Male Body Language: 12 Signs He Wants You Bad

It would be nice if the guy you like would just make the first move, but sometimes you get tired of waiting. If he’s already pitched a tent in his pants, that’s a pretty good indication that he wants you, sure. But short of the overly obvious signs, how can you be sure you aren’t going to get rejected? Here’s a primer on male body language that should shed some light on what’s going on.

  1. His pupils dilate. This is because oxytocin and dopamine, also known as the “love hormones,” go rushing through your body when you see someone you like. That huge surge of hormones makes your pupils dilate and go wide. If you notice this happening with him, it’s clear he’s nuts about you. Also, if you’re close enough to see the black parts of his eyes get huge, then you’re probably close enough to kiss him, so what are you waiting for?
  2. He maintains eye contact. If he isn’t afraid to break that intense stare you’ve got going, there’s no doubt that he wants you to know he’s interested. When it comes to male body language, this is one of the most obvious giveaways that he likes what he sees and he’s not shy about letting you know.
  3. He gets in your personal space. You know when you notice he’s standing just a little bit closer than is socially acceptable? That’s probably not an accident. While he has no right to make you uncomfortable and touch you without your consent, if you notice he’s harmlessly (but pointedly) making his presence known by getting closer to you and leaning in toward you, he wants you to know he likes you.
  4. He stands with his feet and torso pointing toward you. Even if he isn’t talking directly to you, if he angles his body in your direction, he’s telling you that he likes you probably without even realizing it. In terms of male body language, this one is perhaps the most subconscious but also one of the most understandable. He’s facing you because he wants to give you his full attention.
  5. He mirrors your body language. If he’s subconsciously copying your hand gestures and your speaking patterns, you’re probably connected through some kind of alien master brain. Or he just really likes you. Mimicking one another’s mannerisms is a totally natural and extremely common phenomenon we all do. It’s known as the Chameleon Effect and it helps us relate to those around us better.
  6. He seems jittery or nervous. If he’s usually the confident type but he starts stuttering when he gets around you, congratulations! You officially scare the crap out of him. In a sexy way. He doesn’t want to say or do anything that might ruin his chances with you, so he’s freaking out about how to handle his interactions with you. Chances are, he doesn’t have to worry — if you like him too, you’ll probably be pretty forgiving.
  7. He adjusts his clothes or smooths his hair a lot. He’s usually pretty laid-back and not particularly vain about his appearance. However, when you show up, he’s suddenly concerned with how he looks and starts adjusting his clothes and trying to get his hair perfectly like Uncle Jesse on Full House. It’s actually really endearing that he cares so much. You should let him know that you think that little piece of hair that’s always sticking up is actually really cute.
  8. He’s protective over you. If he throws his entire body in front of yours when a car backfires, get with that guy. Yes, you can take care of yourself and you’re strong and independent and all of that, but he’s not being protective because he thinks you’re hopeless and need him to be your knight in shining armor, he just can’t help himself in wanting to look out for you. It’s just because he cares, so take it as a compliment.
  9. He keeps putting his hands in his pockets or in the general vicinity of his crotch. He either has some kind of rash or he’s trying to draw your attention to his package. There’s only one reason for that. When it comes to male body language, this is far from the most perplexing behavior. Sometimes it happens because he’s appreciating your body which makes him more aware of his own. Other times, it’s totally subconscious and he won’t even be aware that he’s doing it. Of course, he could also be trying to hide an erection, but that’s a whole other story…
  10. He licks his lips. It could just be that his lips are dry, but if he keeps doing it, he’s subconsciously trying to draw your attention to his lips. He might also keep glancing down at your mouth, signaling that he’s just waiting for the moment he can kiss you. It’d be nice if he could just hurry up and get on with it, but it might be up to you to make the first move.
  11. He talks with his hands. If you’re chatting with a guy and he uses a lot of big hand gestures, that indicates he’s passionate about what he’s saying and he wants to convey that to you. This is more of a general male body language move rather than one that’s particularly about you, but use your imagination here. It could also suggest he is good with his hands… wink wink.
  12. He takes every opportunity to touch you. When he can’t keep his hands off you, he officially no longer cares about being subtle, if he ever did in the first place. Make those touches count. Of course, if you ever feel uncomfortable or you don’t want him to touch you, tell him this and he should respect how you’re feeling. If you’re into it, however, by all means, keep going.

Why male body language is so hard to decode

You would think it’d be simple enough to figure out how a guy feels and get a read on him, but there’s a reason they’re so confusing.

  1. Men try to hide their feelings. There’s this erroneous idea among many men that showing emotion or experiencing their feelings in a public way is in some way weak or emasculating. Men struggle to open up, but many are starting to realize that it’s not only normal but healthy to express themselves. However, many are still nervous about rejection or “looking silly” so they try to play everything off as super casual.
  2. We’ve been burned before. As women, how many times have we sworn up and down we were picking up signals that a guy liked us, only for him to turn around and totally reject us? It sucks and it makes us doubt our intuition. After all, every guy is different and has a variety of reasons for doing the things he does, so even if his behaviors seem totally obvious and indicative of a crush, it’s hard to be 100% sure.
  3. Guys are wired differently from women. You’ve heard the old adage “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” right? Our brains are hard-wired in completely different ways, meaning not only do we act differently in the same situation but our motivations for those behaviors are totally different too. What we think is a sign of deeper feelings (because it would be for us) could just be something dudes do that we’re not aware of. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.