Are The Feelings Mutual? Signs of Physical Chemistry and Signs Of Mutual Attraction

By: Lindsay Hamilton

Updated November 30, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown

Before a relationship can get started, both sides have to know if the other is attracted to them. This usually comes to pass when one person asks the other out. But what about before? How do you know if someone is attracted to you? How do you know you are attracted to someone in return? There are a lot of physical and verbal cues people make when they are attracted to someone. They're often subtle, and each person will do it slightly differently. If you know where to look, however, you might be able to see if the person you like likes you back.

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Sustained Eye Contact May Be A Sign of Attraction

One thing to look for is eye contact. For confident people, sustained eye contact is a good indicator that they like someone. They'll hold your gaze for longer than you'd expect. You'll be able to tell they're listening to you and not looking all over the place.

If you are attracted to someone, take stock of how often you look into their eyes. Do you remember what color they are? If the two of you have spent quite a bit of time zoned in on conversation together, chances are there is a mutual attraction there.

Awkward Glances

On the flip side, some people look away when they like someone. If eye contact doesn't sound like you, maybe this is why. Shy people will often defer to the other person, giving them space and courtesy. This isn't the same as a person who isn't interested. Instead of looking all over the place, they'll probably look down or at some other place pointedly. They aren't trying to show their disinterest, but don't want to get in your face.

If this is you and you want to be a little more obvious with your flirting, try looking into their eyes now and again. If you're both shy, that might be a sign too.

Flirtatious Touching

Probably the most commonly known action of a flirtatious person is touching. If a person likes you, they'll probably find a way to touch you. This could be a friendly hand on your back, touching your arm in conversation, moving to sit closer to you. Not everyone will be so forward with flirting. A study done by Kansas University found that there are "traditional" flirts that present differently in men and women. The men will be more active, touching, and opening their body language to the person they like while the women will act a bit shyer and often open their palms and arms toward the person, they like.

Laughter

If you both laugh a lot, there's a chance for mutual attraction. Laughter is a major sign of attraction, especially if your jokes aren't that funny. Coy smiles, giggles, and encouragement for more jokes and joy will lead to wonderful conversations and can make attraction flourish. Since laughter is a sign of happiness in general, this sign should be looked at with others on this list. Though no sign is 100% certain, knowing you can make the other person laugh is a precursor for any relationship.

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Fidgeting

Do you notice the person you're talking with fidgets a lot? Do they bounce their knee or play with their hair? This could be a sign that they are nervous around you and aren't sure what to do with themselves. The more they like you, the more they may fidget. You'll notice that they mostly touch their face, change positions while sitting, and anything else where they focus on how they occupy the space around you.

On the opposite end, a person could be very attentive and less fidgety around you. For instance, the person who sustains eye contact will probably not be fidgety but will show you they pay more attention. The more shy, awkward people will be the ones you fidget most likely. It's all about the combination of signs rather than one particular sign.

Blushing

Have you ever noticed when someone you like says something nice to you that you blush uncontrollably? That is a pretty clear indicator of your crush. Blood rushes to your face when you feel attraction, embarrassment, or any other emotion that you feel full. Women are more likely to blush from a crush than men, but it's still possible to catch your man crush in a blush.

Fast Breathing

Fast breathing, quickening heart rate, and stuttering are all signs of feeling flustered. When in the presence of a crush, feeling tongue-tied and short of breath are good signs that you like them. And if you notice that someone you're talking to is nervous, especially if their fast breathing is accompanied by fidgeting or looking away from you, you're good to assume that they like you back. When two people who like each other are very nervous, it might take a while for someone to make the first move. Make a mental note of all of the signs that the person you like likes you back, and then take a deep breath and a chance. That way, you will know once and for all.

Mirroring

Mirroring is an interesting reaction to a crush. When a person unconsciously copies the actions of another person, such as reflecting body language, using the same mannerisms, even using the same voice, we call this mirroring. This isn't something that people do purposefully when they like someone. It happens without their notice, falling into step with the person they are attracted to. Do you talk with your hands a lot? Next time you're around your crush, look to see if they use their hands when they talk with you. And whether you're standing or sitting, see if they face you directly, opening them up to the same way you are. If they do, they probably like you back.

Constant Communication

With guys or girls, people will want to talk to their crush as much as they can. Most people won't stay up into the early hours of the morning talking with you if they don't like you. You'll notice that you keep making plans, or at least trying to make plans. This person will find you in a crowd, show up at a place they know you will be, and do whatever they can to be around you. This is probably the most obvious sign that a person likes you, as it isn't as subtle as the other signs in this list.

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Removing Barriers

Another interesting sign is when they remove barriers between you. The dating app Zoosk talks about recent studies that show if someone is attracted to you, they'll get rid of the little things between the two of you like coffee cups, cell phones, and other clutter. These are more symbolic barriers, as they don't keep this person from talking with you. But it does show that this person has a crush on you, as there will be nothing between the two of you but the conversation you are engaging in.

Signs of attraction are subtle, and they differ from person to person. There's no one thing that every person does that shows they have a crush. Instead, it's more nuanced, meaning that if you want to know if someone likes you, you should pay attention to them.

Since signs like these are open to interpretation, many people get confused, even knowing the signs. You can think for hours and hours about your crush and go over every body movement and still not be sure. If the thought of asking the person themselves if they like you scare the living daylights out of you, there is still hope.

ReGain is a couple and single person text therapy program designed to help you with your relationships. If you are confused, scared, or even just lonely, ReGain can help. You will be matched with one of many therapists or counselors that best fits your needs. You will have a personal, secured chat room to talk to your counselor as much as you need. The therapy is not in real time, so you can send the counselor your needs at the best time that works for you, and they will get back to you within a time specified between the two of you.

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The best part is if you end up in a relationship while in counseling, you can add them to your chat room. They will be able to speak with your counselor and see what you have typed as well. This part is 100% voluntary, but available for you to use.

Chat therapy with ReGain is there for you for all of your relationship questions. For more information and to be matched with a therapist, go to www.regain.us/start. There's no better time than now to get the help that you need.

Hopefully, these signs of mutual attraction will help you navigate the world of dating a little better. You've got this.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is attraction?

The literal definition of attraction is, "the action or power of evoking interest, pleasure, or liking for someone or something." When you're attracted to someone, you'll notice them, and they will stand out to you in some way or another. Think about a time that you had a crush on someone or saw someone at work, school, or a social gathering that you thought was beautiful, cute, or handsome. Those are examples of times that you almost certainly experienced some form of attraction.

Is attraction the same as love at first sight?

When people talk about attraction or love at first sight, they aren't generally referring to the same thing. "Love at first sight" is a common phrase used to describe an overwhelming sensation that you loved someone right when you met them, whereas attraction describes a more general pull toward someone without necessarily feeling that you love someone. You can be attracted to someone immediately. You can also be physically attracted to someone without necessarily being emotionally or romantically attracted to someone.

The scientific world debates if love at first sight is real or not, but instant attraction certainly is. Some people may experience feelings of attraction more quickly than others. Largely, this is due to the fact that some people experience a higher degree of certain types of attraction than others. For example, one person might experience a higher level of physical and sexual attraction and might tend toward it in general. In contrast, other people don't experience much physical or sexual attraction and rely primarily on romantic attraction once they've gotten close to a person. Neither of those things are bad, but if you're attracted to someone and they're attracted to you, it's important to make sure that you're both on the same page in terms of what you want before you start a connection.

What are some of the different kinds of attraction?

Different kinds of attraction include emotional attraction, romantic attraction, aesthetic attraction, physical attraction, and sexual attraction. When you first meet someone, you might be pulled in by their physical features initially, which would refer to physical attraction, and develop romantic feelings for them later, which would refer to romantic attraction. When we think of the word, "attractive," we often think of how a person looks, but there are many other significant elements of attraction to consider. Think about it; if someone's cute, but you don't know anything else about them, it doesn't mean that you want to date them or commit to them long-term. It just means that you're aesthetically attracted to them.

New research is always emerging on attraction, and learning about it can help us to understand how attraction works in others and ourselves. Studies show that a person's personality traits can actually influence how physically attractive or unattractive we find them. It's indicated that positive personality traits can make you perceive someone as more physically appealing and that negative traits can make you perceive someone as less physically appealing. Often, we worry about how attractive or unattractive we are to others. The good news is that, with this research, we know that attractiveness really does come from within. Examples of traits that people tend to see as attractive are optimism, honesty, confidence, helpfulness, and a good sense of humor.

How do I know if someone's attracted to me?

If someone is attracted to you, it's likely that they'll show it through physical signs of attraction or through other cues. These signs and cues may be subtle or obvious. The most obvious sign that someone's attracted to you is overt flirtatious behavior. Someone might compliment you in a flirtatious manner, ask you questions to try to start a conversation with you, or use physical signs of attraction, such as brushing your arm with their hand and making prolonged eye contact. In some way or another, if someone likes you romantically, they'll try to get close to you. They might comment on your posts or photos online or text you funny pictures just to get you to talk. They will want to spend time together and will often display the desire for increased physical and emotional closeness. For example, if they are sitting by you, they may scoot closer to get closer to you in physical proximity. To gain closeness emotionally, they will ask you questions to try to learn more about you and your life. Possibly, they will use your answers to find ways to flirt with you or prolong the conversation.

How do I know if I'm attracted to someone else?

There are subtle signs of attraction as well as more overt signs of attraction. If you're attracted to another person, it's likely that you'll be aware of it. You might think about how you want to kiss them or fantasize about being with them, and you'll almost certainly think highly of them and want to spend time with them. If your attraction is primarily physical or aesthetic, your thoughts about them will mostly surround how they look. If your attraction is romantic, you might think about taking them out on a date, picture yourself saying romantic things to them, or envision spending quality time together. If your attraction is mostly sexual, you might have sexual fantasies about the person or think about what it'd be like to be intimate with them. Sexual attraction and physical or aesthetic attraction might seem similar, but they are actually different. Sexual attraction will be sexual in nature, whereas aesthetic attraction will be related to looks without necessarily including sexual or intimate undertones.

The different kinds of attraction aren't mutually exclusive. Often, if you're attracted to someone, you'll feel multiple kinds of attraction toward him or her. If you're in a relationship with someone, this will almost certainly be the case. Just as aesthetic and sexual attraction differ, romantic attraction and sexual attraction are also not the same. If someone is asexual, they might be in love with someone and experience tremendous romantic attraction toward a person without experiencing any sexual attraction at all. While some people affiliate chemistry and attraction with sex, others do not, which is part of why it's important to recognize that there are different types of attraction. If you're searching for signs that attraction is mutual, it's likely that you're either interested in someone or want to know if they're interested in you.

Can I make myself attracted to someone if I'm not?

There is no way to guarantee that you will develop attraction toward a person. You might be wondering how this whole attraction thing works, and the truth is that many components are required to answer that question. Research indicates that a variety of factors influence attraction, including personality traits, hormones, the sound of a person's voice, and even a person's scent. Despite old idioms such as "opposites attract," studies show that it can actually go either way and that similarities can also attract people to one another.

If you already have a partner and wish to stimulate your attraction to them, there are things you can do. One of the best things that you can do is to do something special or something that is out of the ordinary for both of you. Do something that you wouldn't usually do. For example, if you usually keep it casual and routinely spend your nights indoor, you can dress up and plan a fancy date that you wouldn't usually go on. Organize a romantic night where you would usually just come home and sit on the couch in sweatpants. Listen to each other and ask questions like you're getting to know each other for the first time. If you're both engaged in the process, it's likely to stimulate increased attraction. If you and your partner are having any concerns related to attraction or chemistry, therapy is absolutely an option to consider.

How do I know if attraction is mutual?

If you're wondering if your attraction to someone is mutual, there are signs of mutual attraction that you can look for. As mentioned in the article above, signs of mutual attraction include frequent communication, physical touch, prolonged eye contact, mirroring, blushing, and flirtatious behavior. If the attraction is mutual between you and another person, you'll likely want to talk to each other rather frequently. They'll reach out to you as much as you reach out to them, and their level of interest in the conversation will match yours. One key sign of mutual attraction is that you compliment each other. You might also find yourselves trying to make each other laugh and taking any chance possible to strike up a conversation with the other person.

What should I do if I think I notice mutual attraction?

If you think you notice mutual attraction between you and another person, you're probably wondering how to make the next move. If you're attracted to someone, and they seem to be hinting that they like you, too, the next thing to do is to think of where you're at in terms of being ready for or desiring a relationship. If you want to start a romantic connection with this person, you can ask them to hang out or go on a date and get to know each other better. If you'd rather just hang out at first and see where it goes, that's okay. There's nothing wrong with taking it slow, so don't be afraid to keep your meetings informal until you get a better idea as to if your feelings are mutual or not. Whatever the person's answer is, take it in stride. It's understandable to be nervous when you are about to ask someone out. Just remember that, while the worst thing that could happen is that they say no, the best-case scenario is that they say yes and that your bravery could be the start of something great. You deserve to be with people who are attracted to you in the same way that you are attracted to them, and you deserve to be some with someone who is on the same level in terms of what you want and need in a relationship.

How do I know if chemistry is mutual?

It is not always easy to tell if chemistry is mutual. You may like someone, but are not sure if they like you back. Perhaps you want to make a move and are looking for a good sign that they are interested in going on a date with you.

The best way to know if there is chemistry is to pay attention to how the person acts around you. If they act one way with their friends and then you realize they are smiling and laughing with you more often then usual, this can be a great sign that there is chemistry.

How do you know if two people like each other?

The best way to know if two people like each other is to pay attention to how they act with one another. If there is a good deal of physical contact between them, are making eye contact frequently, or stay physically close, there is a good chance that they like each other. 

What is a mutual attraction?

Mutual attraction is having a physical and emotional attraction to one another. When two people are mutually attracted, they both like each other or have sexual chemistry.

How do you tell if there is a spark between you?

If you are making eye contact with someone and you have a hard time looking away, this is a good sign that there is a spark between you and the other person.

Can other people see chemistry between 2 people?

Sometimes. Depending on how in tune with the people around you, it is not unusual to see chemistry between two people. Nonverbal cues are a good sign that two people may be interested in one another. It is important to pay attention to the little things, such as:

  • If a guy brushes a girls hair out of her eyes
  • If a girl leans into someone when they are talking, but sits back when someone they do not have chemistry is speaking
  • If when in close physical proximity, one or both place their hand next to the others in an effort to gently touch
  • If you notice that each person is looking into the other’s eyes during and after they are done speaking

Can attraction be felt?

Sometimes a connection between two people is so strong that it can be felt by those around them. While this is not a common occurrence, if you are paying attention to how people interact, you may be able to feel an attraction between two people. When you do, you will typically feel joy and a tingling sensation. As the saying “love is in the air” goes, two people who love each other intensely very well can send off signals of their feelings. 

How do you know you have feelings for someone?

One of the biggest signs that you have feelings for them is if they are the last person you think about at night and the first person you think of in the morning.


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