proving virility.
Once you get to know each other, watch the guy's actions for signs of protectiveness and emotional engagement. For instance, slouched shoulders can mean that "one of your actions has tugged on his heartstrings," according to Cosmo. He may also give small, soft kisses on the cheek and forehead. Stroking your hair back, a sign of grooming from our primate forebears, also shows a willingness to protect.
For signs of sexual prowess, pay attention to how strong and sure his touch is. A firm, but respectful, grip means that he's a man with a sex on his mind. Lip-licking is another indicator of probable sexy times in the near future. In short: he's labeling you with his touch and readying you both for more physical treats later. A weak grip, on the other hand, means that he doesn't want a physical or heart connection in fact.
Don't get offended if your guy pinches your bottom. This is a show of confidence in not only the sexual bond that's present, but also the sense of camaraderie between you. "Couples who use this flirtatious move know how to get each others attention in a sexy way," says Sandra Caron, Ph.d, University of Maine sexuality professor. Playful spanks also count.
See what kind of man he is from his choice of sexual position. Guys who favor doggy-style sex are confident, caring, and take-charge, but may be reticent to revealing their feelings. Missionary men are stable and loving, while side-by-side fans often need emotional nurturing. If he likes you on top, chances are he likes to combine fun with passion; their first priority is your pleasure.
Tips and warnings
- If your guy kisses while his eyes are wandering, that's a sign that he's not focused on what's going on.
- A tensed jaw and clenched hands are unconscious signals that there's anger that needs to be expressed. A fight is probably looming.
- Eyes that look up and to the left signal that something's cooking: a bunch of fiction. This look is a sign that he's lying through his teeth.
- Covering the mouth is also a sign that he's not telling the truth.