Have you ever wondered what intense eye contact between a man and a woman means? Is this a way of flirting, or does it have a completely different meaning? Namely, people say that the eyes are a window to a person’s soul. They say that you can see if a person has an inherently good heart just by looking into their eyes. But is this true?
In this article, you’ll find out about the different meanings of intense eye contact between a man and a woman. Furthermore, since there are several types of eye contact, you’ll also learn how to use your own to show someone your intentions.
The Meaning of Eye Contact
Essentially, eye contact is when a person looks into the eyes of another person. It can happen between any two individuals, and it has an array of different implications. Furthermore, it can also happen on purpose or by accident.
Overall, eye contact is considered one of the most useful forms of non-verbal communication. Through the eyes, one can deepen their bond with another human being by displaying their emotions and evoking a reaction from the person they’re looking at. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
What Can You Achieve Through Eye Contact?
The most interesting thing about eye contact is that you can use it to communicate an array of emotions. Through those emotions, you can show a person that you’re:
• Interested in what they’re saying
• Hoping to create a friendship with them
• Trying to bond with them
• Looking for a romantic connection
• Angry with them or about something
• Pleased with them or about something
• Sad about something
• Trusting of them
• Flirting with them
• Showing your confidence
It’s important to remember that you’re always sending messages to other people through eye contact. Whether it’s something as simple as showing them you’re interested in what they’re saying or a more complex emotion such as trust, you need to be wary of what type of emotion you’re trying to convey.
Prolonged Eye Contact
There is a significant difference between regular and prolonged eye contact. Whereas regular contact typically lasts for one or a few seconds, prolonged eye contact can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
It’s no accident that you can often see couples gazing deeply into each other’s eyes in romantic movies. The way it’s presented in movies is that time “stops”, and everything around them seems to fade.
But, in real life, when a stranger keeps gazing at you, and at some point, you lock eyes, it’s completely understandable to wonder why they’re doing so and what’s on their mind.
This person may be interested in you, or they could be looking at you because you remind them of someone. In fact, here are the most common reasons why a stranger could be making eye contact.
1. The Person Is Checking You Out
Typically, when a man finds a woman attractive, he will look at her for a prolonged period of time. The same goes for a woman that is attracted to a man. For example, if you’re out with your friends and you notice someone staring at you, there’s a good chance they’re doing so because they find you interesting and would like to get to know you.
In some situations, the person will continue looking at you from afar without attempting to approach you for fear of rejection. However, if the attraction is intense, and you purposefully look back at the person, this may give them the courage to make a move.
Essentially, you have the power to send this person a signal telling them you’re either interested or disinterested. If you look them up and down only once and then look away for good, this could tell them you’re not interested. On the other hand, if you glance their way more than once, they’ll know you’re open to an introduction.
2. They Want to Give You the Attention You Deserve
When you’re having a discussion with someone, making eye contact is essential. It’s polite, and it shows you’re completely focused on what they’re saying.
So, if the other person is making prolonged contact with you while you’re speaking to them, it’s safe to assume that they’re showing you the attention you deserve.
However, in this case, it’s difficult to say whether the person is acting this way simply because they find what you have to say interesting, or they are physically attracted to you, and they’re looking to earn some “listening points”. But, to be fair, it’s a win for you either way.
3. They’re Trying to Persuade You
Ultimately, intense eye contact can be a powerful tool. Many politicians will use it to persuade people to win arguments. It’s the same with men and women.
When someone keeps looking into your eyes while they’re talking to you about a subject you have a contrasting opinion on, it’s most likely because they’re trying to persuade you to change your view.
Similarly, if they’re talking to you about a subject they’re not 100% educated on, looking into your eyes while presenting the topic is an attempt to make themselves appear more knowledgeable on the subject.
4. The Person Wants You to Like Them
Namely, some people will do anything to make someone like them. It doesn’t matter if 9 out of 10 people find them intelligent, funny, and attractive; that one person that doesn’t like them will gain the sole focus of their attention. Unfortunately, that’s human nature.
If someone you’re not a fan of keeps making eye contact with you, they’re probably trying to figure out what you don’t like about them. The fact that you don’t find them even slightly interesting is likely killing them inside, and they’ll do anything to change your mind.
And if they come up to you to try and strike up a conversation, they will keep looking into your eyes the entire time. This is their way of trying to bond with you. Obviously, this may not work in their favor. But who knows, they may end up warming up to them in the end.
5. They Are Gossiping About You
If you’ve seen enough teen movies in your lifetime, you’ll know that when a person keeps looking in your direction while talking with someone, or a group of people, they’re probably gossiping about you.
In some cases, their constant glances in your direction could be involuntary. Some people do this without even knowing it. But, they could also be looking in your direction to keep tabs on your whereabouts, and to make sure you cannot hear what they’re saying.
Fortunately, there is a trick you can use to find out if this is the reason they’re looking at you. Once you notice that they’re staring in your direction, lock eyes with them.
Typically, when someone is gossiping about you, and they notice you’re looking at them, they’ll immediately get embarrassed. Sometimes, they’ll even turn bright red and quickly look away from you.
6. They’re Mindlessly Looking at You
It’s funny how eye contact between a man and woman can mean a million things. For example, how is it possible that some instances of prolonged eye contact can mean someone likes you, and others that they have something bad to say about you? Or, in some cases, the person may not even know that they’re looking at you!
In all honesty, it can be pretty embarrassing if you mistake someone’s unintentional gaze for attraction. But it’s not entirely your fault if it happens.
When a person is tired, or they’re reminiscing about something and are deep in thought, it’s easy for them to unfocus their eyes. While they may look as if they’re making prolonged contact with you, they could just be making a to-do list in their head.
But on the bright side, you’ll probably be able to tell if this is the case. At some point, the person will snap out of their daze, and they’ll stop looking in your direction altogether.
How to Establish Strong Eye Contact With Someone
To be fair, establishing strong eye contact isn’t easy for everyone. Introverted personalities, for example, can find it incredibly difficult to look directly into someone’s eyes while speaking to them, let alone keep steady eye contact.
However, with some practice, even the shyest, least confident person can master this art. Here are some examples of what to do.
1. Look Straight Ahead
The key to learning how to establish eye contact with someone is practice. For example, think about how you walk when you’re out and about. Do you look straight ahead, or do you look at the ground?
If you’re used to looking at the ground, it may take some time to break this habit. Essentially, making eye contact with strangers as you walk by may feel unnatural to you at first, but doing so will make you seem more friendly and approachable. Not only that, but it will also make you appear more confident, so it’s worth it.
Pro tip: If you’re finding it difficult to look straight ahead, a good idea is to practice doing so while wearing dark sunglasses. That way, your eyes will be covered, and you’ll feel less anxious about establishing eye contact with strangers.
After a while, you can switch to light-tinted sunglasses if you still feel as if you need a bit of “protection”. Practice for as long as you need, and when you feel more confident, you can stop wearing sunglasses altogether.
This is a great trick that will help you build up your confidence, and it takes basically zero effort.
2. Don’t Break Eye Contact First
Whether you’re approaching a person, it’s important not to be the first one to break eye contact. Again, this may seem difficult and unnatural, but here is why you should practice:
• Maintaining eye contact when approaching someone will help you establish an air of confidence that people find attractive. Everyone likes a person that holds their head high as it makes them seem more outgoing.
• Looking into a person’s eyes shows that you’re interested in them, whether this interest is platonic or romantic.
Another thing to note is that it’s not enough to just maintain eye contact. You need to be aware of what the rest of your face is doing as well. For example, if you keep your eyes locked with the other person’s, and you have a smile on your face while doing so, this can make you seem friendly.
But, if you do so while frowning, scowling, or even just keeping your facial expressions blank, you will come off as creepy. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll scare the person away.
Just remember to keep your smile warm and genuine, so the other person knows you have good intentions.
3. Keep Eye Contact While Meeting New People
When they say that first impressions are important, they’re telling the truth. The way you present yourself when meeting someone for the first time will really set the tone for how your relationship will progress.
That’s why you need to keep eye contact when meeting new people. This will tell them you’re interested in getting to know them, and that you’re a confident yet friendly person.
On the other hand, if you don’t make eye contact at all, this could tell the other person that you’re:
• Not interested in getting to know them
• Shy and introverted
Note: Being unapproachable means that you’re giving off a vibe that you’re above someone, and that they don’t feel comfortable in your presence. On the other hand, when someone seems shy and introverted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people won’t want to get to know you. However, they’re less likely to engage in a conversation with you.
Ultimately, when getting to know someone, make sure to look into their eyes while they introduce themselves, and maintain this eye contact while you’re shaking their hand.
4. Maintain Eye Contact While Speaking to Someone
Similar to the previous instance, it’s equally important to maintain eye contact while you’re speaking to someone. Regardless of whether you’re doing most of the talking or they are, looking them in the eye will tell the person that you’re engrossed in the conversation.
For example, people who look around while someone is talking to them seem uninterested in what the other person has to say.
Obviously, this is impolite. In the same way, if you don’t maintain eye contact while you’re the one doing the talking, this can make you look unsure of what you are saying. In some instances, the other person may think you’re fabricating your story.
Looking straight into the other person’s eyes while conversing will tell them you’re fully invested in what they have to say. And doing so while you’re the one talking will make you appear more confident in your speech.
But, of course, it’s perfectly normal to break eye contact for a few seconds, as it can seem unnatural to stare at someone for the entirety of the discussion. Also, it’s best to look slightly to the side when temporarily breaking eye contact. Looking down can make you seem anxious and, in some instances, dishonest.
A Few More Tips on Maintaining the Perfect Eye Contact
As mentioned, if you’re not used to maintaining eye contact, you will need to be patient with yourself. Not everyone feels confident enough to look people in the eyes when speaking or even just walking past someone.
These tips can help you maintain perfect eye contact, and they’re easy to follow.
1. Don’t Focus on Both Eyes
At first, you may be inclined to look a person in both eyes while speaking to them. However, this is basically impossible to do. What’s more, trying to do so will make it look as if you have a brain malfunction.
Instead, it’s best to try and focus on one eye at a time. Take turns looking from the right one to the left one. This will look more natural, and the person you’re talking to won’t even notice that you’re doing it.
Pro tip: Some people choose to rotate from one eye to the next and then switch things up by looking at the other person’s mouth. This is a great trick that will take the pressure off maintaining eye contact.
Also, remember to relax your eyes. Keeping them tense will cause you to look angry or stern. Loosen the muscles around your eyes, so your gaze appears soft and friendly. As an added bonus, this trick will also keep you from blinking excessively.
2. Don’t Move Your Eyes Around Suddenly
During those brief seconds, when you break eye contact with the person you’re speaking to, make sure to make smooth movements with your eyes. Sudden glances in different directions will make the other person think you’re nervous or scared of something.
If possible, choose an object on either side of the person you’re talking to and focus your eyes on it each time you look away. And remember that this object should be behind the person.
3. Stay Attentive When Others Are Speaking
You may be listening to other people when they speak, but if your gaze keeps wandering off to the side, they’re bound to think you’re not interested in what they’re saying.
It’s also important to make facial expressions while you are listening. These include:
• Raising your eyebrows slightly
• Widening your eyes
• Nodding your head
• Squinting your eyes (when it’s appropriate)
• Rolling your eyes (when appropriate)
Finally, remember to always smile. Not a big, forced smile, but an ever-so-slight grin will do.
What Does It Mean When Someone Avoids Making Eye Contact?
Maintaining eye contact with someone can have many meanings. But in the same way, avoiding looking at someone can also convey several things. From disinterest to some neurological conditions, here are the main reasons why someone may be avoiding eye contact.
As mentioned, maintaining eye contact with someone shows that you’re interested in them. With that in mind, when someone deliberately ignores you and avoids looking in your direction while you’re speaking to them, this could be a sign that they’re not interested in you.
Some people think that if they do their best to ignore you, you’ll get the idea and walk away. To be fair, those kinds of people probably don’t deserve your attention, so you’re better off ignoring them as well.
Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to determine whether someone is avoiding eye contact because they’re genuinely not interested in anything you have to say, or they’re actually attracted to you, but are too shy to look your way.
But, most times, you’ll be able to tell the difference by observing the person’s behavior while they’re interacting with others.
For example, if the person is perfectly fine when it comes to looking at other people while conversing with them, this is a sign that they’re not shy around others, only you. Next, pay attention to whether they will sneak a glance at you while they think you’re not looking. This could be a sign that they have romantic feelings toward you.
However, if the person is simply not interested in you at all, they’ll just avoid eye contact the entire time.
Some people feel self-conscious about themselves when they’re around new people. Perhaps they don’t like their (own) physical appearance, or they feel inferior in some kind of way.
Typically, you’ll notice if someone is self-conscious by their posture. Usually, they’ll be slightly hunched over, and they’ll stare at the ground while speaking or listening to someone.
4. Lying About Something
While there may be some disingenuous people that are well-versed in the art of deception, there are far more people in the world that don’t know how to hide the fact that they’re lying. Namely, when someone isn’t being truthful, it can be incredibly difficult for them to maintain eye contact with you.
Although you may think it’s difficult to tell if someone is lying, there are a few telling signs that can help you discern the difference between an honest person and a liar.
For example, if someone is lying to you about a specific subject, they’re likely to look away when you lock eyes with them. This shows that they feel embarrassed, or that they’re afraid you’ll be able to “read” their eyes.
In other instances, the person may decide to avoid looking at you altogether, and instead, move their eyes around the room. This likely means they’re coming up with what to say (lie about) next.
Some people believe that when a person is lying, they’ll look in a certain direction. Specifically, liars will look to their upper right. However, this is only a myth as there is no scientific evidence that proves this is true.
But another great way to tell if someone isn’t being truthful is by taking note of their blinking habits. Obviously, some people will naturally blink a lot. However, if you notice that they’re blinking excessively while talking about a specific subject, this is probably a sign of deceit.
Note: Apart from avoiding eye contact, liars will usually gesture with their hands after talking instead of doing so during the conversation. This type of deception is easy to spot as it will appear forced and unnatural. Furthermore, you may notice that they’re speaking in a more high-pitched tone than usual.
5. Neurological Conditions
Namely, people with neurological conditions such as autism are known to avoid making eye contact with others. It’s a saddening fact that they will not only avoid looking at strangers but also at friends and loved ones.
Unfortunately, people suffering from autism can’t help this behavior. Eye contact makes them feel uncomfortable, but more importantly, it causes overstimulation in specific parts of their brain.
6. Social Anxiety
It’s easy to mistake social anxiety for shyness or self-consciousness. However, this disorder is far more intense than the aforementioned feelings.
Typically, those suffering from social anxiety are:
• Afraid of judgment from strangers
• Self-conscious in even the most mundane social situations
• Introverted and reluctant to put themselves out of their comfort zone
This fear of being judged by others can affect a person’s daily activities, and cause them to be afraid of speaking in public, applying for a new job, answering simple questions, etc.
Furthermore, it can make it difficult for them to keep up with new and old relationships, whether they’re platonic or romantic. In fact, people with social anxiety will often avoid eating or drinking in front of others, as well as using public restrooms for fear of being humiliated and judged.
If someone is avoiding making eye contact with you, it could very easily be due to social anxiety. You may also notice that the person is:
• Sweating profusely
• Glancing around the room anxiously
• Looking mostly at the floor
Ultimately, if someone is avoiding making contact with you due to social anxiety, then this has nothing to do with what you’ve said or done.
Is Intense Eye Contact a Good or Bad Thing?
Essentially, when someone has good intentions, intense eye contact can only be a positive sign. If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, or vice versa, gazing into their eyes is a subtle yet powerful move that won’t hurt either party.
When a man and woman share intense eye contact, it can mean several things. But the way they do it will be a tell-tale sign of their intentions. That’s why it’s important to take note of all aspects of communication, such as body language and other facial gestures as well.