How To Tell If Someone's Interested In You For Friendship Or Love, Based On Their Eye Movements

Ad failed to load

Dating would be so much easier if you could tell whether someone was interested in you romantically right off the bat. Just think of how much time and energy you'd be saving on someone who sees you as "just a friend." Luckily, a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior has found there's one way to tell if someone's actually interested in dating you or just being friendly. It's all in the eyes.

"Eye contact is probably the most intimate action someone can participate in without physically touching another human being," Paige Berger, dating expert, tells Bustle. Out of all the signs that point to whether someone likes you or not, a person's body lanuage and non-verbal cues can be very telling. For instance, it's been found that if a person's feet are pointed towards you, that can signal attraction or at the very least, some kind of interest.

For this particular study, researchers from the University of Kansas and Wellesley College were interested in seeing how someone's eye movements could possibly give them away. They conducted a study of 105 heterosexual undergraduate students. Each participant was told to view photographs of men and women and identify if they viewed them as a "potential mate" or a "potential friend." At the same time, researchers tracked the participants' eye movements using an eye-tracking software.

Ad failed to load

Here's what the study found:

Ad failed to load

1If Someone's Attracted To You, They'll Focus Their Initial Gaze Higher

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

"If you're romantically interested in someone, you may be too bashful to look someone in the eyes, so your eyes naturally drift down a bit landing in the chest region," Berger says. That's probably way men and women who identified a person as being a "potential mate" had a tendency to focus on the chest, hip-to-waist area, and the head upon seeing their photo for the first time.

2If Someone's Interested In Friendship, They'll Focus Their First Gaze Lower

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Participants who identified people as more friendship-material spent the first moments gazing at the person's feet and legs. "If you're only interested in friendship, you don't want to make eye contact and give the wrong impression, so the natural reaction is to look away, causing your eyes to drift further from the person's face," Berger says.

3If Someone's Attracted To You, They'll Look Longer

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

This one shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. But people who were romantically attracted to the person in the photo gazed at their head and chest areas much longer than those who just saw them as friend potential. Men were also more likely to focus on the chest area, followed by the waist.

Ad failed to load

4If Someone's Interested In A Relationship With You, They'll Focus On Your Chest And Legs

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Researchers even tried seeing if they could predict if someone would say they were interested in a relationship based on what they already knew through their eye-tracking experiment. Although it wasn't perfect, they did find some commonalities. For instance, women who focused on men's hip-to-waist ratios were more likely to report romantic interest in a person than women who focused more on a man's head. Overall, people who focused on the chest and leg areas were also found to show more interest.

"At the end of the day regardless of someones characteristics and fun personality there is the underlying primal pull of attraction to procreate," dating and relationship coach, Carla Romo tells Bustle. "Even if you are not intending to start a family or have a child we naturally look at different areas on someone for relationship versus friendship."

According to Romo, looking at a person's hip to wasite ratio and chest is intimate. "If someone is interested in a woman, they may subconsciously look at the hips for perspective of bearing a child and the chest for breast," she says. "If someone is interested in a man one might look at his chest to see how broad his shoulders are for strength."

But if you're just looking for friendship then legs and feet are pretty obvious since there isn't much sexual reproductive action going on. "Ultimately, when we want someone romantically, we subconsciously look at the areas that will provide us with information that this potential mate would be someone ideal to procreate with," Romo says.

It might be a bit of a challenge to observe your person of interest's eye movements. But luckily there are so many other body language cues you can look out for, too.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

What No One Tells You About Breaking Up With Your Mother

The thing about the last time you talk to your mother is that you don’t know it when it’s happening. Or, at least, I didn’t. Nothing about the last phone call I had with my mother, in December 2014, stands out as a point of no return. Sure, we fought…
By Gabrielle Moss

I Tried Venus' New Facial Hair Removal Device & Will Never Get My Upper Lip Area Waxed Again

I remember the first time I realized I was growing hair above my upper lip. It was when a very rude seventh grader decided to point it out in front of my friends and me during our lunch break. He wasn't wrong — just mean — and ever since then, I've b…
By Sara Tan

7 Ways To Celebrate Your 30th Birthday That Are Feminist AF

Turning 30 is a pretty major milestone; it's one of those birthdays where large parties, floods of presents and many bouquets from besotted admirers seem to be in order. And as a woman and a feminist, I'm here to offer some additional 30th birthday i…
By JR Thorpe

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

Here Are The Exact Steps To Take If You Want To Travel All The Time & Work Remotely

When I first decided I wanted to become a digital nomad — someone who travels non-stop while working remotely — I was terrified and unsure if I would actually go through with it. I worried my work would suffer from all the travel and time zone change…
By Suzannah Weiss

11 Ways To Stay Positive When Dating Feels Like The Worst, According To Matchmakers

With every first date that leads to nowhere or every non-relationship that ends up being a waste of your time, finding love can seem far from possible. It can also be pretty rough on your self-esteem if you continually put a lot of effort into dating…
By Kristine Fellizar

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck