Woman Wonders Why Men Don't Make Eye Contact & The Answers Are Sadder Than We Thought

We're all in need of human connection.

woman sitting alone at cafe Tan Danh / Pexels 

A woman living in the U.S. wrote to the subreddit r/nostupidquestions, wondering about her perception that men avoid making eye contact with her. She explained that in her experience, most of the men she sees out in public make “a visible effort to hold [their] head straight and not make any eye contact with me at all.”

“What is the deal with this?” she asked. “It makes me feel awkward and like something is wrong with me.”


After wondering why men don’t make eye contact, she received answers that were sadder than she expected.

The majority of men who responded expressed that they avoid eye contact because they don’t want to be called out for making women feel uncomfortable. 

One man answered that he avoids eye contact with women out of “fear of being labeled ‘dude that stared.’” Another man stated, “Honestly, most of us just don’t want to seem like creeps.”

One man spoke to the insidiousness of the male gaze by relaying his own personal experience in offering eye contact at an older age. He said, "I'm [at] retirement age. I don't avert my eyes anymore, because I have become invisible. When I did avert my eyes, it was to not appear either creepy or threatening.”


woman wonders why men dont make eye contact and the answers are sadPhoto: cottonbro studio / Pexels 

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His comment highlights the way that the patriarchy is damaging to every human under its pervasive structure, as harm is caused to both men and women who live within it.

One man offered his take on avoiding eye contact, illustrating how he sees our social structure as harmful. He explained, “It's great that, as a society, we began to address harassment and inequality, but we massively overcorrected... Being a dude feels like walking through a minefield sometimes, yet we get little consideration or support compared to women.”


While his comment doesn’t quite hit the mark, as men have a level of social and cultural capital due to their privilege that others aren’t afforded, he still captures an element of truth in his perspective. We need to have support for both men and women in our society, as opposed to drawing such strict lines in the sand. We need to acknowledge the ways that toxic masculinity hurts us all.

There’s inherent value in creating spaces where women feel safe. Yet a complete lack of eye contact seems to be harmful in other ways. 

There's also another factor that could be impacting the ways we connect to one another, rooted in how differently we socialize since COVID-19 entered our world. 

woman wonders why men dont make eye contact and the answers are sadPhoto: mikotoraw photographer / Pexels 


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Everyone's lives have majorly shifted since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, starting in 2020. As we continue to navigate through the myriad of changes worldwide, the ways in which we interact with each other are wholly different than how they used to be.

Forbes Health conducted a survey, in which 2,000 participants were polled about the state of their relationships amidst the pandemic. Fifty-nine percent of people reported that they find it harder to create relationships since the pandemic started, while 62% responded that they feel anxious about the thought of socializing with strangers since the change brought upon us by COVID-19.

There are distinct benefits to maintaining in-person social interactions, for both mental health and physical health. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, not feeling connected to people leads to adverse health effects, including impaired executive function, depression, accelerated cognitive decline, and impaired immunity at any life stage. 


As noted by Kassandra Alcaraz, a public health researcher, during a 2019 study on social isolation, “Research really shows that the magnitude of risk presented by social isolation is very similar in magnitude to that of obesity, smoking, lack of access to care and physical inactivity.”

Loneliness has become a social epidemic, one that’s so insistent that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a health advisory on it. He noted that “Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight — one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives.”


Our world might never be what it was before, yet moving forward, we’d all do well to look each other in the eyes as we pass and say hello, as we all so deeply need kindness and connection. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers mental health, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.