Body language flirting: learn the real rules of attraction

Couple flirting on a bench

The ability to successfully read the non-verbal signals of strangers is one of the most important aspects of dating. When unacquainted with one another, how we say what we say can be just as important as the content of our conversation.

Knowing how to read and deliver the appropriate message via body signals is a necessary step en route to finding that special someone; you don’t want to miss out because of uncertainty! EliteSingles spoke to experienced dating expert Kimberly Seltzer for her opinion on what to look for, to try and the guesswork out of body language flirting.

Unconscious signs of flirting

Psychological researchers have argued that “women often take a leading role in attracting men’s attention through non-verbal sexual displays.”1 Dating coach Kimberly Seltzer likewise emphasises the importance of female body signals, telling us “women will engage in these alluring motions to subconsciously encourage men”, using “unconscious acts like shrugging the shoulders, twirling her hair, flashing the inside of the wrists and massaging her own neck” as an invitation to get closer to her.

Increase your confidence

But what about male tactics? According to Seltzer, men “accentuate their physical size by standing with their hands on his hips or spreading his legs for an ‘open’ display”. Interestingly, while this type of body language is meant to affect how others perceive us, it may also affect (positively) how we see ourselves. In the TED Talk below, for instance, American social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how ‘power posing’ can actually increase cortisol and testosterone levels to make us feel confident. Increased confidence, of course, is both commonly understood to be a more attractive characteristic in what women look for in a man, and helps us make the most of a first date.2

Identifying body language flirting

Kimberly also advises to look for ‘preening gestures’ which serve as unconsciously signs of interest. “Many men mistake interest for vanity. If your date seems to be looking in the mirror frequently, puts on lipstick after returning from the bathroom, fixes and plays with her hair, or smoothes out her dress she is more likely trying to impress you rather than being self-obsessed”. According to Seltzer, preening is a form of body language flirting used by men, too. “He might fix his socks, play with his buttons nervously, or stroke his tie – these are all ways of saying that he likes you enough to look good for you”.

While body language flirting is far from an exact science, Kimberly argues that “in order to avoid missing some magical opportunities it’s important to notice these signals so that you can have confidence in pursuing things further”. Next time you head out for a date, look out for these few giveaway signs; they could help convince you of a date’s attraction after an initial meeting.

Ready to practice your flirting techniques? Join EliteSingles today!

EliteSingles editorial, January 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or write to us at: [email protected]


EliteSingles spoke exclusively to Kimberly Seltzer, dating and makeover expert, CEO and owner of EliteImageMakeovers

1 Hall, Jeffery A, Carter, Steve, Cody, Michael J and Albright, Julie M. (2010). ‘Individual Differences in the Communication of Romantic Interest: Development of the Flirting Styles Inventory,’ Communication Quarterly, 58:4, 365-393. Found at:

2 Seth Myers, Psy.D for Psychology Today, 2011. Secret Tips: What Makes Someone Sexy & Have Sex Appeal. Found at

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