Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to relationships. We’ve all encountered someone who says they are fine through clenched teeth while they cross their arms and avert their eyes. Clearly not fine. In a similar way, body language can help guide people to know how their significant other is truly feeling. It can help indicate if they are happy in the relationship or if they are becoming closed-off and distant. Especially at the beginning of a relationship, when people are trying to find their grounding. Here are signs to look for.
6 Body Language Cues to Look Out For In a Relationship
It may seem like a no-brainer, but smiles and positive facial expressions make people look more friendly and attractive. And when a person feels comfortable and happy, they will have genuine smiles on their faces.
2. Body orientation and “open” posture
Turning toward a person shows interest; it’s quite literally “opening up” oneself to the other individual. Plus, an open posture looks more inviting and approachable, and it shows trust and connection. Slouching deeply, crossing arms, and facing away from a person conveys disinterest in the conversation. It gives the message that they don’t want to talk.
3. Eye contact
The eyes are the window to the soul and they’re also the window to true sincerity. Couples in love tend to gaze into each other’s eyes and hold their gaze longer than when they look at strangers. Eye contact shows interest, that they are focusing on what the other person is saying. Some people may avoid eye contact due to disinterest, but keep in mind that many struggles with eye contact, such as those with social anxiety. In that case, their nervousness may indicate that they want to impress the other person. When in doubt, look at the eyes to check the genuineness of a smile. A fake smile tends to stay in the mouth area while a real smile reaches the eyes and engages the “crow’s feet” at the corners.
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Touch is an obvious sign of attraction but it has to be welcome in context. When engaging in romantic touch, it’s important to look at other body language cues — for instance, if the other person is reciprocating the touch or shying away from it. But once touch is established in a relationship, engaging with it, even in small ways like lightly brushing their hand, fixing a stray lock of hair, or touching knees while sitting can be indicators of a loving bond. 
People interested in someone tend to notice things about them. They often remember details said in passing, like their favorite colors or food. They’ll be the ones to notice a new haircut or a new outfit. When they speak, they focus on what the person they like says because they want to build a connection.
6. Increased communication
Speaking of building a connection, people tend to ask questions to those they are romantically interested in. They want to learn more about them, but the response can be very telling. If the romantic interest answers and asks a question about them in return, that is a good sign. But if they give a curt answer and try to end the conversation, that’s a sign of disinterest. Plus, people tend to try to spark or extend conversations with people they like. If the effort is mutual, it’s likely the attraction is mutual. 
More Important Factors for Nonverbal Communication
Keep in mind that body language can depend on the context and culture of the interaction. There’s no “one sign fits all”. Every situation has to be assessed on its own. Therefore, it’s a good idea to notice as many nonverbal cues as possible to get a full picture. Noticing one good sign doesn’t necessarily mean the person is interested or disinterested. For instance, a person could be smiling for politeness; alternatively, a person could be interested but they are uncomfortable with touch until the relationship develops further. In general, individuals can have their own body language cues that can only be learned after spending a considerable amount of time with them. Like some people smile excessively when they feel anxious and others hum to themselves whenever they feel excited.
While this may sound demoralizing, know that body language is like any other language: it can be learned. It may take some observation and trial and error, but people can develop better nonverbal communication. Plus, this isn’t the only skill needed for a romantic relationship. Above all, regular, verbal communication is key. If you feel like your partner is more distant, ask them how they are feeling. If you feel like things are going well, tell your partner how much they are appreciated. And if you are unsure if someone likes you, just ask them.
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- “Body Language Cues That Increase Physical Attraction.” Psychology Today. Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D. October 1, 2020
- “How To Know If Someone Likes You: 27 Signs Of Attraction.” Mind Body Green. Farrah Daniel. December 19, 2020