You all know what it feels like when you’re trying to capture the attention of someone you like. There is the pinch in your gut: the butterflies, the nervousness, and the sensation of your mind spinning as you try to think of something clever to say. But how many of us understand what occurs, scientifically, when we flirt? The phenomenon of desire within your brain actually sparks chemical reactions that affect different parts of the body, from your head to your toes. Keep reading to find out how your body changes when you’re talking to that special someone — plus, you can watch your crush to see if they feel the same way about you!
It’s all about the eyes
Are you the kind of person who looks deep into your crush’s eyes while flirting? Well while you’re there, pay attention to their pupils. When human beings are looking at someone they find attractive, the pupils naturally dilate, or enlarge. If you notice your crush’s pupil size growing as they look at you, then you’re probably on the right track! And although you can’t feel your own eyes dilate, try sneaking a glance into a mirror or at the reflection in your phone next time you’re flirting. You might be surprised by how accurate this body signal is.
Have you ever found yourself copying your crush while talking? Perhaps you both reach for your drinks at the same time, or you both fold your hands at the same moment. Well, this is because we are scientifically wired to mimic one another’s actions while flirting! This kind of social interaction can be rather nerve-wracking for both parties, and mimicry functions to put both people at ease. Why? Well, the answer is simple: by engaging in similar gestures and behaviors, we communicate on a fundamental level that we are the same. If we feel like we are the same, then we naturally feel safer. So, if you ever notice your crush copying your body language… chances are, they like you back!
When you’re flirting, your body experiences this as a stressful situation and releases both adrenaline and norepinephrine. These hormones trigger a “fight or flight” response throughout your body, which then affects a variety of physical functions. Depending on your personal response to stress, you may notice your heart pounding, your palms becoming sweaty, or your face flushing as you’re talking to your crush. Pay attention to that special someone next time you’re flirting — does their face become more red? Do they need to wipe their hands on their pants or shirt a lot? Then odds are, they like you too.
Laugh it up
Do you find yourself laughing at everything your crush says, even bits that aren’t that funny? Well, there’s a science behind this as well! When you feel like you’re making a real connection with someone you like, the brain begins to release a chemical called oxytocin. This occurs after you’ve gotten to know your crush a little better — after the fight or flight hormones are released, and you begin to feel more comfortable. Oxytocin is a “feel good” hormone that is linked to trust, connectedness, relaxation, and contentment. If you and your crush are constantly making each other laugh, then you can be certain that the oxytocin is flowing and you’re forging a real bond.