That Guy Keeps Staring At You: What Does It Mean?

What does it mean when a guy stares at you and smiles?

And why, with some guys, it feels like a compliment, while with others, it sets off alarms in your head?

When a guy stares at you, it usually means one of the things described in this post.

How you respond is up to you.

The following tips can help you decode his behavior and decide what to do. 

What Does It Mean When a Guy Stares at You? 

You notice a guy keeps looking at you, and, for some reason, you’re not totally creeped out by it. Still, you’re not paranoid for asking, “Why does he stare at me?” 

couple talking in coffee shop what does it mean when a guy stares at you

The following list of reasons should help clear things up. 

1. He’s attracted to you and trying to gauge your level of interest. 

He’s genuinely attracted to you and trying to determine whether the interest is mutual before he ventures over to talk to you. 

If he’s not fixating on anyone but you, even if you give him zero encouragement, he might have a genuine interest in you. 

Granted, you still need to listen to your gut on this one. But if he isn’t setting off your creep alarm (yet), you can take charge of the situation by approaching him, letting him know you’ve noticed him staring, and ask him why. 

2. He’s curious about you and finds it difficult to focus on anything else. 

If something about you captures his interest, he might watch you simply because you’re the most interesting person in the room. 

You don’t have to be the most attractive, and he’s not necessarily thinking of asking you out. He might just find that his attention keeps returning to you. 

If you find him attractive, too, and if his body language isn’t closed off, you might try approaching him and letting him know you’ve noticed his staring and you’re curious as to what he finds so intriguing. 

3. He’s working up the nerve to talk to you or ask you out. 

Maybe he knows you and is attracted to you but hasn’t worked up the courage to tell you yet. Or perhaps you’re a stranger to him, but he’s fascinated by you and trying to determine whether the interest is mutual. 

So, he’ll stay put for a bit longer to watch you and mentally work on just the right approach to use with you. 

The more interest you show, the more likely he is to feel emboldened to come over. 

4. He’s deep in thought, and his attention happens to be focused in your direction. 

It’s also possible he’s lost in thought, and his eyes just happen to be fixed in your direction. If his face looks blank or intent but not responsive, he may be more interested in his own thoughts than he is in you. 

If you want to know whether that’s the case, you can get up and move to another area of the room and see if his gaze follows you. If it doesn’t, you have your answer. 

If his gaze follows you, though, those thoughts he’s entertaining are probably about you.

5. You seem familiar to him, and he’s trying to determine why. 

He can’t help thinking he knows you from somewhere, but he’s unsure why or how. So, he’s watching you and waiting for his brain to find the missing link — any memories that tie you to his past. He may stare at you for a while before finally deciding to move on

couple talking outside gym what does it mean when a guy stares at you

Or he may approach you and ask if you recognize him because he swears he’s seen you before. And, yeah, it could just be a pick-up line. But maybe it isn’t. 

It’s possible you have met him before. And maybe there’s a reason you’re meeting again.

6. He’s looking for attractive company for a casual encounter.

He could just be high on himself, confident of his attractiveness and charm, and interested in having a hot woman to hang with for the night, wherever that might lead. 

If he seems overly confident of your interest in him, he’s likely trying to reel you in for a casual encounter. And if you give him nothing and turn your attention elsewhere, chances are, he’ll do the same and find another woman to stare at. 

It’s not really you he wants, anyway; he’s just looking for some fun. 

7. He’s a predator trying to assess your vulnerability. 

If the way he looks at you is giving you the creeps or at least putting you on edge, there’s a reason for that. It’s your gut screaming, “Stay away from that guy!” 

No matter how attractive he is — or how curious you are about “bad boys” — it’s not worth putting yourself in a vulnerable position with a guy who, as yet, has given you zero reason to feel safe around him. 

Confronting him might only make you more of a target, depending on the kind of predator he is. Listen to your gut on this one, and either leave the scene or move to a spot where he can’t continue to stare at you. You’re not missing a thing. 

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FAQ about What It Means When a Guy Stares at You 

Now that we’ve gone over the most likely reasons this guy is staring at you, let’s recap and deal with some questions that might still be lingering in your mind. 

When You Catch a Guy Staring at You, What is He Thinking?

Chances are if a guy is staring intently at you and seems fully aware that he’s doing it, he’s thinking about you. Maybe he’s thinking of asking you out, or perhaps he’s just thinking of talking to you to see if the interest is mutual.

If you don’t know him, he may be trying to gauge your interest, using his intent gaze, to see how you’ll respond.  

Why Does He Stare At Me When I'm Not Looking?

If he’s someone you know, he may be staring because he’s attracted to you and finds everything you do interesting, even if you’re paying zero attention to him. 

He can just observe and enjoy the show, either because he’s bored or because he’s into you but hasn’t told you yet.

Why Does He Stare At, Me So Intensely?

This obviously depends on the guy in question. He could be consciously sending “come hither” vibes, or he could have zero sense of how his intense staring affects you. 

In either case, it may be necessary to simply ask him why he’s staring at you, if only to gauge, by his response, where he ranks on the creep scale. 

Now that you’ve read through the most likely reasons why that guy is staring at you, which reasons seem to fit your situation best? And how will you respond the next time you notice him staring?