TikTok's "Triangle Method" Technique Is The Key To Better Flirting

It's all about eye contact.

What a body language expert says about TikTok's triangle method eye contact technique.
Getty Images/Willie B. Thomas

It’s not uncommon for an amazing date to end with an awkward moment where you stand around, laugh nervously, talk about the weather, and try to suss out the vibes before a first kiss. If you love to revel in cute coyness, carry on and see what happens. If you dread this moment or want to cut to the chase, the triangle method is for you.

The triangle method is a flirty body language technique that supposedly sends the message that you’re into someone without having to say it out loud. Over on TikTok, it has over 24 million views and videos of countless people who say it’s a foolproof way to make your crush fall in love. All it takes is some deliberate eye contact.

To successfully nail the triangle method, simply trace the shape of an upside triangle with your eyes. As you face your date, glance at one of their eyes, look quickly down at their mouth, then back up to their other eye to form a triangle. That’s it.

This move not only shows that you’re enjoying the moment and probably interested in kissing, but it can also make your date feel some type of way. Here, a body language expert breaks down the legitimacy behind the triangle method eye contact technique.

Why The Triangle Method Works

According to Patti Wood, MA, a body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most Of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, people are constantly exchanging nonverbal cues to show either signs of interest or disinterest, especially on a date. If someone’s into you, she says they might lean forward when talking, gently brush up against you, or even angle their feet in your direction.

When someone’s into you, they also might blush as you talk and flirt. This is one reason why people wear red lipstick and pink blush, Wood says. The color sends a biological message that your blood is pumping, you’re in the mood, and are maybe even falling in love. Notice one or two of these signals — or all of the above — and chances are a kiss is on the horizon.

The triangle method is just another body language signal that sends a subtle message of interest and connection. While a kiss can totally happen without it, this cue speeds up the process by showing that you’re locked in and interested in getting closer.

Your mouth and eyes are part of what Wood refers to as the “golden triangle” of your face. This is made up of your eyes, forehead, and mouth, and it’s the area you look at most during interactions. If you and your date aren’t meshing, you probably won’t focus on each other’s faces all that much. Instead, you’ll look away as a sign of disinterest or have closed-off body language, like crossed arms.

If you’re both into it, that’s when a lot of eye contact starts to happen. Lingering eye contact is, after all, perceived as super arousing. According to a 2019 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, it’s also a two-way street: People make and receive it as a form of communication.

Glancing down at your date’s mouth also breaks down walls, which is why the triangle method can get someone all hot and bothered. The other person will feel the intensity of your eye contact and notice that you’re constantly looking at their mouth — and, if you both have chemistry, it’ll make sense at that point to lean in and kiss.

Once you know that the triangle method exists, you might spot someone trying it out on you. While it isn’t always conscious, chances are they’re a least a little bit interested in a kiss if their eyes keep shifting down to your lips. Either that, or they’re about to offer you some lip balm.

Studies referenced:

De Stefani, E. (2019). Language, Gesture, and Emotional Communication: An Embodied View of Social Interaction. Front Psychol. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02063.

Jarick, M. (2019). Eye Contact Is a Two-Way Street: Arousal Is Elicited by the Sending and Receiving of Eye Gaze Information. Front Psychol. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01262.

Kennair, L. E. O. (2022). Perceived Effectiveness of Flirtation Tactics: The Effects of Mating Context and Individual Differences in US and Norwegian Samples. Evolutionary Psychology.

Wade, JA. (2018). (I Think) You Are Pretty: a Behavior Analytic Conceptualization of Flirtation. Perspect Behav Sci. doi: 10.1007/s40614-018-0136-y.


Patti Wood, MA, body language expert, author of SNAP: Making the Most Of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma