Eyes darting away from you. Crossed arms. A smile that lights up their whole face. Leaning in to listen. As they say, actions speak louder than words — and all of these subtle physical cues can say a whole lot about how your boo is feeling. Fortunately, many of those signals translate on video chat, so if you're wondering what your partner's body language on FaceTime dates reveals, there's plenty to unpack. You don't even have to do all the decoding yourself — I talked to two experts to figure out what various gestures, movements, postures, and expressions indicate about where your SO is at.
Unfortunately, a virtual date doesn't offer all the same info an in-person one does. After all, being in someone's physical presence allows you a better read on their energy, and since you aren't limited to what you see in a camera frame, you may be privy to additional cues that can be super telling — like where their feet are pointed, or which direction their legs are crossed in (FYI: those both dictate where a person's attention lies). Still, you can get a strong sense of your partner's engagement in the conversation, mood/emotional state, and even interest in you by simply taking a deeper look at what's on your screen.
Here are some surprisingly revealing signals to look out for — and what they say about your SO.
Their phone isn't propped up.
It may seem insignificant, but experts agree it's worth noticing how your partner chooses to set up your FaceTime date. According to Traci Brown, a body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, opting to set the phone up on a table or other surface is a more formal approach than holding it in their hand and walking around the room, which is more laid-back.
"Propping it up shows that they’re going to take care of details," she explains. “It says 'I’m paying attention to you.'"
On the other hand, if your SO seems to be holding the phone in their hand so that they can get closer to the frame, that may suggest that they're craving more intimacy. This is because it allows you to see their facial expressions more closely.
"[The phone] acts symbolically as an extension of their body and shows more of desire to connect physically," explains Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma.
They lean in closer.
How close or far from the camera your partner sits may just come down to their habits or personal preference/comfort levels. However, if you pay close attention when they move closer or farther away, experts say that can offer some deeper insight. Brown says this is a good general rule of thumb to follow: if they're interested in you and what you have to say, they'll usually move closer.
According to Wood, it's worth also noting what topics you're talking about when they do move in close.
"If you share something funny do they come in close to laugh with you? If they ask you a question do they come in close to really hear what you are saying? Also, notice if they bring the phone closer to them as the date goes on and the conversation moves from surface topics to more self-disclosure," she tells Elite Daily.
On the other hand, Wood notes that if they stay physically removed or at any point move farther away, that can demonstrate that your partner is subconsciously trying to keep you at a distance.
They keep moving around the room.
If your partner is pacing around a lot on your date, Wood says that can indicate that they're feeling nervous or anxious about something. If they're moving around for a specific purpose, though — such as to show you something meaningful — that's a different story.
"Look for signs they want to show you their home, their space, or their activities as that can be a wonderful indication of desire to bring you into their lives," she explains.
Another common signal that your partner is feeling nervous is if they scratch their face. According to Brown, when someone has butterflies in their stomach, the capillaries in their face swell somewhat, which causes an itching sensation.
They smile with their eyes.
“There’s a lot of information around and in the eyes," says Brown.
While you might think that a smile starts with the mouth — it's the eyes that indicate true joy. Brown advises looking for creases at the outer edges (next to the temples) for a sign of real happiness. Conversely, a smile that's expressed by the mouth only suggests politeness — and nothing more.
Their arms are folded.
Aside from moving farther away from you, another sign that shows your SO is seeking to create some distance is if they cross their arms at their chest.
"It puts a barrier between you and them," explains Brown.
Similarly, if your partner has placed another physical barrier between themselves and the camera — such as a long table, a stack of books, or a water bottle — that can also suggest that they don't want to get too close.
If your partner is more open to emotional intimacy, they'll leave their "windows" wide open.
“There are windows all over your body — your eyes, your neck, your heart, the palms of the hands, your knees, and the bottoms of your feet,” Wood previously told Elite Daily. “They keep their windows open to you to show they feel safe and want to connect to you.”
They maintain intermittent eye contact.
Experts agree that eye contact is a strong sign that your partner is interested and engaged — but that doesn't mean it's a red flag if they look away. In fact, according to Brown, normal communication in the U.S. involves eye contact only 60% of the time. More than that feels creepy (accurate AF), but less than that feels like they aren't paying attention.
However, if your partner is constantly darting their eyes away from you, or looking away for extended periods of time, Brown says that's different — it usually shows they're either distracted by something or just generally disinterested. Or, if they're closing their eyes a lot, that could suggest they're lying or hiding something.
They start mimicking your physical and vocal movements.
One of the strongest signals that your SO is on the same page as you is if they start mirroring your physical movements. That said, Wood points out that this is less likely to happen over FaceTime than it is in person — perhaps because being in someone's presence allows you to pick up on their energy in a way that drives home certain signals. If you notice that they're following your lead on video chat, that's pretty impressive.
"If you feel that they are moving when you move and mirroring some of your body language that it an incredibly good sign," explains Wood.
Wood adds that the same is true if they're mirroring the tone, tempo and volume level of your voice.
So, if your partner suddenly crosses their legs right after you do, leans on their arm in the same direction, or tilts their head at the same angle, that probably means you're totally *in sync.*
Traci Brown, body language expert
Patti Wood, body language expert