Of all our facial features, our eyes are the most revealing. In fact, FBI agents study eye movements to determine whether a suspect is lying or not.
But it’s not just government officials that can use eye contact as a means of understanding a person. You can too.
The eyes can be a dead giveaway to a person’s moods, feelings, intentions and thoughts. Why do you think they are called the ‘windows to the soul’?
Eyes automatically react whether we are feeling despair or pure joy. You can’t stop your eyes creasing up at the edges when you laugh at a good joke. Just as you can’t stop the tears from falling at tragic news.
Of all the species on earth, it is only humans that use eyes as a means to communicate. In fact, even our closest relations – chimpanzees and apes – will often avoid eye contact.
Eyes are so important to the human race that we have even evolved eyebrows to emphasise our eyes. We raise our eyebrows in surprise and lower them in anger.
Eyes give away our feelings. When we feel pleasure or love our pupils dilate. When we are scared they widen.
So what exactly does it mean when you receive prolonged eye contact from someone?
Well, there are several different reasons so let’s examine each one at a time.
- 1 What Does Prolonged Eye Contact Mean?
- 2 Does Prolonged Eye Contact Mean Attraction?
- 3 What Does It Mean When You Lock Eyes With Someone?
- 4 What Does A Lot Of Eye Contact Mean?
- 5 When Eye Contact Can Be Dangerous
What Does Prolonged Eye Contact Mean?
1. He’s Noticed You
The most obvious reason for prolonged eye contact from someone is that they have clocked you and want to check you out.
Now, just because you happen to notice someone looking at you it doesn’t mean he’s flirting or that he finds you attractive (I’ll get onto that later). But it does mean that there is something about you he has noticed.
What the reason for the prolonged eye contact can be down to many factors. Think about it, you are in a bar and you survey the clientele; what would make you notice someone?
It could be that they are laughing loudly, or that they are arguing with the waiting staff. Or, it could simply be that you find this person attractive.
So, my message is, don’t assume that prolonged eye contact means a man fancies you. It all depends on what you were doing at the time. After all, if you were falling down drunk on the dance floor and you caught a guy looking over your way, you wouldn’t automatically think he was attracted to you.
To get the context of the situation right before you start analysing, think about what you were doing immediately before you noticed the eye contact.
For instance, were you involved in some outrageous behaviour that would make everyone look at you? Or were you dressed up to the nines and looked stunning and you felt confident as you walked through the entrance?
It’s all about the circumstances.
2. He Wants To Get Your Attention
Men that are shy and afraid of rejection will often use prolonged eye contact to make the first move. It’s possible that they are not confident enough to go over to you. So instead, they’ll keep looking over, hoping to grab your eye.
By doing this they are kind of forcing you to make the first move. For example, if you smile at them while they are looking at you they’ll take this as an invitation to go over.
So how do you know this is the case and he’s not just daydreaming about someone else? As well as prolonged eye contact, check for interactions between the two of you.
How did he react when you smiled at him or have his eyes glazed over? Did he look away and bow his head then look back up at you? Has he smiled in return?
Think about it, if you don’t want someone’s attention you tend to avoid eye contact. Those charity sellers who want you to sign up to a direct debit? Don’t make eye contact! Just walk past them quickly.
So you can take it for granted that prolonged eye contact is body language for ‘I want your attention’.
Oh and don’t forget, sometimes we do this without even thinking about it. Human beings have an instinct to seek out attractive potential partners. We can be ogling someone subconsciously.
So if you happen to see someone looking at you who then quickly turns away, but looks back, it’s a sign he was unaware of his eye contact at first, but he probably likes you.
3. He’s Talking About You
When we talk in groups, we can’t help but glance over at the person who is the topic of conversation. It’s as if we are anchoring the subject by looking at them. It’s human nature.
And it’s very easy to know whether this is the case with you. Notice if he talks with his head down then looks over to you. He's shy and lacks the confidence to come over. He'll use prolonged eye contact as his preferred way of communication.
This sort of behaviour also suggests a conspiratorial type of conversation he won't want others to hear. For instance, he might be confiding in his mates that he finds you attractive.
Now, a confident person will look you straight in the eye while he is talking to his friends. A person with good self-esteem will want you to notice he is talking about you. They’ll see it as a challenge.
4. He’s Interested In What You Have To Say
Of course, this prolonged eye contact might not be across a crowded room. You might already be in conversation with this guy and suddenly notice a sustained period of eye contact.
If this is the case, you can be assured that your male friend is taking you seriously and interested in what you are saying.
When we are captivated by someone or something we strain to get closer to hear the message. We concentrate on the words by looking directly at the person. It allows us to engage and interact with them.
In addition, when we make prolonged eye contact we are tapping into that person’s consciousness. We are linked by this bond of communication. We are holding onto each other. We become completely captivated and lost in the moment.
5. He’s Trying To Impress You
Confident people can hold the gaze of others. Shy or introvert people find it much more difficult. In fact, think about the definition of a shy person. Their heads are bowed, they struggle to look you in the eye.
Remember that famous photograph of Lady Diana before she got engaged to Prince Charles? She was snapped coyly looking up from under her fringe.
Later, when she had mastered the press intrusion her head was up and proud and she oozed confidence. You could see her making eye contact with the photographers.
So it takes a pretty self-assured person to look at another person directly. Actually, there’s something very powerful about direct, prolonged eye contact. It signals truth, power, a no-nonsense attitude.
Someone who can’t look you in the eye is said to be shifty, untrustworthy, hiding something.
So straight, direct eye contact is a sign of a very confident person who has no self-esteem issues. And he’s showing you that with his undeviating look.
Does Prolonged Eye Contact Mean Attraction?
So, we’ve established that prolonged eye contact from a man to a woman suggests he has noticed you and wants to be noticed back. So, is it attraction from a guy when he makes prolonged eye contact?
1. He Likes You
The good thing about men is that they are basic creatures and don’t play mind games. So, if a guy is making eye contact there’s a very strong chance he is attracted to you.
Unless he’s making ‘I’m being sick gestures’ like sticking his tongue down his throat then pointing at you, I think we can safely say there’s an attraction.
However, they might be basic in their emotions and revealing what they’re feeling, but they can have a hard time articulating what they want to say.
That’s when they’ll use eye contact to let you know what they’re thinking and feeling inside.
2. He Finds You Attractive
Unless a guy is super-confident he’s not going to come straight out and say that he’s attracted to you. But his body will start to leak signs, especially his eyes. So check to see how much eye contact he is making.
To see if this is the case, check his pupils and how wet his eyes are. When we are aroused our pupils dilate automatically. We can also tear up as the body copes with a rush of hormones.
As well as eye contact you can also check his other body languages clues that will reinforce your suspicions. Has he leant in close to you? Have you noticed him touching you gently on your arm or shoulder?
Are his eyebrows raised when he looks over to you? That is a real come-on sign. He’s saying ‘I’m up for it, are you?’
3. He’s Flirting With You
I said at the beginning of this article that you shouldn’t automatically assume a guy is interested or attracted to you just by prolonged eye contact. However, eye contact from a guy is a big sign that he’s into you.
Obviously, if he’s looking over and frowning or shouting in your direction it’s not flirting. But the general rule of thumb is he’s flirting and wants you to flirt back.
If you’re in a conversation with him watch how he reacts to the things you say. If you are a little saucy and flirt back, do his eyes change at all? What is his eye contact doing? Is he making more or less eye contact with you?
As I’ve said before, look for pupils dilating and his eyes filling with moisture. Has he held your gaze when you’ve said something outrageous and sexy? That long look is him coming onto you. He’s agreeing with what you’ve just said.
He might not be able to vocalise his intentions but his eyes are screaming at you ‘Yes! Yes!’
Oh and don’t forget, he’ll be monitoring your eye contact for feedback on how to proceed.
What Does It Mean When You Lock Eyes With Someone?
1. You Are Falling In Love
At the start of any relationship both men and women find it incredibly difficult to hold eye contact with the person they’re attracted to.
We feel embarrassed; we look away and blush unintentionally. This is because we are not sure of the other person. We don’t really know if they like us. So we look away to hide our feelings and intentions. We make sure there's no eye contact at the beginning.
However, after a while, we feel more secure in the other person. We start to ease up. We feel comfortable in the other person’s company. We begin to understand that they do like us. This is the time eye contact will increase.
Now we are confident that our feelings are being reciprocated. We make eye contact and hold it. Don’t forget, it’s very unnerving for someone to stare at you unprovoked.
It unsettles us. Are they threatening us? Holding a person’s stare in an aggressive situation means to get ready for a fight or altercation.
On the other hand, locking eyes with a person you are attracted to is showing your vulnerable side. You are literally ‘letting them in’ to your inner world.
You are saying – ‘I have nothing to hide and I don’t mind you knowing my deepest secrets and feelings.’
Making eye contact in this situation is incredibly powerful.
2. He Is Becoming Obsessed With You
Do you ever see two people who go in for multiple PDAs wherever they are? They appear to lock eyes with each other and have no regard for anyone around them.
They are oblivious to the outside world. You could say ‘They only have eyes for each other’ or that they are ‘Making eyes with each other‘.
It’s like any good romantic movie where the camera pauses on the loved-up couple while they stare deep into one another’s eyes.
This is a clear sign of complete trust. It means you want to learn more about each other. You’re not afraid of being made a fool of. You are one hundred per cent invested in this relationship.
Not only that but every time you are making eye contact you are reinforcing that deep connection.
What Does A Lot Of Eye Contact Mean?
1. He Wants To Connect With You On A Deep Level
One of the most obvious ways for two people to connect is to make eye contact. Imagine that crowded bar again; there’s a lot of noise and there are loads of people milling about.
How do you make yourself understand? How do you show your intentions to another person on the other side of the bar?
You can’t shout or use sign language. You really only have your eyes to communicate. So you should take notice if you find a man who is giving you a lot of eye contact.
He obviously wants to talk to you and get to know you on a deeper level. He’s showing you all this with increased eye contact.
2. He’s Thinking Sexy Thoughts About You
Have you heard of that old saying ‘Undressing you with his eyes?’ Well, I hate to break it to you but a man who is constantly checking you out is probably doing just that.
Men love to fantasize and a man looking you over is an indication of him thinking of you nude in front of him.
He could also be fantasizing about all the things he would like to do to you when he gets you alone.
If this is the case, watch out for other little tell-tale signs such as him licking his lips and smiling.
When Eye Contact Can Be Dangerous
1. He’s Trying To Manipulate You
Constant eye contact is not always a good sign. You’ve heard it when a magician says ‘Look into my eyes’ as a prelude to a powerful suggestion. It’s a similar thing with lots of eye contact.
Manipulative people use eye contact as a way of controlling people. It’s called ‘hypnotic gazing’.
These unscrupulous people will gaze at you and then suggest something they want you to do for them.
Constant eye contact is a very powerful tool. You feel drawn in, spellbound and mesmerised and then the suggestions come.
2. He Has Mental Health Problems
People with no boundaries or social etiquette will stare and stare because they don’t understand how society works. So if someone is constantly looking at you it could indicate underlying mental health problems.
It is also a sign of intoxication. Someone who is drunk might not even know they are staring or looking at you too much for comfort.
Another cause is anger management issues. That intense stare directed at you is a sign of pent-up aggression and fury. Their eyes literally pierce through yours.
Luckily, most eye contact is friendly and welcoming.
It is a sign of attraction and could lead to a deeper relationship. We use our eyes to signal and communicate our feelings.
As such, prolonged eye contact is one of the first ways we can show our innermost thoughts without verbalising how we feel.
Of course, we should take into account other signs of body language, but generally, prolonged eye contact is a very good sign.