If you have recently noticed a guy touch your back you’re probably wondering why he did it and what it might mean.

This post will try to help you figure out why he might have done it and to make sense of it as it happens in the future.

So, what does it mean when a guy touches your back? It can mean that he’s attracted to you especially if he only does it to you, he does it on separate occasions and he shows other signs of attraction. He could also be being protective, consoling you, dominant, mirroring you, he might want to be more than friends or it might be that he wants to see how you’ll react to it.

Since there are a number of reasons why a guy might touch your back it is important to consider the other body language signals that he was showing.

By doing so you’ll be able to get a better idea of the motivations behind why he did it.

Possible reasons why a guy will touch your back

Each of the different reasons why a guy might touch your back will likely come with a number of different clues in his body language.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why a guy will touch your back along with the body language signals to look for.

He’s attracted to you

He might have touched your back because he is attracted to you.

If that is the case, he would likely show a number of other signals of attraction in his body language when he is with you.

They can include:

  • Having dilated pupils when talking to you
  • Pointing his feet towards you even when not talking to you
  • Glancing your way often and smiling or quickly looking away when you catch him
  • Asking your friends about you
  • Holding prolonged eye contact with you
  • A lack of squinting, tensing of the lips and jaw or tightening of the eyebrows
  • Showing his crotch area
  • Adjusting his clothing or hair when he notices you
  • Showing signs of nervousness around you
  • Showing signs of anxiety when you’re around other men
  • Getting defensive when there are other men around
  • Standing close to you when talking to you
  • Talking with a deeper voice than normal
  • Talking to you more than other people in the group
  • Positioning himself so that he is close to you

He’s being dominating

When people are trying to make it apparent that they are the dominant person in a group they will often touch other people in the group.

If he touched you on the back when telling you to do something or when making a statement aimed at you then it would make it more likely that he was being dominant.

It could be the case that he is both dominant towards you and attracted to you. If that is the case then he would likely show a number of the signs of attraction mentioned above in addition to showing some of the dominance signals mentioned below.

If he was being dominant then it would be likely that he would show other signs of dominating behavior such as:

  • Staring
  • Squinting
  • Tight lips
  • Interrupting you
  • Talking over people
  • Talking loudly and with a deeper voice
  • Tight jaw
  • Tightening of the eyebrows
  • Thumb displays
  • Taking up lots of space
  • Taking a stance that makes him appear bigger
  • Putting his hands and feet on things that aren’t his

He’s consoling you

Often, when people are trying to make other people feel better, they will put their arms around their back.

If you were sad at the time and you were showing signs of being sad in your body language it would make it more likely that this is why he did it. It would also be more likely if he wrapped his arm around your back.

He’s trying to get you to move

Sometimes people will tap them on the back in order to get them to move.

If he was trying to go somewhere and he went somewhere else as soon as he touched your back then it would make it more likely that it’s why he did it.

Another reason that someone might touch your back is that they are trying to get your attention. If he touched your back from behind and he immediately started talking to you then it would be more likely that this is why he did it.

He’s being protective

Sometimes men will put their arms around a women’s back when they are trying to be protective.

This would be more likely to be the case if he is your boyfriend. However, if he isn’t then it would be a more sexual signal if he was to do it when sitting with you or walking with you.

He wants to be more than just friends

If you have been friends with him for a while then he might have done it because he wants more than just a friendship with you.

If that is the case then he would likely have been showing a number of the attraction signals mentioned above. However, you might not have noticed them.

If he hasn’t overtly told you that he wants more than just a friendship before then he might be too nervous to. If that is the case then he would likely show signs of being nervous as well when he is around you.

He’s mirroring you

When a person is trying to fit in with a certain group of people he will often begin to mirror a number of their behaviors and body language signals.

If you both tend to hang out with the same people and you have touched him on the back yourself in the past then it could be that he is mirroring your own behavior.

Mirroring can actually be another signal of attraction so if he was mirroring you then it could be the case that he also finds you attractive. If he does then he would likely show a number of the other attraction signals already mentioned.

If he was mirroring you then it would be likely that he would mirror a number of your other behaviors as well.

Examples include:

  • Copying how you walk and how fast
  • Speaking at a similar pitch and speed
  • Mirroring your hand gestures
  • Copying your smile and laugh
  • Laughing when you do
  • Standing and sitting in a similar way to you

He wants to see your reaction

It might be the case that he is attracted to you but he is unsure of how you feel about him.

This might have caused him to touch your back as a way to see how you would react and to find out whether or not you find him attractive.

Again if this is the case then he would likely show a number of signals of attraction in his body language when with you. He would also likely have had a cautious or observant body language when he did it.

Think about your relationship with him

When trying to figure out why he touched your back it would be helpful to think about what your relationship with him is like.

If you have been friends with him for a long time but he hasn’t touched your back before then it would make it more likely that he did it because he doesn’t want to just be friends. If you think that is why he did it then consider the other body language signals that he shows when you see him next but don’t make it obvious.

If you haven’t met him before then he might have been trying to get your attention or to move you along but it might also have been due to domination or attraction. It’s important to consider the other body language signals that he showed when he did it.

Consider when and where he did it

Thinking about the timing of when he touched your back and the location of where it happened would likely be helpful as well.

If he touched you on the back while also telling you what to do then it would be likely that he was trying to encourage you to do it but in a more dominating way.

If he did it while you were alone together and while he changed his body language slightly to appear a little bit anxious then it would make it more likely that it was due to attraction.

Consider his normal behavior

When trying to make sense of a guy’s body language signals it is important to consider what his normal body language looks like.

If he typically touches people when talking to them then it wouldn’t necessarily mean much when he touches your back unless he also shows other different body language signals.

If he doesn’t normally do it then it would make it more likely that he touched your back due to one of the reasons already discussed.

If you want to learn more about body language, a book I would recommend would be The Definitive Book of Body Language (on Amazon). It shows you how to interpret body language and understand people's true intentions.

Author

I created and currently manage Body Language Central, one of the premier sources for body language-related knowledge. Body language plays a key role in our daily lives. I hope that my website can help condense the wide amount of body language information available and allow you to make full use of it in your daily life. You can read more about me and my website here.