As a society in general we are very out of touch with well, being human. We have these five incredible senses and how many do we really use to their fullest each day? We spend so much time looking down at a phone, tablet, or laptop, that we miss what is happening right in front of us.
No wonder it is a scary thought to have to make eye contact with someone, let alone the cute girl you’re crushing on. The good news is that this is something you can change. Read on to find out how you can build up to gazing into those gorgeous peepers.
Practice Makes Permanent
Have you heard the saying practice makes perfect? Well, we aren’t big fans of trying to be perfect, so we prefer to say practice makes permanent. When we practice certain things over and over again we get better and better at those things until they just sort of become a part of us, right?
Practicing making eye contact works the exact same way as practicing how to play the guitar. It’s a skill, that with time you become better and better at the more you strum the strings. So how do you practice making eye contact? Well, start with yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror for at least 10-15 seconds every day and look into your own eyes.
After a couple days of practicing this on yourself, take it out for a stroll. When you stop into the grocery store or farmer’s market, look up at the cashier, look into their eyes for at least a couple of seconds, then ask them how they are doing. While you walk down the street, hallway, or shopping mall, look up at the people you are walking past and try to make eye contact with a few people. You could even follow it with a polite nod.
All Things Nonverbal
So much of our communication is nonverbal, and eye contact is an important part of that nonverbal communication. The more you practice looking at other people, it will help you to work your way up to looking your crush in the eyes. You will get to a point where you are starring into each other’s eyes, but a big part of that is feeling comfortable with each other.
Remember that the most important feeling to any person is to feel important and to feel noticed. When you look someone in the eyes, it is a way of showing people that you care about them, respect them, and care what it is they have to say. If you don’t look someone in the eyes, they may have a hard time trusting you.
Utilizing other forms of communication, for example holding hands, can help you to feel more comfortable and connected to that person. Using other communication forms, or talking with your hands, can help calm your nerves so you can look them in the eyes without feeling scared. Imagine there is a mirror right in front of you and you are looking at yourself if that helps.
Remember that too much eye contact can be creepy, and not enough can be cause for trust issues or a lack of connectedness with the other person, so you want to meet somewhere in the middle. A good rule of thumb is to return the same amount of eye contact, or match to what the other person is doing. You could mention to the other person that you are nervous, and sometimes this helps the nerves to calm down as well.
The Wrap Up
The bottom line is this eye contact is important when it comes to online dating. Your online dating match wants to be with someone whom they can feel comfortable with, and who makes them feel important enough to look at. The main reason why we feel scared to make eye contact with that cute girl is not because we will be looking at her, but that she will be able to see who we are. Be confident in who you are, and that will shine through when she looks back at you. And… remember to smile.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.