How to read his body language
>>The signal: He leans back in his chair during a conversation
SHe thinks: "This is his weak attempt at being cool and detached," says Kim from Brandon, Man. "He doesn't like what's being said, so he's punishing me and putting distance between us."
He thinks: "This feels like a big status move by someone who is confident and comfortable," says Dave from Edmonton. "I half expect to see this person put his fingertips together and reveal his plans for world domination, like a James Bond villain. Which is why I don't do it...yet!"
What it really means: "It's about making oneself comfortable in order to engage in the conversation," says Ren. "It's not a withholding stance - if the man is relaxing back rather than withdrawing, it's a good sign. It shows he's at ease."
>>The signal: He puts his hands in his pockets when approached
SHe thinks: "He's feeling bashful and humble," says Kim from Brandon, Man. "He'd rather hide his hands than take a chance of them betraying his awkwardness."
He thinks: "I'm usually in a playful mood if I do this," says Marcel from Grand Falls, N.B. "Or trying to look cute."
What it really means: "This is preening behaviour," says Ren. "He's showing off like a peacock and saying, 'Look at my beautiful tail!' Yes, he's trying to draw attention to himself; however, it is neither conscious nor sinister. This isn't some machismo, mine's-bigger-than-his thing. He's saying, 'Please look at me as a sexual being, notice me as a man.'"
>>The signal: He fidgets with his beer bottle or glass
SHe thinks: "He's nervous," says Carolyn from Montreal. "Or he has the attention span of a child."
He thinks: "It's an awkward nervous reaction," says Dave from Edmonton. "I do it when I don't know what to do with my hands...and always when I've had too much coffee."
What it really means: "Holding something is about tactile stimulation, and that's a good thing," says Ren. "He's not quite sure what to do with himself, and he's a little off balance. If you've just met and he does this, along with giving you good eye contact and leaning forward with his body when you're together, you've got him. These behaviours are innate, unconscious and unchanging. They tend to signal the same message repeatedly, whether you've been with this person for five minutes or five years."
>>The signal: He sits with his legs crossed
SHe thinks: "He's ready to dish, girl-style, and he's getting his masculinity out of the way to do so," says Kim from Brandon, Man.
He thinks: "It means I'm listening," says Marcel from Grand Falls, N.B. "And that in about five minutes I'm probably going to uncross my legs because they're going to cramp."
What it really means: "Crossed legs can mean different things," says Ren. "Men commonly sit with their legs crossed as a gesture of comfort, but it also blocks entrance to the body. If you sit across from him when his legs are crossed, at some point he should uncross them. If after five minutes into the conversation he's still blocking you with his legs, it's time to re-evaluate."
>>The signal: He starts rubbing his chin when you talk to him
SHe thinks: "He's deep into what I'm saying," says Carolyn from Montreal.
He thinks: "Either my chin is itchy or I'm checking to see if I need a shave," says Marcel from Grand Falls, N.B. "I'm generally unaware of this behaviour until I get accused of not listening or scolded with 'Damn it! You're doing it again!'"
What it really means: "Any nervous, fussy preening gesture is auto-erotic stimulus behaviour," says Ren. "If he's rubbing his chin, he's wishing he was touching you or that you were touching him. It's all about arousal, and it's a good sign, especially if it's happening when eye contact is being made. He's saying, 'I'm thinking about how delicious you look.'"