It’s a common scene in most rom-coms: the pair who have been battling unrequited love finally find themselves in a romantic situation – and before you know it, they’re leaning in and closing their eyes until their lips meet. But have you ever wondered why we close our eyes when we kiss? Or why it’s considered strange to open your eyes during it?
Well, wonder no more, psychologists Polly Dalton and Sandra Murphy did a study on the common kissing practice and published their findings in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
The study discovered that the brain struggles to focus on other senses if it’s being visually stimulated. If you were to keep your eyes open while kissing, your vision would distract your brain from focusing on how the kiss feels — keeping you from enjoying the actual act itself. Plus who wants to see someone’s face that close up?
Dalton and Murphy made this discovery by having study participants do letter-searching tasks. While participants completed their tasks, a small vibration would buzz in their hands. The psychologists discovered that as the tasks grew more difficult, participants didn’t recognize the vibrations in their hands as strongly. This is all due to the fact their eyes were busier, so the brains focused on that rather than the sensation in their hands.
This led the researching duo to the conclusion that closing your eyes while kissing keeps your other senses are heightened, resulting in an eyes-closed smooch that allows you to enjoy all of the sensations your body feels.
Thanks to Dalton and Murphy our lips are no longer sealed.