Body language expert Adrianne Carter gives us her top advice on communicating with your eyes in the world of online dating
By Virgin TV Edit
When it comes to the essentials of virtual dating, good eye contact is vital. After all, how else are you going to find your soulmate if they can’t see through the window to your soul?
As Virgin Media is all about building connections, we polled the nation to find out what makes the country tick when it comes to dating and love. We discovered Brits think you should hold someone’s gaze for nine seconds to let them know you’re interested in them, while only 16% of people believe looking to the left means you’re keen on the other person!
- Discover alternative virtual date ideas
- Get up to speed on the best dating apps
- How to make a good first impression
If you want to make a powerful connection with your peepers, help is at hand. We’ve enlisted leading body language expert Adrianne Carter to provide some super handy tips on establishing and maintaining eye contact when meeting people online.
Before you check out her advice below, watch writer and broadcaster Alix Fox chat to Adrianne and former Love Island contestant Samira Mighty about the power of communicating with your eyes…
How important is eye contact on a date?
Adrianne says: “One of the most important actions you can do on a date is to have good eye contact, particularly if you are interested in your date and want it to go further. A person’s eyes are vital to communication. We can tell so much about what is going on – happy, sad, mad, surprised, or frightened – all from the eyes.”
Is it important to maintain eye contact on a virtual date?
Adrianne says: “Yes, if you are interested in taking things further with the other person. If we don’t maintain eye contact the other person may feel we aren’t interested and bring things to a close sooner than we would like. They may think you are bored or looking for a distraction if you don’t maintain eye contact on a virtual date – we only have the head and top half of the body to convey all the messages we want to, so you have to be conscious of how you are behaving.”
Is it easier to pick up on dating signals from behind a screen?
Adrianne says: “Yes and no. It can be a more intense situation when both are using screens and close-up views to communicate. We can get a closer view sometimes on screen rather than we might do in person. Good broadband is vital so that we don’t miss any clues by freeze frames or stutter connection. We could be missing something vital…”
How do you avoid looking at yourself when on a virtual date?
Adrianne says: “Minimise yourself as much as possible so you don’t get distracted. Also, practice video chatting with friends or relatives so that you are comfortable with how you appear on the screen. Do all your mirror work beforehand and check you are happy with how you look then forget about yourself and concentrate on your date.”
How do we flirt with our eyes online?
Adrianne says: “Hold eye contact for nine seconds – do this regularly throughout the conversation. Look, hold eye gaze, look away, and do this three times in a row – practice this so it feels comfortable. If the other person is waiting for you to look back each time you look away, they are interested. Or you could have a go at Princess Diana’s coy head pointed down and eyes looking up pose – this is a flirtatious gaze to try.”
What are the types of eye-contact attraction?
Adrianne says: “Dilated pupils are a sign of attraction – our pupils dilate when they focus on someone they find attractive. Also, a longer gaze than normal – holding your eye contact so that you get the message they are interested.”
What are signs of flirting?
Adrianne says: “Hold the object of your interest’s gaze for at least three seconds. Any less than that and the person may not realise you are holding their gaze. Three seconds is not too long to be uncomfortable, but it is purposeful. Try to do this at least three times if you have chance. This shows the other person it’s not a fluke and you are deliberately holding their attention.”
What are your essential tips?
Adrianne says: “Practice good eye contact with friends on video chat. Relax and be yourself. No sunglasses in your profile pics – let potential dates see your eyes.”
Common eye movements and meanings
Adrianne says: “Take into account the context you are seeing these movements in and always ask yourself this important question: what else could this mean? This will help you objectively analyse what’s really going on instead of jumping to conclusions.”
- This person may be thinking and processing in a visual way
- Boredom is often shown by looking up for something more interesting to focus on
- Head down and eyes looking up is a flirtatious, coy movement
- If the head is down, looking up and accompanied by a frown, this is a judgemental look
- A sign of submission
- A sign of feeling guilty
- In some cultures, looking away and down is a sign of respect for another
- A quick glance sideways can be to check something that has distracted them
- It can also be a sign someone is irritated
- Looking at something/someone is a sign of interest
- The direction of someone’s gaze is often easy to follow and gives you a clue as to what has taken their interest
- Looking at someone’s forehead while speaking to them is the subtlest way of getting away from someone that doesn’t interest you
Long eye contact
- Shows a high level of interest
- Done without blinking and a set face can be a sign of domination, power and aggression
- Liars may hold eye contact longer than normal, believing that it will make the person feel they are telling the truth as they are willing to hold eye contact
- An attraction signal, especially when the gaze goes back and forth between two people
Limited eye contact
- The person may feel insecure or nervous
- Can be a sign of deception but not always – the person could be feeling worried they aren’t being believed so act guilty
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Interviews: Any opinions expressed in interviews are those of the interview subject and not those of Virgin Media.