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When it comes to falling in love, good looks and a great personality can certainly lure potential mates.
But to get the job done, sometimes it pays to be clever, experts say. Knowing how human beings tend to respond to certain behaviors and social cues can help you turn a fun fling into long-lasting love.
Here are four techniques to help you nudge the love odds in your favor.
1. Know when to make yourself unavailable.
The more you interact positively with someone, the more they'll like you, says author and human behavior expert David Lieberman. And several studies back him up — repeated exposure to practically any stimulus makes us like it more (as long as our initial reaction wasn't negative to begin with).
Just when you're convinced you've won him over, try being a little less available. A little aloofness instigates the "law of scarcity."
In other words, people often want what they can't have. By constantly being available to him, you could diminish your value.
Try being around and then not around for awhile and you'll give him time to think about how much he likes and wants you.
2. Give him the eye.
In an effort to measure love scientifically, Harvard psychologist Zick Rubin began recording the amount of time lovers spent staring at one another.
He discovered that couples who are deeply in love look at each other 75 percent of the time when talking and they're slower to look away when someone else intrudes. (In normal conversation, people not in love look at each other between 30-60 percent of the time.)
Look someone in the eye 75 percent of the time and you may be able to trick his brain. Why? The brain remembers the last time someone looked at him like that and it remembers that feelings of love were in the air. That triggers a release of phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical cousin to amphetamines secreted by the nervous system when we first fall in love. It’s also what makes our palms sweat, our tummies flip over and our hearts race.
3. Stay focused.
Another crucial finding from Rubin's research: couples took longer to look away from one another when a third person joined the conversation.
Keeping the focus on your mate when other people start talking could help trigger more PEA floods into his bloodstream.
Author and communication expert Leil Lowndes calls this technique making "toffee eyes." Simply lock eyes with the person you like and keep them there, even when he's finished talking and someone else has joined the conversation.
When you eventually drag your eyes away (three or four seconds later), do it slowly and reluctantly — as though they're attached by warm toffee.
If you're too shy to gaze at him, skip the toffee stuff and make like a bouncing ball. Turn to the other person who's joined the conversation, but let your eyes bounce back to your guy whenever that third person finishes a sentence.
That's a kind of "checking-in" gesture to show you're interested in your mate's reaction to what's being said.
4. Practice "pupillometrics."
We all know "bedroom eyes" when we see them. But what makes that look of lust so appealing?
According to pupillometrics, the science of pupil study, we're responding to our mate's enlarged pupils.
Of course, you can't consciously control your pupils, but you can create the right external conditions to make them pupils bigger.
The first step? Reduce light. Our pupils expand when it's dark — one reason why candlelight is de rigueur in romantic restaurants. It's not just the softer light that makes our faces appear more attractive, larger pupils help, too.
Don't believe me? In a famous University of Chicago study, researchers showed two sets of pictures of a woman's face to a group of men. The photographs were identical, except for one thing: The pupils in one were doctored to make them look larger. When shown the doctored photograph, men judged the same woman twice as attractive. (There were similar results when sets of photos of a man's face was shown to women.)
Our pupils also enlarge when we look at something we like. So if you're really attracted to someone, your pupils are probably already going bonkers.
Now dim the lights, give him the eye, stay focused, and have fun!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.