People across Cornwall are being urged to recognise the look of love this Valentine’s Day.

This comes as a new survey shows that 69 per cent of people in the South West believe in love at first sight, while 56 per cent think the eyes are the biggest indicator when falling in love - meaning first impressions may be more powerful than people think.

According to the heartwarming poll of 2,000 people by Specsavers, more than half (51 per cent) of South West relationships that began with love at first sight are still going strong.

The phenomenon is a popular one – with nearly half of South West adults (45per cent) agreeing that love at first sight is the most romantic way to meet your partner, while a third (30 per cent) saying they have fallen for someone in the past as soon as they laid eyes on them.

Giles Edmonds, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers said: “They say the eyes are a window to the soul, and now we can see just how important they are when it comes to falling in love. With the power to send hidden romantic messages and pick up on subtle amorous cues, neglecting the wellbeing of our sight could mean missing out on love. By ensuring your clarity of vision this Valentine’s Day, you’ll be making sure that “the one” doesn’t slip away unnoticed.”

Nearly nine in ten (86 per cent) of us understand the importance of maintaining good eye contact during the early stages of dating a potential partner.

Specsavers has partnered up with body language expert Judi James to provide tips on how to spot if someone is interested in you. For those looking for love, they could help to spot those subtle cues from that special someone.

According to Judi, the neurological reasons behind love at first sight are complex. Love at first sight happens when a hugely complex, computer-like perception process occurs in a matter of seconds, coming up with the emotional equivalent of a jackpot. 

She says: “Imagine a fruit machine where the cogs keep spinning round with multiple combinations before suddenly and dramatically arriving at the four bells, when the world goes crazy.

“Instant love is usually based on thousands of memories that accrue in our lives. All the “ideal” personality traits, visual stimulus and role models that we’ve got stored away will suddenly seem to be encompassed in this one person we’re looking at. 

“It’s very rarely primarily about looks in the traditional sense. What affects us on a deeper level will be communicated signals of personality traits like humour, confidence, kindness, fun, intellect, warmth or empathy. 

‘The way they look will be important to the process, but it’s more about body language than body idealism. They will usually look similar to someone we have seen before in our lives which will allow us to attribute that person’s positive traits to them too.

“This is called the attribution effect, and it’s an emotional bombshell that is akin to the normal process of the first impression or what we call a gut reaction.’

“Without a doubt, most of the symptoms of love at first sight are created via the eyes – it starts and sometimes ends with the eye connection.’

“The phrase “their eyes met across a crowded room” is more than just a cliché – it really does happen. If your eyes meet and then everything else seems to signal compatibility, we really can experience love at first sight.

“We fall in love because our eyes speak to each other in a complex way that we don’t often understand ourselves.’

To help those seeking romance his Valentines Day, Judi has provided six top tips on how spot if someone is falling in love with you:

Six clear signs that someone is falling in love at first sight by Judi James

  1. EYE CONNECT: The eye connection, when you catch each other’s eye, will lead to an extension of the normal length of time for eye contact with a stranger. When we see people we have no connection with or interest in our eye glance with slide over them without pause. When we spot ‘the one’ though we will hold the gaze for as long as one or two seconds, feeling like we’ve been stopped in out tracks. 
  2. THE PEEK-A-BOO BEHAVIOUR: If we connect with the eye contact we will be impelled to look away but the impulse to look back will be stronger, meaning we go through a ritual of looking, looking away, then being drawn to look again. When you each catch the other looking that second time there will often be a mirrored grin of recognition, to suggest feelings might be mutual.  
  3. COYNESS: No matter how confident or extrovert you normally are, the overwhelming emotional responses you’re experiencing with cause signals of embarrassment, like lowering your chin, blushing or giggling. 
  4. PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES: Your breathing may become shallow and more frequent and your mouth might go dry. Your heart rate and your blink rate can actually increase, too. One undeniable ‘tell’ of love is pupil dilation, which is another reason why we will be drawn to gaze into their eyes to see if it has occurred.  
  5. EYE COMMUNICATION: When we see someone we fancy our eyes will often be drawn to the body (subtly!) to check out the turn-on factor. With love though, the eyes will be drawn to their facial expression and especially their eyes. The eyes are the most expressive body part and we have hundreds of different eye expressions, many more than any other animal. Their eye expressions will be partly what makes us fall for them but we will also be setting up a vital line of non-verbal communication, trying to read their thoughts and feelings to see if they match our own. 
  6. MIRRORING: Once the lines of communication have been set up via the eyes we will often begin to mirror each other subliminally. This can create feelings of recognition, as though we have somehow known them for years.