9 things it means when a man avoids eye contact with a woman

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Have you ever thought about the reasons why eye contact conveys attraction? Or why the term is “love at first sight” and not “love at first conversation”?

Even more so: what if a man avoids eye contact with a woman? What does it mean then?

Let’s dive in and find out together.

The meaning and importance of eye contact

Like all non-verbal clues, eye contact is an essential part of communicating with others. It signifies that you’re actively listening to the person who is talking to you.

On the other hand…

One of the ways in which people express indifference is by avoiding eye contact.

If you’re attracted to someone and you’re making a lot of eye contact, you’re basically giving away yourself.

You do that by trying to read their non-verbal clues and checking if they are also attracted to you.

This can be a great move, actually.

There are a few things science can tell us about eye contact:

  • It becomes easier to read a person by making eye contact, and we can react better to them. For example, knowing what someone means or is thinking becomes a lot harder when we can’t see their eyes;
  • Another fact about eye contact is that it helps with our memory. We can remember what someone says better when we can make eye contact, and we are willing to receive more or new information;
  • Eye contact can actually release Oxytocin, the chemical of happiness, or, as some people call it, “the love hormone”. Oxytocin is responsible for a good emotional state and social and sexual bonding.

The importance of eye contact goes beyond friendship or love, and it can help us also in professional contexts.


Let’s look at a practical example: if you’re in a job interview and you don’t make eye contact with the person interviewing you, they might think you’re distracted and not enthusiastic about the opportunity.

If you make eye contact, on the other hand, you’re conveying that you’re actively listening and that you’re a confident person, and, most importantly, that you’re trustworthy.

Meeting someone for the first time

When you’re meeting new people, it’s normal to make eye contact and smile at them.

If instead, you make eye contact and they don’t return it, perhaps you might feel like they’re not interested in getting to know you or engaging in conversation with you.

In the majority of the cases people that can make direct eye contact convey a feeling of trustworthiness and honesty.

Even so, for some people, it can be a way to assert dominance or intimidate someone, like the players before a boxing match.

Of course, if this is the case in a romantic context…

Red flag!

What is someone hiding when they don’t make eye contact with you?

As it usually happens when examining body language, there are different reasons why someone avoids eye contact.

We’ll cut to the chase: here’s a list of the most common meanings:

  • They might suffer from social anxiety or a similar psychological issue. Some autistic people can’t make eye contact;
  • Perhaps they don’t have high self-esteem and they feel shy;
  • Something put them in a horrible mood and they’re trying not to show it to you;
  • They are not making eye contact because they are attracted to you…and maybe you’re attracted to someone else and you’re not making eye contact with them. Yeah, we see you, girl!
  • They’ve been exposed and they were not prepared for it. Unexpected changes make people feel surprised or even ashamed, causing them to not make eye contact;
  • Unconsciously, they feel they’re better than you. That feeling of superiority can make them stop eye contact or not make it at all. We’ll dig into this later.

For now, let’s focus on the reasons why a man can avoid eye contact with a woman and analyze them in a lot of detail.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

9 hidden reasons why men don’t make eye contact with women

It’s not commonly known, but men are actually shy a lot of the time.

If they consider you beautiful and they’re intimidated, they will not make eye contact for a long time or at all.

This is why it’s essential to know the clues that give away the meaning behind this action. So you diminish your chances of misinterpreting things.

Let’s examine why this might be happening.

1) He’s crushing…hard

People often say that men who respect you are intimidated by you on the first date, and this can be the case. When a man wants someone they show it, and body language gives them away.

Some of these signs are as follows:

  • Their pupils are dilated when they’re around you;
  • They glance away when you notice they’re watching you;
  • They laugh and check if you’re laughing as well, to share the joke;
  • Sometimes, even blinking more can be a telltale sign that they have a crush on you.

If you’ve also caught feelings, amp up your eye contact with them and see what happens!

2) He is too nervous around you

Again, a lot of men are shy when it comes to approaching women.

After all, getting rejected is not a pleasant feeling. Add a bit of anxiety to the mix and you have a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.

So, let’s say you’re on a date and a guy wants you to notice him. Perhaps he really likes you, and he’s feeling the jitters.

Make it easier for him!

Don’t be too direct with your eye contact, and try to focus more on what they’re saying instead of reading their body language and expressions.

3) He is sad about something

We’ve all wished to not be seen when we are sad. Sometimes we don’t want to be vulnerable and we’re scared of what people might see when they look at us.

High-value men can do this as well.

If he’s sad, whether by circumstances or by nature, he can be avoiding eye contact.

Don’t pop his bubble by pressuring him to speak. Actually, you can even remark to him that you don’t want him to pretend to be okay when he’s not.

4) He may be submissive

Alright, so this is an important point. Maybe you’ve just met them or maybe you’ve known them for a bit, but they’re suddenly not looking into your eyes.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself what happened and why is he suddenly ignoring you

Surprise them by taking matters into your own hand: ask them out, take the lead!

If you’re into domination, whether in life or the bedroom, enjoy it. Now if you don’t like that sort of thing and you like your men dominating, perhaps move on to someone else.

5) He’s annoyed or angry

As we established before, eye contact is the gateway to expressing both negative and positive emotions. If someone’s angry they might not make eye contact with the other person.

You can talk to him about it or let it go, just see what makes you feel comfortable.

Now if the man doesn’t know you and he’s angry with you and expressing it openly, it might be better to just leave and find somewhere safer to be.

6) He has something to hide from you

If someone has done something wrong or forgotten to do something important, they might feel guilty about it.

If every time you look at them they look away, they can be hiding something.

This is because they don’t want you to catch them and confront them about it, so they don’t make eye contact.

7) He is autistic or suffers from a mental illness

Neurological conditions such as autism can be an impediment when making eye contact with other people since it’s very uncomfortable.

Eye contact stimulates some areas of the brain and for autistic people, it can be overstimulating and actually make them feel bad.

Mental illnesses can cause the same thing. Depression or anxiety make it harder to connect with folks.

8) He’s disregarding you on purpose

Not making eye contact is the best way to ignore someone or show indifference.

Think about it.

Eye contact conveys vulnerability and attention, so avoiding it… conveys the exact opposite.

Don’t sweat it, especially if the other person is a stranger.

However, if someone you care about suddenly avoids making eye contact, talk about it and see what happened.

9) He is socially anxious

So, let’s face it: many of us suffer from anxiety.

It makes sense that this is the number one reason to avoid making eye contact with other people.

Socially anxious people tend to be in their heads a lot and that’s why they don’t make as much eye contact as others.

We can essentially point toward fear of rejection: the judgment of others can weigh on socially anxious folks.

When people with social anxiety are amongst friends or loving family, everything is fine. Now if they’re venturing into dating or meeting new people, it gets trickier.

So if a man tells you he struggles with social anxiety, give him space to be himself and talk about things.

A man doesn’t make eye contact: what’s next?

Rejection is a nasty feeling, and one of the ways to avoid is to stop making eye contact. It’s not good to feel like someone’s judging us.

It can always mean that the person is distracted or disengaged from the conversation or topic at hand. They can be non-confrontational.

So, here’s what you need to consider when a man isn’t making as much eye contact.

It’s important to see notice these circumstances!

  • Are you in a busy bar? Is the other person overstimulated by the place you’re at?
  • Is this how normal behavior? You can answer this better if you know him a bit. Maybe he’s shy or sad and he’s avoiding eye contact with everyone.

Try to gather more clues from body language.

If he’s shy but into you, perhaps he’s not making eye contact but his body is in sync with yours.

There is more than just eye contact on dates

If you’re going all Sherlock Holmes on someone and trying to find out why they’re avoiding eye contact, consider more than one clue.

To make things easier, we made another list of signs. This time you’ll determine if he likes you or not even if he’s not making eye contact.

  • His feet are pointing at you most of the time;
  • He tries to be near you when you’re in a group;
  • He adjusts his clothing or checks his hair when he sees you;
  • He’s imitating your movements or your body language;
  • His behavior changes when he sees you;
  • He’s a bit more anxious when he notices you talking to other men.

Either he’s attracted, intimidating, or submissive, but if you notice him avoiding eye contact and his body language betrays him, you’ll know.

Now you can go all Sherlock Holmes on his behavior!

If we’re being honest, you’ll see that his body language gives more than one reason: attraction and being submissive can go hand in hand.

Make him explain himself and see where he looks

If you confront him about avoiding eye contact, you need to know if what he’s saying is true.

So, ask and see what he says and especially what he’s looking at when he speaks.

Down and to the left: Creation

Doing this movement indicates that he’s either lying or changing some facts, trying to elaborate on the details that he might not remember very well.

He’s going through emotional turmoil and trying to put the story together. He can be disappointed but not sad or traumatized.

Down and to the right: Triggers

He’s trying to talk about something that has traumatized him or that triggers him.

Up and to the right: Memory lane

This is an unequivocal sign that he’s trying to remember something.

Up and to the left: Lies!

They’re thinking about what they’re saying to you. If they look side to side, like a windshield wiper, they’re not only trying to convince themselves: they’re trying to convince you.

A telltale sign of lying!

The motion goes: they create their lie on the left, drag it to the right and convince themselves that you’ll believe it.

You can check if they’re blinking a lot since it adds more to their body language and it’s almost certain that they’re not telling the truth.

Wrapping up

By now you should have a better idea of why he avoids eye contact with you.

Whether you confront him about it or let him be, we hope this article gave you clarity.

Keep in mind, that avoiding eye contact can also be a sign of a deeper imbalance within the dynamic.

Even if it’s early days of dating, it might help to seek answers as to what the issue might be causing him to avoid eye contact, so you can catch it early. 

This is where the Self-love quiz can help.

It’s a tool created by a highly renowned shaman, Rudá Iandê, who has incredible expertise in creating healthier relationships. 

He created this free quiz to help people like me get to the bottom of the issues in my own connection. He gave me valuable insights into exactly why it felt like something was ‘off’. 

I was blindsided by my results – I wasn’t even aware of how my demeanor was affecting how my love interest viewed me.

I didn’t realize how my own communication and body language was influencing him. But now, I do, and I know just how to draw him in with my actions. 

Take the quiz here and you’ll receive your results immediately!

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