During a big discussion, he goes completely mute

What it means: Simply that he’s male. Experts told me that guys are hardwired to derive less enjoyment than women do from deep, personal conversations. “Talking through emotional issues releases oxytocin, and, in women, estrogen enhances that hormone’s calming effects,” explains Kinsey Goman. Testosterone, though, blunts oxytocin’s properties; that’s why, for men, such discussions can increase anxiety and distress. And when that happens? “Stonewalling is an automatic response to feeling emotionally flooded,” says Katie Ramsburgh, a marriage and family therapist with Seattle’s Gottman Relationship Institute. “He is mentally fleeing the situation. It’s a self-soothing mechanism.”

How to deal: “The heart rate of a man in this state can go up considerably,” says Ramsburgh, “and parts of the brain actually shut down.” And “flooding” is even more likely if he thinks you’re blaming him for something. So come at a touchy topic in a nonaccusatory way. “For example,” says Ramsburgh, “if the discussion is about how much time he spends at work, start with ‘I know work is important to you, but you’ve been practically living at the office, and I really miss you.’ This is less likely to bring on the poker face than ‘You’re always working, and we never have time together anymore.’”

He puts a hand on another woman’s arm

What it means: Surprisingly, experts say you should be worried about this one. “Sometimes a touch truly is casual…but I’d be wary,” Kinsey Goman says. This is Body Language 101: Our hands and legs point toward what we desire, even if we are not yet ready to admit those desires to ourselves.

How to deal: A touch below the elbow is in the danger zone, believes Lillian Glass, Ph.D., author of The Body Language Advantage. And Kinsey Goman says to beware repeated contact: “If my boyfriend put his hand on the small of a woman’s back, if he leaned against her, if he touched her hair, if their feet touched—if I saw a combination of two or three of these, I’d know we were in trouble.” But if it’s not that extreme? Don’t overanalyze. Sometimes a hug is just a hug.

He asks if you went out last night—and where

What it means: He’s not just asking whether you went out. He’s asking, “Did you go out late drinking with your girlfriends, and, if so, did you go to a club and dance, and, if so, did you flirt with other guys, and, if so, did you get drunk and make out with anyone?” If you’re in a new relationship, what he’s doing is establishing trust, says Ramsburgh. “That’s critical,” she continues. “He wants to know more about who you are and what you’re doing when he’s not around. And he wants to know if he can trust you.”

How to deal: You don’t have to account for your whereabouts with someone you’ve just started dating. But if it’s nice to know that he cares, tell him whatever you feel like sharing. If he grills you on a daily basis, though, take note: It could suggest disturbing control-freak issues.