Picture this: you’re standing at the bar when you lock eyes with a cutie from across the room. It seems like they might’ve been checking you out, but you’re not sure. Or, you’re on a first date with someone who’s blinking profusely and wondering what that eye behavior could possibly mean. Well, we’ve got your answer. To help you parse through the tiniest body language cues, we asked dating experts for the eye movements that signal someone is attracted to someone else. Read on to hear their responses.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Body Language Signs That Mean Someone Is Attracted to You, According to Therapists.
In a TikTok video about what certain eye movements mean, dating coach Jacob Lucas calls out “the eye pop and lean back.” He explains that both the widening of the eyes and the backing up of the torso are the body’s natural responses to better seeing something. So, if you notice this happening on a date, it’s probably a good sign that your partner is enjoying looking at you.
“When you catch somebody checking you out from the side of their eye, and when you catch them, they quickly look away… it’s because they feel embarrassed because they were checking you out,” explains Lucas.
However, according to Joseph Puglisi, a relationship expert and the CEO of Dating Iconic, it could also mean “that the person wants to know you more than they do.” But they may be too shy to make a move—especially if they seem flustered when you catch their eye.
There’s also the bolder and more confident version of this gaze from across the room: when they look away but then look back again. “This sign of eye contact means that the person is consciously making an effort to be seen by you,” says Karen Donaldson, celebrity communication, body language, and confidence coach. “If they smile when they look back then that’s an invitation for you to go introduce yourself.”
READ THIS NEXT: This Is the One Pick-Up Line That Works Every Time, Experts Say.
Not all eye contact cues are openly flirtation. Case in point: blinking. “Blinking is a natural human function; however the speed that a person blinks is very telling,” says Donaldson. “Blinking slowly is a sign of disinterest, whereas fast blinking is a sign of stress, but potentially good stress, excitement, or nervousness.” In other words, you might be giving them butterflies in their stomach.
It’s an age-old question: to kiss or not to kiss? If you’re wrapping up your date and wondering if the other person wants to kiss you, here’s what to look for. If you catch them staring at your lips, that probably means “they are thinking about kissing you,” says Lucas.
More specifically, if they “glance down to the lips in a triangular motion, it indicates attraction and lust,” adds Donaldson. You can be fairly certain your date wants to—or wants you to—go in for a kiss.
For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
This one has a reputation for being a little unsavory, but sometimes “the body scan,” as Lucas calls it, could be an innocent subconscious reaction to a person finding your figure attractive. As long as their eyes quickly make it back up to meet yours, you can feel good about their attraction.
If you feel that a date is going well, there’s one important cue to look for to tell if they feel the same way—prolonged eye contact.
“This type of eye contact brings in the connection between you two, and it usually comes with a smile,” says Puglisi. “It might feel a bit awkward staring so deeply at each other’s eyes, so you may want to break it up and look somewhere else.”
If you notice this alongside giggling, flirting, and shared values and interests, it’s a sign your date is going really, really well.