I’m not sure how many of you remember Would Like to Meet?
It was a popular BBC show that taught people who struggled to find a relationship how to flirt, communicate and dress more effectively.
I was the flirting and body language expert and for years studied and taught body language techniques to all different types of people. Of all these techniques, those involving eye contact were the most successful of all.
Which is hardly surprising when you consider we communicate more with our eyes than any other part of our body.
Here’s five tried-and-true techniques that really work.
1. The four-and-a-half second scan
A normal face scan lasts three seconds, scan for four-and-a-half and it’s clear they’ve ‘caught your eye’.
Eye contact of more than 10 seconds between two people means one of two things: you’re about to fight or have sex (well, you want to anyway).
Prolonged eye contact produces intense emotional reactions regardless of whether it’s a fist or a pair of lips heading your way.
It activates the nervous system, raises our heart rate and blood flow and stimulates the production of certain hormones.
Just about everyone knows being watched is a sign someone’s interested, so if you want to subtly make your intentions known, this is the way to do it.
2. The slide and settle
Let your eyes settle on someone so they’re aware you’ve noticed them, then as they’re still watching you, slide your eyes around the room before settling back on them again.
This effectively says, ‘You instantly attracted me and you’re still the pick of the room even after I’ve checked out the competition.’
One other point while we’re on the topic of eye slides – if you’re interested, it’s best to break the very first eye contact made by dropping your eyes straight down, then directly up again to lock eyes after a few seconds.
If someone’s eyes instead slide away from yours to the side or upward and don’t return after a minute or two, they’re almost definitely not interested.
3. The flirting triangle
Eye movement studies show we look at different parts of other people’s faces depending on the situation and level of attractiveness.
When looking at strangers or in business situations, we make a small triangle by moving our eyes from eye to eye, dipping them as we move across the bridge of the nose. With friends or in more friendly social situations, the triangle widens as our eyes drop below eye level to include the nose and the mouth.
With lovers and people we fancy, the triangle broadens even further, dropping below the mouth to include the breasts and other good bits like the genitals.
4. Blink if you fancy them
It’s easy to see where the term ‘batting your eyelashes’ originated from: if someone looks at us and likes what they see, they tend to blink more.
Because the brain associates rapid blinking with finding someone sexually attractive, the more you blink at someone, the more attracted you feel to them. This, of course, can be manipulated for your benefit! You can increase the blink rate of the person you’re talking to, by blinking more yourself.
If the person likes you, they’ll unconsciously try to match their blink rate to keep in sync with you, which in turn, makes you both feel more attracted to each other! Don’t automatically assume slow blinking means disinterest, however.
5. Wink if you want more
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink jokes and Carry On films have turned a once sexy flirt tool into a bit of a joke.
But, a quiet wink matched with a sexy smile can be incredibly bonding simply because it’s secret and implies the two of you are closer than others present.
So ignore the bad press: delivered at the right moment, a simple wink can be devastatingly effective.
Try a two-eyed wink for variation by blinking in slow motion, consciously slowing it down to half or a third of the normal speed (the average blink lasts one fortieth of a second).