You can recognize a lot about a man’s intentions from the way he is looking at you. Who would have thought that prolonged eye contact would be one of the best tell-tale signs of his true feelings?
On the other hand, it’s not something to be surprised about because you know what they say—the eyes never lie.
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Direct eye contact is not something a shy guy would use. He would probably lock eyes with you for a split second and then look away.
But if a guy is not shy, he will want to show off his confidence by staring into your eyes for as long as he can.
He is sending a message that he feels good about himself and that he is courageous enough to use direct eye contact as a sign of his interest in you.
When a man is making prolonged eye contact with you, it’s the ultimate display of his confidence. And confidence is sexy. Confidence is what keeps a woman interested, nine times out of ten.
So if you are dealing with a confident guy and he is sending you some hidden signals by using eye contact, you would like to get to the bottom of his intentions.
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These are some things a guy is trying to tell you by using intense eye contact.
7 Hidden Meanings Behind His Prolonged Eye Contact
When a man and a woman engage in direct eye gaze, they usually have this incredible sexual tension that makes them stare.
Just by looking into each other’s eyes they feel hurricanes of lust rising from within, making them crave each other like crazy.
Eye contact tells you a lot. For instance, he might raise his eyebrows when he looks at you. At some level, men consider this to be a way they can get a better look at a woman.
There is also a way to test this. Observe the actions of a group of men when a hot girl enters the room. Their eyebrows automatically go up.
A man might also be following your movements and display his interest in you in that way. He wants to know where you are going and what you are up to.
During prolonged eye movement, you might notice that his eyes are sparkly and his pupils are dilated, and he accompanies that with a warm smile, which is one of the most subtle signs of sexual attraction.
Generally, if a person’s eyes sparkle or their pupils dilate, it means they are deeply attracted to you. Also, pay attention to the intensity of a person’s gaze as well.
Direct eye contact is not the only factor here. You have to pay attention to his other body language signs.
Most of his focus might be centered on your eyes. However, that might mean that he is focusing on your eyes to avoid being rude because he actually wants to focus on the shape of your body or your boobs.
His body language speaks a lot:
- If he is leaning toward you it means he wants closeness.
- If he is sitting opposite you with his legs spread wide, he is thinking of you in a sexual way.
- If he touches his face more often than you would consider normal, you are probably seeing his subconscious at work.
Without even being conscious of it, he is trying to hide that your presence is making him nervous in a good way. Body language speaks more than words ever could.
Flirting one on one
Making eye contact for longer than a normal glance is one of the oldest and most common signs of flirting. Not to mention it’s probably the most effective way to flirt too.
It sounds easy, but if a guy could get any girl he wanted, that would be really something. But direct eye gaze demands certain chemistry from both sides.
Let’s say you are out at a bar and you see a guy looking at you, and you might be reluctant to look back at him.
First, you will scan him and see if there is something in him that sparks your interest. If a guy just looks once that doesn’t have to mean anything, as he might have noticed that you were looking and he is now scanning and assessing you.
If you look toward him a few more times after and your eyes meet, that’s a clear sign that he is trying to flirt with you.
It’s like a cat and mouse game of who is going to look when. It even sounds silly but when you are experiencing it, it’s really thrilling and amusing.
Think about it. He looks at you, you look at him, one of you looks back. And then you don’t look for a while at all.
Then you start looking again. It’s fun. Not to mention it builds sexual tension between you.
When you get to the point where your eye contact is prolonged and you feel like there is nobody else in that room but the two of you, it means that you established some kind of connection and one of you should really be bold enough to make the first move.
I am a bit old school so I would let him make the first move. If a man is confident enough to establish intense eye contact, he should be confident enough to approach you.
But it’s always up to you so if you assess the situation like you should make the first move, go for it. In any case, you have nothing to lose.
He finds you interesting
If his eyes hardly ever drift away when he is speaking to you, it means that he finds you and your conversational skills interesting. Direct eye contact, in this case, means that he has his sole focus on you and the topic at hand.
The thing to be careful around here is whether he is more interested in you as a person or you as a good, interesting and engaging conversationalist.
When a man is really involved in some subject matter, he will really pay attention and look you straight into your eyes because that is something important to him.
On the other hand, if a man likes you, no matter how many times you change the subject of your conversation, regardless of whether the topic is important to him or something trivial, he will still pay attention to you and maintain eye contact.
He will hang on to your every word because he likes you and he is interested in finding out more about you and about the way you think.
One of the things that can help you test this is when you are in a larger group of people, his eyes might drift away when somebody else speaks but every time you speak he will be so into it and try to lock eyes with you.
You may notice that he often has a captivating smile in addition to the constant attention and gazes he is giving you.
This usually goes for people in relationships. Regardless of whether they have been together for a long or short period of time, intense eye gaze signifies their deep affection and a mutual sense of belonging.
Locking eyes also signifies that they have trust in each other, that they feel comfortable with each other and that they have no problem in or fear of looking their partner in the eyes.
And there is no better foundation on which to build a relationship than with trust.
When you are in the middle of an argument, your partner shouldn’t have any problems locking eyes with you, especially if he is being honest and has nothing to hide.
When it comes to long-term relationships, couples might even guess each other’s thoughts just by looking at each other.
This happens when they know each other so well that they can guess what the other person will say next or is thinking at that exact moment.
This often results in them finishing each other’s sentences from time to time. Direct eye contact among couples can have sexual connotations too.
While they are out in public they might have one long moment when they look at each other and both simply know that the temperature is going to rise as soon as they get home.
So, we can see that prolonged eye contact can be a sort of a foreplay if your partner and you have the same kind of dirty imagination.
He wants you to believe his words
When he wants you to trust his words he will want to maintain direct eye contact.
Intense eye contact will also mean that he has your full attention and that is vital when you are trying to convince somebody about a certain matter or trying to change somebody’s fixed opinion.
If your eyes stray all over the place, he will think that you don’t trust him and that he doesn’t have your undivided attention.
If the matter at hand is something serious, this might cause some problems between the two of you. If it’s not that important then it won’t have any influence.
Communication is everything.
Think about it—if things were the other way around, and you were trying to convince him to put his faith in you, you wouldn’t want him looking sideways and not paying attention to something that is obviously important to you.
In any case, when you speak to your partner about something serious, you should look each other in the eyes and listen closely to what they have to say because lack of eye contact indicates a lack of interest and respect.
On the other hand, you have to be careful with who you are talking to. If your partner has a history of lying, he might be using direct eye gaze to manipulate you into thinking that he is trustworthy.
He knows you wouldn’t trust him any other way. Sadly, some people are able to look you straight in the eye and lie without any problem.
However, if you are just starting something, prolonged eye contact is a good sign that you are involved with somebody who can be trusted and you are on the right track with this guy.
He enjoys talking with you
Recently my best friend has been on a date with a guy I specifically told her is a legit player but she didn’t want to listen to me.
So, she went on a date, came back home and called me to tell me that I was right and she’s totally disappointed in him. Among other things, she told me that he didn’t even bother to look her in the eye when talking to her or when she talked which was totally disrespectful.
Evidently, this guy wasn’t interested in getting to know her better and that’s the main reason why he didn’t bother to maintain eye contact with her in the first place.
So, if a guy doesn’t have problems locking eyes with you during the conversation, it means he’s one hundred percent engaged in the conversation and he wants to memorize as much info about you as possible. Why?
Because he LIKES you, girl!
When a guy is genuinely interested in you and attracted to you, his eyes don’t wander in any directions except yours.
He doesn’t look at other girls or stares at the floor or the ceiling. He maintains deep eye contact with you because he wants you to know that he listens to you and he’s excited about what you’re going to say next.
By looking you in the eye during the conversation, he’s trying to tell you this: I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at the moment but here with you. I enjoy your company and I REALLY, REALLY like you.
Another great sign of his affection is him asking you lots of questions about your job, childhood, your friends, pet, and so on. This means that he’s interested in you both mentally and physically and he wants to establish a strong emotional connection with you.
He wants to impress you
When a guy is smitten by you, his main goal is impressing you. Some guys impress girls by talking about their achievements, job, and other things they’re proud of and some guys strongly rely on eye contact.
By maintaining eye contact with you, he’s trying to impress you with his confidence. A guy who is shy or feels insecure would never feel comfortable looking you in the eye.
One of the biggest signs a shy guy likes you is if he looks at you when you’re not looking. Self-confident guys know that very well and they use it to their advantage.
Other signs that a confident guy is trying to impress you is him straightening his posture to look more powerful, acting all macho around you, offering to help you with things (especially carrying heavy things for you which is a perfect opportunity for him to show off his strength).
Also, if you notice that he fixes his appearance every time he sees you (fixing his tie, hair, or similar), this is another strong sign he’s TOTALLY into you.
These are the things that happen on a subconscious level which means he’s not even aware that he’s doing it. It’s the sheer power of body language.
Next time you lock eyes with him, pay attention to his body language signs that indicate he likes you and that’s how you’ll know what exactly is going on inside his mind.
The Power Of Prolonged Eye Contact
We have all experienced that one special moment when you look into someone’s eyes and understand what they think and how they feel without saying a word.
Direct eye gazes happen in various situations like when your parent gives you that powerful „You’re grounded“ gaze or when you look into the eyes of your romantic partner and you realize that you can communicate without using words.
Regardless of the context and the situation, intense eye contacts are always a powerful tool for communication. Locking eyes signal connection and trust, create intimacy, and much more!
Making eye contact helps others memorize what you say and do
Imagine that someone talked to you without ever looking you in the eyes. Would you be able to memorize what they said to you? I don’t think so.
Making eye contact helps people memorize what others say and do because it helps people pay more attention to you.
If you combine direct gaze with expressive body language (gesticulations, facial expressions), people will pay even more attention to you.
Just think about any YouTube video tutorial where a girl is explaining how to dye your hair or a guy is talking about how to play certain video games.
If they look in the camera and use expressive body language, this will help you memorize lots of information in a short time span.
Slows down time
I don’t know about you but every time I make eye contact with someone, I feel like time slows down momentarily (especially when I look at my partner).
Undoubtedly, that’s one of the most beautiful and powerful things about prolonged eye contact and Italian researcher Giovanni Caputo agrees with me.
He tested 20 adults on the mental effects of direct gaze. Research shows that after 10 minutes of intense eye contact, participants felt as though time slowed down.
If you don’t believe me, then I dare you to see for yourself. Perhaps you haven’t paid that much attention to it before but now I’m sure you will.
Maintaining eye contact encourages people to be more honest with you
It’s really hard (if not impossible) to lie with your eyes. When you maintain eye contact with someone, this encourages them to be more honest with you. Seriously, you have to be a real pro to be able to lie even when looking someone in the eyes.
If you want to know how someone is feeling, just look them in the eye. If you want to build a healthy relationship with someone (be it your partner, teacher, colleague, or a client), just look them in the eye. Maintaining eye contact truly is that powerful.
Signals connection and trust
In social situations, eye contact signals trust and connection. If your pupils dilate when talking to someone, this is a sign of attraction and the person you’re talking to will perceive you as trustworthy.
If your pupils constrict which is a sign of feeling scared and threatened, then you’ll be perceived as less trustworthy. When you tell someone something they don’t know or don’t believe to be true, they won’t believe you if you don’t look them in the eye.
Shows interest and empathy
Do you want to show someone that you’re interested in them? No, you don’t need to contact them on social media or go out of your way to catch their attention. All you need to do is look them in the eye because this is a strong sign of interest.
Also, maintaining eye contact shows and increases empathy which cannot be said for texting. Strong eye contact may last for a few seconds but it always creates a long-lasting impact.
Here’s another interesting fact: Researchers have found that people during conversations maintain eye contact from 30% to 60% of the time, whereas couples who are in love maintain eye contact 75% of the time.
A Japanese study published in the journal Neuroimage found that maintaining eye contact synchronizes brain activity between two people. In other words, it helps two people feel more in synch with one another and creates a „singular connected system“.
Another study showed that strangers who were asked to look into each other’s eyes for 2 minutes felt increased likability and increased feelings of affection for each other. This can’t be said for other types of eye contact such as glance and a half or an averted gaze.
If you want to arouse a girl or a guy, don’t look at the ceiling or at the floor, but look at them because direct eye gaze creates arousal. Looking into someone’s eyes increases arousal because it helps you feel more connected.
I’m sure you remember all those steamy movie scenes where two people look deeply into each other’s eyes after which they start kissing passionately and you know the rest.
Intense eye contact is the basis for most of the romantic relationships in movies between two people of the opposite sex (including those of the same gender, of course). I’m not a relationship expert, but I can confidently say that the same thing applies to real life as well.
Maintaining eye contact helps capture and hold attention
There are many reasons for direct eye gaze and one of the most popular is capturing someone’s attention.
If you want to catch someone’s attention, all you need to do is look them in the eye. This also works if you want to hold their attention for a long time.
Let’s say that you’re a professor at college. If you don’t maintain eye contact with random students from time to time, you will not be able to catch and hold their attention because their minds will start to wander.
The same thing goes with your partner, children, and even your pet. But if you have a stubborn cat like me, then maintaining eye contact won’t be that helpful.
Joking aside, I and my fellow cat have a unique way of communicating, and just like other cats, avoiding eye contact from time to time is his way of telling me that I haven’t been a good servant to him.
Maintaining eye contact helps you manage your emotions, evaluate yourself, and understand how others perceive you. A few times in the past, I had a false assumption on how certain people perceived me.
Every time we texted, I was convinced that they didn’t really like me. But when I finally saw them in person and locked eyes with them, I was able to tell how they really felt about me and no, they didn’t hate me.
Every time I maintain eye contact with someone, I feel like they see the real me because eyes never lie.
Deep eye contact triggers social cognition and that’s why I feel more self-conscious. I feel like I see them for who they are and vice versa. That’s the true power of eye contact.
It makes people think you’re smart and more competent
You will seldom see an insecure person locking eyes with someone. If you don’t have problems making eye contact with others, this is a strong sign of self-confidence.
If you’re self-confident, it means you believe in yourself and your skills which automatically makes you appear smarter and more competent.
Next time you have to impress someone (especially during a job interview), don’t forget to maintain eye contact because this will tell them that you’re the right person for them. Maintaining eye contact will help you build your core confidence.
It makes you appear more sincere
Let’s say that you’re sitting in the bar or someplace else and chatting with your friends. Now let’s say that a girl or a guy in the corner is observing you.
If you’re looking your friends in the eye while talking to them, that girl or guy will think of you as being more sincere, relaxed, and less anxious.
The way you interact with others tells a lot about your personality and eye contact plays an important role here as well.
Does Prolonged Eye Contact Mean Attraction?
Yes, in the majority of cases prolonged eye contact signals attraction. If the other person maintains deep eye contact with you, they’re not doing it for no reason.
If you’re in a room full of people, intense eye gaze with another person means that you two are deeply attracted to each other and other people literally become non-existent during these few seconds.
Also, prolonged eye contacts are typical during romantic dinners, making love, falling in love at first sight, and so on. Any mutual gaze in such and similar cases indicates a strong sign of attraction and a strong emotional connection between two people.
Locking eyes is a romantic gesture that is perfectly appropriate in most situations. Still, note that you shouldn’t hold eye contact with someone who struggles with social anxiety or has a mental health disorder such as ADHD or autism.
Direct eye contact would make them feel extremely uncomfortable and you might falsely assume that they aren’t interested in you. Truth be told, too much eye contact can make anyone feel uncomfortable.
What Does It Mean When A Girl Makes Prolonged Eye Contact?
When a girl holds eye contact with someone, it means that she’s interested and attracted to that person. Girls would never make prolonged eye contact with someone they aren’t interested in romantically.
If intense eye contact from a woman is also accompanied with a smile (and sometimes even a wink), it’s one of the surefire signs she’s deeply attracted to you.
By doing this, she’s trying to tell you: “I like you. I want to get to know you better. I’m attracted to you on a deeper level and I hope we’re on the same page.”
Well, if you feel the same way about her, make sure to give her a little smile as well and see what she will do. If she smiles back and blushes, then you know it’s attraction.
Note that sometimes girls get too overwhelmed during intense eye gaze (usually insecure or shy girls) so after that, she might ignore you and act like she’s not interested at all.
If that happens, make sure to let her know that you like her and she shouldn’t worry or feel ashamed for locking eyes with you. Also, make her smile because a good sense of humor is great stress relief in all situations.
How Long Is Too Long For Eye Contact?
According to the research published in Royal Open Science, prolonged eye contact shouldn’t last less than 1 second or longer than 9 seconds.
For the research, Nicola Binetti and her colleagues recruited around 500 visitors to the London Science Museum from 56 nations (224 of them were male with an average age of 30).
Their main task was to sit in close proximity to a monitor and watch a series of video clips of the same actress or actor and then make eye contact with them for various durations (between less than a second and over ten seconds).
After each clip, participants were asked whether the length of eye contact felt too short or too long. They also filled out a personality questionnaire where they evaluated the actress or actor for various characteristics such as attractiveness.
On average, the participants felt most comfortable making eye contact that lasted just over three seconds.
Regarding their preferences, the majority of participants preferred the duration of maintaining eye contact between two and five seconds. Not a single participant preferred eye contact that lasted less than 1 second or longer than 9 seconds.
But, I feel confident to say that when you’re in love, maintaining eye contact that lasts longer than nine seconds feels natural to you.
You could maintain eye contact with your loved one literally for hours and not a single one of you would feel uncomfortable.
Intense eye contact between man and woman who are in love is one of the most powerful things in the world and duration doesn’t play such an important role here. But I guess that’s a hypothesis for another research.
All in all, we can say that the appropriate duration of eye contact varies greatly from situation to situation and culture to culture as well.
What Can Eye Contact For Longer Than 7 Seconds Cause?
Eye contact that lasts longer than 7 seconds (e.g. 3–7 seconds) can indicate interest or attraction, but it can also mean aggression in case someone’s gaze is held for too long (e.g. 10 seconds or longer).
The appropriate eye contact duration varies in different situations and cultures. Generally, appropriate eye contact can make you seem more confident, attractive, memorable, likable, and trustworthy. It also makes the other person feel understood and validated.
Prolonged eye contact indicates mutual respect and appreciation.
Being perceived as confident and likable helps people in all aspects of their life (both professional and personal).
For example, if you want to impress the interviewer during a job interview, maintaining eye contact with them will make you seem more confident and competent for the position you’re applying for.
Those applicants who avoid eye contact are usually perceived as less confident and, therefore, less competent. Yes, eye contact is one of the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication.
However, stay away from prolonged eye contact that lasts longer than 10 seconds if the person is not your romantic partner or someone you’re really close to. You don’t want others to see you as being aggressive if your gaze is held for too long.
DID YOU KNOW…
Humans are the only primates with eyes that have a white sclera around the dark iris and pupil. Therefore, unlike other primates, we are able to follow each other’s gaze, and we can tell when someone is looking at us. Eye contact plays an essential role in human communication.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you got a clearer view of what direct eye contact means and how essential it is for social interactions. The way you interpret it depends on the nature of the relationship you are in and if you have been with somebody for a long or short period of time.
If you are just getting to know that person and if that person is somebody you feel comfortable around, you know you can trust them when you look them in the eyes.
There is just one more important thing to mention here and that is the breaking of prolonged eye contact.
There are a few reasons why this might happen. People get distracted by something in their surroundings that requires their attention which is quite normal and usual.
They might be distracting themselves by thinking about something else, something that makes them unable to concentrate or keep their focus on just one person.
One more thing is that they might be shy so they are unable to maintain eye contact for a longer period of time.
So if somebody is not good at making prolonged eye contact, give him the benefit of the doubt, as it doesn’t have to mean he is not honest and trustworthy—he just might be distracted or shy.
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