When a Man Avoids Eye Contact With a Woman: 25 Meanings

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When men avoid eye contact with a woman, there are endless potential meanings behind it to consider.

Read on below and discover 25 of the most common reasons guys avoid eye contact!

What Does It Mean When a Guy Avoids Eye Contact With a Woman?

Men typically like making eye contact when speaking to women, especially those they’re attracted to. So, when they avoid it, there’s normally a real reason behind it.

Here are some of the most significant and true meanings behind men avoiding eye contact with a woman:

1. He’s Upset About Something

Guy avoiding eye contact

One of the very top reasons that guys avoid making eye contact with a woman while talking with them is that they are upset about something.

Whether they are upset in an angry way, depressing way, or simply disappointed, depends on you, the guy, and the current situation between you.

2. He’s Hiding Something

Another reason that you see just as often as men being mad and avoiding making eye contact is men having something to hide from you.

That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that what he’s hiding is something bad. It could be something positive like a birthday present or surprise party, or it could be something negative like him having cheated on you with your best friend.

3. He wants To Ask Something

Guy avoiding eye contact

Sometimes, when a guy really wants to ask you something he may avoid making eye contact with you in order to keep from tipping you off by guessing that he has something on his mind.

He could also want to ask you, and not want to ask you at the same time and be going through internal conflict, hence he wants to avoid eye contact until he decides if he really wants to know or not.

4. He Has Other Things On His Mind

man ignoring woman

When a guy has a lot on his mind, good, bad, beautiful, or ugly, he may avoid eye contact with you just because he’s trying to concentrate on what he’s really thinking about.

In these cases, it’s typically nothing personal against you that keeps him from making eye contact… unless he’s pondering upon something like how to break some sort of bad news to you.

5. He Doesn’t Care What You’re Talking About

man ignoring woman

From time to time, the guy you are talking to just really doesn’t give a piece flying bunny rabbit fluff what you’re talking about (sorry, girls, but, sometimes it’s true!)

That’s not to say he doesn’t care about you, or what you are saying, deep down inside, but rather that at the moment he may have other things on his mind (including getting physical with you) that he’d rather think about than listen to what you’re saying.

6. He’s Thinking About Another Woman

Sometimes guys are thinking about other women when they’re talking to you… whether you remind them of someone, something you said made them think of another woman, or otherwise.

The plus side is, that these guys are typically just friends with you. Your boyfriend or husband isn’t as likely to be thinking of other women and avoiding eye contact with you as a guy you work with and has a crush on you.

7. He’s Confused About Something

man ignoring woman (2)

Guys don’t always have things figured out (surprise, surprise). Further – gasp – sometimes guys get downright confused about things (especially things including emotions and deep feelings they may prefer to ignore).

So, if he’s confused about something you’re talking about, or about your relationship in general, avoiding eye contact is right on par for the course of his actions.

8. He Likes You

man ignoring woman

When he likes you (like, likes you a lot, a lot), he may avoid eye contact when talking to you as often as he actually does venture to maintain eye contact with you.

That’s because, in his mind, there is a terrible fear that if you look into his eyes for too long you may be able to discern what it is he is thinking about (especially the embarrassing sexual fantasies).

9. You Intimidate Him

When you intimidate a man, he’s likely to avoid eye contact with you not just at the moment, but any time he crosses paths with you in the future.

Now, that’s not to say he’ll never look you square in the eye again for as long as he lives. But, it is saying that if he does look you in the eye again his face will typically be as bright red like a pepper.

10. He Is a Shy Guy

flirting in the hallway

If the guy you’re talking with is shy, he may avoid eye contact with you (and every other girl that he finds the courage to chat with).

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The good thing is that he’ll typically come around and become much more comfortable with looking you in the face. Eventually, he may even be able to maintain eye contact without his face turning as red as Rudolph’s nose on a foggy Christmas Even night.

11. He’s Ready To Go

cute couple flirting

There are also guys who start avoiding eye contact when they are ready to go but you keep on talking. If he’s chomping at the bits to get down the road, direct eye contact isn’t likely, but a bunch of agitated body language signals from him is!

The more you talk the more they are likely to avoid looking you in the face, especially if they want you to think they care about your feelings and what you’re talking about (even if it is the last thing they want to hear at the time).

12. He Doesn’t Like You

When a guy doesn’t actually like you, but you don’t know it, and he can tell you don’t know, he’s very likely to avoid looking you directly in the eye let alone try for too much eye contact with you at all.

If he’s a generally good guy, but for whatever just doesn’t really care much for you (in his head), he’ll probably let you drone on for as long as you like.

13. He Doesn’t Want To Talk Right Now

man drinking coffee

Sometimes guys are as moody as a grizzly with a toothache and a splinter in their paw (at the same time). If this is the case, there will be other subtle signs as well: stiff body language clusters, prolonged eye contact followed by zero normal eye contact for long periods of time, and a range of facial expressions.

If you catch him during one of these mood phases, he may feel like ripping your head off and using it as a coffee mug (or to drink your blood from it after he devours your brain like a brown bear in a honeycomb patch)… but what he’s actually the most likely to do is let you talk about whatever you want while steadily avoiding eye contact.

14. He’s Telling You He’s Already Taken

jealous woman

Believe it or not, there are more honorable guys out there than Hollywood would have you believe. Many men are happy in their relationships and are proud of it.

Even more, when these guys find them in a conversation with a woman that is obviously into them, but they are happily taken, they may avoid eye contact with her out of respect for their partner and not wanting to give the person the wrong idea.

15. He Finds Eye Contact Hard To Make

There are also plenty of people in this world, males and females both, that simply find it uncomfortable to make eye contact with other people period.

If you’re talking with these sorts of people, you’ll notice that they are the same way with everyone. That’s why you shouldn’t take it personally, instead, try imagining how much anxiety they may be feeling inside.

16. He Doesn’t Realize He’s Doing It

clingy woman

When a man avoids eye contact with a woman, he’s not always aware of it. Sometimes he’s doing it out of instinct or for some reason so integrated that he just doesn’t notice it.

Many of the reasons on this list fall under this category, such as having a happy relationship, finding it hard to make eye contact in general, or even when he’s mad at you or upset about some external issue.

17. You Make Him Nervous

Some women have a knack for making certain types of men nervous. Simply being in your presence may make him start second-guessing himself about every little thing.

The minute he catches on to the fact that he is intimidated by you, he may start to avoid making further eye contact with you. It is what it is ladies, some guys are just like that.

18. He’s Showing You He’s Submissive

submissive man and dominatrix

When a man is a submissive type, and he wants you to know it, he may avoid eye contact with you until you address him in a way that he is forced to look you in the eye.

He may also be avoiding eye contact with you because you have some crazy BDSM kink sub-dom dynamics going on in your relationship (which is perfectly A O.K. if you’re both consensual adults in agreement with the roleplay).

19. He’s Feeling Sad

Sometimes guys are sad and don’t want you to know it. If they are trying to hide their depression or temporary sadness about something from you, you can bet they’ll avoid making eye contact with you.

The good thing is that once they feel better, they’ll be right back to make googly-eyes with you as often as ever.

20. Someone Else’s Presence Bothers Him

bothered man

When a man avoids eye contact with a woman, it’s wise for her to pay close attention to the possibility of another tell-tale red flag or two.

Is he holding eye contact with anyone? Did he hold eye contact with you and suddenly stopped when someone else appeared? Are you in a crowded place, or alone?

If he normally holds eye contact with you during a conversation, maybe something in the local environment has him feeling nervous or unable to focus.

21. He Is Autistic

If he always avoids making eye contact, but seems incredibly interested in your, but doesn’t seem to feel intimidated by you, it could be a sign that he is autistic.

If so, his gaze may be all over the place as if he were nervous, even if you make him feel good, and he enjoys being around you as a person.

22. It’s the Location, Not You

Avoiding eye contact means different things at different times, and at different places. For example, it’s the location sometimes, not you.

There may be some memories associated with the specific location that he doesn’t enjoy, or perhaps there’s a person he knows is interested in you that’s bothering him.

23. He’s Socially Awkward

couple skating

Some guys are simply socially awkward. Even if they are the coolest guy in the world, in your book, it makes no difference in his anxious mind.

If he’s still talking to you, despite his uncomfortableness with the social setting, it’s a strong indicator that he’s more than interested in you.

24. He Is Just Not Feeling You

Not feeling you doesn’t always mean that he doesn’t love you, like you, or care for you: sometimes it simply means he just isn’t feeling you at the moment.

Whether you’ve pissed him off, he’s becoming bored with you, or he has something that he is far more interested in going on in his head (or someplace to be), depends on the situation.

25. He Has Low Self-Esteem

guy with low self-esteem

Even the guy who seems like the biggest and baddest boy around may actually be dealing with low self-esteem inside.

That’s why when you overhear them boasting to their friends and swaggering around town like they own the place, yet when you approach them their eyes dart all over the place (except locking onto yours), their face turns ripe tomato red, and the cat obvious snathes their tongue as they may barely be able to stammer out the syllables of their own name while you’re talking to them.

How to Respond When A Man Avoids Eye Contact With You?

Depending on the guy, the situation, and how you feel about it, there are numerous ways to respond. Below, we discuss a few of the most reasonable choices:

1. Ignore It and Just Keep Talking to the Person

cross legged guy

When a man avoids eye contact with a woman, there are a plethora of reasons that may be causing it. If you’re inclined to do so, just ignore it and keep talking to him (but start paying attention to his body language).

If he’s shifting his weight around from one leg to another or fidgeting around, it’s likely that he’s seriously anxious. But, if he’s otherwise displaying normal behavior, aside from avoiding eye contact, it’s most likely far less serious.

2. Keep Talking and Trying to Make Eye Contact with the Person

There are tons of body language signals when a guy avoids eye contact that you may pick up on if you are paying close enough attention. These little signs clue you in on whether it’s you, the place, the topic of conversation, or something else that makes him feel anxious.

If the guy’s face is red, and he can’t seem to sit or stand still, it’s possible he’s highly attracted to you. However, it’s also possible that he’s extremely offended or upset about something. In this case, his facial expressions will bring the truth of the matter to light (is he straight-lipped, frowning, or smiling?)

3. Tease the Person About It (If You Know Him/Like Him Enough)

awkward guy flirting

Body language and eye contact really do say a lot about people, and how they feel about each other as well. That’s why if you’re really into the person, especially when he’s avoiding eye contact for some reason, you might consider teasing him about it.

If he likes you, he’s likely to quickly notice that you’re more or less flirting with him (which means he’ll also realize that you must like him) by teasing him about his lack of eye contact. He may even take it in a semi-sexual way, depending on the nature of your teasing.

4. Try Not To Make the Person Feel Anxious

A lot of the time guys avoid making eye contact with a female it’s due to their high anxiety. It could be the environment, some other guy who is into you being present, or a variety of reasons that he feels self-conscious and anxious.

If your closeness is too extreme, you may try taking a step back. On the other hand, standing or sitting closer may also make them feel more comfortable and accepted. This is why it helps to know the person you’re dealing with; people can be complicated creatures.

5. Accept It As His Normal Behavior

couple looking at each other

Sometimes guys are just naturally shy about looking women in the eye. Maybe they believe she’ll be able to see straight into their heart and mind (and discover how sexually attracted they are), or perhaps it’s just part of his upbringing to avoid such directness with the opposite sex.

Once you get to know each other, if the guy really likes you, he’s likely to make eye contact with you more and more. At any rate, not busting his balls about it will definitely go a long way in making him feel accepted (which will lead to more eye contact).

6. Change the Topic of Conversation

If you know the person well, you might know that it’s the topic that’s bothering them but if you just met them, these are the little uncomfortable moments people tend to go through while getting to know each other and developing relationships.

When you suspect that a guy is avoiding eye contact with you because of the particular topic you’re discussing, all you need to do is change the topic.

If you’re right, and it is the topic that makes him uncomfortable, his body language signals should change almost instantly, and he’s far more likely to make further eye contact as the conversation continues.

7. Let the Person Know You’re Interested

woman making the first move

When you think a guy is avoiding eye contact because he likes you and isn’t sure how you feel about him; let him know! The sooner he realizes that you are into him as much as he’s into you, too little eye contact may turn into too much eye contact (in addition to… other body language signals).


Why Would a Man Not Make Eye Contact?

There are tons of reasons that cause men to avoid making eye contact: physical attraction to the opposite sex, natural shyness, being unsure of themselves, not knowing how you feel about something, or even simple discomfort with a conversational topic. Look for additional body language from guys who are avoiding eye contact to better decipher what it really means.

What Does Eye Contact Mean To a Guy?

guy upset

Eye contact means all sorts of things to guys: attraction, respect, directness, honesty, sexual attraction, and many more basic messages are often attached to eye contact (in guys’ minds). If a guy is avoiding eye contact with you, he is most likely attracted to you, shy, or upset about something.

What Does a Man Looking Away When Talking To You Mean?

A man looking away when talking to you can mean all sorts of different things, however, there are a few common meanings that are most likely the reason: he’s amused with you (or something that you said), he’s upset about something you said (or did), or he’s highly attracted to you.

Can Avoiding Eye Contact Mean Attraction?

man avoiding woman

Avoiding eye contact with the person you’re talking to can be a sure sign of attraction. That said, it is by no means a universal sign of attraction. Avoiding eye contact has a wide range of common causes that include being offended, being shy, being upset, and much more than physical attraction.