The body language of new romance
When meeting up for the first time, or trying get to know a stranger of the opposite sex, how can you know whether they're interested in you or not? Well, you need to study their hands, legs or lips… and their body language will tell the story.
Many unconscious body movements betray hidden emotions, both our own and those of the person we’re trying to get to know. French psychologist and author Joseph Messinger gives us a crash course in reading some of the body language involved in new romance.
Reading body language: lips
Lips are the most sensual part of the mouth. In general, the lips represent pleasure, and yet taken separately, the upper lip reflects anger or lies and the lower lip envy or greed. Luckily, the range of associated body language signs is wider than this!
- Lip biting: This indicates an obvious worry.
Biting of the upper lip relates to feelings of sorrow that can occur when a person is stressed or ill at ease.
Biting of the lower lip relates to a need to please. This can be used voluntarily as a weapon of seduction or unconsciously when the person is worried that you don’t find them attractive.
- A finger on the lips: When a person rests one or more fingers on their lips, this can be interpreted as a self-inflicted refusal to speak. The person is holding themself back from getting into a serious discussion.
Reading body language: knees
Believe it or not, the knee joint is very expressive in body language speak. In a sitting position, each knee angle, in relation to the ground, has its own meaning, allowing an assessment of the person’s availability. All the below positions relate to the sitting position. Joseph Messinger explains…
- Knees folded back, feet taken under the chair: In this position, the toes are bent and the foot and heels don’t touch the ground, with the feet often pulled in under the chair. This position reminds us of a sprinter on the starting blocks, ready to run. It indicates a lack of availability, and it would thus be difficult to break the ice with this person.
- Knees at right angles to the ground: This position indicates a median level of availability. The feet may be on the ground or one of the legs could be placed in a T-bracket shape on the other leg. The person is available but not for any old situation or person. It’s up to you to find a way to strike up a conversation, treading lightly as you do.
- Knees flexed outwards, feet out in front: Here the feet are firmly placed on the ground in front of the chair, legs flexed forwards. This is a relaxed position indicating that the person is feeling good and quite available. This is the ideal position for a friendly discussion, and perhaps more…
Reading body language: arms
In the same way as legs, the arms are folded and unfolded, even hidden, without anyone paying much attention… However, according to Joseph Messinger, if you take a closer look, you can discover lots of subconscious messages.
- Arms hanging down to the side of the body: This position is totally normal during a conversation and it indicates a relaxed attitude, with no other particular meaning. If however, the arms remain stuck to the sides while walking, this is a little alarming as it can indicate a possible psychotic attitude!
- Swinging one arm while walking: This action indicates a tendency towards non-participation, whether it is in a simple conversation or within society in general.
- Arms crossed over the chest: Crossing of the arms generally indicates protection, with this position often adopted when the person is feeling distrustful. If you come up against someone in this position, meaningful conversation is usually not possible.
- A ‘disappearing’ arm: This position involves hiding one arm behind the back. If the left arm is hidden, the person is trying to control their emotions and is feeling destabilised by the situation. If the right arm is hidden, the person is worried about losing control and this is a way of expressing his displeasure at the situation.
Reading body language: hands
The hands are like sub-titles to actual speech and they unconsciously communicate a person’s emotional state. Hands take on many positions and so there are loads of body language signs too. Joseph Messinger takes us through a few of them…
- Open hands, palms facing upwards: This indicates that the person has an open mind.
- Open hands, palms facing downwards: This indicates that the person is prudent and carefully considers his own decisions while tempering those of others.
- Opposing hands: The palms are face-to-face, often stuck together. This indicates that the person is holding back and setting limits.
- Fists: Here the hands are closed and balled up into fists, which is a sign of the person’s aggressiveness. Their fists are often used to build up their own fighting spirit and provoke the same in their ‘adversary’. Pay attention, as if the person’s hands are often fisted, this probably means that they are incapable of communicating.
- Hidden hands: Hiding of both hands almost always indicates that the person is hiding the truth.
Hiding only the right hand indicates that the person feels inferior to the person speaking to them (this would be you!)
Hiding only the right hand indicates that the person is suffering from a lack of inspiration.
Reading body language: feet
Feet move around a lot and hold a lot of body language signs and signals. Joseph Messinger helps us to read the non-verbal language from toe to heel!
- Feet flat to the ground under a chair: When both feet are fully flat to the ground, this reveals that the person is feeling relaxed, calm and not at all embarrassed.
- Feet anchored to the chair: If the feet are anchored to the chair’s bars or legs, this person’s mind is running away with them, and anchoring the feet is an attempt to stay grounded.
- One foot flat, the other on its toes: If the raised foot is the right one, this position means that the person is not very interested what you're are saying and so you should perhaps find a new subject of conversation. If the left foot is raised, this means that the person is scared of failure and is feeling stressed.
Copyright © 2010 Doctissimo
- Catching the man of your dreams
- Perfect your summer flirting skills
- Finding your perfect match
- Start a new relationship on the right foot
- Mixed couples: overcoming differences for love
- How to get over your fear of love
- Seduction: How to make the first move
- Summer lovin'
- Love knows no bounds: Love stories around the world
Get more on this subject…