There’s a reason why a cliché of flirting is to “make eyes at someone” or “bat your eyelashes.” It might go without saying, but eye contact is extremely important when it comes to flirting. And yet, many people leave it out entirely, do it at the wrong time, or in the wrong way.
Sure it can feel awkward to make eye contact with someone, especially someone you find attractive. But if you don’t look them in the eye, you may come across as disinterested or worse, creepy. Making eye contact shows that you are comfortable, confident, and that you consider yourself their “equal.” These are all important aspects of creating attraction.
The most important time to make eye contact is before you approach someone. This is true for someone you’ve never met and for someone you’re already dating. There is nothing sexy about sneaking up on someone and startling them.
More than that, making eye contact before you approach starts the flirtation and establishes a connection. If you’ve glanced at each other back and forth before talking to each other, by the time someone walks over and says hello, there is already a sense that you know each other.
Eye contact also builds anticipation. Think of it this way. Let’s say you’re sitting at a table at a coffee shop and you are deeply involved in some work, or a good book. Suddenly, the waiter taps you on the shoulder and shoves a slice of chocolate cake in your face. “Would you like some cake?” Even if the answer is yes, there is still something jolting about the interruption.
Now imagine that you’re sitting in that coffee shop and you spot a slice of chocolate cake in the bakery window. Damn, that looks good… You look away, and then look back again. Your mouth starts watering and your stomach growls. You see the waiter pick up the plate and start to walk in your direction. Yes, bring that cake over here…!
By the time the waiter brought that cake to your table, you already want it. He doesn’t even need to ask.
This is how eye contact works in flirting. You can either “sneak up” on people, or make eye contact and start creating a connection and a desire before you say a word.
When you make eye contact, relax. And smile. Yes, the eyes are the windows to the soul, but if you try to stare deep down into them without precedent, you will come across as creepy. Try looking at the next hottie you see as though you’re saying a friendly, “Hello!” rather than, “I want to make love to you.” Notice the response you get… even though you said nothing.
Your eye contact should create acknowledgement. Look at them, and wait until they look at you (this shouldn’t take too long–we all have that “sense” when someone is looking at us). When they do meet your eyes, smile, and then look away. Rinse and repeat a couple of times before approaching.
When you are talking to someone, maintain relaxed eye contact. Again, there is no need to stare someone down. They will feel the connection just by having your eyes meet.
So the next time you are flirting, remember to make and maintain eye contact!