Can you fall in love with someone just by looking deep in to their eyes?
I once spent four minutes staring deep into the eyes of a man, wondering if I was in love with him. It was our second date.
It was one of those fast and deep relationships. He was super affable and when he suggested, on our second date that we take the 36 Questions in Love quiz, I was happy to oblige. For those who don’t know, this is a list curated by The New York Times of questions to ask someone if you want to fall in love – or strengthen love. Kinda heavy for a second date, right? Still, it felt natural somehow. We spent hours strolling around Melbourne, doing a full lap of the Yarra River and wandering through the laneways, answering each question one by one and learning more about each other in the process. The final task was to spend 5 minutes looking in to one another’s eyes. This was before I had spent much time on spiritual work and in the yoga space, so the concept of eye gazing was not yet known to me. I’ve always been someone who makes pretty solid eye contact, but the thought of looking in to someone’s eyes for a full five minutes definitely scared me. But, we set the timer and did it anyway. Paired with the beautiful conversations and deep connection we had cultivated throughout our walk, it was pretty damn intense.
I have since taken part in intentional eye gazing activities multiple times now and it is truly powerful. Being able to sit with someone, without words and just see them as they are, is so beautiful. To begin with it can be uncomfortable and daunting – you may find yourself trying to put on a mask, not take it seriously and joke around. But after a while, something shifts. There’s a moment where the mask drops and you can feel the other person’s energy. You both soften and somehow you can feel this sense of love, of compassion for the other person. Even if you haven’t yet had a conversation.
Yesterday I took part in an eye gazing workshop and had the pleasure of connecting with multiple people. Each time I found myself noticing the shift when we both showed up for the other. Sometimes it felt like the other was searching for answers within my eyes, other times I felt myself imagining those in this person’s life who truly do look at them with this kind of love and wonderment.
When you sit with someone where your only task is to look in to their eyes, the dynamic is completely different. You’re not looking at them, their face, their body, their clothes – only in to their eyes. You’re not trying to learn who they are and what they do. You’re not sizing them up against you or creating a story in your head about who you think they are. You are simply connecting with them, with no pre-judgements.
It is entirely possible to create connection and intimacy with complete strangers. All it takes is a willingness to be seen, and to show up for the other person.
For those of you wanting to cultivate and strengthen meaningful connection in your life – be it with friends, family members or a lover – I highly recommend doing the 36 Questions in Love. It’s a game changer. You can also listen to a reading of “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This” on Modern Love: The Podcast here.
I also urge you to try eye gazing. You can do it with a loved one anytime, and it’s particularly special with a stranger. Most cities will have someone hosting an eye-gazing workshop, try searching on Facebook or Eventbrite for one near you.
If you try either or both of these, I would love to know your experience. Please feel free to reach out in a comment, via email or over on instagram anytime.
With love and connection,
Let me know your thoughts!