[[quoteright:330:[[Film/{{Camille}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/camille_love_scene21.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Love is in the air… and the eyes.]]

->''"Together, they will have the romance of a lifetime… expressed entirely in '''stares'''."'' [[note]](Cue a montage of every stare between Edward and Bella)[[/note]]
-->-- '''WebVideo/HonestTrailers''', ''{{Film/Twilight}}''[[note]][[OverlyLongGag …and even more STARES!]][[/note]]

Bob and Alice have been spending a lot of time together, causing people to [[EveryoneCanSeeIt comment on their relationship]] but so far nothing has resulted from it. Often though, they will find themselves gazing deeply into each other's eyes, one indication of their {{UST}}. This can often precede an AlmostKiss, as this is usually what is happening before that. If this is an extremely intense gaze into the other's eyes, this might be an indication that a [[TheBigDamnKiss big damn kiss]] is on the horizon. It can also be a platonic look between [[HeterosexualLifePartners two friends]].

There are four versions of this held gaze, depending on the atmosphere of the story:
# '''Romantic''': This will appear at least once, accompanied by some passion on one (or both) of the partners in the gaze, hence it fits into the passionate look variant of the trope.
# '''Platonic''': Two friends will hold each other's gaze meaningfully to either encourage the other or to just let them know that they are there for them.
# '''Antagonistic''': If the two of them are rivals or enemies, however, this becomes a classic [[StaringContest staredown]], with both characters trying their level best to out-intimidate the other.
# '''Supernatural''': A shared gaze where souls gaze into the other person's soul, all at once having a deeper experience than the other two versions mentioned above can have.

A SisterTrope of AlmostKiss, as this commonly happens before the kiss. Sometimes precedes a BigDamnKiss. A subtrope of LongingLook, but different in that it is just two people holding each other's gazes. It naturally tends to happen when two lovers [[LiterallyFallingInLove Literally Fall In Love]]. Compare StaringContest. May also be a MeaningfulLook.
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!!Examples:
[[index]]
* HeldGaze/AnimeAndManga
* HeldGaze/FanWorks
* [[HeldGaze/LiveActionFilms Films — Live-Action]]
* HeldGaze/LiveActionTV
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' has a specific name for this trope--Recognition (which is practically a LampshadeHanging of sorts for the supernatural version of the trope). "Soul meets soul when eyes meet eyes"; which is a powerful biological urge to mate that pretty much guarantees healthy, gifted children.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' Flynn and Rapunzel share a HeldGaze before their AlmostKiss after they have watched the lanterns rise into the sky.
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'':
** The platonic version occurs in the first film, after Manny has just rescued Diego from death at the lava fields.
** This happens again during a tense situation between the mammoth and the tiger in the third film, ''Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs'' when Diego is attempting to convince Manny to let him go protect Ellie.
* The [[HeterosexualLifePartners platonic]] version occurs between Stoick and Gobber in Dreamwork's ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' when they grasp hands, looking each other in eye, before going off to distract Green Death together to buy their people some time.
* The romantic version occurs between Hiccup and Astrid in ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2'', right after they came out of their BigDamnKiss, and it is very short due to Gothi interrupting it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiritStallionOfTheCimarron'', Spirit and Rain have a deep gaze into each other's eyes under a tree. Spirit also does this with Little Creek at least once.
* In ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', this happens between Tarzan and Jane when he first meets the girl, and they stare into each other's eyes in wonder. And again later during the "Strangers Like Me" FallingInLoveMontage, where he pulls her close to him while they swing together on vines.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Elastigirl and Mr Incredible share a rather long seductive one right after they capture a thief together during the ColdOpen at the beginning of the movie.
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' : Aladdin and Jasmine share one HeldGaze early on in the movie with a sunset behind them, leading to an AlmostKiss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' this happens before [[spoiler: Jerin]] is kissed by a dashing stranger.
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', Ward feels himself magically compelled to look into Oreg's eyes after Oreg asks him an [[WhatYouAreInTheDark important question.]] It is never made entirely clear whether it was Oreg himself who made him do that, as Ward is touching a dragon skeleton at the time. The spell is broken after Ward answers.
* in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', when Melian and Elwë Singollo first meet, they stand looking into each other's eyes "while long years were measured by the wheeling stars above them; and the trees of Nan Elmoth grew tall and dark before they spoke any word." Meanwhile, his people get on the boat and leave without him; he doesn't care and stays there with Melian.
* In the [[CharacterBlog blog]] spin-off of Hilary [=McKay=]'s ''Literature/CassonFamilySeries'', Rose's Blog, Rose mentions how her LoveInterest, Tom Levin, "looks and looks at me, looks until I cannot look away." It's a LampshadeHanging, albeit an unintentional one.
* Not surprisingly, ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' the novel was doing exactly the same in nonvisual form.
* In Jim Butcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry even has a name for this--the Soulgaze, where two people catch a glimpse of each other's souls because they share a gaze.
-->"For me, meeting someone's eyes is always risky. Every human being knows what I'm talking about. Try it. Walk up to someone, without speaking and look them in the eyes. There's a a certain amount of leeway for second, or two, or three. And then there's a distinct sensation of contact, of intimacy. That's when regular folks cough and look away. Wizards, though, get the full ride of a soulgaze." --'''Harry Dresden''', ''White Night''.
** This is a LampshadeHanging, as Harry is typically GenreSavvy about most things--including RealLife Shared Gaze, though in the context of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', it is much more supernatural than the actual trope suggests, but Harry does mention the RealLife variant.
** Also becomes an EnforcedTrope, as soulgazes only work once, so Dresden is perfectly comfortable meeting the eyes of people he's trusted enough to share a mutual glimpse of their souls with. ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And Marcone]].)
* Rudyard Kipling's ''Literature/TheJungleBook'' references the direct gaze that when an animal views it, it signals a threat, and it comes into play during the wolf-pack meeting at the beginning when Mowgli is allowed into the pack. His ingenuous, even gaze is unsettling to the animals gathered when he looks at them, meeting their gaze for only a few seconds, as most look away quickly except for ones like Bagheera, who knows something of the ways of men.
* In the fifth ''Literature/{{Harry Potter|and the Order of the Phoenix}}'' book, [[HoYay Sirius and Lupin do this]].
-->Lupin's eyes were fixed on Sirius.
-->''[39 lines later]''
-->"Personally," said Lupin quietly, looking away from Sirius at last.
* David Eddings exaggerates this, like every other trope he gets his hands on, in the ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' prequel novels. When Riva meets his betrothed, Beldaran, they do nothing but stare at each other for ''hours''. It's implied they do almost nothing else until they are finally married, after which they presumably get over it eventually as they have a child at some point. Polgara notes that she's seen this numerous times and it's usually a sign that their marriage was arranged by Fate.
* ''Literature/PetalsOnTheWind''. Cathy and Chris share plenty of these without even realizing it, allowing numerous people to pick up on their feelings for each other. Which is very bad, considering that they're ''brother and sister''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Most music videos that involve or deal with romance will usually include these meaningful gazes between the people in the song in ''some'' way.
* Music/TenthAvenueNorth mentions "look deep in my eyes" implying this trope in their song "Beloved".
* Music/ThirtySecondsToMars seems to imply a romantic HeldGaze in their song "Kings and Queens" which says, "Into your eyes; hopeless and taken."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' had an instance, believe it or not. After a boss fight between Knuckles the Echidna and Rouge the Bat, the latter is about to slip off a beam into a fiery death. Knuckles manages to save her. Their gaze lasts only a few moments before Rouge roughly pulls her hand away to save face.
** ''VideoGame/{{Sonic Rush|Series}}'' also had a moment at the very end of the game where Sonic and Blaze gaze at each other and try to stop themselves from being pulled back into their dimensions. This goes on for more than a few seconds.
* This is basically the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe asari]] version of sex in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series. An asari and her partner will look into each others' eyes and "embrace eternity" together, which is all but outright stated to have effects of intense pleasure similar to an orgasm for both parties. Shepard and a romanced Liara get quite a few of these (both the sexual kind and loving kind) throughout the course of the trilogy.
* ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'': During the introductory FMV, you can see Wendy and another girl doing this, before initiating a HeadbuttOfLove. [[spoiler:[[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship It's Jennifer as a young girl, when she and Wendy swore their eternal love to one another]].]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' pulls this off during a cutscene, where Venom Snake and Quiet look into each other's eyes after a heartwarming dance in the rain. It also serves as one of the biggest confirmations that they're in love with each other.
* In ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'', Link and Zelda do this when they see each other for the first time.
* In ''VideoGame/TomodachiLife'', dating and married Mii couples do this ''a lot'', but all they just do is stare at each other with their "happy" expressions (with hearts flying over their heads if at the apartments or their houses). Strangely, ''they never kiss''.
* This is seen a fair few times during Cullen's romance arc in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheDreamer'': Between Beatrice and Alexander--during [[http://thedreamercomic.com/comic.php?id=314 an argument]], no less.
* [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=120 This]] meme-starting comic from ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' has fun with this trope.
* In the "Kings War" arc of ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}'', the supernatural version of this is used to resolve the conflict. The leaders of both parties do it and see a possible future about the other winning in the gaze...and realize that it's [[NotSoDifferent one and the same]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Donnie [=DuPre=] from ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' does this with nearly every single cast member, male or female. Let's just say there's a reason why he personally asked for SlashFic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Couples on ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' often employ this trope for ShipTease. For instance, Ferb and Vanessa share one when he first meets her, and Phineas and Isabella have also held each other's gaze - most notably in the special ''Summer Belongs to You!'', when they are stranded on the island, and in "Act Your Age," [[spoiler: when they become a couple.]]
* In ''Disney's WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'', on the episode "Max's Embarrassing Date", Max and Roxanne stare into each other's eyes before they AlmostKiss, wherein Minnie interrupts them.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has a few of these. One with Mai and Zuko in the Boiling Rock episodes after being forced to lock the cell door on her (this one is more of deep hurt though), one with Suki and Sokka on the Serpent's Pass leading to an AlmostKiss. Finally, there's one between Aang and Katara which leads to the BigDamnKiss and end of the series.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** Mako and Korra share several of these throughout Book One, with arguably the most conventional example nearly ending in an AlmostKiss in the two-part season finale. [[spoiler:They do get a BigDamnKiss, but it comes a bit later, once much of the underlying drama has been resolved.]]
** In the final scene of the entire series, after an entire season's worth of ShipTease and nudges, [[spoiler: ''Korra and Asami'', of all people, share one of these--complete with holding hands whilst facing one another--as they're teleported into the Spirit World by Republic City's newly-created Spirit Portal. It's like Bryke decided to smash a wrecking ball through the MoralGuardians' basement.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowski'' had this going on with Kick and Kendall, complete with Kick leaning her backwards and complimenting one another. However, the trance was broken when a kid off screen shouted that he should kiss her.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E17HeartsAndHoovesDay "Hearts and Hooves Day"]], Big Macintosh and Cheerilee do this while under the influence of the Cutie Mark Crusaders' love potion. [[spoiler:In fact, the only way to break the spell is to break the gaze for an hour.]]
* The fourth season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' sees Robin and Starfire sharing a significant look right before Robin leaves with Slade to try rescuing Raven.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'' episode "Prince Of The Neitherworld" has lugubrious royalty Prince Vince do this when he first sets eyes on Lydia. He's absolutely smitten by her--Lydia is rather disinterested but still cordial to him.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' and her best friend Ron Stoppable gazed at each other like this in the ending to ''WesternAnimation/KimPossibleMovieSoTheDrama'' before finally having their BigDamnKiss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Studies have been determining that people naturally break eye contact after two seconds, any longer than that subconsciously establishes a deeper, closer connection. A study happened where couples who knew each other were told to look into each other's eyes for over a minute; nearly all the couples reported liking the person more afterwards - and several even ended up married!
* Often people's first flirtings are eye contact and held gazes.
* Aversion: while true for ''H. sapiens'', when other primates (and many other animals) lock gazes, that is a ''threat display''. Because of this, some zoos have have signs near the monkey enclosure warning visitors to not look directly into the monkeys' eyes because it will scare them. Staring into your pet cat or dog's eyes can also make them uncomfortable. This can happen with humans too, in some circumstances: sustained eye contact can be perceived as a challenge. Responses can range from breaking eye contact (conceding defeat) all the way to retaliatory violence.
--> "What are ''you'' looking at?"
* It has been speculated that humans evolved "whites of the eyes" (visible sclera) to enhance nonverbal communication by making it easier to tell what direction people are looking towards. According to the Other Wiki, dogs, during their domestication, developed the ability to pick up visual cues from the eyes of humans.
* The "Staring Contest" game, often played in RealLife, because it is so fun to try and break another's gaze off of your own.
* Naturally, this type of gaze between romantic partners appears often enough in RealLife - it is often employed during ''wedding'' ceremonies.
[[/folder]]
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