Eye Love You

All right, you don’t love the guy you’ve just spotted across the produce section, but you’d sure like to get to know him better. Yet you’re not the type to walk over and ask him how to choose a pineapple. How can you get him to come to you? Start with your eyes.

Open Up Those Windows to Your Soul

Some women are blessed with gorgeous eyes—big, beautifully hued peepers adorned with long lashes. But you—you have small, swollen, squinty, or crinkly eyes, and you’re convinced that your chances of meeting a man will increase if you wear sunglasses. Wrong! It doesn’t matter if your eyes aren’t perfect; what matters most is putting what you’ve got to good use. To that end, it can’t hurt to learn how to dress up your eyes.

If you have no idea how to make use of eyeliner and mascara, it might be worth your while to make an appointment with a licensed cosmetologist. She’ll be able to give you some valuable insight (no pun intended) into your best eye looks.

Now, you may be wondering why this is important. You don’t particularly like makeup; in fact, you’ve never worn it and you don’t plan on starting now. Just sit tight for a minute and keep on reading. When men are looking for a mate, they instinctually try to find someone who can bear their children. This instinct dates back to the caveman days, where procreation meant the difference between the survival of the human species and the end of it. Supposedly, men are looking for young, fertile mates.

Now, here’s where your eyes come in: Big, bright eyes make you look young—youthful enough to have a child—and harmless, much like a baby or a child yourself. Using makeup to accentuate these features works in your favor … as long as you don’t overdo it. If you hate makeup, just hit the basic trouble spots around your orbital areas. Camouflaging dark circles with concealer is a start; adding lash-lengthening mascara gives your eyes a 3D boost. You’ll read about other ways to play up your eyes throughout this section.

Work It!

Once you’ve hidden your flaws and played up your eyes’ assets, it’s time to put them to work. Making eye contact is your first move, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, as anyone who’s ever felt awkward making eye contact will attest to. Eye contact is a subtlety of flirting that can easily go awry.

Too much eye contact can scare the other person away (“Why is she staring at me?”); too little can lead the other person to believe you aren’t interested, either in meeting him or in listening to him, depending on the situation. So what’s the right way to make that initial flirty eye contact? Use the one-two-three rule:

One: A brief meeting of the eyes, no more than three seconds.

Two: A look back at the person, this time with a little smile.

Three: After a brief interlude (a couple of minutes at least), a sure and steady glance accompanied by a wider smile.

After Three, you have to make a decision: Either get up and go talk to this guy or wait for him to approach you. But cool it with the eyes for a while. You can’t spend the entire night stealing little glances at him without parlaying that into actual conversation. That just shows a lack of effort on your part.

Now of course, every situation is different. If you’re sitting in a conference and you happen to catch his eye, you obviously aren’t going to strike up a conversation right then and there, but the same rule applies: Don’t continue to stare or glance over at him too often. While some men find it incredibly appealing when a stranger can’t take her eyes off of him, others find it disconcerting. Since you’re making a first impression with your eye contact, play it safe until you actually know him.

Briefly Breaking the Connection

Although people don’t actually speak with their eyeballs, eye contact is a huge factor in everyday communication. You’ve already read about giving someone the eye across a crowded room; what are you going to do with your eyes when you’re face to face with this guy?

Keep in mind that prolonged eye contact sends a very definite message that isn’t always appropriate in everyday conversation: The polite version of this communication says, “I can’t stop looking at you. I’m very interested in getting to know you better.” So even though it’s all right to hold eye contact longer than you would if you were, say, talking to your neighbor (assuming you’re not interested in snagging your neighbor for a romantic interlude), too much is still too much. You have to break eye contact once in a while or your interaction with this person will amount to little more than a staring contest.

Widening your eyes when you’re talking to a man mimics the wide-eyed innocence of youth. Since men are instinctually programmed to find a mate to bear their children, they respond to body language that makes a woman look young.

So where do you look—and how often? If you’re in a club, restaurant, or other social setting, there should be plenty of things that will naturally catch your eye. Look down at your glass, look at the people standing next to you, look off to the side of your date’s head. The break from eye contact shouldn’t be more than a few seconds. You shouldn’t be holding eye contact for more than five to ten seconds at a shot, which doesn’t sound like a very long time, but try it out on yourself in the mirror. Ten seconds seems to span a much longer period of time in an intense situation.

Be careful to look to different areas when you break eye contact. If you look toward the same spot every time, your date might wonder who’s catching your eye while you’re flirting with him.

Get on the Eye Express

There are a few basic eye expressions that come in handy in the mating world:

• The wide eye

• The wink

• The eyelash bat

• The demure look upward

Some of these gestures were discussed in Chapter 7, but here they’ll be discussed in the specific context of flirting.

When you widen your eyes, you make yourself look youthful and interested—as long as you don’t overdo it. If you pop your eyes open as wide as they’ll go, you look frightened. Combine a slightly widened eye with a smile and you’re good to go.

Winking is a bold move, of course, because in our culture it’s a means of saying, “You’re quite a hottie. Come over here and talk to me.” Work on your wink before using it in a public place. Make sure you’ve got it down pat: it should be a quick blink of one eye. And a smile always sweetens the deal.

If you can’t wink without closing both eyes, then don’t do it! People will wonder if you’ve lost a contact or if you’re suffering from chronic dry eyes. Either way, you won’t be landing a date with this move.

Batting the eyelashes is something that requires natural ability and practice—it’s not a move for amateurs! If you spend your Sunday afternoons watching old black-and-white movies, you’ve no doubt seen this tactic employed—and probably not in the most subtle manner. It should be such a natural move that no one notices anything other than your beautiful, innocent eyes.

Here’s the move: Preferably no more than two quick blinks at once and then cool it. The eyelash bat combined with a coy smile is a game-winning play, but again, you need to practice this in the privacy of your own home before displaying it in public. And remember: less is more. Overusing the lash bat will only make you look like you have some sort of eye disorder. That may in and of itself gain you some sympathy from the guy in question, but that’s about as far as things will go.

Angling your head downward and looking upward at your date sends the message that you’re harmless and he’s powerful, even if he happens to be shorter than you are. It’s also one of those moves that’s undeniable in its message: basically, it’s sex in a glance.

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