Reply To: Upcoming Date
There’s different kinds of eye contact. Lee’s job example is a good example of the advice usually doled out to people looking for a job–basically that looking directly at the person who’s talking to you (i.e. the interviewer) shows some degree of both confidence and respect — since this person may be your boss you don’t want to keep looking at the floor if you’re trying to get a job.
In dating, eye contact is useful — for those who have this particular sense (I don’t) — to catch initial glimpses to see if someone may be interested or if they are scoping you out. BUT although people talk about this skill all the time, it is really NOT very important and many of us never develop that skill. It’s helpful but not at all essential.
Eye contact is also important in escalation/seduction — if you say something without the gaze to match (a compliment, an indication that you might kiss a girl, whatever), it’s a real social/sexual disconnect. In those cases, looking away communicates that closeness/sexual tension frighten you. For example, holding hands while looking away is comfortable–holding hands while looking at someone is positive sexual tension. It says “I’m considering making a move, and we both know it.” While it’s possible that the first situation COULD lead to something sexual, it’s really asking the girl to take initiative because you’re afraid. The second situation is the interaction you want.
But as for eye contact during a conversation–that’s really nothing but normal social awareness. Looking away repeatedly (and maybe inadvertently) because you’re timid is not a good thing–but looking away sometimes because you happen to feel like it is absolutely fine and can itself show confidence.