“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
Of course, it depends on what you mean by “looks at other women”.
I believe there is “looking” in a benign, harmless sense and then there is “looking” in the not-so benign sense.
On the benign or harmless side of things, I think that when a man looks at other women, even when he is in a committed relationship, it’s a normal response to beauty and attractiveness. I see it as a natural physiological or biological response on his part. It means he’s alive and not dead. And that’s got to be good news, doesn’t it?
And remember this. His looking at other women doesn’t necessarily mean that your man is dissatisfied with you or seriously wants to pursue this or other women. Looking doesn’t mean betrayal. It’s a standard physical response.
And be honest. Don’t you notice a good looking, attractive man when you see one?
So, in this case, what do you do when you notice him noticing other women? Well, you could choose to change your attitude about it. You could choose to make different meaning of it. Instead of seeing it as a threat, you could instead attribute your man’s behavior to his being a thriving, functioning male. You could instead see him as viable, sensual being.
And you could use this fact as a stimulus to your sex life with him.
Now, on the not-so-benign, not-so-harmless side of things. If your man truly seems obsessed by other women – constantly looking and talking about them and in a way that feels diminishing and disrespectful to you, then it might be time to have a conversation with him, but not in an accusatory way.
Begin your discussion with your observations and then invite him into a dialogue about it. This discussion might reveal any unmet needs he has in your relationship.
At the same time, it’s your opportunity to talk about your needs, both met and unmet, including your need for respect and boundaries or limits around other women. It may even be the right time to for both of you to discuss any expectations you have about your relationship now and into the future.
While your communication needs to be honest, it doesn’t need to get ugly. Regard it as an opportunity to learn more about your guy and for him to learn more about you – about what both of you want and need in your relationship.
And it ultimately this could be an opportunity to make changes in your relationship that draw you closer together.
Mary Rizk, Transformative Coach - www.maryrizk.com
It can never be a comfortable feeling when the man you care for looks at other women.
Of course this behavior is disrespectful towards you and must make you feel a wide range of feelings from possible anger to confusion to sadness. And if you have low self esteem, such behavior from him might even be triggering feelings of inadequacy in you.
You have a right to these feelings and they are appropriate to the given situation.
Unfortunately, such behavior is part of a man’s nature. Men are visual and women are auditory. Women are also more in sync with their emotions which makes it easier for them to be insightful into their behaviors and feelings, whereas for a man he might not even be realizing that what he is doing is hurtful towards you. His behavior must be especially painful if he does this right in front of you and in addition, on a continuous and consistent basis.
Here are some things to help you understand his behavior and how to cope with it:
1. As stated above, men are visual which means their attention gets grabbed by visual stimuli in the environment much quicker than a woman's attention.
As a result, when a woman who they perceive to be attractive passes them by, they react by looking because their brains react to visual stimuli so quickly.
2. Having an understanding of how biology drives this specific behavior in him helps when communicating with your partner about his behavior.
This means that yelling at him for doing something that he for the most part cannot control will only cause more conflict in the relationship. Instead, use "I" statements to express to him how his behavior makes you feel. Try not to mention the word "you" while verbalizing your feelings to him.
So for example, you may say something to the effect of "I feel hurt when I notice my partner looks at other women" or "I feel rejected when I notice my partner checking out another woman".
3. Pay attention to how often he looks at other women.
Does it rarely ever happen? Or does it happen on a weekly or even daily basis? How obvious is it when he looks? Is it a subtle quick look or a prolonged stare?
4. If it's a prolonged stare, then that's extremely offensive towards you and the other woman.
That's when considering having a serious conversation with him about this is crucial.
5. Remember that just because something is part of human nature does not mean it's proper or should either fully or partially be tolerated behavior.
6. With number five in mind, it's also important to understand that it is possible to change certain innate habits as well as equally important to note that certain habits won't change 100%.
- One of those habits that cannot be changed fully and 100% completely is men being visually stimulated. But it does not mean that if your man is able to understand how his behavior affects you and in addition, he is also willing to make a conscious effort to not look at women with a prolonged stare out of respect for you and for the other woman passing him by, that he cannot unlearn some of this habitually innate behavior through cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches people how to unlearn unhealthy habits while acquiring new healthy ways of living.
For example, negative thinking is a human being's default way of thinking. CBT teaches people how to make that monumental mental shift from negative to positive thinking. Does that mean that once a person successfully completes cognitive behavioral treatment, then she/he will never ever experience negative thinking again?
No of course not. But when they do experience negative thinking, it will be much easier to recognize they are engaging in negative thinking patterns and immediately stop their negative thoughts in their tracks and shift towards positive thoughts. So when your man realizes within time that he is staring at a woman, he'll be able to recognize that he is staring and divert his attention elsewhere.
Jackie Krol, LCSW – www.psychotherapistjackie.wordpress.com
You are walking down the street with your beloved and they look at another person in a manner that suggests that they like something that they see.
Oh no! What do you do? First, don’t panic. This may mean nothing after all it’s likely that you check out other people too. While you may refrain from doing so around your partner or are subtle about it when you do, you likely do this too. All of us do this at times and it is partially the result of the fact that our eyes are attracted to movement and also because we all appreciate beautiful people and things.
While staring is always rude to the person that you are staring at as well as to your partner, for the purpose of this article let’s assume this is a glance and not outright ogling which again, is rude and a whole other topic (as in “why would you date someone like this?”).
Just because they looked doesn’t mean that they see something that they desire more than you.
Out of our insecurity we often will tell ourselves that the person they are looking at is evidence that they desire them more than us. Who do they come home to? Who are they out with? Right, you…not that random stranger that they may or may not have been checking out on the street. Watch what you say to yourself when something like this happens.
If your inner dialogue says something to the effect of; “oh no, they are so much better looking than me…they’re going to leave me for that person!”; then try to alter your self-talk to something more neutral unless the behavior continues and is to a degree that others notice. It’s good to consider all the possible scenarios rather than sticking to one that is harmful and self- abusive.
When we speak to ourselves in this manner we will inadvertently alter our behavior in a negative manner such as seeking ridiculous amounts of reassurance around something that likely wasn’t an issue to begin with or starting an argument when one was not necessary.
No matter how much reassurance we receive around things like this, it won’t matter if our relationship with ourselves is poor. It is not our partner’s job to make us happy with ourselves or ours to make them happy with themselves. If you admonish your partner for glancing at someone on the street you are bordering into controlling behavior out of your anxiety. Stop that, it’s not fair to them or to you.
If it still bothers you then you have an opportunity to gain intimacy with your partner through emotional vulnerability.
In no manner is this about them or their behavior. This is about you. You can explain to them how you are insecure and why and expose to them the reason that seeing them look at someone else scares you. In doing so, you offer your partner an opportunity to support, encourage, and also develop intimacy related to increased understanding. Maybe your ex cheated on you and left you for someone else and this is why you are sensitive to what is otherwise normal behavior.
Maybe you fear that your partner will leave you and seeing this behavior triggered your fears of abandonment.
In any case, your reaction to their behavior is just that your reaction. Being able to communicate with our partner is essential to bonding and this is an opportunity to not only have some amount of control over the outcome of this situation, but experience growth within it as well. When we are secure with ourselves, they can look at anyone else and at the end of the day we know that they have a lot to lose if their gaze wanders too far in another direction!
Kate Kelly, MSW, LCSW – www.willowcreekwellness.com
Is your partner looking at other women because that is what men do, or is he leering or ogling them with passion and lust?
There is a difference. It is quite normal for men and women to notice another attractive person and make a comment about it. It is also normal to silently fanaticize about that person. It is not normal if your partner is making advances towards that person, either to hook up or start a romance.
If you feel secure in your relationship, what does it matter if he notices an attractive woman? After all, I’m sure you notice handsome guys, too. But, just remember, it is inappropriate to initiate a conversation for the sole purpose of talking to that person because you are lusting for their attention.
So what do you do?
- Let him know that it makes you feel uncomfortable when he looks at another woman, especially when you are with him. Let him know that if he truly respected you, he would understand how you feel and honor your request to be less obvious.
- Let him know that while your suspicions may be unwarranted, he still needs to make you feel more secure in the relationship and that his words, affection and actions need to support that.
- Let him know that you need to understand why he’s looking at women, and that you need to talk about “stuff” that may be lacking in this relationship.
In other words, don’t remain silent. Speak up and share your concerns and the fact that you will not tolerate feeling disrespected or discounted. Your relationship is a mutual bond that is supposed to make you feel wanted, desirable and special. If you’re not feeling that way, a change may be necessary!
There are different ways to think about men who check out other women.
One thought is that even when we’re in a relationship, we aren’t blind and an attractive woman could casually catch someone’s eye. The key word is “casual”. It’s one thing to glance with some amount of appreciation at a woman, it’s another thing to leer. Honestly, I think most women will notice an attractive man too.
The boundaries around relationships are crucial to protecting the integrity of the relationship.
Looking at other women (or men) is one of those boundaries. However, it’s a somewhat subjective boundary. Unlike the monogamy boundary that most couples agree on, “looking” is less clear.
I think the underlying principal which drives all of these relationship dynamics is respect.
If either partner engages in an activity that suggests a lack of respect for the partner, it’s going to be detrimental to the relationship. I have seen couples who feel that one shouldn’t have friends of the opposite sex, while some are fine with it. Some couple’s are OK with internet porn, while others are definitely not.
Some couples engage in non-traditional relationships like polyamory, while most others want the relationship to be monogamous. These are decisions that couples must come to together. Only by discussing what each partner wants and is willing to tolerate do you work out the rules of the relationship.
Relationship “rules” should be based on what is best for the integrity of the relationship rather than a partner’s insecurities.
If the reason you get reactive to him looking at other women is that you are unsure of your own desirability or of his attraction to you, a rule wont change that. You need to address the insecurity and figure out where it comes from. It could be that he chronically treats you disrespectfully. Then of course you’re going to be anxious and you probably should leave him.
If the insecurity is within you and is there regardless of his behavior, it’s time to figure it out. Going through life insecure about your worth is a hard way to live, and it’s going to be really hard to ever build a solid, trusting relationship.