When it comes to dating preferences, often the first thing people mention is an eye colour they’re particularly fond of.
As singletons contend with the built-in swipe culture of the modern dating landscape, standing out and making a good split-second first impression has never felt like more of a necessity.
Given they’re the windows to the soul, which eye colours are the most popular? Contact lens store Lenstore did their homework to find out.
In their study, they changed the eye colours of a male and female participant using photo-editing software and created a number of accounts on dating apps Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. They totted up how many matches the pair received using the same images and biography across all of the apps.
To mix things up they also included unnatural eye colours such as black and purple eyes, which are only achieved through wearing coloured contact lenses.
So which eye colours are the most attractive?
Blue is apparently the most attractive eye colour in a man, while hazel is the most attractive in a woman.
The profile with the blue-eyed boy accounted for over 1 in 4 matches in the men’s study, with the next most popular eye colour being brown (22 per cent of all matches). Green was the next most popular, followed by hazel and black. The least popular eye colours in a man were black and purple.
Blue eyes were found to be the most popular in men
However these results were vastly different when looking at the preferences expressed in the woman’s lists of matches.
Hazel was the most popular eye colour to receive a right-swipe, accounting for 1 in 5 of all the woman’s matches.
Hazel eyes were found to be the most popular eye colour in women
Bizarrely it only beat purple eyes by a single match, with black eyes coming in third place. Blue and brown, the most popular for men, trended towards the bottom middle of the women’s list, with brown eyes – the most common in the world – receiving only 13 per cent of all matches. Green eyes were at the bottom, accounting for 11 per cent of the likes.
Why do we have a preference when it comes to eye colour?
There seems to be four main reasons, according to the experts Lenstore spoke to. Childhood memories, emotional compatibility, beauty standards, and simply having a “type” all inform our preferences in a potential suitor’s eye colour.
Sex and relationship coach Ness Cooper said that some past studies have suggested that we get the hots for people who have similar physical traits to our parents or even ourselves. This extends to eye colour, too. Cooper said that research on eye colours in particular is limited, but our eye colour preferences could be due to the happy hormones that are released when our caregivers bond with us as children.
Cooper said: “If you prefer blue eyes for example, it may be that you just have good past experiences as a child where happier feelings and positive hormones were released due to feeling safe with that person, and your memory may be recalling those moments when searching for a future partner or date.”
Eyes are also perhaps the most expressive features of the face. Relationship expert Chris Pleines said that by looking at someone’s peepers, we’re able to read if they’re sad, happy, sincere or lying.
Pleines said: “This is one of the reasons why it holds so much impact when it comes to attraction. It also helps a lot in building sexual tension. Just by looking at a person’s eyes, you can find hints whether mutual attraction is possible as well as emotional compatibility.”
We also can’t talk about attraction without addressing beauty standards. Psychiatrist Dr Alexander Lapa commented: “Typically, blonde hair and blue eyes were highly valued and often emphasised and portrayed in the media. While we all have our specific preferences, we have often been subject to conditioning to what is deemed socially attractive. The recent rise in popularity of social media only perpetuated this.”