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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?

in Is He Interested, Stare and Approach
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 scare shitless).

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 and 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 women to be too forward. BUT saying hello is 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 youch barrier which can remove a lot of bad tension and nervousness you both might be feeling. Not of all 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’re going to learn a lot about and exactly what to do in “staring” situations like this and many more.

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

For more help – please read these article I posted at The Approach:

“Body language, eye contact, and smiling are just three components in making a good first impression. How to look, feel, and act confident around men. Making people feel relaxed around you and conveying that you’re in control. Winning people over, including men, through your confident personality.”

Make A Good First Impression With Men – Eye Contact, Smile and More

It was written as part of the Get A Guy program which can be found here.


About the author: Peter White… Showing men and women ways to attract each other naturally by helping you to understand each other. Over ten years experience which has shown me how to see things clearly and get to the root cause of most dating and relationships problems. Hope you learn and enjoy your why do guys experience.

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111 comments… add one
  • Heather

    Hi peter,
    I’m a sophmore in high school and so is my crush. I don’t know if he likes me though that’s why i need help. I always see him staring at me and so i smile for a second than i quickly look away because i get nervous. Every time i laugh he would be the first person to stare at me and smile. I asked my one friend ( which is also his best friend ) to ask him if he likes me and he said no. But i’m so confused because then why does he always stare at me and smile. I’ve known him since 6th grade when i moved out here. I need help? Does he like me and just trying to hide it from everyone? Or does he really not like me like that?

  • Maan

    I joined a new organisation 1.5 yrs back. I noticed a guy in my office staring at me.h e then initiated a conversation. I did not speak much and it ended there. But he continues to stare at me and he sometimes talks to me regarding work and it ends there. He starts smiling without reason when we speak n keeps gazing for few seconds even after I have given answer to his questions n then reacts. Sometimes he ignores me and is rude. But he is quite sweet to others so I try not to approach him for my work related issues. Sometimes I feel he comes up with questions unnecessarily. I’m confused with his behaviour. Why is he being rude to me when I approach him and then why unnecessaryily initiate conversation n keep staring n smiling

  • Maan

    Sometimes he does ask personal questions but not many a times

  • Girlll

    Hi Peter, I’m currently a junior in high school and so is this guy in one of my classes. The teacher just moved our seats maybe a week ago so i’ve never talked to him before. He sits directly in front of me now and the 2 other students sit so that they’re facing our direction(i know it’s kind of confusing but i’m bad with descriptions) anyways it seems as if he is constantly looking at me or either my direction. i say the last part becuase one of his friends sits behind me but to the side a little so that he can talk to him or look at him while looking like he’s looking at me. His other friend sits behind me but all the way in the back of the classroom so it’s obvious. In total he has 3 friends that i could mistake for him looking at me. anyways this guy seems like he is ALWAYS staring at me. as if he wants me to catch him so he can play it off(confident guy). He always makes eye contact with me even though i don’t always do the same. He does this even if he’s talking to someone next to him or his friend and he sees me listening and looking at them(even though I’m not in the convo). He looks directly ahead (which would be at me) for more than one would normally. And if i’m looking at something behind him then all of a sudden make eye contact, he’ll divert his eyes. Now we’ve only been in this group for a little while so i don’t know if this is something to bother with. Sorry for this essay of a comment and i hope i’ve given you enough details. THANK YOUUUUU!!!!!

    • Peter White

      Hi “Girlll”.

      Junior high, high school, college, into adulthood most men stare at their attraction because they’re attracted to you. It’s (normally) a prelude to something else. Doesn’t mean that “something else” will ever happen or come about but that doesn’t change why it happens.


  • nithya

    There is a guy in my apartment and he stares at me a lot. Many times he is the first to stare and me second. he doesn’t look away when i see him immediately but slowly he walks away without talking at all. This happened many times and his stares haunt me. So one day i found him on fb and sent a friend request. He neither accepted it nor deleted it. Neither did he try to message on fb. I waited for 5 days. He added other people from his college.He still stared at me a day after that, standing near his car in the parking lot BUT didn’t smile or try to talk. I realized he will never accept me on fb (we do not know each other in person). Also he will not have courage to talk in person. I do not know how to approach either. I am shy too. Stuck in paradox, i decided to give up on him reasoning that he is a rich doctor with good looks and that i will never stand a chance anyhow.

    NOW almost 2 weeks later, I saw another guy who does almost the same, stares at me, looks at me when i am near but pretends to not notice me if i am the first to obviously stare at him. But many times he stares at me but when i see him he becomes nervous (i assume since he looks away or at phone He is especially very interested in staring at me with that blank intense look when he seems me talking to guys in our building. He seems to listen to me when i am talking with others but i never know. THE PROBLEM IS HE IS THE ROOMMATE/FRIEND of the first guy who stared at me and rejected my fb request politely. Now if i try to connect or chat with this new guy will the other guy know? Will it look awkward or is it okay to try the same formula? He is a doctor and is busy so we do not have common timings where i can see him and try to converse face to face. So again fb is the better option to start with. Can i send him message and see how he responds?

    I realized that this new guy is better at showing his interest (a 3rd guy who is this new guy’s friend seems to know his friend is interested in me. He is always with him), I mostly see him either in gym or while he is parking lot. He stares at me and waits for me to look at him before he gets into his car. When in gym he looks at me too and i noticed the close friend who knows his interest notices that i stare at him and him staring at me. So at least this sounds less foolish than running behind a guy who did not talk on fb or tell his friends if he liked me. So.. It is fine to talk to him on fb?

    I don’t know what will happen but if this guy doesn’t respond too, then i will have to reevaluate the concept of guys staring at me and showing interest in me.

  • Megha Patel

    Before the Christmas break started, the guy I used to like, has been making more and more eye contact with me. He even stops for a few seconds while making eye contact and smiles. He only stops for a while if I’m alone. I’m not sure what it means but, he slightly turns his body towards me. I dont know why but whenever we make eye contact he always make me nervous, even though I don’t like him. What does this mean about him?

    • Peter White

      Aside from everything else you wrote THIS means the most to me: “He only stops for a while if I’m alone.” Men are more likely to approach a woman (after eye contact) when she is alone. He’s waiting for the okay signal from you to start a conversation or for you to start it for him.

      If you’re showing signs of being nervous he might be feeling that for you although I’d say lots of guys would not get that signal or misinterpret it anyways or feel it, and think it’s them that’s nervous.


  • Gee

    Hello Peter,
    I really appreciate your thread as it gave me insights on how a guy’s mind works. In one of my humanities classes in college, I caught this guy staring at me out of nowhere, his face was blank and when I noticed him I was the first to break contact (I looked to the right). Ever since that day, I can feel him trying to sneak in some glances at me and it is weird because we never really talked. When the teacher says something funny in class, I sensed him looking at me as we all laugh. I was pretty sure that he has a thing for me but I was trying to ignore his hints as I was not ready to develop relationships at that time. However, one day I tried to make a small talk with him and asked how did the exam go for him but his response was really apathetic and he didn’t even look me as he walked quickly to the door. It was as if he does not want to talk to me and I found it a bit rude. I am confused now, does he like me or was it just my imagination?

    • Peter White

      Hello Gee,

      The thing about guys who stare a lot without ever doing anything about it, tend to be very shy. They might not be open to your advances because you’ll catch them off guard and spook them. 🙂 Either that or he was in a big hurry to get to somewhere. HAhaha!!

      I have no way of knowing if he likes you. That would be impossible for me to know. All I can keep saying is that (generally) guys stare at women they find attractive. Liking is something different.

      I doubt it was your imagination. Do guys stare at you a lot? Are you attractive, beautiful, pretty, have no problems with guys, etc… Those are clue that yes, another guy is checking you out and finds you attractive. But again, that’s attraction not “like” and doesn’t imply he will accept your advances or actually like you. There’s more to it for that to happen.

      Your guy friend,


  • Kana

    Hi, I’m a highschooler and I’m not sure whether or not this guy stares at me. Whenever I look to my left and he’s to my right in class, I feel like he also looks my direction but when I turn back straight ahead, in the corner of my eye, I can see his head quickly jolt back. He’s done it quite a few times. Sometimes I think I can see his dark brown eyes by the corner of his eyes, trying to take a glimpse…but I’m so unsure….I shake it off and think to myself “oh, he’s probably looking at something else or the teacher was lecturing loudly and got his attention.” Oh and your article helped quite a bit! Thanks ♥

  • Susan

    Hello – I like this guy and I visit him occasionally for business. He shows interest by staring at me, sitting close to me, looking right in to my eyes, and flirting. He used to smile but now gives me blank stares. He makes me nervous so I can’t make long conversation with him. I break his blank stares by either looking back at him or looking down. This has been going on for couple of years. He hasn’t asked me out. He doesn’t seem like a shy guy but I know I am a shy girl. What should I do? Ask him out myself? Am I giving him wrong signals?

    • Peter White


      Two years of flirting and staring is a long time to go without asking you out or moving forward. This tells me one of a few things might be happening:

      1. He isn’t that interested in you.
      2. He is seeing someone else and only enjoys flirting with you.
      3. He won’t get involved or ask out a business partner or someone he does any kind of business with him.
      4. He can not find the right time or words or doesn’t know how to move from your current arrangement or circumstance to something more. LOTS of guys get stuck this way. They find it impossible to go from flirting to getting your number or asking you out. They either chicken out, come up with excuses to back out, OR never find the right opportunity to do so and when that moment arrives, they talk themselves out of it.
      5. You are not being painfully clear to him that you’re open to something more and even if you could, most guys just miss all the signals. They just don’t “get it” or see them.

      It’s probably a mixture of 4 and 5.

      The best thing you can do is find some common thing to talk about which will lead to doing something outside of work. Of course this means you’re going to have to engage him in a real conversation. It doesn’t have to be a long one. Just long enough to motion him to move forward or back off already.

      What do you two have in common? You could break off for lunch. It could be anything simple. It does not have to be complicated.

      Feel free to message me on twitter or facebook (or sign up so you can get my email) so you can give me some more details and I’ll see what I can come up with for you personally.


  • Memtua

    There is this boy in my school who is a notorious fuckboy and since recently we have been having eye contact, it started one morning when I came to school and saw him in the corridor and I looked at him and didn’t know whether to smile or not so we just stared at each other.
    The next day at the canteen I stared at him and he stared back at me and I ran out, later in the day he told my friend to call me to the library and he asked me why I was staring at him and I gave him a lame ass excuse
    Then we started talking and soon school was over and I told him I had to go home then he told me to stay then I told him I will talk to him another time then he told me that won’t happen because he just wanted to find out something
    Even since that day he and I have been having constant eye contact.

    • Peter White

      I didn’t find a question in your comment so I’ll assume you want to know what he’s thinking. I’ll keep it brief and blunt.

      You called him a fuckboy. He’s making eye contact with you. You’re checking him out. He’s checking you out. He’s being illusive. He’s being a little ballsy.

      If a “fuckboy” leaves victims or has a pattern which works for him – he’s betting on that you’ll be the next one. Be careful.


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