When you think about your eyes dilating, you might recall what takes place during an eye exam. Your eye doctor may dilate your eyes, or make your pupils wider, to take a closer look at the blood vessels in the back of your eye to better understand your overall health. However, our eyes naturally dilate every day to adjust how much light comes in through the lens of the eye and to help us focus. When we have a physiological response, such as fear, surprise, or attraction, this can also make our pupil bigger. The dilation of the pupils is also referred to as mydriasis.
So, it turns out the “look of love” might actually be a real thing. The next time you’re with your significant other, keep the following in mind.
The iris muscles, which are responsible for the dilation of the pupil, are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. So, just like those unexpected and uncontrollable butterflies you might feel for someone, a visible tell of someone’s feelings for you might be in their eyes. Studies have shown that when viewing images of someone that you find attractive it can illicit a nonverbal response of pupil dilation.