How many times have you been unable to fall asleep at night, wondering what a guy meant by the strange, quirky little things he did when you saw him that day? It's frustrating, trying to figure it out. It could have meant this, it could have meant that, all of the above, or none of the above! To understand the male version of body language, there are things to look for.
Is he flirting?
We would probably like to think his every move and facial expression has a deeper meaning. He's really "into us," and is sending all sorts of messages he doesn't realize he's sending, or is trying to send and we're just not getting them. But think again. It may be he's not sending any messages at all. The first thing we have to remember is that the straightening of a tie may be just that because he's noticed it's hanging to the side. Puffing up his chest may really mean he has indigestion. It's better not to take for granted he's flirting with you.
However, if he seems to do these things often, maybe it's a good idea to look a little more closely and try to figure out what it all means. There are typical ways men interact with women when they're interested in getting to know them better.
Recognizing his non-verbal cues
Assuming you've been noticing things, but you don't have a clue, a little Body Language 101 is in order. These are the sub-conscious messages he sends that will give him away if you know what to look for.
Preening - Grooming and personal appearance plays a major part in the body language department. If a man seems to be fixing his hair, his tie, his collar, or any of his other clothing, he's preening. It seems to go back to the wild, when the alpha male of a species preens for the females. It's a way of suggesting he wants to look good for you.
The "alpha male" syndrome - Just like in the wild, the male of the human species wants to appear the strongest and most attractive of the group, or of the men you know. He is the dominant male, the leader of the group. He wants you to know this.
Dominance - He takes up more space when he interacts with you. He spreads out, stretches out his arms or his legs. He wants you to notice him. He wants to be seen as dominant. If he pulls in the gut, puffs up the chest, (see above,) or tries to stand taller, he's really trying to be seen as strong and attractive.
Eye contact - If he maintains steady eye contact, it's a pretty good sign he's reading you. He's holding onto you with his gaze. He's showing his interest, and more or less hanging on your every word. It's rare to find people who really pay attention, and steady eye contact indicates he is, indeed, paying attention.
Glances that linger, and a mischievous grin - oh, baby!
Touching - Does he find excuses to touch you or your clothing or jewelry? Any reason to touch you may be a signal. If you feel his hand on your shoulder or upper back while you're in a group of people, or when you're just chatting and he seems unusually touchy-feely, he's probably very interested in you. Touching your clothing or jewelry may be his way of doing it so you're not aware of his motives, but he likes touching anything about you. He's attracted. He might accidentally-on-purpose bump into you.
Positioning - This is pretty well-known, but it's worth mentioning. If a man turns his whole body toward you during conversation, he's smitten. How's he sitting? If everything, including body and feet are pointing toward you, it's a clear sign he's interested.
His eyes - If you can actually see his pupils, and some people's eyes can be difficult that way if the person tends to squint a little, the dilation of the pupils can give him away. The pupils tend to enlarge when there's an attraction. This is not uniquely a man's body language - it can go for both sexes.
The once-over - You've probably noticed it before. You meet a guy, and the first thing he does is look into your eyes, then glance down the entire body and back up to the eyes. It's his way of checking you out. He thinks you won't notice, but you can't help it. This is not one of the more subtle parts of body language.
And finally - If he's really interested, he may be anxious to show you his latest toys and gadgets...new cell phone, new Blackberry, anything that shows he has a lot to offer. He may also be showing you how well he's doing in the world. That's not just flirting - it's a symbol of his ability to take care of you, or a way to bring you a little closer.
Remember, none of these things taken individually means anything. If there is a combination of the above that seems to be making a statement, that's when to make your mental notes and reflect upon them later. If you're hoping his gestures are a sign of his interest in you, I wish you good luck. You may want to look at your body language, as well, to see what messages you're sending.