How to read women’s body language in the moment:
Can you relate to any of the following statements?
“A woman initiating the touching dramatically improves my confidence, but doesn’t happen all that often.”
“I usually don’t touch until a girl feels comfortable touching me.”
“I’ve been told months after the fact that a woman was amazed that I didn’t make a move. She ended up thinking I wasn’t interested.”
These quotes, taken from a survey of Introverted Alpha readers on reading the body language of women, reflect one of the biggest dating blockades out there:
Waiting for the woman to escalate intimacy.
The trouble is that waiting to do anything indicates a lack of interest on your side. Even if you are quite attracted to her, if you’re dragging your feet, she doesn’t have a way to see that.
On the surface, waiting makes a lot of sense. Why risk making things awkward when you can stay safe and wait for the green light?
Unfortunately, women don’t carry traffic lights with them. In fact, most women are “conditioned” by gender roles to hold back from making the critical first move.
So what happens when you’re waiting AND she’s waiting?
You guessed it: not a lot.
Happily, there’s a path through this impasse: escalating touch.
When you know how to touch a woman in a friendly way once you’ve been building some nice rapport, it becomes much easier to read all the little cues women use, consciously or not, as flirting techniques to show interest.
Bottom line, touching her in a friendly way helps you to read her well enough to gently explore the next step of connection with her. As long as you’re aware of how she’s feeling and responding accordingly with respect and curiosity, you’re off to a great start.
You don’t need to look for over-the-top signs like “lip-biting,” hard-to-count ones like “triple head nods,” or mysterious ones like “eye flirting” which is hard to know what that actually means.
Rather, there are some realistic, subtle yet sure signs of attraction women offer to men they’re attracted to.
Alright, let’s dive in!
Your Date’s Body Language Signs
In a previous article, we discussed how early, platonic touch is a communication cornerstone, especially on dates.
Touch gives you more direct body language cues than anything else. This is because you can literally feel her either tense up (meaning, time to back away) or melt to your touch (a good sign).
Unfortunately, escalating touch is not as easy as, “Phase 1 complete. On to Phase 2!”
As you build rapport, it’s important to interpret negative body language (shirking away, seeming unhappy, creating more physical distance). Then give her more personal space accordingly.
You may be thinking,
“Women aren’t books. Reading them isn’t easy.”
This is true: many times, her body language signals are maddeningly subtle… but that doesn’t mean you should automatically hold back.
In our “Become Women-Fluent” class, which is part of our Launch Your Dating Life program, we discuss 7 female body language signs that she’s into you and 6 signs that she’s not.
Here’s a quick summary of each of these signs:
7 Signs She Is Into You:
- She is facing you, flirtatiously touching her hair.
- Her body is aligned towards you.
- Maybe she is blushing a little or looking away, but happy.
- Her eye contact is encouraging. She seems to be enjoying you.
- Perhaps she’s doing head nods as she listens to you, engaged with strong eye contact.
- You touch her on the hand; she does the same. You touch her on the arm; she touches you on the knee.
- She melts into your touch. She’s leaning in, enjoying it, relaxing her muscles or tensing in excitement.
6 Signs She’s NOT Into You:
- She seems to be looking away and is not making much if any direct eye contact with you.
- She’s turning away from you as if to leave the conversation.
- Her breathing is stilted and shallow; she’s sighing and seemingly irritated.
- She’s crossing her arms.
- She is drawing back a little and pulling away after you touch her at all.
- She looks like she feels unpleasant (i.e. unhappy facial expression) after a friendly touch from you.
Each subtle sign of attraction may seem obvious when listed out, but they’re only useful to you when you can spot them in real-time, as the good indicators they are.
You don’t have to be a body language expert to notice the subtle ways she’s communicating with you; you only need to pay attention to indications of sexual interest or lack thereof in the moment.
A woman’s eyes, facial expression, and bodily response to you being near her give you a lot of information to work with.
That presence with her and attunement to how she feels will show you everything you need to know about whether she wants you to come closer or give her more space.
Escalating to the Next Level
What do you do once you are getting these inviting signals from a woman’s body language?
At this point, it’s all about touch and proximity. There are two conversations that you’ll have with potentially interested women: touch/proximity and words.
Touch and physical proximity are a primal and practical way for two human beings to see if there is a mutual connection chemistry-wise in the first place to build upon.
That is how a woman feels out her attraction towards you.
She’s asking herself,
“How does my body feel around his body?”
This informs how attracted she feels around you, more than anything either of you says, because anything you’d say is filtered through the feeling she has in her body when she’s around you.
Body-to-body (even when not touching, just near to each other) speaks volumes.
Approaching a woman
Before you’re in conversation at all and you’re contemplating approaching a woman who’s caught your eye, it’s best to approach her from an angle (about 10 to 170 degrees of the 360 degrees that is her peripheral, with 0 and 180 being by her sides… yay for all my engineer/scientist/business guys who appreciate talk of angles!)
This way, things feel smooth and fluid, and she’s not caught off guard by you approaching her from the direct side or from behind, which is quite jarring. (Side note: the last thing you want to do is touch a woman’s shoulder from behind as an introduction. No matter what, do not do that.)
Once in conversation
If you’re already in conversation, and a woman touches you either with her hand, the side of her body, or her knee or leg if you’re sitting down, you can take those body cues as she at least feels comfortable with you.
Then, add in any flirtatious eye-gazing or a seductive look from her, and things are gearing away from, “Perhaps I’m just a buddy to her,” towards, “Okay, she might actually be flirting with me.”
If you are already being flirtatious with her, and she’s touching you once she can see you’re interested, then you don’t even necessarily need prolonged eye contact to correctly interpret interest on her side.
Confident versus shy signals
And while a confident woman will perhaps show you more directly at first (using more of the 7 signs of attraction above), a woman on the shyer side will take longer to warm up because she may feel more self-conscious. In that case, spend a bit more time with her and give her more of a chance to become comfortable enough to show reciprocal interest.
It takes practice and a renewed perspective to realize that a woman you’re attracted to may be responding in kind.
Yet if you notice any of the 7 positive female body language signs, it’s time to ramp up the flirting through proximity and touch, like we talked about earlier.
Why? Because flirting supersedes words; it’s about what you do and how you feel to her. If she likes how you touch her, she’ll go from “interested” to “excited.”
Escalating from friendly to flirtatious touch is a seamless flow that makes perfect sense, both in your mind and body (and hers). As you slowly escalate touch while reading her well, you’re sweeping her into a sensory exciting adventure with you.
Reading Female Body Language: A Client Success Story
In an Exploration Call with a client we’ll call Mark, he told us that his biggest problem around women was that he wasn’t being taken seriously as a dating option.
“I’m friends with a couple of different girls I really like. They just don’t see me the same way.”
Mark made good progress in the initial weeks of our program, but the light came on after the “Become Women Fluent” class. He realized that in all his most frustrating situations, he had been waiting for the woman to initiate touch.
In our call after the class, he said…
“There’s been such a major difference lately. I’ve gone out with both of the women who I used to think were completely uninterested in me.”
In the span of a few weeks, Mark went from being a dating afterthought to the kind of guy women couldn’t get enough of. Here’s his explanation on what happened:
“I’ve overcome the initial hurdle of becoming friends with people in a way that eliminated the possibility of them seeing me as a dating interest.”
When we asked what led to his change, he said…
“Basically adding touch to my conversations is what changed everything… It’s not only that I am feeling different, but my friends, and the women I’m interested in, see me differently also.”
Summary: Special Attention to Female Body Language Signs Pays Off
When you’re with a woman you’re attracted to, escalating touch is a powerful non-verbal communication skill. (For more about verbal conversation skills, check out our guide here.)
In summary, here’s our method for escalating touch:
- Start with early platonic touch like leaning in arm-to-arm or touching her hand or knee when you’re sharing a laugh and feeling connected with each other.
- Look for one of the female body language signs above that either show she’s interested or uninterested.
- Respond accordingly, either escalating with a slightly firmer, more flirtatious touch if she is flirting with you, or backing away to give her more space if she’s not.
By following these steps, you’ll be taken as a more serious dating option by more women. This leads to going on more dates, and enjoying more fulfilling connections.
To continue improving your skills, here’s some further reading on the subject:
If you are ready to tackle the skill of dating like you mean it (with specific feedback from our lovely IA Coaches about how you come across), then check out how we can potentially collaborate on that.
And if you’ve not yet downloaded our ebook on finding your unique vibe, get your copy here. It will help you read women better by knowing *why* they’d be flirting with you in the first place!