8 non-verbal signs that someone is highly attracted to you, according to psychology

Sexual attraction is a very complicated thing indeed. Not only does it ebb and flow over time, but it can also be pretty difficult to recognize in others if you aren’t quite sure which signs to look for.

Fortunately, the internet has come to the rescue!

What are the 8 non-verbal signs that someone is highly attracted to you?

We’re about to find out.

Buckle in.



1) Their pupils dilate when they see you

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you know what?

I have to agree. 

Sexual attraction is proof. According to psychology, the body’s love hormones (such as oxytocin and dopamine) affect our pupil size. This means that our pupils dilate when we see someone we’re attracted to.

Neuroscientist and researcher Joshua Gowin Ph.D. gives us a bit of background context: “A few centuries ago, women in Italy used to artificially dilate their eyes using an extract from the bella donna plant in an effort to woo suitors. Humans judge potential mates with larger pupils as more attractive because it indicates their mutual interest in us.”

However, he also says that sexual attraction isn’t the only factor to consider: “Pupils also respond to emotions. When happy, our pupils dilate, but when sad they contract. When we see a sad face, we mirror the emotion by contracting our own pupils.”

“This indicates our degree of compassion: the more our pupils shrink in response to another’s sadness, the more our brains are wired for empathy.”

This is why dilated pupils are but one of the many signs that signal sexual attraction. Sure, the person in question may fancy you, but they might also just be very happy to see you.

2) They stare at you a lot

Sight is the most important of the five senses. This makes sense when you think about it – it gives us the most information about the world around us.

Therefore, it probably isn’t that much of a surprise that we like to stare at the people we’re attracted to. We admire the way their eyebrows move when they explain something, the way their eyes catch the sunlight, and the curvature of their nose when they turn their head just so.

It’s like looking at a beautiful painting in the Louvre.

This is also the reason why we tend to maintain eye contact for longer when we’re talking to someone we fancy.

So, if someone looks into your eyes for quite a long time during a conversation or if you can often catch them staring at you when they think you’re not looking…

It’s the second sign something more might be going on.

3) They laugh and smile when they’re around you

“A good sense of humor is sexually attractive as it expresses wisdom, creativity and other positive traits,” says psychologist Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D.

He also mentions that “men tend to look for a partner who appreciates their sense of humor, while women tend to look for a man who can make them laugh.”

From anecdotal experience, I agree with this. When you look at men flirting, they often crack jokes and try to be as funny as possible while women tend to express their interest by laughing.

This isn’t a universal rule, of course, and it doesn’t mean that men are funnier than women by any means. It does give us an interesting insight into how sexual attraction manifests itself in many straight dynamics, though.

It’s just another thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to determine if someone fancies you or not.

Do they try to make you laugh a lot or often laugh at your own jokes – even if they’re not that funny?


4) They mirror your body language

I sometimes lean to the side and slightly fall over when I’m laughing while sitting at a table. On one of my past dates, I noticed that as the evening progressed, my date began to mirror my body language without even realizing it.

It was really cute. Every time we burst out in laughter, we both collapsed on the bench we were sitting on.

Interestingly enough, mirroring is quite a common flirting strategy – and we often employ it subconsciously.

According to Psychology Today, “People who are attracted to one another indeed copy each other’s movements and mannerisms. In fact, many animals mirror as well. That is why cats circle each other, and why chimpanzees stare at each other before intercourse.”

If you notice that someone’s subtly copying your body language, it’s yet another thing to tick off your list.

5) They employ the triangle method

A popular term on TikTok, the triangle method is a flirting technique that apparently makes people fall for you quicker.

While there are no studies to confirm the effectiveness of the triangle method or how widespread its use is, professor and digital health expert Bruce Y. Lee M.D., M.B.A., does say that this flirting strategy “is based on some reasonable rationale. It facilitates eye contact, which demonstrates interest and enhances connection.”

So, what constitutes the triangle method?

It’s essentially a set of four steps:

  • Look in the person’s right eye
  • Look in their left eye
  • Look at their mouth
  • Look back in their right eye

You’re basically drawing a triangle with your gaze. By fleetingly glancing at their mouth, you’re expressing your interest in a potential kiss, and by alternating between their eyes, you’re maintaining strong eye contact.

The triangle method should be very subtle, though, which means that many people probably don’t notice that it’s being done to them.

If you do realize that someone’s employing the triangle method on you, however, it’s further confirmation that they are flirting – be it subconsciously or not.

6) You notice them preening

I’ve recently noticed that when I’m in the presence of someone I fancy, I tend to play with my hair, adjust my jewelry, and freshen up in the bathroom so that I look my best.

This kind of behavior makes perfect sense when you think about it, but people often don’t realize that it’s our subconscious desire to woo others that makes us pay so much attention to our appearance.

Does the person in question often fix their hair or makeup when you’re around?

If your answer is yes, you know what it means.

(Again, though, remember that this sign needs to be paired with many of the other signs on this list. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything on its own.)

7) They stutter and fidget when talking to you

Sexual attraction makes us nervous, more so when someone’s a pretty shy or introverted person to begin with. In that case, they may find it pretty difficult to keep their cool around their crush.

Here’s a question for you: does the person act chill and relaxed when you’re not actively in their presence (for example, when they’re chatting with coworkers on the other side of the office) and then grows stiff or nervous once you approach them?

If so, it’s another sign they may find you attractive.

8) They actively listen to you

The last sign on our list is active listening.

While this skill is about asking interesting follow-up questions, being in the present moment, and remembering details, it also feeds into the person’s nonverbal communication.

When someone’s genuinely listening to what you’re saying, they generally tend to:

  • Lean toward you
  • Nod along
  • Make facial expressions based on what you say
  • Chime in with “Wow” or “Uh-uh” or “Right” (or other alternatives)
  • Maintain regular eye contact

Finally, remember that all the individual signs on this list don’t really mean much. After all, the person could just be a really good listener who enjoys talking to you.

But if you look at all the signs as parts of a bigger picture…

That’s when you can begin to put all the pieces together.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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