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Eye Movements Reveal Difference Between Love and Lust

Posted on February 15th, 2017

Did you know that you can determine if someone is interested in pursuing a relationship with you just by watching their eyes? In honour of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a closer look at recent research on eye gaze and personal connection. 

Research has suggested that if a person’s eyes are focused on your body it indicates their intentions are more lustful. Alternatively, if a person is looking directly into your eyes, their body language is indicative that they are more interested in pursuing a romantic relationship. The Psychological Science journal used eye tracking technology to determine that eye gaze can differentiate between desire and love. The research was conducted to provide singles with more information on a first date’s intentions, aside from dialogue.

Eye gaze is a surprisingly rich source of information about one’s interest, intentions, and goals. Data from a person’s gaze is collected in order to gather information on a wide variety of subjects, including advertising appeal (check out our blog on this fascinating topic). To collect data, an eye tracking device is attached to a pair of glasses that records where people look and how they move their gaze. Using software, the patterns and length of time a person looks at an area of a screen, a person, or at any visual display, can provide much in the way of information.

In this experiment, a total of 20 college students (13 women and seven men) viewed a series of pictures of people they had never met before. Subjects were asked to look at each photograph and indicate as quickly as possible what they thought. The results proved that subjects who looked directly into the person’s eyes were experiencing feelings of romantic desire.

Of course, there are many other telltale signs to determine if your date is into you, which don’t require scientific confirmation. Your best bet is to observe body language. The following behaviours show intentions of more than simply physical attraction:

  • Pupils dilate
  • Eyebrows are raised
  • Front teeth are showing due to smiling
  • Leaning forward when talking
  • Walking next to you at the same speed – not too fast or slow

Next time you’re out on a date, watch their eyes. Then, if you aren’t locking gaze, you may want to start looking for the closest exit!