Figuring out if someone likes you can feel like trying to solve a very complicated riddle. Sometimes you feel so certain that they're sending flirtatious vibes your way, and other times you're convinced they must be staring at someone else who's your exact same height and standing directly behind you. (Ugh, hate it when this happens.) How to tell if someone likes you based on how they look at you might seem a bit far fetched, but it's actually totally legit.
As it turns out, there are several visual cues that could mean someone is totally into you. In a nutshell, those smoldering eyes people give each other when they're interested is known as the copulatory gaze, according to a 2016 study published in the U.S. National Library Of Medicine. This come-hither look is surprisingly one of the most scientific ways to measure attraction based on instinct.
And after all, it only takes roughly 100 milliseconds for our eyes to see someone and process whether or not we would want to mate with them, the same study reports. To get the full breakdown on interpreting if someone is into you based on their gaze, Elite Daily spoke with love biologist Dawn Maslar and relationship expert Susan Winter.
If you notice someone isn't only giving you a smoldering look, but it also seems like it's lasting longer than usual, then this is definitely something to note.
"There's a depth of contact that doesn't occur in a casual glance," Winter tells Elite Daily.
We've all felt it — those searing eyes that keep finding ours in a crowded bar. As long as it doesn't make you feel uncomfortable in a bad way, then wandering closer in their direction might not be a bad idea.
Winter explains that if they "hold the gaze a bit longer than is normal," this may mean that they have a strong desire to connect.
Although being smooth and swooping in like a sexy ghost in the night is usually the goal, being near someone you're attracted to can really make some people act a bit all over the place.
"We can easily lose our cool composure and become self-conscious," says Winter. "We may spill a drink, stumble, or get flustered in our speech."
If they seem to be looking at you in a way that gives off a nervous vibe, there's definitely a chance that you're the reason they're trippin' out.
According to Maslar, playing eye-tag is a pretty big sign that someone's attracted to you and wants to chat.
"Maybe you are in a crowded area and notice someone looking at you," she says. "When you look, they turn away. However, moments later, you notice they are looking again."
And while looking away might seem like a bad sign, the truth is that they know they just got caught openly gawking and probably feel awkward about it.
There are definitely ways to decipher if someone might be into you based on the looks they send your way, but in the end, looking can only get you so far. If you're into them as well, then a good way to let them know is to return their eye contact, or send a flirty smile their way. Then hopefully, you're both feeling confident enough to introduce yourselves. Honestly, what have you got to lose?
This post was originally published on March 26, 2018. It was updated on Sept. 6, 2019.