Your eyes meet across the table. She smiles. You smile. She takes your hand. Your heart races. You like her … actually you like her a lot! Admit it!! But can you be sure she likes you too??

(Remember Rachel?!!)

OK, so before you blow away your heart totally, is there a way to tell, just by looking, if your girlfriend or boyfriend feels the same way about you as you do about them? Well there just could be!

Have another look at their eyes!

Or more precisely, their pupils. Because according to psychologists, when we look at someone we like, our pupils dilate or enlarge.

Secret messages

Now, as you know, pupils are the holes in the front of your eyeballs that let light in. Usually they open up when it’s dark. In bright light they shrink.

But reacting to something we like is an additional effect, and it’s just as automatic as the light-driven one. In other words, we can’t help ourselves. Our eyes give us away.

The look of love

What’s more, our brains are programmed to spot these secret signals and respond to them subconsciously. When you see someone’s pupils dilate, deep inside you know they like you. And that makes you like them even more.

Which, by the way, explains the use of ‘candle-lit dinners’. Low light is flattering because it hides your pimples, but it also gets everyone’s pupils wide open, very conducive to lo-ove.

But finally …

You don’t have to be in love to experience this. Just liking someone (or even something) is enough. When you look at a good mate or even a slice of pizza, your pupils dilate.

So if in all honesty, when you look at your girlfriend’s or boyfriend's eyes and they’re as cold as a cat’s in bright daylight, then shrug it off. Cut the love-talk ... and pile into the pizza.

Anyway, at least this time you didn’t blow your budget hiring a plane to write ‘I love you’ across the sky.

It takes at least 15 minutes for your pupils to fully adjust when you go from an area of bright light to an area of dim light.

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Written and project managed by Berry Billingsley for the Department of Education