Eye Contact Part 3: The Look of Love

In the past two posts we’ve discussed using eye contact in the context of building interpersonal connections and creating attraction with others that we don’t know. Today I want to discuss using eye contact to amplify the attraction and emotional bond you already have with those you care about. The techniques here can be used very effectively to build intimacy, trust and love with anyone you know and like, but are especially powerful when used between you and your intimate partner.

The eyes have perhaps inspired more poetry and prose than any other subject, specifically because they are so closely tied to intimacy and our perceptions of love and passion. The sheer number of metaphors dedicated to the eyes filling volumes of pages certainly attests to the universal emotional power that they evoke. But there is truth in fiction here: academic studies have consistently shown eye contact to be the single most common theme in accounts of people falling in love across a variety of cultures. It seems that people all across the world get lost in the eyes of their lovers during moments of passion, blissfully swimming in the tide of emotions they see within them.

The fact is that eye contact between two lovers is the foundation of the dance of intimacy. For this reason it is crucial to nurture this connection in your intimate relationships. The more eye contact you have with your partner, the deeper the intimacy will develop. If eye contact is neglected however, intimacy will slowly diminish and eventually be starved out altogether. Just like your physical body, relationships need to be fed and tended to, and eye contact is the nourishment that allows relational intimacy and connection to blossom and flourish. The most effective way to nourish this intimacy is to take the time to practice deliberate prolonged eye contact.  

Deliberate prolonged eye contact is not only a great way to build intimacy, but it also will tell you where both you and your partner are at in your connection. The eyes don’t lie. Despite any attempts to conceal your emotional state of mind, your eyes will reveal exactly where you are at and manifest that emotion physically. This is especially true when it comes to intimacy. If you desire greater intimacy you will naturally tend to look more into your partner’s eyes. Inversely, if you are looking to create separation or distance from your partner, your eyes will naturally avoid prolonged direct contact. The bottom line here is that if something doesn’t feel right while gazing into your partner’s eyes, you both will be able to sense that there is something off in your relationship.

The most important element of intimate eye contact is presence, for without it intimacy cannot survive. Presence is simply your full attention and awareness on the moment without thought or judgment. This means not being self-conscious or “in your head”, which by default is analysis or judgment. (Men are particularly guilty of this.) Your presence is the greatest gift you can give your partner, especially one who is in their feminine side, as the feminine thrives on and is nourished by the undivided attention of the masculine. Even when someone is physically present they may not be psychologically present, and their eyes reveal this subtly, appearing emotionally flat and lacking vitality in their gaze. Humans are wired to pick up the subtle cues determining a person’s attention level, and women are much more attuned to these cues than men are. If you are not present with her she will know it and she will feel neglected and alone, but when you are wholly in the moment with her she will blossom like a flower and the pathway to intimacy will open up for you both.

When gazing into the eyes of your loved one, ideally you want to primarily focus on their left eye. The left eye is linked with the emotional center of our brain and the right eye is linked to our thinking region. This is because each eye is connected to its opposing hemisphere: left eye to right hemisphere and vice versa. (Traditionally the right hemisphere is considered our emotional/creative side and the left our logical/analytical side. Despite that this view of the brain’s lateralization is considered to be highly simplified and controversial, it still works well for our purposes here. Let’s leave the debate to the neuroscientists.) I’ve seen a lot of advice suggesting that you want to look into someone’s right eye, especially when meeting them for the first time and in the context of business and sales. The argument is that by doing this you are not invading their comfort zone by looking directly into their emotional center. In my experience you actually are much better off looking into their left eye or not focusing on either eye in particular, as looking into someone’s right eye can feel adversarial if not downright aggressive. This is especially heightened when looking at someone of the same gender.*(See note below) When you look into the left eye you are tapping into all of that person’s emotional experience, going back as far as when their parents looked at them lovingly in the crib. The positive emotions they carry from their past will be transferred toward you, thus resulting in greater intimacy. This is magnified even further if you already have a connection with them.

Exercise: Intimate Eye Gazing

The following exercise comes from Michael Ellsberg in his fascinating book “The Power Of Eye Contact”, an in-depth look at human eye contact in a variety of contexts. It is a very powerful tool that couples can use to build and maintain intimacy and I urge you to try it with your chosen partner.

It is important to bear in mind that if there already is not reciprocated attraction between the two of you this technique will not work. It will not create attraction and connection out of thin air, but rather simply amplify it. On the other hand, if there is attraction already established between you and your partner (even if it’s relatively limited), this exercise can really rev things up, so be prepared!

1. Get private. Find a relatively isolated place where you both can get close enough to have each other’s sole attention. If you are in a public place where this is not possible use your body positions to isolate yourselves from the surrounding environment.

2. Lower the lights if possible. The pupils will expand in the low light to take more of each other in, plus it’s easier to focus on your partner when there is less attention on the environment.

3. Gaze softly. The idea is not to burn a hole in your partner’s brain, but rather take them in and appreciate their presence. To do this, simply relax your facial muscles and your focus will follow.

4. No talking, just gazing. Your instinct may be to laugh a bit at first to release the tension, but stick it out and give in to the meditative state of looking into your partner’s soul. Like meditation, let your thoughts pass through you rather than lingering on them.

5. Breathe slowly and deeply. You want to relax into this experience and not hold onto any tension. If you are relaxed your partner should begin to follow suit. You may even find that your breathing will start to synchronize.

6. Don’t judge. As the sexual tension builds and energy emerges from the connection you will begin to feel closer to your partner as you see their humanity. Simply perceive all that they are, allowing any thoughts and emotions that surface to pass through you without dwelling on them. You may see another side of your partner as they allow you into their own vulnerability. For this reason it is extremely important that you do not judge what you see and feel. That action will block any potential for the intimate connection to flourish.

7. Appreciate. Once you have eliminated any judgmental thoughts, focus on appreciating your partner. At first appreciate nothing more than who they are, as they are. From there start seeing the traits in your partner that they most wish to be appreciated for, the deep qualities of their heart rather than any superficial desires, and honor that part of them. Your appreciation for them will help you become even more present and create a positive feedback loop that will supercharge your connection.

Take just two or three minutes out of your busy day to practice intimate eye gazing with your partner. Every day upon waking is ideal, but even if it only happens a few times a week you will experience a powerful emotional bonding. Considering the value most of us place on our primary relationships (as well as the amount a grief we feel when they are not functioning properly) this is a very small investment compared to the rich rewards of intimacy, trust and love you receive in return.


*Don’t believe me? Try this quick exercise with a friend. Line up at an arm’s distance facing each other. Look into each other’s left eye for 10 to 20 seconds and notice how that feels. Once you have that assessed, quickly and simultaneously switch eyes so you both are looking in each other’s right eye. You should feel a vastly different emotion almost immediately. I’ve heard it described as icky, intense and weird, but whatever you feel it certainly will not be warm and fuzzy!


Other articles you may enjoy

Sexual Polarity, Part 2

Is Your Judgment Hurting Your Sex Life

Cupid: Angel of Death for Masculinity & Romance

10 Comments on “Eye Contact Part 3: The Look of Love”

  1. eddie says:

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing….

  2. jno says:

    Why can’t I make eye contact with my spouse?

    • Hi Jno,

      Thanks for your question. There can be many reasons, but without any further details I couldn’t begin to help. What is your role in the relationship? (Masculine or feminine for starters…provider or provided for, caretaker or caretaken, nurturer or nurtured, or simply lover to flush things out further.) What is the nature of your relationship? Is there any animosity between the two of you, perhaps holding over from your relational past? Do you trust your spouse? Do you feel confident about yourself and your role in your marriage? With a little more info I perhaps can provide you a little insight, but without anything to go on I would just be stabbing in the dark.

      If any of this is too personal to share here in this format, feel free to send me a private message at evolutionmale@gmail.com.

  3. NJ Reynolds says:

    I was born blind in my left eye and I have had many difficulties with intimacy in my adult life. I always look people in their right eye or between their eyes. Can you tell me if there is a way for me to achieve the intimacy of left eye gazing even though I am blind in my left eye?

    • Hi NJ….thanks for your question and my apologies for the delayed response. After after about a month of researching I was unable to find anything specific in the literature that would pertain directly to your situation. What I did know, and my search confirmed, is that for stronger connections where deeper intimacy is inappropriate (such as business colleagues or new acquaintances rather than a potential lover) most experts recommend looking in the person’s right eye as you are already doing. One reason for this advice is that the left is considered too intimate and thus invasive and impolite. I disagree however, as my experience has shown me time and time again, if you are not being overly intense in your gaze or other mannerisms left-to-left eye contact is not generally perceived as threatening. (When it is, the other person usually is trying to hide part of themselves and not fully open to that kind of intimacy in the first place.)

      Since the specifics in the literature were incomplete, I decided to run my own micro-experiment. I had several people gaze into each other’s eyes, starting with left-to left eye contact. I then moved them to left-to-right, followed by right-to-right, then finally right-to-left. What we found was that when gazing across the face into the same eye (L to L and R to R) the feelings of warmth and connection were fairly consistent, though there was greater intimacy felt over time in left-to left eye contact as the interactions continued on. When the same people then looked at each other directly into the opposite eye (R to L or L to R) that feeling of intimacy cut out almost instantaneously. It felt steely, cold and confrontational. This also was sometimes perceived when they looked evenly into both eyes from both of their’s or when looking at the center of the face, say between the eyebrows or bridge of the nose, provided they were connecting on an emotional level at all (which was the other result of this position.)

      Given your circumstances NJ, I suggest that you continue looking at people in their right eye, that way you will achieve the best possible emotional connection by cross-gazing. While this connection is not quite as intimate as one would achieve using their left eye, it is far stronger than looking between their eyes and not elicit the negative emotion connection that you will get looking into their left eye. What will help even more is when you maintain this gaze with them, thus keeping your eye contact strong and consistent (without staring too intensely…that is creepy. See part 1 of this article here for further instruction on this: https://evolutionmale.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/eye-contact-part-1/) This element of your eye contact will carry far more weight even with your right-to right eye contact than most people will achieve without your handicap, as you will be displaying confidence and will be perceived as warm and more attractive. You also can compensate for this even further by using other elements of your body language to express intimacy, such as touching them confidently and a bit more often than you would with someone you do not desire intimacy with. (This of course depends on what level of intimacy you are trying to establish.)

      Keep in mind that most people do not connect with their eyes effectively to begin with, and certainly not consistently since they often lack the confidence or emotional openness to do so. By making these few tweaks you will set yourself apart from the vast majority of people despite any shortcomings you feel you have due to your blindness. Good luck and let me know how you progress!

  4. Michelle says:

    Thank you for posting this article. Recently, I reconnected with my first love (in a group setting). We thought it was for closure, but when I looked at him, I could not stop and then we had long gazes of up to 12 seconds at a time. I could see from his eyes that he still loved me and I am sure he could do the same. Upon parting, he embraced me tightly for about 15 seconds and then looked deep into my eyes again to reconnect with that soul love feeling. It was almost as if he was saying, “I love you still. Please see in my eyes what I can’t say.” I did. Later he said it wasn’t over. The eyes do not lie. I have never experienced eye contact like that before and I have never felt this way about anyone else in my life. It was so powerful. Interesting… I didn’t know about eye contact and I didn’t know about looking in the left eye, but that is what happened mostly, although I did look into his other eye occasionally.

  5. jackie says:

    Ive had experiences like this a man ive become very close to ive known him for about seven years we feel very close talk about everything. Last summer whilst talking we had a connection where he looked me straight in the eyes i felt lost for a good few minuites although there were other friends present. We just couldnt stop ever since then things are different between us. Ive never felt such a bond for anybody in my life. He knows how i am feeling before i speak when he looks at me. As soon as i see him i look in his eyes i feel loved and so close to him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s