Let's Get to the Bottom of That Psychology Love Eye Trick from TikTok

·8 min read
Photo credit: Getty + Khadija Horton
Photo credit: Getty + Khadija Horton

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Trying to make someone fall in love with you is no easy feat. Unless you're down to outright confess your feelings to them and hope they feel the same, your other options pretty much only include playing MASH, Googling love potions, and hoping that somehow your crush gets the memo by you either completely ignoring them or liking all of their Instagram pictures (there is no in between!). The good news is the days of burning sage and refreshing your feed in the name of love could officially be behind you thanks to the very unique psychology love eye trick from TikTok.

In case this bit of relationship witchcraft hasn’t yet made it to your #fyp, here’s the deal. According to user Sophie-Rose Lloyd, a nifty little eye maneuver can apparently make your crush stop in their tracks and feel the lurve. Even better, it’s supposed to make your feelings clear in a way that’s not quite as soul-bearing as like, telling someone you’re obsessed with them.

Couples therapist Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT, suggests using this as a way to flirt and test the waters to see if the person you’re crushing on feels the same. “Attraction is based on evoking interest or desire,” she explains, and as a big believer in metacommunication (like body language), she says posture, facial expressions, and yup, eye contact is major for attraction.

The big question, of course, is whether or not this is an Actual Thing™ that will guarantee a ~love match~. From the psychology behind this eye maneuver to how, exactly, it works, here’s what you need to know about TikTok’s newest relationship trick.

So what's this eye trick about and how do you even do it?

Okay, the best part about this lil eye dance is that the mechanics are super simple. Basically, you just look at the object of your affection’s left eye, then down to their lips/chin, then to their right eye. This is done quickly, over the course of a few seconds, so they won’t even really consciously realize what’s happening. Magic, I tell you!

Here’s what the trick looks like in action:

The one really important caveat here is that you only want to do this when you’re in a 1-on-1 convo with the person you’re lusting after. Otherwise, there’s a chance they’ll get distracted and won’t see your entire eye-lip-eye move. It’s also best to whip this bb out when they’re talking to you since that likely means they’ll be looking directly at you and already concentrating on your reaction.

What’s the theory behind it?

If you’ve seen the psychology eye trick done on TikTok, you probably know that people look hot doing it. But why does someone suddenly seem alluring by simply looking at different parts of your face? Psychotherapist and relationship expert Elizabeth Fedrick PhD, LPC, says direct eye contact is a big part of it since it sends a clear message of intrigue.

“Making eye contact during conversation creates a sense of safety, interest, and connection between two individuals,” she explains. “Additionally, eye contact with someone you are feeling safe and connected to activates the social part of the brain and actually does increase arousal.” Jackson adds that eyes *are* apparently the window to the soul, and how someone looks at you says a lot about their intentions.

It’s not just the eye contact that makes this trick unique, though, but the lip attention as well. “Glancing at an individual’s mouth, especially someone with whom there is already some type of interest or attraction established, can be interpreted as seductive or flirty,” explains Dr. Fedrick. Think about it: When you move to kiss someone, you have to first look at their lips to sort of plot your landing zone. Jackson says this pre-smooch glance can actually be just as powerful as the kiss itself since it sends a signal to the other person that makeouts are on your mind. This, in turn, can make them think about kissing you, and voilà. Kiss-ception.

So what you have with this trick is eye contact that relays the message you’re present, interested, and vulnerable + a signal that you want to kiss them. Hard to ignore, right?

When should someone try this trick?

We’ve already mentioned that you’ll want to do this when someone is talking to you 1-on-1, but that doesn’t mean it’ll theoretically work on anyone. Pulling this trick on a hot stranger likely won’t do anything other than creep them out. Trying this on a first date or when chatting with someone you sort of know and like (like the friend of a friend), on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. Dr. Fedrick notes the key here is that attraction is already established, and doing this little eye-lip number could create arousal and up the flirty vibes.

Jackson does add that if you’re feeling brave, you *could* try this on someone you’re attracted to but aren’t sure if they feel the same way, like a flirty friend, since this is a pretty low-stakes way to signal your interest. Oh, and don’t think established relationship folks have to miss out on the fun. Whip this bad boy out when you’re at a romantic dinner with your S.O. to initiate intimacy and set the steamy stage for the evening.

It's important to note there *are* a few times you definitely shouldn’t try this trick, like when talking to teachers, bosses, and/or authority figures; after someone has clearly stated (physically or verbally) that they’re not interested; or with strangers or people who haven’t shown any signs of attraction toward you. This isn’t because you’ll accidentally make them fall in love with you, but because, hello, you definitely don't want to seem cringey, disrespectful, or even harassing. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that.

Okay, but is it actually legit?

The biggest question of all is whether or not spending 3-5 seconds looking at someone’s face will make them fall in love with you. Not to be a downer, but the short answer is...probs not. “There is so much more to love than just a series of eye movements,” explains Jackson. “[The trick] can initiate, enhance, or create a connection, but I don’t think it’s that powerful to make someone fall in love with you. This is not a spell. If someone falls in love with you, I can guarantee it was because of your personality, how you treat them, and what you say that makes more of a difference.”

Before you get too disappointed, the longer answer is that this trick could definitely move things along in the relationship realm thanks to science, not magic (sorry, witches). First, because all that eye-contact shows you’re interested. Then, Dr. Fedrick says the brief look at the mouth shows that the person still has your attention but not in an overly intense, awkward way.

Doing all of this sends a message that you’re attracted to them, which might cause their brain to release feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. “This cocktail of biochemicals creates a sense of happiness, excitement, and connection, which could certainly heat things up, especially if attraction is already present,” explains Dr. Fedrick. This will (hopefully!) put the other person in a more relaxed state to send you reciprocal vibes.

And honestly, perhaps most importantly, is the fact that the trick looks sexy AF in action. “The way the eyes look up, down, back up, almost makes them flutter, which appears vulnerable and even enticing,” Dr. Fedrick says. Not a bad look in front of your crush, amiright?

What else can you try if this trick doesn’t work?

If you’re not ready to take this trick for a test drive, there are plenty of other ways to show interest and attraction without that clear I’m thinking about kissing you look. Dr. Fedrick says open body language (such as keeping your arms and legs uncrossed) sends a friendly message, and smiling during conversations (when it makes sense) shows you’re engaged and having a good time. Just keep in mind that disingenuous smiling, like too much eye contact, can feel weird, so just be mindful before gluing a cheer grin on.

Gentle (appropriate, pls) touches to the arm or shoulder during conversations give a similarly flirty vibe, and leaning in slightly shows your undivided attention is on them. Finally—and honestly the most important suggestion—is to just be present. “A way to show the other person that you're interested and engaged is by providing appropriate and relevant feedback (verbally and non-verbally) for the topics being discussed,” Dr. Fedrick explains. “By being responsive, you’re sending a message that they are interesting and important to you, which results in the release of those feel-good biochemicals.”

Ultimately, if you’re on the fence about trying out TikTok’s newest relationship trick, Fedrick says to give it a go. As long as it’s being used with an appropriate audience and you manage your expectations (ie: the person probs isn’t going to propose to you on the spot), it’s a great way to show your flirty side, no magic spell or full moon required.

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