Does someone want to befriend you or date you? It can be hard to tell, but new research says that a person's eye movements could be the key to figuring it out.

Researchers from Wellesley College and the University of Kansas recently published a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior looking at what people's eye movements say about whether they want someone to be a friend or romantic partner. They used 105 heterosexual undergraduate students as subjects and tracked their eye movements while they looked at photos of men and women and answered questions about if they wanted to befriend or date each person.

The study was a different look at what makes someone "attractive," according to the study's authors. "Research on attraction tends to assume there is a fixed set of characteristics that makes a person desirable. This new study shows that what people look for in a prospective relationship partner depends on their relational goals," co-author Angela Bahns said in a press release. "The same person who makes a highly desirable friend may not make a good mate." Additionally, the study sought to look at what people focus on when their brains are rapidly assessing the types of relationships they want with others in front of them.

What did researchers find? Heterosexual men and women look more at a person's head or chest if they're considering that person a potential romantic partner. Men also tended to look at a woman's chest and hip regions if they were showing romantic interest, which Bahns noted aligns with previous research that says this is due to men's evolutionary focus on women's ability to reproduce.

There was a caveat though. "When men looked at faces for a long time, they were actually less interested in a person," Bahns told Yahoo.

One of the most interesting parts of the study, however, was how people's eye movements change if they want a relationship that's strictly platonic versus romantic or sexual. Researchers noticed that both men and women looked at someone's legs and feet if they were assessing if that person could be a potential friend. While the study focused on heterosexual attraction, now hopefully you can pick up on a few cues the next time you're unsure how someone feels about you.

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