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He’s Making Eye Contact and Staring At You, But You’re Shy – What Does It Mean? Do You Approach Him?

Guy Stare Eye Contact Shy Approach

Hello Peter,

There’s this guy who has been staring at me. I met him this week and at the start of the week he sat across from me in the classroom so that I was in his sight of vision. He would stare at my occasionally during class and when I would leave, he would sometimes lean back on his chair and stare at me. He’s starting to move closer to where I sit. For instance today my friend sat between us and when I asked her a question, he turned around and I just felt a pang of guilt when I saw his realization that the question was not directed to him. When he’s with his friends I don’t think he stares at me but I cannot be sure because I don’t look his way/I’m usually walking in front of them. The thing is, I think I may have also developed a small crush.

My question is that, I am quite shy around guys so when I catch him staring at me I always break the stare first because I am too shy to maintain eye contact. Would he take this as a sign of rejection? I cannot tell if he’s shy or nervous (or interested at all) because I’m always the first to look away. I do give small smiles but I can’t be sure he notices them. What should I do? Should I wait for him to make a move? Or should I initiate conversation?


Hello to you too Annie, I loved your question so much I decided to give a little more.

One because I love to talk.

Two, because so many women have asked questions like this.

Three because we get to cover some interesting things about guys you may have never realized before.

This is where you'll begin to truly understand the meeting, approaching, staring thing with guys  and how different men react AND how to make sure the guy you really wants stands out.

First let's talk about proximity.

When a guy gets closer to you or is finding excuses to be around you he's a lurker or he's lingering.

If he's unsure of what to say or how to approach you, he thinks it's more likely to happen if he "accidentally" finds himself talking to you.

Which is why he positions himself close to you.

A guy generally knows he's doing it, and he senses it's wrong, but he just can't help himself most of the time.

Your reaction to it or how it makes you feel will in part depend on how he does it.

Some women find it creepy, some don't even notice, and some are only confused by it. Such as in your case.

Most guys just don't understand how it all the approaching women after staring or making eye contact works.

They either approach too early, too late, fail to make the right eye contact, don't read the signals properly, or, as in your case, try to put themselves closer and closer to you.

Now let's talk about eye contact.

As a woman, breaking the eye contact first tells men exactly the opposite of what you might believe.

It's a female sign of submission (for a lack of a more precise word) and not normally a lack of confidence.

But to so many men, they believe you're doing it because you're rejecting them.

If you hold your gaze for a second or two then look some place else, normally down, then you ARE doing it right. If you want to be approached. The "better" men will recognize it the right way. The less confident might not.

That's the generality of it.

A more precise NLP version is this:

Women who look up, left or right are generally showing the signal of not caring, disgust, or are not ready.

Women who look to the sides are unsure and perhaps are looking around to see if we're looking at someone else.

Remember we're NOT talking about strange creepy weird staring.

Just normal every day eye contact.

You have to realize there's a difference but I'm sure you can and do notice the different subtleties.

Now here's when things get very complicated when it comes to approaching, starting conversations, and meeting AFTER first eye contact is made.

If you want a man who does at least competently understand you and women AND if you want a naturally confident man; oh AND if you enjoy the more masculine type - then remember this...

If he can NOT bring himself to approach you - look elsewhere until you find a guy who can do it.

At least that way you'll increase your chances of ending up with what I'll call a "real" guy.

A mature masculine leader of himself who doesn't fear the soft sensual often subtle ways in how the female experiences her naturally adoring feminine side.

Then again, the answer above may be age-based.

Much younger men may not have found that skill yet.

So it matters less in his case.

The more experienced man who hasn't found that skill is a different story altogether.

Let's go back to what you wrote on the end so we can tie this all up.

"I cannot tell if he’s shy or nervous (or interested at all) because I’m always the first to look away. I do give small smiles but I can’t be sure he notices them. What should I do? Should I wait for him to make a move? Or should I initiate conversation?"

If he is shy or nervous it means he IS interested.

Men don't go "stupid" around women they don't want.

If you've caught him staring he DOES notice the small smiles. He's just probably not sure if they're directed at him.

However - Guys are not typically good at recognizing subtle hints women throw out.

With that said - the smile is a great place to start but you must also throw in a little extra to guarantee he notices.

Which can also give him the extra confidence he needs to start a conversation with you.

Your eyes mean a lot too. Remember to look down slightly and slowly.

You can position yourself towards him but turn away a little.

Not face to face.

Play with your hair casually. I can not tell you how many men who like to tell me, "Dude she's playing with her hair, that's how you know she likes you."

They may not be right most of the time - in other words reading a woman's body language in that way and out of context is totally useless BUT if a guy thinks that's what it means AND you want him to approach you - then why not use it, right?

As for waiting on him to make his move...

You could be waiting forever for that to happen (especially if he's young, inexperienced, and scared).

Don't hesitate...

Give him A small coy smile, look in his eyes for a moment then look down at his mouth, and then back up to his eyes and say,

"Hello. There's something I know about you..."

Reach down to shake his hand lightly and then say,

"I KNOW You have a name... ... ... What should I call you? I'm Annie."

That's all there is to it.

(Okay there's more but the basics cover so many circumstances and you have to start somewhere right.)

Here is why it works so well on guys.

You started off by showing confidence. YOU made the approach and disregarded all the who-should-approach-who nonsense.

Remember - men do love to chase. They also don't want women to be too forward BUT...

Just saying hello is merely opening a door for that stuff to happen.

The lure to his mouth and back is body-language cues for telling him you're available and open for a conversation with him AND it's a little flirty too so you got the sexual edge covered.

When you're shaking his hand you're taking care of the touch barrier which can remove a lot of bad tension and nervousness you both might be feeling. Not all of it but it's headed in the right direction.

Plus you get a good read on his physical reaction.

Saying or opening with, "I know something about you..." lets him believe you've noticed. It doesn't matter what it is - just that guys love to be noticed even if it is just a play on words.

You also give him the opportunity to flirt with you by asking him what you should call him.

The last part.

Well it's your name Annie so make sure he never forgets it.

In conclusion...

When you break the stare or eye contact first with a guy - he won't often see it as a rejection. That depends on the guy.

Don't worry if he's shy, nervous, or interested. Sounds like you both are a little shy and most men are nervous in these situations.

If you're interested in him - go for it.

It's hard to tell if he's notice the smile you keep giving.

Most men are too nervous to approach a girl anyways for many reasons.

Don't ever wait IF you want something to happen. Start a conversation and take it from there.

Thanks for your wonderful question.

Let me know how it works out for you OR if any girl finds this useful, let me know below how it all worked out. Always great to hear.

I do hope the next time a guy stares at you you'll think of this post and through the positive knowledge you learned today - you're a little less shy - more confident - and open to quickly move on from eye contact, to meeting, to truly connecting with a guy.

Don't forget to sign in below to why do guys because...

You can never be too shy to start understanding men better.

(You can read my email policies here. No spam ever! Your information is always private. )
About the author: Understanding men does not have to be complicated anymore and I can show yow how… There are only two types of guys and if you don’t know which one he is, you could misinterpret everything he says or does as it relates to you. Your new guy friend, Peter White – Understanding Men Made Simple.
111 comments… add one
  • Kammy

    Hey Pete, just need a direct-to-the-point advice on you regarding this matter. It’s about a guy in the gym that I’ve gotten familiar with for the past 3 months since he is a regular like me. Thing is, we haven’t talked at all, not even a “HI” or a brief smile. I really don’t understand why he just won’t start any simple and quick conversation the least, and just get near to where I usually workout… He always have his earphones on so it takes me millions of second thoughts to even approach him finally. Anyway, I would like to share a recent event that has happened to us. I went to the gym yesterday, did a couple of routines and he came by. As usual he did some exercises that I am familiar of him doing. And then he was putting some discs on his barbel then did some shoulder push-ups. A girl who did not know he was still using it got it and he said, hey, i’m not yet done with it, put it back. SO the girl was kinda embarrassed about it and put it back. I was so off about what he did so as soon as I finished my routine I walked away. I went to this leg machine, then he walked towards me – looked at me and I looked back bit rolled my eyes a bit. He sat beside me with another machine. He did a few legwork and then walked away. I saw another guy and smiled and chit chat… The guy I am crushing on was partially looking at our direction with serious eyes. He was not in a good mood I bet and was fixing his barbel like he was annoyed or something. Since there was a party after, there was a buffet so i got foodies… I passed by him and he was looking back but then slightly rolled his eyes on me… After like 20 mins… of food eating… I walked to the locker to get some things… He was apparently there fixing his stuffs… I saw him first so pretended that I did not see him and just continued on my with fixing. But I know (I could see from periphery) that he was looking at me. And he stood behind me but did not say a word or anything… estimate around 5 seconds too…. then he left right away after.

    • Peter White

      Hey Kammy,

      Okay, direct and to the point.

      You haven’t spoken to this guy. He’s made no effort to introduce himself to you. He appears to be at the gym to do one thing and one thing only – workout.

      So… chances are he’s not interested, doesn’t want to start a conversation, doesn’t want to use the gym to meet women, could be his private get away, could be that he doesn’t want to get too involved with any of the women there for reasons which may ruin his experience there if something goes wrong.

      Whatever his reasons are IF he’s not approaching you and saying “hi” and you’re not introducing yourself to him in any way – then just let it be. Check him out if you want but why get so involved or wrapped up in something that is not happening, especially if you’ve made no effort like him, to meet each other.

      I would expect him to be put off by your “eye rolling” and he just gave it back to you. He probably felt judged. He probably felt like you were upset with him and although it did affect him a little, it appears it’s not that big of a deal to him.

      Also, with all this “eyeing” him and then you so easily started a conversation with another guy. I will tell you that any man who is in the least aware of his surroundings will almost INSTANTLY assume you’re playing a game. Like you’re trying to make him jealous. When a guy feels a woman is playing a game, any guy with choices or respect for himself will probably stay away.

      Now I’m not one to so nothing going to happen between you two. Hey, anything goes and I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen people hook up under the strangest conditions and I’ve seen man and women get together who “apparently” hated each other.

      BUT… if he’s not making the effort, he either is not interested, doesn’t know how, or doesn’t want to ruin the gym experience for himself.

      Which means YOU must be willing to put yourself out there and say “Hello” and start the conversation. Otherwise – why worry- why bother – it’s just a guy, right? And there are plenty of guys out there for you.

      All the best and hope this has helped you figure out some stuff about your situation,

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