#205 – Looking for Love

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Based on research by Kellerman, J., Lewis, J., & Laird, J. D. (1989) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Looking for a way to enhance your love relationship or attract one?  Maintaining eye contact can be a sign of attention, respect, and general interest. Is a mutual gaze a signal for love?

A psychology study assessed the impact of eye gaze by pairing participants with complete strangers. Each pair was instructed either to gaze at their partner’s hands or eyes, or asked to count the other’s eye blinks for two minutes.  Following this exercise, they were asked to privately describe their partner, and their own feelings in relation to their partner.  Those pairs who gazed into their partner’s eyes and whose partner gazed back reported significantly greater feelings of attraction, interest, and warmth for each other.  Even if they were complete strangers!  However, this only occurred when both were sharing their gazes.

Gazing into each other’s eyes increases love and may be the beginning of a deeper emotional bond.  It must be mutual.  Sharing eye contact for at least 2 minutes is one prominent cue we use as an invitation to greater intimacy, like sharing of our inner selves or touching.

References:

Kellerman, J., Lewis, J., & Laird, J. D. (1989). Looking and loving: The effects of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love. Journal of Research in Personality, 23(2), 145-161.

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