11 signs a man is secretly attracted to you, according to psychology

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In a perfect world, would a man just come right out and tell you if he’s attracted to you?

One of the most frustrating things that happens in dating is trying to figure out how much the other person likes you, if they do at all.

But at the same time, for some people, this is all part of the fun.

What would the search for love be like if there was no mystery, no fun and games?

Heck, it’s all hypothetical anyway!

In the real world, there are lots of reasons why you might have to interpret a man’s behavior to try to figure out if he’s into you. He might be shy, have his guard up, or even just be particularly poor at expressing his interest.

But lucky for you, psychological study has uncovered some pretty good clues that can help you in your detective work.

So, if you want to know if he’s interested or not, here are 11 signs a man is secretly attracted to you, according to psychology.

1) He’s happy when he’s around you.

Not sure if a man is secretly attracted to you or not?

It’s time to start sleuthing.

If he won’t come right out and tell you, then you have no choice but to try to assemble the clues yourself, and one of the first places to start is his mood.

Does it seem like this guy is happier when you’re around?

Does his face light up when you walk into the room, or does he break into a smile when you make eye contact?

According to neurobiological research, this is a good sign that he’s into you. Why?

Because his attraction to you, though it might be a secret, is producing a mishmash of brain chemicals that drive his behavior. When he sees you, he gets shots of dopamine and oxytocin, the neurotransmitters that make us feel happy, rewarded, and satisfied.

At the same time, though, he might also seem nervous. This is because a secret attraction, like a lot of situations in love, can also be stressful and cause his brain to release stress hormones.

So, while he might smile, he might also seem jittery, excited, and generally stimulated by you.

2) He touches himself.

Oh, OK, yeah… I can see how you might think that’s what I meant, but get your mind out of the gutter!

I just meant that he doesn’t just sit stock still like a statue when he’s around you.

According to one big study on flirting from the University of Kansas, self-touch is a consistent sign of flirting and attraction.

Please be clear here that I don’t mean he’s touching his naughty bits or rubbing them up against the side of the sofa.

We’re talking about face touching, light scratching, hand clasping, self-massaging, and a host of other signs that he’s interested.

This is essentially his subconscious taking over part of his behavior.

In his mind, he’s probably thinking about how great it would be to be close to you and to touch you, and his hands start acting these imaginary actions out on himself.

So when he rubs the back of his neck, he’s really thinking about rubbing yours. And when he claps his hands together, he’s actually imagining how much he wants to hold your hand.

3) He’s very positive.

Another meta-study from the University of Dayton found a lot of signals of attraction by analyzing several other studies. 

One of the biggest signs that this study indicates to show when a man is attracted to you is positivity.

What does this look like?

He affirms what you say. He nods and says yes, showing that he’s agreeing with you.

What he’s doing here is building a connection and a rapport by being agreeable. Whether he knows it or not, he wants you to like him, and that’s why he’s being so likable himself.

4) His mouth says it all.

Well, his mouth says just about everything, but “I’m secretly attracted to you.

Oh course, he can’t say that since it would stop being a secret!

Instead, I’m talking about body language related to his mouth. 

He bites or licks his lips often. He puts his hands or other objects in or near his mouth.

This is one more of the unconscious behaviors he’s going to show that he can’t control and probably has no idea he’s doing it.

You also have to be careful and use your detective skills to answer one question – is he doing this more than normal?

Sometimes, this sort of oral fixation can just be a sign of nervousness. If he’s doing it a lot more with you than you notice him doing it with others, however, you’ve got yourself a pretty good clue.

5) He’s more expressive than usual.

Once again, you need to know the guy’s normal behavior, so you have something to compare to how he acts with you.

But according to the Dayton study, a man who’s attracted and trying to flirt with you will be more expressive. 

He’ll make more facial expressions, and they’ll be more exaggerated than usual.

He’ll also make more physical expressions, especially hand gestures, when he’s interested in you.

6) He plays with things.

The Dayton study also found that people are more likely to play with objects when they’re attracted and trying to flirt.

So if a guy is into you, he’ll fiddle with objects or adjust his clothes when he’s near you and especially when he’s talking to you.

He’ll fidget and squirm and generally show more of that nervous energy than he does with other people.

7) He’ll give you those looks.

Which looks?

Well, he might gaze at you with a flirtatious look.

You know the one, with the corners of his mouth just slightly turned up and his eyes a bit squinty.

He also might play coy and alternate between looking at you and looking down or away. 

After all, if his attraction is secret, he’ll probably feel nervous about it and try not to draw attention to it.

But actually, the act of playing coy is going to give you as much of a clue as a flirty gaze might!

8) He’ll talk a lot.

He’ll talk a lot more than normal, anyway, even if he’s a naturally quiet person.

He’ll be a lot more excited and want to communicate with you.

He’ll also disclose a lot of personal details that he probably wouldn’t be so eager to reveal to someone he’s not into.

The Dayton study found that people who are attracted to each other and flirting will disclose far more personal information than normal conversations would produce.

9) He’ll get close to you.

The University of Kansas study found that getting close is a really good sign that a person is attracted to you.

If a man sits or stands nearer to you than he does to other people, it’s a very good sign that he wants to be closer to you in both a physical and emotional sense.

This guy likes you!

He can’t help but let himself get pulled into your sphere of influence – you’re as attractive as gravity!

10) He’ll mirror you.

Mirroring, also called mimicry, is when another person performs the same actions as you.

The Kansas study also found a big connection between mirroring and attraction. 

People who get along mirror each other when they’re talking automatically. This happens even more when it’s a real attraction.

So if you’re talking to a man and he keeps adjusting the same postures as you, like leaning back when you do and crossing his legs the same way as you, it shows his secret attraction.

11) He’s focused on you.

It’s probably no surprise that if a guy likes you, he’ll be focused on you.

But what might be surprising is how this actually plays out in his behavior.

Sure, he’ll look at you more than he does other people, and he’ll also listen to you and want to talk to you more, as we’ve already seen.

But according to research from Sam Houston State University, he’ll not only pay more attention to you, but he’ll pay less to other people.

Specifically, he’ll be far less interested in other people who are also attractive and available and who may even like him as well.

This research found that when people are happy with the person they like, they spend far less time considering other options. That bodes well for happy relationships and finding clear signs of attraction.

Final thoughts

These 11 signs a man is secretly attracted to you according to psychology have clear research behind them.

While none of them is foolproof on its own, when you start to see these clues add up, you can be very sure that his attraction is real. 

And then you can decide what you want to do about it, like revealing your own secret attraction back!

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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