How Brits are eyeing up their dates this Valentine’s

flirting with eyesAre you a Blinker or a Winker?  New research shows that on a first date the eyes speak volumes. But what does it mean if there is no eye contact, staring or wandering eyes? Clarivu body language expert casts light to help you have a successful 14th February.

Expert reveals how to flirt with your eyes and decode your date

The new report[1] from ClarivuTM permanent lens replacement unveils the impact of eyes in the dating season:
• Over eight in 10 Brits (83 per cent) state that eyes are an important feature in being attracted to someone on a first date
• An overwhelming 93 per cent believe making eye contact is vital when meeting for the first time
• And 39 per cent of Brits maintain that out of all body language, eyes have the most impact on a date.
This could be why most Brits – 93 per cent – make a deliberate effort to make eye contact to show they are interested in their date.

A lack of eye contact makes half of Brits believe their date is not interested (50 per cent) or shy (48 per cent); while a more cynical third of Brits (29 per cent) think their date is not trustworthy or even deliberately hiding something (27 per cent) if they avoid eye contact.

Women are even more suspicious than men, with 36 per cent (compared to 19 per cent respectively) stating they would think their date was not trustworthy if they did not make eye contact.

Body language expert Robert Phipps states: “Eye contact is one of the essentials of good relationships, especially on those first few crucial dates, as they send and receive so many of our non-verbal signals. You see trust and empathy in the eyes, which are two vital ingredients of any good relationship.

“It’s also a reciprocal thing. We tend to like to receive about the same eye contact as we give, whether it’s positive or negative. Think of two star gazed lovers in a restaurant holding hands and looking romantically into each other’s eyes.

“Now think of two testosterone charged boxers facing off and trying to stare each other down, the first to look away loses. It’s the context of the situation that changes the interpretation of the eye contact.”

While Brits are concerned at reading their partner’s eyes, both men and women admit their own eyes wander to other people while on a first date; four in 10 men (40 per cent) and three in 10 women (34 per cent) confess doing so.

Despite this, wandering eyes are considered one of the most off-putting eye movements on a date according to 46 per cent of Brits, and over half of women (52 per cent). Other ‘eye annoyances’ to be wary of include:

• Staring is disliked by 35 per cent of Brits (raising to 43 per cent of women)
• A quarter of male Brits (25 per cent) and 31 per cent of women hate being winked at on a date
• Blinking too much on a date is off-putting for a fifth of Brits (21 per cent)
Robert Phipps comments:  “When you get too much eye contact it can come across as too analytical, critical or even domineering.

“Winking is usually a way of sending the message ‘you understand what I want, mean, expect’.

“And blinking too much is off-putting because we can’t read the eyes in the way we would normally, it makes the Blinker look nervous and so can put us on edge, as a good date should be relaxed and easy regardless of the activity.”

The new research unveils that 39 per cent of Brits believe that out of all body language, eyes have the most impact on a date. Eyes are considered more telling than body position (20 per cent), body space (12 per cent), crossed arms (11 per cent) and hand movements (8 per cent).

Robert captures five ways to read your date’s eyes this Valentine’s Day:
1. Eye Contact – The amount of eye contact you get should feel comfortable; if it makes you feel uncomfortable it is either too much or too little. If they’re looking over your shoulder all the time then they’re not giving you the attention you deserve.

2. Eyes and Listening – We tend to give more eye contact when we are listening than we do when we’re talking. Check that your date is looking at you more of the time when you are talking and vice versa; when it’s their turn to talk you should give them more eye contact.

3. Blink Rate – Blinking and eye contact go together as too high or low a blink rate can be off putting and even annoying. Unless they have an eye problem high blink rates are associated with nervousness or high stress. If it’s a first date they may well be a bit nervous but by the time you get to dates three and four this should be more normal, around 20-25 blinks per minute.

4. Eyes and Smiles – Even though we smile with our mouths we also use our eyes when we smile. Genuine smiles activate a muscle that runs around the eye called the Orbicularis Oculi, which in turn works with the Zyugomatic muscle at the corners of our lips. That’s why genuine happy smiles are said to “Reach the eyes” because they do and over time lines form from the eye to the mouth.

5. Eyes and Emotions – In order to express all manner of emotions we use our eyes in conjunction with other parts of the face, six of which are universal – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. Your date should be using them appropriately at the right times to help build rapport, and so should you.

Robert warns to be wary of misreading people in glasses though: “The eyes are so important when it comes to reading body language and emotions that the wearing of glasses or using contact lenses can have a major impact on it.

“Lighting can reflect back off glasses, meaning people cannot see the eyes, which we know people find to be less trustworthy than someone whose eyes they can see. In some cases you might as well be wearing mirrored sunglasses – the meaning of eyes can be hidden.”

Clarivu is Optegra’s exclusive permanent lens replacement procedure involves a surgeon replacing the eye’s natural lens with a new, technically advanced Intra Ocular Lens (IOL). This provides the additional focusing power previously provided by glasses or contact lenses for both distance and reading, and prevents or eliminates cataracts.


Note to editors

About Robert Phipps

Robert Phipps is one of the UK’s best known body language experts and has given his commentary and analysis of all the major news stories and party political leaders since 2002.
Resident expert on the “Trisha Goddard Show” for more than eight years with well over 100 appearances whilst also working for several years as guest analyst on Big Brother’s Little Brother.
His latest book “Body Language – It’s What You Don’t Say That Matters” currently #3 on Amazon UK.
A renowned platform speaker and trainer Robert is in constant demand by both the media and business worlds. He has written and commented for almost every national newspaper and magazine in the UK and has contributed to many trade specific journals both here and abroad.
Robert has worked on a wide range of projects with the Lone Workers Safety Conference, LA Childrens Hospital, Global Tolerance, Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, the Society of Occupational Medicine and the Institute of Business Advisors to name a few.
His work has been featured on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Business’ and was part of BBCs team for their prime time “Rogue Traders” show and is regularly called upon to comment on political events for many of the BBC’s radio and news broadcasts.

About Optegra

Clarivu is provided exclusively by Optegra, a specialist provider of ophthalmic services in the UK, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Optegra operates 23 eye hospitals and brings together leading edge research and medical expertise, state-of-the-art surgical equipment and top ophthalmic surgeons renowned for their areas of expertise to offer the best clinical outcomes in laser vision correction, Clarivu (refractive lens exchange), cataract removal, AMD, vitreoretinal and oculoplastics procedures all carried out in 5-star patient facilities.

Optegra, is committed to the development of eye sciences and championing the latest innovations in vision correction through its dedicated Eye Sciences Division.  Optegra achieves this by partnering with leading UK universities in the research and development of the next generation of ophthalmic services and technologies.

In addition, its Professional Partnership Programme of education and development with optometrists and opticians ensures the very best medical treatments are available to all.
To maintain Optegra’s five star standard of patient care and safety,  its specialist eye hospitals draw on the expertise of its Medical Advisory Committees (MAC), headed by consultant level ophthalmic surgeons who all report into the corporate MAC.  This is managed by Medical Director Mr Robert Morris, the renowned refractive expert who determines Optegra’s policies and procedures.

Optegra operates six UK eye hospitals: Optegra Eye Hospital, London; Optegra Surrey Eye Hospital (Guildford); Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital (Aston); Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital (Apperley Bridge and Laser Eye Centre in Leeds City Centre); Optegra Solent Eye Hospital (Whiteley) and Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, (Didsbury).

For information please contact:
Charlotte Sutton
07958 279 240

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