My Boyfriend Is Staring At and Flirting With Other Women!

My Boyfriend Is Staring At and Flirting With Other Women

I’m dating this man, who on many, many counts is really wonderful. He’s a very intelligent man, classy, generous, loving and not a womanizer. He tells me all the time how beautiful I am, and sexy, etc., and how lucky he is to have found me. He says almost every day that he wants to marry me, and how he misses me terribly when we are apart. That’s all wonderful to hear! I feel the same way about him.

The problem is, that whenever we go out, he looks at other women. Not just the average-guy looking. He’s staring at them. He gets so caught up in it, even while holding my hand and walking past shops, he’ll head into one, if he sees someone attractive inside. He’ll sit with me at restaurants and look. He’s even go so far as to look behind me to see someone again, and has looked long enough many times to make eye-contact. Seems to try to make eye contact, too.

He’s a very sociable guy. Says hello to most people (men and women). But he does have a shy side and is uncomfortable in large groups where he knows no one. He is also extremely clever with humor, and easily silly and good with the come-backs that are hysterically funny.

But it’s these long-looks, or just about forgetting that I’m there right next to him, that are really bothering me. I’m not enjoying this. It’s starting to ruin the relationship for me. It makes me question his feelings for me, and his comments that I’m so beautiful, and here he’s looking at all these other women.

I know he’s proud of how I look. He’s told me many times that he feels that men are envious around him of me. I do get looked at often by men, but I don’t make eye contact like he does. I think that it’s rude to my partner, although I am tempted to show him how it feels! But I don’t want to play games. That is not my style.

I’ve only once made a comment about what he was looking at recently. I couched it in a joking form, to make the comment, but let him know that I’ve noticed his staring. He got immediately defensive. I didn’t ask him why, just said something to the effect of: “oh, it’s the beer in her hand you were looking at?!” He bristled. I could feel his shock at my comment. He was completely silent and had no response. He must have stared at this woman for 10 minutes before he said he wanted a beer. Other than that, he seems oblivious to his behavior.

How do I let him know I’m insulted that he does this so consistently?

How do I avoid an argument that will be simply denial on his part, and be productive to let him know this really bothers me, that he goes out of his way to look/stare? How do I let him know that I don’t trust his words, then, that he thinks I’m beautiful, etc., if he’s got to look at every woman we pass by?

It’s made me not want to go places with him anymore.

I look forward to your response!

Thank you,

Karen

I appreciate all the details you provided, Karen, because they paint a fully-fleshed out picture of your relationship. It would easy to demonize your boyfriend as evil, but you bother to mention that he is sociable, that he praises your beauty, and that he wants to marry you.

Which is why his over-the-top leering is so highly inappropriate….

Listen, if anybody in the world would be expected to defend an inappropriate flirt, it’s me. I’ve toed the line for so many years that I don’t even know where the line is anymore. That said, let’s first assume a few things:

Number 1, let’s assume that everything you said about your guy is true. He really does love you, he really does find you attractive, he really does see a future. This establishes conclusion Number 2 – namely, that if a man loves you, he doesn’t want to hurt you. Sure, people hurt each other all the time, but in healthy relationships, the hurt generally comes from an unintentional place.

As always, I speak from experience. I had an ex who didn’t like my flirting. Except she saw flirting at times I wasn’t even flirting. I could be handing 84 cents to a 17-year-old checkout girl at a grocery store in Florida , or trying to coerce a 51-year-old woman bartender into pouring me a stiffer drink, but no matter what semi-attractive female I talked to, I got a mouthful afterwards. This was paranoia to the extreme. And it was counterintuitive and counterproductive.

Counterproductive in that yelling at me to change didn’t really make me want to change. Counterintuitive in that she was trying to stifle the same charm she initially fell for. Talking to strangers isn’t a habit – it’s a personality trait – one that doesn’t go away upon request. And to be clear, I’m an equal opportunity talker. I spent a half hour talking to a very attractive man in her presence at an art gallery, but didn’t get chewed out for it. No, my crime was in talking to someone that my girlfriend felt was threatening – even though the threat was all in her head.

Talking to strangers isn’t a habit-it’s a personality trait- one that doesn’t go away upon request.

So in case you’re a woman reading this and you’re trying to change his personality, save yourself the trouble and just dump him. Ultimately, this is what my girlfriend did – for the betterment of both of us.

Let’s also distinguish the difference between flirting with intention and flirting without intention.

Flirting with intention is when you have a stranger on your lap at a party and you ask for a phone number.

Flirting without intention is when you smile and ask for your waitress’ name. One is inappropriate, the other is benign….

If YOU’RE insecure about being cheated on, you’ll find the waitress thing problematic. If you’re not insecure, there’s no reason to be bothered. This is YOUR issue, not his. Same goes for men who freak out when other guys check out their sexy girlfriends. If you fell for her because she’s sexy, you don’t suddenly tell her to dress like a nun out of your own insecurity. That’s hypocritical and it’s no wonder that creates unnecessary tensions in the relationship.

To bring this back to you, Karen, it sounds to me like you have a good guy on your hands who has a big blind spot. He’s more oblivious than malicious. Which doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. By calling him out, you embarrassed him in a passive-aggressive way. Yes, he deserved it, but there IS a better way of handling it….

Namely, you need to have an emotionless heart-to-heart with him. Don’t bite his head off the next time he does it. “The way you leer at other women is disgusting!” Instead, find a time when everything’s humming along and say, “I’ve been thinking…” Now you have his attention.

Before you go for the kill, let him know that you love him and that 95% of the time he makes you feel special. It’s just that this small percentage of the time, he might not even realize that he stares at other women. And it’s not that you don’t think he has the right to peek or find others attractive, it’s that when his gaze lingers, HE MAKES YOU FEEL HURT. Believe me, no man wants to be responsible for making a woman feel hurt.

Believe me, no man wants to be responsible for making a woman feel hurt.

He’ll be defensive, but he’ll listen. And although he’ll keep looking for years to come – his behavior is long-ingrained – he’ll at least be more aware of himself and respectful of you.

It’s ironic that you should have to appeal to his gentlemanly side when he’s being such a lech, but it’s true. Let him know that you feel hurt and he will do everything in his power to stop hurting you.

And if you find that you can’t put up with his disrespectful behavior – and you have every right to feel that way – you know what you need to do.

Good luck.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Lyn

    Maybe Karen’s bf needs some type of psychological help — it sounds like a compulsive behavior — about Evan flirting and his ex getting upset… and now him using that as an example of “paranoia” versus “normal feelings of disrespected” yes there is a difference, but this guy is physically going out of his way to flirt for long periods of time. Where in that problem is there space to misinterpret his attitude as “girlfriend paranoia.”? Unless there is a medical reason behind his behavior, I don’t see why he is not being labeled as a “jerk.”

  2. 32
    Evan Marc Katz

    While I often filter thru my own experience to make a point, I think my tangent wasn’t on target enough. Oh well. And not to belabor my personal backstory since it really doesn’t matter (really, it doesn’t) – but the ex had a previous boyfriend who was a polyamorist. She was also insecure since she was once overweight. Couple those two factors with my penchant for flirting, and, well, things played out predictably. I hear she’s married, and presumably happy, and I wish her all the best. I also wish she trusted me more. C’est la vie.

  3. 33
    sheseizereason

    To Markus, who said: “You guys are seriously missing EMK’s point. …Everything else is window dressing.”…. Well, to be fair to those of us who veered off topic, there certainly was an awful lot of tangential “window dressing” in EMK’s own post to distract us.

    To Lorelei, for some reason, your last comment (#24) didn’t appear until after my last comment (#25). I thought your apology was pretty cool, and your points were valid. I sometimes see some snarkiness going on between commenters in this blog, but in those cases the barbs are never directed at Evan. I have to wonder just how bad your insults had to get before the big guy decided to whip out his cyber red pen. ;)

  4. 34
    Jen from NYC

    Oy oy oy. I know I often simplify things when I make comments about dating, men and women, etc. I guess I really just cannot understand why people make dating to complicated. After a lot of soul searching and painful experiences in my past relationships, I finally came to accept and understand that relationships do not have to be so hard or emotionally draining. I also have come to understand that there is no such thing as the “perfect man” who will never hurt my feelings, look at another woman, or always think of me first. harsh, but true.

    Dating is complex because we all come to the table with so many expectations and this romantic belief that our signifigant other should “lives and die” for us only. It just does not work like that. What does work is finding a partner you feel compatible with on many levels. You can never be 100% compatible with anyone.

    When it comes to dating. it is one of two things. Actually, 3 things.
    1) You just put up with your sig other’s annoying actions because almost everything else outweighs those few annoying things and it really isnt so bad but just annoying

    2) You absolutely cannot and will not tolerate a person’s actions, you try to change the person or demand they see your point, which they ultimately never do, which than causes resentment which often leads to breaking up

    or

    3) You are just so insecure and have absolutely no self-esteem so you keep your mouth shut about what really annoys you because you are afraid to be single again, live in denial about how you feel and pretend you have the best relationship ever, although you feel so unfillfilled and alone.

    Honestly, it comes down to what you can/will tolerate. I can tell you that my ex is definately treating his wife the same way he treated me. How do I know? I have heard stories…and it is human nature. We really do not change. Some of us grow, but most people work and thrive in patterns and personalities ultimately do not change. If he was an asshole to me, he is most likely an asshole or at least somewhat of an asshole to her. The difference is, she is accepting to tolerate it, where as I said no freaking way.

    So for Karen, she either tolerates it or moves on. Evan moved on because his girlfriend didnt tolerate his flirting. My boyfriend tells me all fo the time I am so patient and understanding where as his ex used to scream at him and put pressue on him because he well, is always late and is not a guy who knows how to hussle if you know what I mean? Well, it bothers me a lot and we talk about it a lot and because I love so many things about him, it does not come between us enough to cause a break-up. His ex couldnt tolerate it and he didnt like the way she handled it, so he dumped her. Yeah, that is the nature of relationships. It is all about what you can handle.

    Unfortunately so many people fall into #3 that they just stay in sucky relationship and deal with it even though they may secrertly resent or even hate their spouse or sig other. That sounds fun! The one thing I learned from my parents 37 years of marriage is that my father puts up with a lot more than I ever would from a spouse, but it works for him. Again, if Karen can tolerate the flirting and accpet that she cannot complain about it if her sig other is not going to change, than fabulous! The most annoying thing ever is the person who habitually complains about their boyfriend/girlfriend but choses not to move on. I have no patience for it. And spare me the “We have so much history” line. I lived it and my history is now history.

    1. 34.1
      Joy

      Really like this comment.  Also really like the way this whole thread is organised and very pleased, Evan, that you are keeping this “real” and keeping comment-makers accountable.  Thank you, I’ve just stumbled on this site today, searching under the topic “partner seems more attracted to other women”.  It’s causing me a lot of anxiety and I’ve calmly let him know that I feel his attraction for me is decreasing and it’s affecting his closeness towards me.  His response was that nothing has changed, but this response also shows his non-interest or acknowledgement of the facts and my feelings about this.  I’m not trying to change him, just letting him know how I feel, so now ….. as has been indicated bynthe original post and comments …… ‘can I handle this?’  If not, well ….. I need to remove myself, I guess.

  5. 35
    hunter

    the walking into stores just to see a woman has got to stop. As for looking, I agree with Evan, the man doesn’ have to be executed, for doing that…….I remember dating a woman, who, would point out, attractive women walking by. I won’t look other places, when, I have someone, I like, with me….

  6. 36
    chiara

    Jen,
    I have to disagree with you all the way out there in New York City. People don’t MAKE dating complicated. Dating and mating (and affairs of the heart in general) ARE complicated. If relationships were simple matters, they wouldn’t mean so much when they actually do work. And with all due respect, if your lengthy comment was your idea of the “simple” approach to dating, I have to wonder how long your description of the complex approach would be.

    I see so many shades of gray in between the 3 neat little buckets you laid out. For example, Karen- in her current stage of doubt – falls into … what? Bucket#2? Because she’s about to request that the guy she’s dating change himself for her? Because she’ll attempt to try to get him to “see her point”? In your taxonomy of things, that’s the category where she sorta fits the most. But I don’t think she’s intolerant. I think she’s got a valid reason to object to his behavior. Nor do I think she’s been spinelessly hanging out in Bucket #3 all this time just because she’s been letting his behavior slide.

    Matters like this are rarely solved without us humans delving into the weeds and, yes, letting things get complicated in our hopes to improve them overall.

    Which is why I find this “tell-him-once-and-you’re-done” approach so highly unrealistic. The guy obviously has some deeply ingrained reflexes when it comes to other women. Does anyone here think there’s a snowflake’s chance in hell that he won’t slip up again if she talks to him just the ONCE?

    What if he messes up after the first talk, but she knows he’s been trying? Does she dump him on the spot? Keep giving him chances? And if she keeps giving him get-outta-jail-free passes, how long before she becomes a chump for sticking around, while simultaneously becoming a shrew for nagging at him repeatedly that he change? And who wants to bet he accuses her of being jealous/paranoid at least once?

    If things were truly simple, she’d know her tolerance level intuitively; she could draw the line now, without having to first feel her boundaries being breached firsthand. But no one is born with a priori knowledge of their limits. Our personal parameters have to be experienced, through trial-and-error, through the risk of getting hurt in the process, and at the sacrifice of the tidy little conceptual boxes we try to organize life into.

    So Karen, I’m with Mrs. Vee. Assuming your goal is to have a better-behaved version of your boyfriend in the long term (as opposed to absolute confirmation that you should dump him), is he truly worth it to you? Because you’re about to open a can of worms, where it seems the only certainty is that the solution process is gonna be complicated.

  7. 37
    Selena

    I don’t think dating is all that complicated. We meet someone we are attracted to, we get to know them. If that goes well there is a shiny, limerance period where flaws are either overlooked, or considered diminished in importance. It’s when the “newness” wears down the warts become more noticable.

    That’s when we start weighing “the good vs. the bad” when it comes to the relationship. Is the guy who parties alot still charming, or is he just a drunk? Is the girl who is always dressed to the nines and has “good taste” still stylish or bankruptcy waiting to happen? Is the excessively obvious girl-watcher just mildly annoying or downright disrespectful?

    Karen’s bf might make an effort to be less obvious if he knows how much it bothers her, or he may not. (I am what I am, sayeth Popeye) But the choice then becomes hers to either stay with him because, for her, his good qualities outweigh the bad or to dump him because she’s sick of the staring and by extention, sick of him.

    It’s not complicated, it’s simple.

  8. 38
    valerie

    If all you’re looking at is the end result (either she dumps him or she doesn’t) then I suppose her choice is simple. Keep the guy or kick him to the curb.

    But if dating itself were simple, it wouldn’t be an endlessly fascinating topic and this blog would have far fewer readers.

    Those who proclaim that dating is just a piece o’ cake do so either out of bravado or a preternatural talent for certainty.

    Karen, have we made things crystal clear for you yet?

  9. 39
    Selena

    “Those who proclaim that dating is just a piece o cake do so either out of bravado or a preternatural talent for certainty.”

    Hmm. I don’t think I, or anyone else, has proclaimed dating *just a piece o’cake*. Anyone who’s dated a bit (or quite alot!) knows it isn’t so easy to find someone you really click with. Someone with whom you are compatible in the areas of greatest importance to you BOTH. Whatever those may be. That actually involves taking the time to really get to know each other and possibly re-styling your idea of Mr./Ms. Perfect. Or not–depending on the extent of your criteria.

    Preternatural talent for certainty? Not much preternatural about some of the situations Evan writes about. The 50-something man who wants to find someone 20 yrs. his junior to have children with is having a hard time. Well, that’s because women that age tend to want to have children with someone closer to their own age. Duh.

    Man is losing women because he wants to wait until marriage to have sex. The majority of available women want sex before marriage. Duh.

    Women/Men wonder why the people they went out with don’t call them again. They just weren’t that interested, but didn’t want to be rude and say so on the date. Duh.

    The girl with the over-the-top oggling bf? My preternatural talent for certainty suggests that if he doesn’t curb this behavior she will dump him. She wrote, “Its made me not want to go places with him anymore.”

    How long do you think she’s going to be happy being a shut-in thanks to him? Duh.

    Evan’s blog is so fascinating BECAUSE we can see ourselves and our dating duh’s! in the stories of others. Bravado? Nah. But I do like this quote of Erica Jong’s I find applicable:

    “Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer, but wish we didn’t.”

  10. 40
    karen

    Wow. First of all, I have to thank the many people who have written and given their advice and thoughts. Many, many of you are quite intuitive. And I say that as an intuitive person, who like many, struggle to be so with her own life.
    Each of us come with “baggage” to a relationship. Especially if we are no longer young and in the throws of new loves and life’s experiences.
    I’m in my 40′s. I’m divorced with 3 kids. So, I’m not new at this. Nor jaded and skeptical of all I meet.
    I’m open-minded and fair, and know we all have our imperfections and issues. And yes, it is a matter of weighing the pro’s and con’s with relationships.
    I actually wasn’t looking for a committed relationship when I met this man. I was done with marriage, and figured that dating was suiting me just fine and it was all I needed and wanted.
    But, he turned out to be a wonderful man. Who, does have this habit of looking. And no, I don’t like it.
    You have all offered such interesting bits of insight. I too wondered if this indicated insecurity and a need to have his ego stroked by acknowledgement of his existence/good looks. Or, was he leering and just simply inappropriate?
    Well, the stuff hit the fan the other night at dinner with him. And he went from looking to striking up a conversation with a woman sitting next to him at the bar area we were sitting at, drinking and eating.
    And, spoke to her several times over the course of maybe 20 minutes.
    Just before this, he had been telling me how much he loved me and missed me during the day, and how I mean everything to him, etc. He was loving, affectionate, attentive…
    So why now the attention to this female?
    I sat there and told him how uncool he was behaving and how inappropriate his behavior was. Just said it without worrying about the reaction…for once. Without worrying about his ego this time. Without being “careful”. I wasn’t angry. Just stated the facts.
    I told him I feel like I’m invisible, and how he’s embarrassing me and hurting me.
    He was devastated. His body language changed. He wasn’t defensive, like I had expected. And I was matter-of-fact.
    He said he hadn’t realized that he was behaving inappropriately and apologized. But I was done with his company, and we left the restaurant. To make this shorter, we talked and he was mortified. But I was able to make my point very affectively as to the repercussions of his behavior. He admitted to being an insensitive jerk and was horrified that he hurt me. He said he had no idea why he struck up a conversation, and wasn’t trying to flirt, and agreed that if I had done this to him, he would have felt horrible too.
    I told him that if this ever happened again, we were through.

  11. 41
    karen

    I do have to say, upon much reflection, that I was so sure of myself when he behaved disrespectfully, that I did get through to him in a manner that Evan replied to me about. Evan had said that men absolutely don’t want to hurt the woman they care about. I believe that is true.
    I think that if we are able to state the “facts” and state our comments without yelling and ugly wording, we are way more effective.
    I can honestly say that at the time when I reacted, I didn’t care what he thought.
    I was quick to react and comment. Not wait and bring it up later. I was so sure of how I was feeling, I believe there was no way he could either deny or be defensive.
    I managed to get through to him in the way Evan had described as possible for a man to hear and assimilate, rather than be defensive only. But, it was just pure “luck”.
    I’m not mean-spirited and had no desire to “fight back” over this issue. I was so done with his attention to this woman, it was just shooting from the hip response from me.
    He’s been apologizing every day since, and has said he will be so aware of how he behaves and what he does now. And that I deserve to be treated with respect, and how he blew it.
    He assures me that he’s ready for a commitment and understands that trust and respect are what I need from such a commitment.
    I’ve told him that this kind of attention to other woman indicates to me he’s not ready for a relationship, and that’s fine, but we’re through if this is what he needs/wants when we spend time together.
    Of course, I’ll see over time if he really “got it”. And he knows clearly what the consequences will be if his attentions wander like that from me again.
    Thank you again to all who have written. You had so many amazing insights, that mirrored my own concerns and thoughts about him. Your comments have been very helpful and gave me a sense of peace that I wasn’t feeling paranoid or suffering from lack of self-esteem myself. We all deserve to be treated with respect. And your comments reminded me that my concerns were well-founded.
    Evan, thank you for your lengthy comments and guidance and for this blog.

  12. 42
    karen

    Oh, and to the men who have written their thoughts: Thank You! The male perspective is always of great value.
    Mrs. Vee, Chiara thank you for your comments.
    I do think it’s of value to give a person another chance. Let them know what I am feeling, and see what happens.
    I do not however, feel that I am here to change anyone. Especially in my age bracket. This man is a year younger than me. I’m not going to “change” him! I can try to get him to see how his behavior affects me, though. And then it is up to him, to either make the adjustment, or risk losing me.
    If this relationship is as important to him as he says, I would hope that he would adjust his behavior so he doesn’t give me the wrong impression, nor hurt me.
    He knows the curb is waiting for him if he doesn’t adjust this behavior and hurts me again. That’s all I can do.
    And yes, he has been so wonderful the scales are heavily weighed in his favor and he has my heart. But, I won’t stay and be a fool, either.
    Thank you all again for your time and words.

  13. 43
    valerie

    Selena: “I don’t think I, or anyone else, has proclaimed dating *just a piece of cake*.”

    Selena: “I don’t think dating is all that complicated. …It’s not complicated, it’s simple.”

  14. 44
    verbosity

    Everyone, there’s a big difference between looking at the storefront’s window to see what’s on display, and plastering your face and hands against that window as if to say, “Oh boyoboyoboy! I want that!”

    Those who get upset at the former are irrational. Those who get upset at the latter are not.

  15. 45
    Selena

    Valerie,

    Piece “o’cake” to me would mean easy, not complicated. How do you define complicated?

    Selena:”Anyone who’s dated a bit (or quite alot!) knows it isn’t so easy to find someone you really click with. Someone with whom you are compatible in the areas of greatest importance to you BOTH.” As far as dating goes, you meet some people you hit it off with, others you don’t. I don’t see what’s complicated about that.

    We certainly can make dating complicated if we insist on analyzing and over-analyzing every nuance of the other person’s words & behavior. I’ve certainly been guilty of that in the past. But you know, inevitably it was pretty simple–either the interest was there, or it wasn’t–for each of us. Haven’t you found that to be true?

  16. 46
    downtowngal

    Karen, thanks for the update – it’s great to see that you were able to work things out with your boyfriend.

    Funny, this communicating with guys thing. Evan and other guys giving advice say to wait until a guy is in a relaxed mood and more receptive to hearing what you have to say. I”ve tried that but got nowhere. Even when he’s receptive to listening, he may go on and repeat the same behaviour, then thinks he’s walking on eggshells because he doesn’t REALIZE what he’s doing when he’s doing it until I tell him – after the fact when I think he’s in a relaxed mood – oh, how passive agressive.

    Alternatively you don’t want to completely flip out on the guy. But I think calling him on it in a confident, direct way at the time – just like Karen did – will make him realize what he’s doing to upset you without thinking ‘oh shucks I can’t do ANYTHING right with this girl’.

  17. 47
    tipperella

    Lots of great insight in this poll.

    Karen- this goes out to you? Just wanted to follow up and see if your boyfriend lived up to his promise. How are you two doing?

  18. 48
    Chanel

    I used to have the same problem with my boyfriend.
    We were together 8 months,and everytime he did it,i always forgave him,hopeing he would eventully change.

    At the end,we ended up breaking up.
    2 months and 3 weeks later,he asked me back and he’s changed so much.
    He told me ha has grew up ALOT and he definatly has.
    I can go anywhere with him now,and i don’t have to worry about him glancing at other women,as everyday he tells me how beautiful i am,and how much he loves me.
    Now,we’re engaged.

    x

  19. 49
    caroline mazza

    I know how you feel. I have one too. But he just started to do it alot more since he’s turned 48. If you think your guy’s bad now wait till he hits midlife crisis. And yes guys have eyed me and hit on me but i never gave them any inclination that i am interested because i’m not. That’s the key.
    Get rid of him now he’s not going to get any better especially after a couple of kids and 5 years of marriage under his belt. If women went with every guy that hit on them every day there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to contend with them all!!

    Good Luck

  20. 50
    JerseyGirl

    I think this man is disrsepectful and she should cut ties with him. I don’t understand how a grown man can’t be aware of his own behavior. This isn’t a once-in-while look. He is doing a 360 with his head to look. I think most men understand that checking out other women, when your girlfriend is right there, has the possiblity of being hurtful. Do all women have to settle for so little from their own man to have some kind of relationship?

    I also don’t understand how she is expected to pander to his emotional reponse when he clearly isn’t able to do the same. Evan mentions being non-emotional and asking him to change his behavior because we don’t want to make *him* upset. He clearly already made her upset but I guess that doesn’t count for anything?

    Of course, I do notice other attractive men however it is such a passing thought that I never use to think to mention it to my boyfriends. Since discovering how men really are, alot of men do make comments about how hot other girls are, I now do the same. If I see a hot guy, I mention it. I only do it because guys feel the need to comment on women and since men are not always very loyal and have wandering eyes, its fighting fire with fire. Probably not completely fair, but then again men in relationships checking out all different kinds of women isn’t fair either. Unfortunetly, men have taught me that they are never happy with what they have.

    I HATE being out in public and seeing a man with his own SO or even his family checking me out. Not only do I feel bad for the woman, I don’t feel as if she has a good man who truly values her. Maybe men should focus more on what they have instead of what they don’t?

    As for insecurity issues. Well in all honesty, I don’t know how men expect women NOT to be insecure with the amount of time men spend looking at other women, wanting to go to strip clubs; and the various other ways men indirectly give attention to and seek out other women despite having a woman that cares for him.

  21. 51
    AJ

    Hi Karen,

    I’m also in my 40′s. Your BF sounds like my ex to a Tee. We married at a young age and then I began noticing his oogling womens breasts in public. It was so embarrassing to me and hurtful. When I mentioned it he vehemently and defensively denied staring and claimed I was paranoid. He said “Im here aren’t I”?

    Later on when it continued..as it certainly did continue, he would stare and then rub his eyelashes to try to stop. He would blush. If we were conversing, his mind would wonder onto the female and he would lose his trend of thought.

    After a while we both didn’t want to go out much. It progressed then to his wish to go out alone. From things he would say, I knew that when he was out working he was testing the waters with other women by flirting openly.

    He confided in me that when we first met he couldn’t stop staring and that he was imagining having sex with me. So I know thats what he was doing with these other women. And Yes, sure, he would always tell me how beautiful I was. But I felt he was comparing me to others.

    The years passed. My insecurities grew and we eventually divorced. He became abusive and also claimed he wanted other women. He may have already had affairs. One of his last comments to me was “There are a lot of fish in the sea”.

    For years I tried to let it go because he had redeeming qualities and was the father of my children, but I short changed myself.

    He now claims he is a self centered jerk by nature (at least he can admit that now). His family knows him to be a compulsive liar about even greater things.

    And while I believe his low self esteem is at the core of his problem, he would never consider seeing a therapist then or now. I am just thankful to be released from any more years with him.

    Its hard to give advice to someone else. But if there are children involved and this is your second time around I would run away as fast as I can.

    AJ

  22. 52
    Malky

    I read these comments in response to the same question last February, when my boyfriend of four months, who stared the same way and for long periods of time while we were out together, broke up with me because I couldn’t relax about this. He contacted me again recently, and we began to see each other. On our first date after many months of being apart, he did the same thing! I DO have experiences being with men who have been unfaithful or commented they are attracted to my friends, etc., but have come to recognize I am repeating unhealthy patterns by attracting men who will treat me so poorly … because it is so familiar … not that I am paranoid! When we got together for the date, he told me he learned a great lesson from me the first time around … to never sacrifice who he is … and he told me he meant his flirtatious side! He is my ex-boyfriend again.

  23. 53
    ohiogirl

    I’m happy i stumbled across this on the internet…
    I’m going through something like this and really needed the advice as well.

  24. 54
    cwazybabe

    ok so i just came across this blog and im going through the same deal with my boyfriend except i feel that im the one being insecure when i see another attractive girl and i feel right away that shes going to catch my bf’s attention and hes going to be checking her out. I get a bit jeolous, i start assuming that he’s already starred at her and she starring at him and i get irrate in my head.Bc my boyfriend is very attractive and so am I, (not trying to be cocky at all) but im one of those girls that gets lusted by every man i walk by! even married men and it also discust me too! sometimes right away i assume hes starring and i look at him and im like “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT”? AND HE’LL be like huh? what are you talking about? so then that puts me on the attack mode right away and he has no idea what im talking about. bottom line i need some advice on how to stop feeling that way when i see another attractive girl and feel intimidated right away i freak out and i take it out on my boyfriend right away thinking hes starring at her when he might not even be!!

  25. 55
    cali

    What a very interesting discussion. I am separated from my boyfriend of three years for a month now. We had this very same problem. We are both overweight, and were hot as hell in our prime, but we are still attractive people. We met when we were 17 and he was too shy to meet me because he said I was too pretty for him. We have had a rocky relationship because of his habit of checking out women with bit breasts. He told me in the beginning he loved women with really big breasts (his exwife is a size EE, I’m 38C). I felt a lot like Karen, felt like we could not go places where young girls are scantily clothed, swimming pools, rivers…it just got so out of control. I’ve told him how it hurts me, how inappropriate it is, and he continues to do it. Big tits are like a magnet to his little eyeballs. It’s so sad to watch because he is making such a fool of himself, I keep reminding him those hot young girls he eyeballs are probably going to want other young hot guys. I ended this relationship because I have a daughter, and I told him that staying with him was too risky because in about 5 years my girl will be a teenager. I asked him what is he going to do if she ends up wearing a D-cup, is he gonna lust for her and sneak peaks at her too? The look on his face was pitiful, he got so flushed and he looked sick.

    We broke up because he couldn’t keep his eyes off a 21 year old coworker with great breasts. I understand why he looks at attractive bodies, but I too felt invisible around certain women and I just realized that if he’s doing these hurtful things to me when we’re together, what does he do alone?

    I decided to be single and not worry about being alone and starting over this late in life. I’m sure there are men out there who do not want to hurt the person they love, because that’s what it comes down to, they either respect you and your feelings or they don’t. I decided that we should not speak to each other for months, and hopefully someday we can be friends and actually enjoy each other’s company should we bump into each other. Getting my self-confidence back has been very painful, but now I can go places without freaking out, I can talk to whoever I want and not feel ugly about myself.

    I decided to lose weight so I can feel better about myself, not for him. First thing he did was lose 15 lbs. and call me 45 days after not hearing a word from him. Deep down I know he’s miserable, because all he has are these fantasies about other women’s bodies, when he could have had me loving him and treating him with decency and respect. He likes women who are IMPOSSIBLE to conquer, even for just one night, and he’s very insecure about his penis size and how he looks naked. His body is aging like mine, but he just can’t stop wanting younger, better, tighter bodies with big tits, so I just suggested why doesn’t he just go find that then?

    Thanks everybody for all the advice, this was a very interesting read and its nice to know I’m not alone.

  26. 56
    starthrower68

    First, beware the charmer; based on the words this fella spoke to our o.p., he was laying it on pretty thick. Nice to hear, but one must really look at how sincere such flattery is. Second, say no to disrespect. The o.p. needs to take strong stand against it. Men look at other women because it’s how they’re wired. But the man who truly cares about his girl will be discreet. Again, this guy’s crossing a line. You say to him, “the man I marry will be a man who will respect me, and will consider my feelings. I hope that man is you. However, if not, I will move on so that I’m free to meet that man”. Yes, easier said than done, but we do have to have the courage to face the truth and move on. Auntie star is sympathetic to your pain.

  27. 57
    alice

    Hi evan. I was just looking round the internet to find out more about this subject ‘the wondering eye’ and everything you have said i have experienced.
    Well i left my ex nearly 3 week ago as i felt something wasnt right and some of my feelings towards him had changed, i eventually had no respect for him. It started off with sexual comments about other girls, which i didnt like.
    He hurt me in many ways which to him were only minor, but to me were big things. Id hate the thought of going shopping or for something to eat as i knew i would catch him gawping at other women and it would make me feel as know i wasnt good enough for him, although he would refer to me as ‘beautifull or gourgess’. But i always felt that the compliments werent good enough and if he felt that way, why was he gawping at other women if i am so attractive to him? Over the top as this sounds it got to the stage of feeling abit sick when id catch him. Basically i felt like shyte!! When i had it out with him he would say im mad, but i knew what i was seing even know it sounded weird and paranoid, it just wasnt me. But other things also made me feel insecure in the relationship like him and his ex still having phone convesations. He also had text messages and phone calls from his bosses daughter who is by the way only two years younger than him. He refered to her ”as a friend” but then his m8 told me they slept together when we were on a break a while back, so that was another reason to make me feel like crap and more insecure. It got to the point of only liking it when we were alone at home where no women were around. And how sad is that, not healthy or what? Your supposed to feel attractive and enjoy one another, not have your back up all the time waiting for his eyes to perve away.
    I made myself mad, god knows what my bloody eyes looked like. He would tell me all the time that i was the one, he wanted to marry me, have my babies. All of it. But now i think, no its all about him wasnt it I have the kids stay at home trapped and do the cooking, while he gawps at other women making me feel like crap and eventually has affairs like his dad.
    Eventually my heart gave up and i lost respect for him and with no respect, no love. I felt he had none for me as i told him it really hurt me and i felt like i was going mad constantly analysing it and thinking all those women must be better for him than i was.
    He had a past of shagging any woman in his path so maybe his inner womansieing ways would never change and he was just kidding himself that he was the faithfull type, He’s was just a ‘jack the lad’ or shall is say ‘cavemen’. But now im single ive set my standards abit higher by only being willing to settle for a guy who meets my expectations and who will make me feel attractive and that i am good enough. Ye he can find women attractive but he doesnt have to bloody gawp. I feel like a weight has been lifted of my shoulders, no more going mad, i feel free. It is hard at first as i still loved him but that doesnt mean its ok and right. Just remember that you aint going mad he just does a good bloody job at making you feel insecure. Set your standards a little higher. You can do better. Whatever you want you can get. Maybe he isnt the captain of your heart after all. Mine wasnt.

  28. 58
    cali

    I know how you feel alice. There’s no life in sitting home alone with your man because that is the only safe place to be. It’s been 2.5 months since my ex and I split up. We finally spoke to each other and it was not good. I looked at some photos he took when I was performing traditional dance with my daughter, and 15 of the photos were zoomed in on this 21 year old married coworker of his, turns out he’s carried a thing for her over a year ago. The photos are so sad, they are zoomed in on her breast and ass area. How gross is that?

    I was so heartbroken when we first split, watching the man you love fall in love with somebody else is so humiliating and hurtful. He constantly accused me of messing around on him, it got so bad that I became totally withdrawn from all friends, male relatives, and secluded myself in order to show him I was not doing these things. When I would travel to academic conferences I would receive 20-40 phone calls during day and night checking on me. My ex had a thing for very young, big breasted women, and when any woman wore revealing clothes he would react so strongly. In stores he always stood behind me so I could not see him do it. I knew what type of woman made him feel this way, and could predict his behavior–it really bugged me. When I confronted him about it, he would say things like nothing is gonna happen and say things like “they are married: or I would never do something with another woman because they would stalk him forever because he’s so good in bed. Never once did he mention he would not do that to me because he loved me or because he’s not that type of person.

    I’ve finally reached a point where I am excited about my future again, and I realized I had a life before I met him. I picked up where I was before I met him, I do the things I want to do, talk to folks who were once considered “off-limits” and I feel so good about traveling to conferences without checking in and assuring him I’m not cheating.

    You’re right about settling standards for potential mates/relationships. I realize I live a busy life as a single mom and grad student, and I settled for less because I was determined to make a relationship work that was simply NEVER going to. Being lonely doesn’t mean I have to force something that should come natural. Just because my ex made bad choices doesn’t mean I deserve to be mistreated and disrespected, nor does it mean all men are like him.

    I feel so good today, and as time passes it gets easier and easier…I’m beginning to forget what he looks like and that’s something I never thought would happen.

  29. 59
    starthrower68

    Cali,

    It’s sad that we often gain wisdom the hard way, pain inlcuded. One thing I learned is that if a man would not treat you with the same respect and consideration that your friends would treat you, there is a real issue there that needs to be examined. Women often give guys a pass on behavior that we would find unacceptable from friends or even family members. It also sounds like your ex was projecting onto you. A fellow who is critical of other men who are not faithful don’t always mean they are faithful themselves. It can sometimes be a sign they are not. Not male bashing here. People will sometimes come down very critically on others for behaving a certain way as a means to assuage their own guilt.

    Glad to hear you’re excited about your future. That’s a good place to be, indeed!

  30. 60
    Seductress Within

    There is NO WAY that
    A) this man isn’t aware of what he is doing because
    B) if he has ever had a relationship in his life before, it has been pointed out to him.

    I wouldn’t bother talking to him about it and hoping to “change” him. He is who he is. Noticing attractive women is normal but looking, and looking again, and looking again and staring and continuing to stare and trying to catch eye contact and following women into stores to prolong the view is indeed rude but more so creepy.

    This behavior goes much deeper than what is seen on the surface.
    The amount of time he spends on this hobby is excessive and worrisome and hints at some kind of disfunctional addiction.
    This dude lives in some kind of fantasy world.

    Yeah it may sound harsh, but it’s my 2 cents.

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