This can change the entire dynamic of your relationship and the best part is that it doesn't take much effort.
When they say that eyes are the windows to your soul, they're not wrong. They can convey so many emotions and feelings.
Most of the time, we feel like eye contact is too awkward, even with the ones we love. After all, that window opens your vulnerabilities up to the scrutiny of even your close ones and that can be scary. In fact, many couples don't make enough eye contact with each other.
When media site SoulPancake asked six couples in different stages of their relationship to stare into each other's eyes for a few minutes, they got this common answer - "I've never done anything like that." But it's because there's a lack of this connection that the intimacy between two people becomes stagnant.
Staring at someone you love can mean so much more and that's because eye contact has the power to deepen intimacy between two people. Many marital therapists and researchers have proven this idea. However, it was one experiment involving 36 questions that brought this to the light mentioned. Those questions weren't aimed at finding out about how you fell in love, but rather about how you built intimacy.
The original study was done by Dr. Arthur Aron of Stony Brook University and was originally designed to measure closeness in strangers. But later, it was used to see if it could form romantic bonds between people.
"We were trying to find a method in the laboratory to create closeness," Dr. Aron told BuzzFeed. "There had been a fair amount of research on how people tend to form friendships, and what that research showed was that a very standard process is that they self-disclose, reveal personal things about themselves at a gradually increasing rate, and that it's reciprocal. So we wanted to see if we could make that happen in a short amount of time in a lab."
Mandy Len Catron attempted this experiment and when she gazed into the eyes of her partner for four minutes, she felt that "the real crux of the moment was not just that I was really seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone really seeing me," she wrote. "I felt brave, and in a state of wonder."
All of that because she looked into the eyes of her date.
One study published in the Journal of Research in Personality discovered that people who were requested to stare into each other's eyes for two uninterrupted minutes reported "increased feelings of passionate love for each other" and increased likability.
Why? Because "researchers have found that the 'bonding' or 'love' hormone of oxytocin gets released during prolonged eye contact. This is the same hormone that gets released when mothers breastfeed and gaze into the eyes of their infant," Kelly Campbell of California State University told BuzzFeed.
Of course, it's also because our eyes can speak better than our mouths sometimes. "Eye contact is an excellent way to foster intimacy because we express so many of our feelings through the eyes — actually, the muscles around the eyes," Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Mic.
A 1970 study that attempted to measure romantic love by observing the eye contact between couples left alone in the room by social psychologist Zick Rubin gave some surprising results. It was found that couples who reported more amount of love in their relationship also looked at each other in the eyes more often.
He also found that while conversing, two people might make eye contact 30% to 60% of the time "but couples who are in love look at each other 75% of the time during conversation and are slower to break their look away from each other when interrupted," reported Scientific American.
The "advantage in an intimate relationship is that by looking directly at your partner, you show that you're totally focused on what your partner is saying," said professor Whitbourne. "Maintaining eye contact shows that you feel relaxed and open with this person."
So knowing this, maybe it's time to look into the eyes of your loved one and watch the passion bloom.