My Crush Ignores Me But Stares At Me — What’s Their Deal?

Staring at someone can often be a sign of romantic interest, so when the guy who always has his eyes on you ignores you instead of striking up a conversation with you, it can be seriously confusing. There are several reasons why your crush ignores you and then stares at you all day long. Here are a few to consider.

  1. He thinks you’ll reject him. Sometimes ignoring you can be a self-defense mechanism. Your crush might believe, for whatever reason, that you’ll turn him down. Maybe you don’t stare back at him, or you’ve never so much as smiled at him. If he thinks you’ll reject him, hey might not bother pursuing you and will just ignore you when he sees you. You could try smiling at him or talking to him first to show that you’re receptive to any advances.
  2. He’s insecure. They might not get to the stage of thinking that you’ll reject them, but guys can still be insecure overall and thus less likely to pursue you. It’s possible that your crush ignores you because he doesn’t like making the first move, but he still stares at you because he likes you and can’t help himself. This usually comes down to being insecure. Maybe he doesn’t think he’s on your level or that you’ll think he’s weird, so he says nothing.
  3. He’s involved with someone else. Your crush might stare at you because he really likes you, but if he’s already in a relationship, he’s probably going to ignore you rather than actually talk to you. Even if you go to school or work with him and you’ve never seen him with a girlfriend, this doesn’t mean he’s single. He could be in a relationship that he rarely talks about.
  4. He doesn’t want a relationship right now. In most cases, when someone likes you enough, they’ll want to be in a relationship with you regardless of what’s going on in their life. But there are always exceptions. Some people are adamant about not wanting to be in a relationship, no matter whom they’re crushing on. Maybe this guy has too much going on at work or school. Or maybe he’s going through a hard time with his health or his family. It could be that your crush stares because he likes you. However, he knows he’s not interested in pursuing a relationship, so it never goes further than that.
  5. He doesn’t think you’re single. It’s possible that your crush likes you and actually wants to talk to you rather than ignoring you all the time. But if he doesn’t think you’re single, he might not bother. It’s the same logic as thinking you’re going to reject him. He just doesn’t see any point in talking to you even though he’d really like to. This can happen when you have close friends that your crush has mistaken for a partner. Or if you’ve posted photos of yourself and others on social media to make him jealous, it could backfire. Photos like that can just leave your crush thinking you’re not available.
  6. One of his friends likes you. If you and your best friend liked the same person, would one of you (or both of you) step aside for the sake of the friendship? While some people compete for dates, others aren’t willing to lose friends over it. So it’s possible that your crush looks your way longingly because he’s into you, but he can’t act on his feelings because one of his friends feels the same way.
  7. He’s playing hard to get. A lot of people pretend to ignore people they actually like. This is part of playing hard to get, a mind game that attracts people to you by making them think you don’t want them. It’s always a possibility that your crush is pretending to ignore you to increase your interest in him. But if this is the case, there will be other obvious signs that he’s feeling you, so keep your eyes peeled.
  8. He’s working out how he feels about you. Staring can be a sign of curiosity. It could be that your crush is still working out how much he really likes you. When he looks at you, he’s studying you like a curious scientist, trying to determine his own interest. He might ignore you because he hasn’t figured it out yet. He doesn’t want to approach you until he’s totally sure.
  9. He doesn’t want to look desperate. Fawning all over a woman you like is an easy way for a guy to be accused of simping. Even though it’s not a sign of desperation to just talk to someone, it can definitely seem that way. Especially when you could possibly reject him or laugh in his face. It could be that he’s nervous about showing interest because he’s worried about how it might make him look.

How to break the ice and change the dynamic

If your crush ignores you but stares at you, something’s gotta give. It’s going to get a bit creepy if you constantly see his eyes on you but he never says a word. If you think he might be shy or afraid of rejection but you like him back, you may need to take matters into your own hands.

  1. Strike up a conversation. Yes, you’re both grown adults who should be able to pluck up the courage to talk to people you like, but shyness is a thing. If you’re the more confident between you, why not take the reins by starting a conversation with him? Mention something you know you have in common or something you know about him. This could get him to open up more.
  2. Flirt a little, but keep it simple. If your crush stares at you because he’s shy and introverted, he probably won’t respond well to very forward and intense flirting (and it doesn’t seem like you’re in that place yet anyway). You can drop subtle hints that you like him by giving him a little smile or laughing at something he says, or even just paying him a little extra attention.
  3. Make a joke out of it. If you feel like your other attempts to move things to a better space aren’t really working — he’s not picking up on the subtle flirtation and doesn’t seem all that into your conversational attempts — you may need to jokingly bring up the fact that you notice your crush stares at you then ignores you the rest of the time. He’ll either lighten up a bit and laugh back or he might just clam up altogether. Still, things can’t go on the way they have been, so you’ll have to take your chances.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.