There’s a guy you know who stares at you for way too long, and you’re quite sure he just doesn’t want to look away.
It’s creepy! But if you’re to be honest, you also find it incredibly sexy.
Why do men do this? Are they just shy to make the first move? Hmm…that’s possible. But believe me, there are many reasons men stare at women too long.
Allow me to guide you to the strange minds of men and why they give this specific kind of stare.
Body Language and The Eyes
Every day, we use our bodies to send and receive subtle non-verbal signals to express our thoughts and feelings. We call this body language.
Think of the way you might smile at a stranger to show that you’re not angry or terrifying, or how you might cross your arms or square up your shoulders when you feel threatened.
All of that is communication done entirely through actions, with not a word being spoken.
We bring all our body parts to bear when trying to express non-verbal signals, from our feet to our eyes. And of them, the eyes reveal our thoughts and emotions most accurately.
You can try to hide it when you’re happy, but anyone who bothers to look can see it in your eyes. You can try to look interested, but your eyes will betray your lack of focus.
Reasons he looks at you and doesn’t look away
So what does it mean when a man stares at you?
Well, it means that he’s interested in you, for one. A man who’s interested in someone is going to find it hard to resist looking at them.
But of course, there’s more to it than just that. Here are some reasons why men stare at you for too long.
1) He simply enjoys looking at you
Have you ever been in a situation where you know you probably should look away, but somehow keep finding yourself looking back no matter how hard you try?
Maybe it’s a brand of makeup you know you can’t afford, or a cute cat grooming itself by the window. We just can’t help but stare!
There is just something so fascinating about you that he can’t help but look your way. He may try to avoid staring at first, just to be polite. But eventually he won’t be able to resist, and will look at you and not turn away even when you return his gaze.
He would be too busy trying to take you in his gaze, to commit every detail to memory.
He might find himself fascinated by the dress you’re wearing, or the way your hair frames your face. The more he looks, the more things he finds that keeps his attention squarely on you.
2) He is trying to flirt with you
A reason why he would be staring at you would be because he’s trying to flirt with you.
The first step to flirting is getting someone’s attention.
It’s possible that he’s staring at you so that you would take notice and look at him. And, just as you would wonder “what’s up with this guy?” he would try to charm you with a smile or even a playful wink.
He could just walk over and try to hit you up without doing the whole staring contest game, of course. But some men think that they might come off as a bit too bold if they were to do that out of the bat.
So to stay ‘safe’, he’ll try to catch your attention from a distance and then maybe flirt with you if you show interest in return.
3) He wants to know if you like him too
If he’s genuinely attracted to you, he might be trying to figure out if you’re also interested in him before he goes over and talks to you.
He would be busy trying to read your expressions, or the way you hold yourself. Oftentimes he would take a moment to appreciate you as well.
Even something as simple as a smile or a wave might just be what he needs to get the nerve to walk over to you and talk. On the other hand, if he sees that you’re not available—maybe another guy begins talking to you first—he might look away.
But do trust your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable with his stare, then avoid giving him the signals he’s looking for.
4) He’s bored
A simple, yet overlooked reason for why he might be staring at you is simply because he’s bored and he’s passing the time by staring at people… and you simply happened to be one of the people he’s staring at.
Chances are that he’d move on to stare at another person, but by noticing his stare he’s inclined to keep looking at you.
You can tell that someone’s staring because of boredom by that dull, disinterested look in their eyes, or how they might be more interested in your clothes or the way you have done your hair.
I’m telling you this not to burst your bubble, but for you to not overread a man’s stare. Expectation is the root of all heartache after all and unless he shows other signs that he’s totally into you, then shrug off and consider his stare as nothing more than a pastime.
5) He wants you to make the first move
One reason why he’s doing nothing but stare at you is because he’s waiting for you to make the first move.
Maybe he’s interested in you, and wants to talk to you or ask you out, but he simply doesn’t have the guts to actually get up and talk to you.
So for now he’d simply watch and try to understand you from afar, hoping that you’ll notice his interest and either approach him first or show him your interest. Both of these would count as you making the “first move”
And if he’s still not stepping up and approaching you, it’s possible that he’s busy thinking about the best way to approach you.
6) There’s something off about you
A reason why he’s staring at you is because there’s something he wants to draw your attention to, but isn’t quite willing to tell you in the face.
Imagine having period stains on your pants, and you have spent the entire day unaware that you had them on your clothing. People, when they notice it, stare but stay quiet to avoid being rude.
And that might be the case with him. He would feel like it isn’t really his place to tell you that you have period stains.
It might not necessarily be period stains every time, of course. Your hair might be a bit messy, or maybe your makeup got smudged badly.
Whatever the case, by staring, he wants you to realize things by yourself to make it less embarrassing or awkward for you.
7) He’s deep in thought and isn’t actually staring at you
Something to consider is the possibility that the reason he doesn’t look away when you look back is simply because he’s not actually staring at you.
When people have a lot in their mind, they would sometimes end up staring into space. Sometimes it’s straight ahead, and sometimes it’s to the side. Maybe they would be looking at something in the distance and then space out.
Just because you happen to be in the same direction as his gaze doesn’t mean he’s looking at you.
You would know for sure that this is the case if he doesn’t seem to respond when you show him a smile, or when you step to the side.
8) He’s a creep
While a focused gaze means interest, not all interest is good.
Sometimes the reason why a guy would stare at you and not look away is simply because he’s a creep.
Maybe he’s just ogling you for his own pleasure, without any interest in knowing you at all. The moment someone prettier comes by, he’d look at that person instead.
The worst case scenario is he’s trying to figure out how vulnerable you are so that he can stalk and maybe even take advantage of you later.
Don’t tempt fate. If you have a bad feeling about him, then stay away. If you feel like he might be dangerous, try to make sure you’re never alone and always have a friend nearby.
What should you do?
You shouldn’t ignore it when someone’s staring at you, especially if it’s bothering you. It’s easy enough to go “oh, it’s just staring, it’s harmless.” But it stops being harmless the moment you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
And of course, if you actually like the attention, then you might as well do something about it because he might be waiting for you to approach him all along.
Stare back and indulge in a staring contest
One thing you can do is to stare back at him and try to match him in a staring contest. You can figure out some of his motives by doing this.
If his attention was on you, then maybe he’d realize that he’d been staring a bit too hard, smile, and look away. You can also throw in a smile of your own to make him know you noticed.
Should he continue to fail to respond, then you can throw him a frown to make him know you’re a bit unhappy at what he’s doing.
On the other hand, if he wasn’t looking at you in the first place, then he probably won’t even notice… in which case you can just step aside and let him stare into nothingness.
Flirt with him in other ways
If you find his attention nice and think that he’s probably not a bad person, then why not flirt a little bit?
His attention is on you, so maybe you can subtly show a little more leg, or give him a wink and then look away. Tease him a little and make him squirm.
He might be indecisive, wondering if it’s worth trying to reach out to you and get a conversation going. By flirting at him, you’re potentially breaking the ice by telling him that it’s okay.
Ask him about it directly
Perhaps the most sensible choice to take is to stand up, approach him, and ask why he’s staring at you. Try to be calm and avoid being too confrontational, hostile, or hopeful.
He might be a creep, or he might not be. He might be interested in you, or he might not be. Maybe you’ll even get a heartbreaking response like “You remind me of my ex-wife.”
Asking him about why he’s staring at you like so can also act as an icebreaker, and depending on how the conversation goes you can then make the choice to keep talking to him or walk away.
If it makes you uncomfortable, tell him to stop
You don’t have to pander to him or endure the stare if you don’t want to. You can tell yourself that he’s simply staring, and that it’s harmless, but it’s not. Your peace of mind is important.
Before confronting him, you might want to move to the side first to make sure he’s just not gazing in your direction. If it turns out that he’s actually staring at you, then you have the right to walk up to him and tell him to stop.
Depending on the situation, you might want to have a couple of your friends with you, just to drive home the point.
Of course, sometimes people just won’t cooperate, and sometimes you have no option but to leave. But when you do, you might want to make sure you’re not alone just in case he has bad intentions for you.
If he follows you around—maybe you’d see him walking behind you, or maybe you’d catch him staring at you the moment you sit down—you might have a stalker on your hands. If that happens, you might want to get the law involved.
It might suck that you have to be the one to leave, especially when he’s the one who’s staring and not budging, but your safety matters.
If you think this guy is into you and you feel the same way, then go ahead and flirt back. It’s fun to tease using body language because you can just easily pretend you’re not doing anything!
However, if you’re getting a little impatient or creeped out, then it’s time to speak up.
Body language may say much, but nothing beats verbal language for clear and concise dialog.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
The above link will give you $50 off your first session - an exclusive offer for Love Connection readers.