Can Staring Into Someone's Eyes Make You Fall In Love?

Making a romantic move on someone new can leave you feeling super vulnerable. If you're not sure how they feel then the fear of rejection can take over. However, Psychology Today has suggested that there are some clear non-verbal clues that could suggest that your feelings are mutual. So, can staring into someone's eyes makes you fall in love? There's science behind intense eye contact, according to Science of People, and if you maintain strong eye contact with a date you may find that your feelings intensify.

According to research conducted by the National Institute of Physiological Science, eye contact plays a key role in socializing, getting close to someone, and can shape how you feel about them. The study conducted three different experiments, which centered around 96 strangers gazing into each other's eyes for two days. Their brain activity was monitored and concluded that the right inferior frontal gyrus (an area of your brain) lit up at the same time in both people when they maintained eye contact (via EurekAlert!). Researchers suggested eye contact could be key in building a bond.

However, Psychology Today highlighted that there's a crucial difference between intimate eye contact and staring. Not breaking a gaze has beneficial qualities if it's mutual. Otherwise, it could just be seen as rude. The length of time you stare into someone's eyes isn't the only important thing. Body language expert and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language, Patti Wood, told Cosmopolitan that when you look into your crushes eyes, your pupils may dilate. "Dilation is a brain response that occurs when you like and are attracted to something," she said.

The science behind eye contact

The way you look at your date might not be the first thing you think about when you're working out how you feel about them. However, Healthline explains that when you see something that interests you or captures your eye, your brain releases the love hormones oxytocin and dopamine.

According to Harvard University, Dr. Helen Fisher at Rutgers led a team of researchers who suggested that dopamine could play a key role in attraction, and oxytocin helps you build feelings of attachment. Dopamine leaves you feeling good while oxytocin is often nicknamed the "cuddle hormone." Psychology Today also outlined that oxytocin can play a role in pupil dilation.

Over two decades ago, Dr. Arthur Aron led a team of researchers to publish The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness. It involved people entering a lab, staring into each other's eyes for four minutes, and answering increasingly personal questions. This involved people being vulnerable with each other while maintaining eye contact.

Further research conducted by scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands looked into the impact that staring into someone's eyes can have. They concluded that eye contact can be crucial in building trust, something that's fundamental in a love bond (via SAGE Journals). They found that when strangers stared into each other's eyes and their pupils dilated, they spent three times as long gazing as those whose pupils didn't dilate. Senior author, Norihiro Sadato, said in a press release, "Based on the enhancement of behavioral and neural synchronization during mutual gaze, we now know that shared attention is hard to establish without eye contact" (via ScienceDaily).

While initial attraction is important, science would suggest that staring into your crushes eyes could indicate whether there's love on the horizon.