Single Life
Guys may stare at you because they're attracted to you.

Experts Explain What It Means When You Catch Someone Staring At You

It's *especially* telling if they look away after you catch 'em.

by Candice Jalili and Corinne Sullivan
Originally Published: 
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So you're on the subway and this cutie in the seat across from you will not stop staring. Your mind immediately starts racing with potential explanations for their behavior. When you catch a guy staring at you, what is he thinking about? Sadly, there is no one answer for what he is thinking when a guy stares at you (or when anyone stares at you, for that matters), but experts say this could definitely be a sign they’re checking you out.

According to relationship expert and author Susan Winter, someone who likes you will often give you more than just a passing glance. "There's a depth of contact that doesn't occur in a casual glance," Winter previously told Elite Daily, adding that if they "hold the gaze a bit longer than is normal," this may mean that they have a strong desire to connect.

Staring at someone may not be able to tell you everything about a person, but when someone stares at you, there’s a pretty good chance they’d like to get to know you better. As dating and psychology writer Sasha Aurand previously explained, staring at potential mates can help people decide whether that person is a good fit... even if their findings aren’t based on anything besides a gut reaction. "We look into other's eyes to determine things like perceived level of trustworthiness and to gauge their emotions, perceived intelligence, and even try to figure out their sexual orientation," Aurand previously told Elite Daily. "All of which can quickly help us to decide if we are compatible with this person.”

Not sure whether someone is checking you out or staring because you have something on your face? Next time you wonder, “Why does he stare at me so intensely?,” you should keep an eye out for these very telling signs.

Their Pupils Are Dilated

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When someone is looking at you with interest (or perhaps even longing), you’ll notice that their pupils may become dilated. As love biologist Dawn Maslar previously told Elite Daily, "When someone is sexually attracted to another, their pupils become very large, sometimes taking up more than half the pupil area.” If that person who keeps looking at you has majorly dilated pupils, then there’s a chance this means they like what they see.

They Try To Catch Your Eye

Someone who likes you might intentionally try to catch your eye, which means they want your attention. Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini said this is something a shy person might do to make a connection. "They will look for you, so watch for eye contact," she previously explained. "They’ll smile at you and try to connect without speaking up."

They Look Away When You Catch Them Staring

As well as trying to catch your eye, someone who plays eye-tag with you is likely attracted and wanting to chat. "Maybe you are in a crowded area and notice someone looking at you,” Maslar previously explained. “When you look, they turn away. However, moments later, you notice they are looking again." While looking away might seem like a bad sign, the truth is that they know they just got caught openly gawking and probably feel awkward about it.

Staring can be intense, and you may feel like you know someone better after holding their gaze. However, Aurand said this perceiving feeling of closeness is usually just based on physical attributes. "We infer all of these things without actually knowing if any of it is true," she explained. "We think they’re attractive and similar, so we’re more attracted because they’re attractive and similar — all without actually speaking to the person."

But even if that attraction you feel to the cutie who’s staring is largely physical, there’s no harm in striking up a convo if you’d like to take things to the next level.


Susan Winter, relationship expert

Sasha Aurand, dating and psychology writer

Dawn Maslar, love biologist

Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.

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