They say the easiest way to connect with someone is by making eye contact with them. Yet a lot of people don’t realize how much of an effect simple body language cues like this can have on forming relationships. In fact, eye contact is so powerful that it can actually significantly improve your May-December dating life, and there’s proof!
Looking into someone’s eyes can tell you a lot about their feelings, which can come in very handy for the purpose of May-December dating. The idea of mutual gaze (when you look interrupted into each other’s eyes) is one that’s been studied a lot. For starters, a 1989 study found that when two strangers stared into each other’s eyes, it resulted in feeling more affection for one another. And when couples engaged in mutual gazing, they reported feeling more in love.
While this study might seem too dated to apply to your own May-December dating life, similar results have been reproduced in more recent experiments. In 2010, a writer for Scientific American successfully showed that even when strangers willingly gaze into each other’s eyes for a couple minutes, most of them admit to feeling closer to the other person.
More recently in February 2015, a popular YouTube user recreated the same experiment, this time using couples in varying stages of their relationship, including two strangers and one couple who was married for over 50 years. Each pair was asked to sit alone in a room and silently gaze into each other’s eyes for four minutes. Even the married couple was surprised at the effects. “In 55 years of marriage, we’ve never really looked into each other’s eyes like that,” the wife reportedly told her husband, to which he responded, “When I look at you really closely, I realize how much I need you and what you mean to me, because that’s the truth.”
This is really valuable information for the purpose of May-December dating. If your relationship is still new, making eye contact is a good way to establish a more intimate connection—don’t stare creepily at him the whole evening, but catching each other’s glances every now and then might just help take your relationship up a notch. If you’re done with May-December dating and have settled down in a long-term relationship, then spend some time really looking at each other. If the married couple in the YouTube experiment is any indication, it will only make your relationship stronger.
Epstein, R., “Keeping Love Alive: Scientific American Does Its Part,” Scientific American web site, March 13, 2010; http://goo.gl/ARf3i1.
Kellerman, J., et al., “Looking and loving: The effects of mutual gaze on feelings of romantic love,” Journal of Research in Personality 1989; 23(2); 145-161.
Mosbergen, D., “Here’s What Happened After 6 Couples Were Asked To Look Into Each Other’s Eyes For 4 Minutes,” Huffington Post web site, February 20, 2015; http://goo.gl/qB4nHb.