How Eye Contact And Attraction Are Linked

Updated September 04, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown

There are many ways to convey attraction to someone. Some ways are overt, such as classic gifts like candy or flowers. We may gravitate towards the person when we see them, attempting to spend as much time around them as possible. Other times, we may be straight forward and use our words to tell someone that we find them attractive.

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Some ways of conveying attraction are more subtle than others. Your body language can display attraction in minute ways. Voice inflection is another small way we show our attraction. Doing the little extra things for the person we are attracted to is yet another way to handle our attraction.

Eye contact can be overt or subtle, depending on the person and situation. Eye contact can display interest, attraction, and curiosity.

Eye Contact Is Often The First Step

If you are in a bar, coffee shop, bookstore, or any other public place and you see someone you find attractive, your beginning move, if you want their attention, is to try and catch their eye. Eye contact, even just a momentary, fleeting contact, can communicate a lot in a short amount of time.

Eye contact in this setting signifies an interest in getting to know the other person. It can be an invitation to approach the person and get to know them. Eye contact is a technique used when attracting women or men. Getting someone's attention with eye contact can often lead to a better interaction rather than approaching someone with no prior contact.

Eye Contact Communicates Intent

Body language generally communicates a person's thoughts and attitudes in unspoken ways. For example, folding your arms and leaning back when someone is talking to you can communicate being closed off to their ideas or even hostility towards the person.

When you make eye contact with someone you are attracted to, it communicates intentionality. You are purposefully telling them you are both looking at them and reading their body language to see if the attraction is mutual. Eye contact, more than any other form of body language, communicates intent, focus, and attention.

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This communication can be seen outside the world of attraction in job interviews, for example. If you don't make eye contact with your interviewer, they might perceive you as not listening or paying attention. However, with direct eye contact, you communicate focus, intentionality, and confidence.

The Rest Of The Story

We've discussed how eye contact can get you noticed and communicates attraction, but what next? What else does can eye contact do for you?

Once you have the attention of the person you are attracted to, eye contact continues to play a roll in how you communicate. Keeping eye contact while talking with the person is an excellent way to indicate you are listening, that you are comprehending and that you are paying attention to them. Eye contact communicates continued interest and that you have chosen them to be the focus of your attention.

Eye contact isn't the only way to show continued interest, however. Again, other body language cues help communicate a continued attraction. Things like body posture, slightly leaning towards the person and smiling all let them know that you feel an attraction towards them and that you are enjoying your interaction.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see that you are reading men's body language of attraction correctly. Body language isn't only about attraction; it is also about social posturing. The man may be putting on an aloof persona or a sense of bravado to project a specific image. In cases like this, eye contact (or the lack thereof) can be highly telling of the man's true intentions.

The same goes for women. Often socialization and cultural expectations of how a woman is supposed to act can cause her to perform a roll rather than be genuine with body language or even verbal language. Here again, eye contact is a marker that is hard to fake and, therefore, can give insight into a person's true feelings.

Eye Contact And Attraction

What is it about eye contact specifically that communicates attraction? There are a few benefits of eye contact that come into play here.

Eye contact helps us read the person so we can react accordingly. Imagine if you were talking to someone you thought was attractive, but they were wearing mirrored sunglasses. You may be able to talk to them, but it would be a bit of an unbalanced conversation because you would have very little information to go off to help you see if they are interested or not. You would have to rely much more on the tone of voice and body language. Taking away the eyes takes away a considerable way in which we communicate non-verbally.

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Eye contact also helps us remember what is said. A 2006 study found that when a salesperson looked at the camera more during a video presentation, the people that saw the video were more likely to recall the information. When we are attracted to someone, we may be thinking about seeking to start a relationship with them. For this to happen, there needs to be more than a one-off encounter. So, it is vital to get to know the other person by remembering what they have said, what they are interested in, what they like about you, and so on. Eye contact can help us remember these details with greater clarity.

When eye contact occurs, the body releases a small dose of the chemical Oxytocin. Oxytocin is often called "the love hormone" and is associated with social, sexual, and emotional bonding. A hormone is released when we look into each other's eyes that help us create stable bonds. This hormone's release is excellent news for people who are attracted to each other. You can have bonding time over dinner just by having eye contact.

Eye Contact And Relationships

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. We certainly act as if they are. When we don't want people to know what we're thinking, we tend to avoid their gaze. When we want to open up to someone and invite them into our minds (so to speak), we can look them in the eyes.

Eye contact matters far more than merely an initial attraction. When we are looking for a long-term relationship or are seeking to strengthen an existing relationship, keeping the practice of eye contact can help form a foundation of open and honest communication.

Eye contact can be a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your partner. As we have said, the release of Oxytocin creates bonding and the feeling of being in love. It is a great way to communicate to your partner that you still want them, still want to know them, and still want them to know you.

Going Beyond Eye Contact

While eye contact can be a great tool in attraction, it takes more than some flirty eyes to cultivate a dating relationship. Verbal communication is always the best route. It is crucial to work towards being upfront about your intentions, being honest about your desires, and being open to what the other person wants and needs.

Healthy relationships take more than body language. They take communication, effort, and willingness to change and compromise. It can be tricky to navigate them alone. Cultivating healthy relationships is where a licensed therapist can help your relationship, whether it is just beginning, or you have been together for 50 years.

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Therapists can help you move beyond vague connection tactics and go deeper into your bond together. Working through conflict and finding a resolution, both partners are happy with is one of the ways a relationship therapist can help. Therapists can also help you work better together, amplifying each other's strengths, and supporting each other where there is room for improvement.

Couples therapy is a way to move beyond, relying on attraction only for the foundation of your relationship. Relationship therapy is a way to go deeper, be more intentional, and create a foundation that can weather any storm.

Eye Contact Matters

While we do want to have deep, meaningful relationships, the attraction is essential to keep cultivated no matter how long you have been with your partner. Keeping the attraction factor up can keep the relationship fun, fan the initial spark into a flame, and help the relationship from becoming stale.

Keep practicing that eye contact. You and your partner can enjoy it, have your bond strengthened, and enjoy a flirtatious aspect of the relationship as well.

Even if you're not in a long-term relationship, remember that eye contact is a great way to flirt, to show attraction, and to get the person's attention. Eye contact opens you up to the possibility of a happy relationship full of vigor, life, and a strong bond between the two of you.

So, use your eyes, no matter where you are in a relationship. Let your attraction be known and open up those windows to your soul.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does eye contact mean attraction?

While there is a strong relationship between eye contact and attraction, there are several different emotions and feelings that can be signaled by making eye contact. For example, strong eye contact can mean anything from scrutiny to distrust, or from curiosity to genuine attraction. Eye contact signals attention in most cases, so at the very least, if someone is maintaining strong levels of eye contact with you, it’s a sign that they notice you and give you their attention.

Eye contact is usually accepted as a sign of interest. When someone casts an unconscious glance at another person, and especially if that look is reciprocated, it can show that those people see something interesting or attractive in the other person. This eye contact conveys a definite and clear sign of interest between the two people involved.

What does eye contact mean to a guy?

When it comes to guys, there are different levels of eye contact. For example, if a guy is maintaining eye contact throughout a conversation but not really maintaining eye contact during pauses or lulls in the speaking, then he is probably just being polite. However, if he is maintaining eye contact, without ever breaking eye contact, even when the conversation is paused or dragging on, then this deliberate eye contact could signal a deeper interest in you. Basically, that undivided and prolonged eye contact can convey that he is more interested in you than what you are saying or whatever is going on around you.

On the other end of types of eye contact that a guy can give is the lack of eye contact. You might be talking to a guy and you notice that he is avoiding making eye contact. Maybe his eyes are wandering, he is consistently breaking eye contact, or his eyes don’t meet yours very often – if at all. Guys might exhibit this type of eye contact – namely, a lack of eye contact – if they feel uncomfortable. At this point, it’s so important not to jump to conclusions about their discomfort, though: they might be a shy person and don’t want to make such steady eye contact. Or, some guys don’t feel comfortable with prolonged eye contact because they’re aware of the huge role of eye contact in attraction. If this is the case, he might be avoiding steady eye contact as a way of avoiding a deeper conversation or relationship with whomever he’s interacting with.

On the flip side, there are different levels of eye contact that you can direct at guys. This is especially true if you’re looking for romantic relationships that start with just a blink of the eye! When it comes to making and maintaining eye contact with guys, there are a few ways to express sexual attraction with eye contact flirting.

The easiest way to express sexual attraction with eye contact is simply to make and maintain prolonged eye contact. While steady eye contact is normal for most people in conversation, you can do this even if you don’t talk to him from the outset. Maintaining eye contact throughout your interaction with a guy can send the clear message that you are interested in him, and that you are paying attention to what he is saying or doing. If this initial attraction is mutual, you’ll likely notice that he is giving you the same levels of eye contact.

If he doesn’t immediately return the eye contact don’t feel bad! You can continue to use prolonged eye contact to create attraction over time. Remember, many primates with white eye struggle with making eye contact for a number of different reasons, but with time and a commitment to steady eye contact, you can grow the levels and intensity of eye contact with people. Don’t give up; keep working on that body language attraction over time!

How do you identify eye attraction?

In most cases, eye contact attraction isn’t difficult to identify. However, it is easy to get carried away or read too much into eye contact with people, especially if you already have definite feelings of attraction for that person. 

In most conversational settings, maintaining eye contact is considered the polite thing to do. So how do you know if someone is showing eye contact attraction instead of just a normal or polite amount of eye contact? First, check to see if they are maintaining eye contact even when there’s a pause or lull in the conversation. If they’re showing attraction eye contact will continue even when the conversation doesn’t. If their eye contact doesn't stop even when the activity or conversation stops, that shows that they’re probably more interested in you than they are in the conversation or whatever else is going on around you. 

Does eye contact make you more attractive?

The attraction eye contact connection is certainly a strong one! While it’s not totally accurate to say that eye contact makes you objectively more attractive, it’s been proven time and again that people are more receptive to attraction eye contact connection. 

This means that maintaining eye contact with someone you find attractive is a surefire way to have them take more notice of you. This is because showing attraction eye contact sends the message that you are interested in them, who they are, what they’re saying, and what they do. This attention is attractive to most people; basically, most people are attracted to people who show them interest or attraction. So, attraction eye contact connection is a great first step in letting someone know that you’re interested in them. And, once you’ve made it clear that you’re interested in them, especially if you’re meeting for the first time, they’ll be more likely to show eye contact attraction to you, too!

How can you tell if someone finds you attractive?

The easiest and most obvious ways to tell if someone finds you attractive – aside from just asking them point blank – is paying attention to their body language attraction and their eye contact attraction. When it comes to body language, a person who finds you attractive will usually be finding ways to be close, or closer, to you physically. This can include leaning in when you’re speaking, finding excuses to touch you appropriately during the course of your conversation, or physically inching closer to you as your time together goes on.

For eye contact attraction, a person who finds you attractive will be maintaining eye contact throughout the whole interaction. This means that even if the conversation is paused or even over, the person will keep making eye contact. When they’re maintaining eye contact despite the lack of activity, it shows that they’re interested in you, more than they’re interested in whatever is going on around you. This is just one reason why it’s important to understand why eye contact can give you so much insight into another person’s feelings and thought processes. 

How do you tell if he is attracted to you?

If a man is attracted to you, he’ll likely show many signs of body language and eye contact attraction. These signs include leaning in when you speak, touching you when he laughs or when you laugh, or even removing physical items that are between the two of you. 

One of the most tell-tale signs that a man is attracted to you, though, is in his eye contact attraction. There are two extremes that this can fall under. The first one is unbroken eye contact. This means that he exhibits a mastery of eye contact, and proves with his eyes that he is paying attention to what you’re saying or doing. On the other end of that spectrum is a lack of eye contact. Because of his attraction or deep feelings for you, he might look down or seem embarrassed. Even though these two examples are opposite examples of eye contact attraction, they can both indicate that a guy is attracted to you.

What does prolonged eye contact mean from a man to a woman?

Undoubtedly, there is something significantly powerful about prolonged and direct eye contact. Depending on who is giving it, and under what circumstances, this level of eye contact can mean different things. The most obvious reason for prolonged eye contact from a man to a woman most likely is that he has noticed you and wants to check you out. A man may also hold eye contact with you to get your attention; this is most common with guys who are shy or are afraid of rejection and are not confident to make a move. So they just hold glances, hoping to grab your eye. A man may also be maintaining eye contact when he is talking about you, has a deep interest in what you’ve got to say, trying to impress you or flirt with you. It is, however, important to note that prolonged eye contact doesn’t always mean a man fancies you. It could, in fact, mean he doesn’t like your personality or is disgusted by something you did or a way you act. The reason for a prolonged stare can be dependent on many factors.

How do you tell if someone likes you by their eyes?

A person’s eyes can easily give away what/how they feel about you, and the level of eye contact a person shares with you can be an indicator that they like you. There are several visual cues that can show you that a person likes you. If a person’s eyes become moist, lights up, or glitter whenever they are around you, it may be a signal that they are attracted to you. Raised eyebrow after making eye contact is another body language that can show you that a person is into you. When a person gives you the copulatory gaze, i.e., gazes into your eyes for a long time, this is a very strong indication that he/she likes you and is trying to express the strength of their feelings to you through their eyes.

Can avoiding eye contact mean attraction?

Yes, avoiding eye contact can be a pretty good sign that a person is into you. For instance, you are in a crowded place, and you notice someone gazing at you, but as soon as your eyes meet, they look away. After some time, you may catch them looking at you again. They probably looked away because they feel embarrassed about having been caught in the act. They probably- well, most likely- have a crush on you, but they are shy, feel intimated by you, or have some sort of social anxiety. However, please note that avoiding eye contact can mean a lot of things- for example, people may avoid eye contact when they are lying or hiding something. To know for sure if the reason for their eye contact avoidance is attraction, it is important to consider other body language signals that they show when they are around you. You can also talk to a relationship expert to help you decipher what this body language actually means.

How do you know if a guy finds you beautiful?

Most of the time, when a guy finds a girl beautiful or attractive, he makes it pretty obvious. All you have to do is look out for the clues because they are never hidden. If a guy loves to maintain eye contact with you when you’re together, or he can’t seem to take his eyes off of you even when you’re amid a large crowd, he definitely finds you attractive. If he loves to spend time with you and smiles a lot whenever he is with you, it is a clear indication that he finds you beautiful. When a guy also finds excuses to touch you- maybe tap you on the shoulder or wipe a crumb off your face, this may very well mean he finds you beautiful. If he peacocks a lot when he is around you, i.e., makes extra efforts to look good in front of you, this may indicate he thinks you are really beautiful and wants to match up and impress you.

What does locking eyes with someone mean?

Eye-lock is a very powerful level of eye contact attraction; it has the power to convey deep feelings and emotions. When you lock eyes with someone, it shows you have strong feelings of attraction towards this person. When a guy locks eyes with you, it most likely means he is a very confident and courageous person and wants to use this prolonged look into your eyes to show you that he is interested in you. Locking eyes with someone you find attractive can also be a sign of flirting, and it is actually one of the oldest, most common, and most effective ways of flirting. Locked eyes are a level of eye contact that requires certain chemistry from both people involved. When a man and a woman lock eyes, this brings about an incredible sexual tension between them, which makes them crave one another like crazy. For people in relationships- whether they have been together for a short or long time- locking eyes shows a sense of trust, deep affection, and a mutual sense of belonging.

How do you tell if someone is attracted to you sexually?

The signs of sexual attraction can vary between men and women, but they are interrelated. If a man is sexually attracted to you as a lady, his strongest tool for communicating his sexual desires is through his eyes- constantly making eye contact with you. He won’t be able to stop himself from staring at you for a long time, and his eyes would practically follow you everywhere. He may also constantly stay glued to you or hover around you. Men, most times, express their sexual language through proximity and their body; they just cannot physically pull themselves away from you. If he is constantly grooming his looks or appearance, he is definitely sexually attracted to you! If he can barely take his hands off you, craves your undivided attention, or stares at you while you are walking away, these are clear signals of sexual attraction.

 

What does it mean when a guy looks down after eye contact?

If a man looks down after making eye contact, isn’t consistent about maintaining eye contact, or exhibits an outright lack of eye contact, it could mean one of a few things. If you’ve just met and started talking to this guy, a lack of eye contact could mean that he isn’t totally comfortable in the situation. This discomfort could stem from feeling intimidated, or he could just be nervous because he is attracted to you. You should look for other indicators, such as blushing, stammering, or body language, to determine what the exact cause of his lack of eye contact could be. 

If this is a man with whom you have an established relationship, looking down after eye contact or showing a general lack of eye contact could be a sign that he’s lying or trying to hide something. Eye contact is so important when it comes to building trust in communication, so if he’s avoiding eye contact or showing an uncharacteristic lack of eye contact, he might be hiding something. The best way to approach this is to ask him openly and honestly how he feels or if he wants to get anything off of his chest. But a word of warning: even if he’s showing a lack of eye contact don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, use that as a way to prompt a healthy and open conversation!

How do you know if a man likes you or is just being nice?

Trying to tell whether a man likes you or is just being polite can be a tricky task. Of course, the quickest way to get an accurate answer is to ask him outright. However, if this isn’t an option for whatever reason, you should look closely at his body language. If a man is attracted to you, he’ll often exhibit the physical signs of attraction. The most common of these physical signs of attraction are prolonged (but not creepy) eye contact, leaning in towards you during a conversation, or making appropriate physical contact (such as touching your arm when he laughs or brushing lint from your shirt) while you interact. Another sign that a guy likes you is he tries to find (or make) excuses to spend time alone with you.

Can eye contact make you fall in love?

It’s a scene that we see all the time in the movies: a guy and girl walk into a room, their eyes meet, and they’re suddenly in love! While a world in which eye contact always means attraction is a great plot point, it’s not always realistic. Eye contact can convey interest or even create attraction, but it usually happens over time.

At the outset of romantic relationships, eye contact lets the other person know that you’re attracted to them. Eye contact is a powerful tool in showing what the other finds interesting, or when that attracted feeling is mutual. When you’re just getting to know someone, especially if you’re interested in them romantically, the role of eye contact in attraction is more limited than you think. While it’s a great way to show interest and a desire to keep the relationship going, a single moment of eye contact can’t be the basis of an entire romantic attraction.

But, as a relationship goes on, steady eye contact becomes more and more important. Eye contact conveys not only interest at the outset of a relationship, but also intimacy as the relationship progresses. The eye contact confirms the physical attraction between two people, and it also helps to grow the intimate bond between them. In fact, when couples seek counseling because they’ve “fallen out of love,” one popular exercise is to have them maintain eye contact for a set amount of time. Even several seconds of eye contact can help couples open up to each other and start the journey towards a new or renewed intimacy in their relationship.

So, all in all, eye contact conveys interest, eye contact flirting can help create attraction and get a relationship started (even if that doesn’t happen instantly or at first sight), and powerful eye contact and eye contact exercises throughout the course of dating relationships can build and rebuild intimacy between you and your partner.

Is prolonged eye contact a sign of attraction?

Steady or prolonged gazes is a kind of eye contact attraction that shows interest or curiosity. This level of eye contact, of course, lingers way longer than a normal glance and can be a strong indicator that this person is into you. It shows great confidence and interest and communicates deep emotions.

Does prolonged eye contact mean attraction?

Most of the time, yes, it does. However, as earlier said, the situation, circumstance, and other factors like body language have to be considered to really make this conclusion.

What does intense eye contact mean?

The intensity of a person’s gaze can be a good sign that he is into you. When a person stares at you for long seconds without breaking eye contact, it shows more interest and attraction than the regular eye contact. It can be used as a flirting tool, as well. In a romantic setting, intense eye contact shows that you have a person’s complete attention. It could also be a way of reading a person’s emotions or feelings or creating sexual tension to arouse the other person’s desires. Intense eye contact, when rightly used, can help establish a strong connection, convey confidence, build trust, ascertain dominance, hold the other person’s attention, etc.

How do you tell if a man is attracted to you but hiding it?

For different reasons, and depending on personality, a guy may like you but tries his best to hide how he truly feels. This can be a difficult nut to crack, but it is not impossible, because the signs are always there.  If a guy usually never misses an opportunity to talk to you or spend time with you, it is likely that he likes you but is hiding it. When a guy gives you prolonged eye contact, or you catch him constantly stealing glances your way, these may be subtle actions that show that he likes you but is trying not to make it obvious to you or others around. A guy who is always available for you jumps at any chance to spend time with you, or is always ready to offer help to you at every point in time is, most likely, into you, even if he does not say it.

Can other people see the chemistry between two people?

Most likely, yes, though this can depend on the people involved. However, the genuine attraction isn’t so easy to hide. The level of eye contact these two shares, i.e., the way they look at each other and are constantly making eye contact, the way they love to spend time with one another, are always comfortable around each other, and the way they just somehow seem to ‘click’ so easily is always mostly obvious to people around them.

How do you tell if someone secretly likes you?

Getting to figure out if a guy likes you but is hiding it can be tricky, but if you carefully consider the signs, a lot of which have been mentioned above. Intense eye contact attraction, desiring your attention at every point in time, always leaning in towards you, the way he talks to you, touching and brushing up against you, his general body language, and his eyes give you enough clues as to if that guy really likes you but is trying to hide it from you and/or others around you, or is shy to reveal his true feelings. Talking to a relationship expert like those at ReGain can help you unravel the mysteries and turn your eye contact attractions into a solid relationship.


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