Our eyes both pick up on information and communicate it (this last bit, often without our conscious knowledge). Specifically, our pupils are the actual windows to our souls, and those suckers dilate (get bigger/wider) when there's information before us which we deem of great import. This can be because of something good ("That dude's HAWT!") or bad ("Holy shit, is that a freakin' bear?!"). The wider the pupil, the more information gets through to our little gray cells, the faster our little gray cells can tell us to run (whether to or from the source of the stimulus will, of course, vary, depending upon the info received). (Presumably.)
As regards the "something good," if we're talking about a possible future lover/mate/spouse, when our pupils widen to take her/him in, areas of our brain which respond to dopamine get very active, probably 'cause our little gray cells want us to get a move on and take action on the attraction, already.
Interestingly, the sexes have somewhat differing perceptions of widened pupils in the objects of their respective affections. Hetero dudes think chicks with big pupils are hawt because:
a) they interpret that wide-pupil gaze as sexual interest in them, specifically, and
b) they (unconsciously) reckon that this sexual interest is due to the chick ovulating ('cause, like, menfolk have that biological imperative to spread their seed far and wide, yo). (Hey, I don't make this stuff up, I just report it, OK?) (Sheesh.)
|By Greyson Orlando (Own work)|
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Hetero chicks' responses to dude's pupil size will vary, based on what it is they're actively seeking. If a gal wants a steady, long-term, relationship, she'll prefer a dude with medium-sized pupils. But if all she wants is a bit of short-term fun, then larger pupils will float the little man in her boat. Apparently, wide pupils in a male indicate a potentially overwhelming sexual desire that can lead to aggressive, even violent, behavior (which, while undesirable in a long-term relationship, may explain the mystifying attraction some gals feel for so-called "bad boys"). Anyway, them mid-sized pupes demonstrate a safer level of interest. (Curiously, biology can trump this thought process when a chick's ovulating—at that point in her monthly cycle, it seems a woman's held hostage to her urge to merge/biological clock/"Damn, I really want a baby" instinct.) (Again, I'm not making this jazz up, promise.)
Right, so: if pupil enlargement indicates sexual interest (and it does), then a large-pupiled, long-held gaze is a very promising sign, indeed. We're flattered when possible love-objects stare into our eyes and, subsequently, rate their attractiveness even higher as a result. And the longer we hold one another's gazes, the more passionately we feel about them.
So what's the takeaway from all this?
|By Emily Tan (originally posted to Flickr as The Gaze)|
via Wikimedia Commons
- When out to dinner, you and your love-muffin would rather look at your food, around the room, or at your smart phones, rather than at one another. (More often than not.)
- Your lover blocks his eyes (whether with a hand or simply by closing them) during a conversation—this could mean he's troubled by, or frustrated with, you.
- Your significant other starts blinking, a lot, when explaining his whereabouts of an evening—folks' eyelids begin to flutter rapidly when they're nervous. (Looking away for a moment, however, is not necessarily a bad thing, as he may simply be trying to recall an exact sequence of events.)
- Your spouse squints, or narrows her eyes at you when you're giving her your whereabouts of an evening—you're either seriously stressing her out or she doesn't buy what you're trying to sell and she's pissed.
Stuff I read to research this topic (to give credit, and to reassure, in case you're still thinking I made this shizz up):
Joe Navarro, “TheBody Language of the Eyes: The Eyes Reveal What The Heart Conceals,” psychologytoday.com,December 11, 2009.
Cheryl Murphy, “Learning the Look of Love: That Sly “Come Hither” Stare,” scientificamerican.com, October 17, 2011.
Cheryl Murphy, “Learning the Look of Love: In your Eyes, the Light the Heat,” scientificamerican.com, November 1, 2011.
Cristen Conger, “Does love make your pupils dilate?” howstuffworks.com, February 12, 2012.