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Is It Love or Lust? Just Look At This Body Part, Science Says

Is It Love or Lust? Just Look At This Body Part, Science Says
If eyes are the window to the soul, then eye movement is a dead giveaway of what a stranger is looking for as they shift their gaze while talking to you. Not that we can be totally surprised, because eyes say a lot about someone’s intentions. I mean, look at Crazy Eyes on†Orange is the New Black. There’s a lot to be deduced from her adorably wonky stare.

A new†research out of the University of Chicago has found that you, (yes, you!) can “definitively” figure out if a stranger wants to just have some sexy fun with you or is looking for something meaningful and long-lasting by just watching their eye movements. First, we had to focus on†body language to be able to tell what a possible†love interest might be thinking, and now this? It’s so much work trying to scoop up a boyfriend or even a one-night stand!

More from YourTango:†How to Be the Best Boyfriend Ever – According to Other Boyfriends

So, how can you tell? Easy: eye contact, even for the most briefest of moments, means you’re looking to connect on an emotional level, and eyes that look downward, at the body instead of the other person’s eyes across from them, means the desire for†sex is more prominent. I always thought that looking downward was something people just naturally did when they were bored with a conversation, because it seemed more polite to look at their body than to completely stare off into the distance. But, based on this, I’ve been telling men, women and everyone in between that I want them because I get bored easily. Well then.

Lead author of the study, Stephanie Cacioppo, explains that although this research doesn’t scientifically prove love at first sight or even why people fall in love with each other, “these patterns of response provide the first clues regarding how automatic attentional processes, such as eye gaze, may differentiate feelings of love from feelings of desire toward strangers.”

More from YourTango:†How†Your†Guy Says ‘I Love You’, Without Ever Actually Saying It

To further prove their scientific theory, students were given two sets of black and white photos. The first set contained heterosexual couples engaging with each other, not in a lovey-dovey way necessarily, and the second set was that of members of the opposite sex staring directly into the camera. The students were then asked to decide if the mood of those in the photos was erotic or romantic. Through the analysis of the eye movements, both the men and women participating in the study concentrated on the faces in the photos when saying the mood was one of†romance, and, in contrast, focused more on the bodies when deciding that what they were witnessing in the images was a desire for sex. And voila! Proof is pretty much in the bag.

It goes without saying that these findings don’t mean exactly this outcome every time you catch someone starting at a part of your body other than your eyes. But I guess for those out on the prowl, learning to read eye movement like learning to read body language brings them one step closer to figuring out this whole crazy love and lust thing. Once we’ve mastered that, there’s no telling what we can conquer next.
More from YourTango

by Amanda Chatel, from YourTango


Read more: Dating, Love, Sex

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3:42AM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

Body language

7:08AM PDT on Aug 17, 2014

In today's world womens bodies have changed. Women are now wearing tatoo across their chest. This will cause man to look down! I'm very sorry ladies about what I'm going to write. The whole purpose of dating someone is to copulate. Either through marriage or in a serious relationship. For some reason that I have failed to understand is why people had intimate relationships with each other. Having sex is probably the strongest desire in the animal kingdom. I don't care what it says in the Bible, Tora, or the Koran. Relationships between male and female is never fully understand and I believe will never will be understood. Human female animals will go into heat as all female animals. The human female animal cycle is so modest human women are unaware when it happens. I've always said to my daughter's when you have this desire (some women have better control than others) try to think of the consequences in what is happening! Ladies try not to label other women because of the number of sexual partners they have had. Your anger only makes things worse!

9:46PM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

I will have to be careful where I put the eyes...

8:15PM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

I am a girl and even if I want something serious with a guy I will check out his body it's only natural.

8:13PM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

I agree with Jane :)

7:34PM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

This is a bunch of bull. A man will look into your eyes when talking but it's only natural that he will look at your body as well. It means nothing more than he want's to take it all in, conversation and your looks as well.
Men will look toward a woman's breasts, but women certainly can't look toward a mans legs and see anything of interest.
I don't buy this.

3:51AM PDT on Aug 4, 2014


4:28PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

1:54PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

So what happens when it's both eye content and body scanning? A little of each? Thanks.

9:47AM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

i love you my sexy girlfriend

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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