7 Body Language Signs That Give Away the Secrets of a Relationship

7 Body Language Signs That Give Away the Secrets of a Relationship

From the way you hold hands to how much you lean towards each other, all gestures can show how close you are as a couple.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 26, 2021. It has since been updated.

Given how much time you spend together, you know him and his idiosyncrasies inside out, and he yours. This knowledge has either brought you closer together or driven a wedge between you. You could be certain of where you two are headed or you could be unsure of where your relationship is heading and don't want to confess all the doubts to the other. But do you think only words are telling? 


Your body language can be a dead giveaway to what you're thinking, how close you are to your partner and how the relationship will fare in the future. Celebrities' body language tells us a lot about who wears the pants, how close they are, and experts have repeatedly analyzed the body language of famous people. The analysis applies as much to ordinary humans as to the rich and the famous. 

Here are eight body language signs that will tell you about your relationship: 

1. Arm around the shoulder



Therapist Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., a professor at Oakland University in Michigan, and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, explained to Women's Health Mag that it doesn't matter if you're sitting or walking or standing when you put your arm around their shoulder. It is a loving gesture, according to her. “They’re trying to be more physically close to you by drawing you into them,” she said.

2. Hand behind the back



Not everyone agrees on what this gesture means. For some, it is a gesture through which one partner is making a power move by placing the hand behind the other's back when they stand up or while leading them while walking. However, for others, it can be a sign of caring, comfort, and emotional closeness. “You’re reaching out to that person and symbolically helping them up or into a room in a positive way,” Orbuch said. 

3. Holding hands



While this is a classic move not all couples do this. “Touch symbolizes intimacy, emotional closeness, and happiness in a relationship,” she said. If you find yourself holding hands with your partner often, it can mean that you are incredibly close. 

And it is not just about holding hands, the space between the two of is also very telling. “Most people have a radius of about a foot and a half around us that is our personal space,” she says, “and if you let someone into that it indicates intimacy.”


When you're with your partner and the two of you not just hold hands but are also close together that your shoulders brush it indicates more intimacy than having a gap between you. “When there’s a big gap between people, even if they’re holding hands, I think of them more as friends," she added. 

4. Pat on the back

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As intimate partners, in times of encouragement and success, if your partner is literally patting you on the back instead of embracing you, there is a problem. "If you partner begins to pat you on the back during a hug, it immediately desexualizes it. Let's face it, you and your partner aren't just teammates," Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma told GoodHousekeeping.com


5. Standing side by side


Standing side by side doesn't mean you don't like each other but when your bodies are turned towards each other it's a better indication that you like each other, says Orbuch. If, when you're at a party, you're standing together, looking at each other and leaning towards each other, it is a public show of intimacy. You are choosing each other's company over others. 


6. Kissing on the face


This is one of the most obvious signs but not always. If you're only pecking on the lips than kissing deeply, it can tell about what kind of relationship you have. When you're romantically involved is when you spend a longer amount of time kissing. 

A peck on the cheek is meant for friends and for greeting people while a kiss on the forehead is not clear. “Personally, I think it is a sign of more power and status for the kisser. Parents do that to children, older people do it to younger, smaller people,” says Orbuch. “Or it means I have something over you—‘I have more wisdom so I kiss you on the forehead.’ It’s a sign of experience or expertise and an imbalance in status, and I don’t think of a romantic relationship involving kisses on the forehead longterm," she added. 





Cover image source: Getty Images