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. 151
    Columbine

    Recently my husband has been flirting a while we’re out shopping together or when he goes through a drive thru restaurant to order a meal.  He’ll do whatever he has to do to get the ladies to smile at him.  
    It is something I’ve tried to discuss with him before and he stopped it for about a year, then recently started doing it again.  It started after someone at work told him he was “good looking”.  He came home and told me about the event at work and after that he started acting like it went to his head.  It happened to be a male employee who told him this so for some reason, he seems to be trying to get validation from every lady he passes in the store.  
    I’m going to make one more attempt at speaking to him about it and hope it works.  If he continues this behavior, I have a plan to walk him directly up to the the next lady he flirts with, introduce him to her and leave the store by myself.  
    Sure, this seems harsh to say the least but after being with this man most of my life, asking for the respect I deserve – the same respect I’ve been giving him, I feel like it’s time to make him face up to his behavior – literally.  
     

  2. 152
    Kalea

    addiction to lust.   Getting sex hits.  Please, get the help you need and deserve.

  3. 153
    Chrissy

    Here is the deal:  Not only is it creepy anddisrespectful to the relationship, but your guy is staring and making eye contact with another women and you know what that does?   Not only is he eye f&@king thatgirl, but he is letting her know she is hot and sexy and damn it, that is NOT his job to do that.  His job is to make u feel those things, not other women.  SHAME ON HIM! by making eye contact and staring, he is tellinher if if you were not there he would pursue more and it’s giving that girl the right to flirt back with you.  Eye contact is powerful and can be read loud and clear between two people who find each other attractive. Nobody respects any relationship anymore.  Younger girls want older guys and older guys want the young girls.  Be careful!

  4. 154
    Rapunzel111

    Here’s the scoop plain and simple – if he hunts other women in front of you,lose that son of a beach pronto.He is disrespecting you to play his flirting games and he’s letting you know you’re standing in the way of his fun.You can either kick him to the curb immediately in front of the lady he is staring down or do like I did one time in a bar and pull him over to her and ask her if she wants him because he’s been staring and making sick comments about her body.Hell, I asked if they wanted to exchange Phone numbers and I even said I would get a cab home so they could be together right now.Th woman looked at me with a strange look on her face and announced to my boyfriend “No,I don’t want him!”My boyfriend looked like a deflated balloon and got really embarrassed.That night when he took me home I told him if he ever did it again I would dump him.He never did it again and I was with him a total of 16 years but I later left him because he didn’t want to set a wedding date.

  5. 155
    judy

    My spontaneous reaction (in real life, and on the site).
    If a man is with me, and he starts flirting with other women (and it ain’t harmless), I leave the room. 
    OR (and I’ve done that too), I’ve flirted with other men in his presence.
    Both scenarios worked a charm because then the men saw how insulting this behaviour is.
    Not speaking about charming behaviour, but ogling and leering. 
    I also once got really angry with a woman.  My boyfriend and I were at the airport together, ordering coffee and the blonde waitress was really coming on to him.  I was just about to make a comment to her about “lady, are you serving coffee or anything else?” but made it to my boyfriend instead.  He cracked up laughing, and she really could not understand why he was no longer interested in her.
    I don’t usually get in hair pulling matches, but that one really made me mad!

  6. 156
    Dee dee

    Sounds like he’s a sex addict. I would get out of that relationship as soon as possible. Staring is rude and you deserve better.

  7. 157
    MB

    @Judy…that comment is hilarious! I don’t blame you for being annoyed with the waitress for hitting on your man. Sometimes people need to realize that it’s just not cool to do that. I know some folks might feel it was an overreaction on your part, but I see why you were upset.

    My take on it is that while it is natural to notice people around you, it is also important to show respect to one’s partner. When we were dating, my husband once told me that he felt I was staring at/flirting with some guy in a restaurant. I was confused as hell because I didn’t do anything of the sort. But although I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, I still took his feelings into consideration because I cared about him.

    I’m confident that I have not done anything to hurt my marriage…I’ve been faithful since day one. And I would look silly trying to flirt with anyone at this point in time. But I’ve wondered about him, since we don’t really have sex anymore and I’ve seen some flirty glances between him and other women in public.

    @Columbine…I’m sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds like he needs attention and will do anything to get it. Maybe you should talk to him about it again, because this is not OK. I tell my husband he is sexy and attractive all the time, but there is no way I would allow him to openly flirt with somebody in front of me. Nip it in the bud immediately. It will get worse if you don’t.

    @Chrissy…so true! I agree with what you said about eye contact being powerful, and people not respecting others. I’ve been walking with my husband on a weekly basis as part of a new exercise program. I notice (not only when we do this, but in general) that some women have no shame in staring at my husband. And if he finds them attractive, he looks at them in return and smiles. Last week I was a bit uncomfortable because we were out walking and there was this woman walking her dog. I couldn’t guess her age, but she might have been around 30 like me. My husband is 44. She was the type of woman that he generally finds attractive…blonde, slim, pretty in a generic way. She didn’t take her eyes off him for a minute and smiled at him in this very, um, inviting way. And his body language sort of indicated that he liked the attention from this stranger. She continued to stare long after we’d passed her and continued down the street. He is by most standards a good-looking man…very tall, broad shoulders, looks young for his age, a full head of dark hair, piercing blue eyes, strong masculine features. So I understand that some women will find him pleasing to the eye. But my fear is that some will take it further because like you said, no one respects the sanctity of marriage or relationships anymore.

    Some people interpret things very differently, too. What one person views as “innocent” the next person might see as an invitation. If I were the OP in this situation, I would have to make it clear to my partner that his behavior makes me uncomfortable. Not in a hostile or accusatory manner, but firmly and directly. Like earlier this year, we went to this upscale restaurant and our waitress was a pretty blonde girl. She was nice and friendly enough, but my husband spent a lot of time talking to her. What bothered me was when he jotted down his email and handed it to her, saying that he would help her find a job at his business. At that point, I indicated that I needed a refill on my drink. I wasn’t rude or bitchy but it was my way of subtly showing that maybe he needed to be more focused on me instead of being lost in conversation with her.

  8. 158
    timetogo

    Leave him, he is a clown. Any man that cannot control is gaze is undisciplined and rude. I have never checked out another woman with my wife, and the desire sometimes is there but I refuse to degrade myself or my wife by endulging. Any guy who argues different knows they do it, and refuses to change. Ive caught my own father checking out my wife, and not an innocent glance, but a long hard stare at her rear. Men who do this are scum in my opinon. They disrespect themselves and their spouse, and basically advertise that they are horny perverts. I made an active decision not to ogle other chicks once I was serious about being with someone, not that I ever STARED at someone in a disrespectful way. The only chick who appreciates someone staring at their unmentionables is of undesireable character. Most women would think you to be the pervert you are. Its one thing to look at someone you are talking to, or be friendly with the waitress. Its another to stare at her crotch upon approach. If your guy does this, leave him, he will degrade you forever. Do not buy this BS that its all innocent and its all on you. We know what were doing, some guys have no manners or consideration for others. Hell I quit many jobs just to get away from all the low character guys I had to work with, you would be amazed and disgusted how many guys talk about their bedroom activities to a total stranger. 90% of all men in America have ZERO character or morals, from the military guys I knew to the office types. There are 10% of guys based on my limited experience who are in control of themselves, and honor their wives and family even when they are not around. Some guys are awesome friends but you would never reccomend them to a woman. REAL men are in CONTROL. REAL men can choose and control their proclivities. Find a real man, or be alone, you will be much happier than settling for Mr. Degrading.

    1. 158.1
      brother?

      wow. I’d like to meet your single brother, please. how perfectly expressed. And I would so find that control you speak of so very sexy in a person, someone who knows precisely the definition of love and respect, yet so strong to be in complete control of yourself. I envy your relationship. If your wife has nearly your strength, your marriage will truly last forever.

  9. 159
    kathleen

    I have had a number of bfs who have done this to me. The first time, in my 20s, it ultimately led to him cheating on me. Though he committed to me with an engagement ring and told me he loved me, he was always checking out other women and eventually wanted to do more, apparently. The second time this happened, the bf was a true sociopath who actually kept a diary of his sexual conquests, which I ended up finding. It, too, started with ogling and leering. Now, with the father of my kids, he leers, flirts and talks about women on tv like they were pieces of meat, right in front of me and my sons. I’ve told him this bothers me, it is disrespectful to women, it teaches the boys to look at women in a negative way, but my comments fall on deaf ears. He really doesn’t care. Sometimes, I think it makes him do it more. So, after many years of this, I just don’t care anymore. And it really pisses me off when people – mostly men – act like men have no control over this. There really is a difference between looking at someone in a sexual way and merely thinking someone is attractive and I think it is a cultural thing, and a matter of intelligence and manners. The kids’ father behaves in a vulgar way, he has no respect for women and he doesn’t want to change his behavior. And I just don’t want to be around it anymore because I think it is abusive to me, done intentionally, and is very disrespectful. Men should be able to control this stuff and it should not be excused away as something they have no control over. So, what? They are in a situation where they are by themselves, a beautiful woman comes up to them and seduces them, and they can’t help themselves? I just don’t buy that. If it is part of their genetic makeup, then I really think that makes them the weaker sex. Then it would be true what they say: that they are led around by their sexual organs. It even disgusts me when a guy is with another woman and he is looking at me like that, or some married man where I work comes on to me. I just don’t get it. I try to convince myself that it is not a uniquely male thing, that women do it also, but it does seem to be the case by and large. It is part of our culture to objectify women, and unfortunately this is ingrained in many, many men. I am trying to raise two boys  (I have full custody and live separately) to respect women, and to like women for who they are and respect their feelings. Looks and sexual attraction are important, but I still believe love and respect are something very different. Although I have never experienced this for myself, I really want them to see women in a different light.
    Sorry for the rant.  

  10. 160
    Christi

    Please listen to what I’m about to say. Girl, believe your eyes, believe what you are seeing, he’s showing you who he is.
    I’ve been through this with the men in my past and I can assure you he knows exactly what he’s doing. This man sounds to me like a textbook person with Narcissistic traits, possibly full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
    What he’s doing is looking for another energy supply because he’s over getting it from you. You’ve irritated him in some way, think about it, and because he’s not getting complete positive energy reflected back to him ALL the time, he’s preying on who can be his next energy supply.
    You back him up with the laundry list of positive things about him, but what about the negatives? What other situations do you feel completely uncomfortable with this man? I bet there are more than several. I bet he has you second guessing yourself on more than one occasion, tell me where I am wrong. 
    You know there’s something not right about this guy, and what it’s going to take is you being completely honest with yourself and honing in on your intuition and seeing the actual reality of the situation, not the reality he’s painted for you. 
    Evan is simply taking what the reader has to say at heart. Believe me, if Evan knew the type of guy I’m talking about, the type of guy I think you are involved with, he would understand the situation like I do, and he would not want you to be hurt. He would want you to get your power back. I’ve been through this too many times, so much so that I’ve become a life coach in aiming to help women recover from one sided, damaging relationships like I believe this one to be.   
    Girl, you gotta get your power back so you can see him for what he really is, a predator. I know this is extremely bold, but I say it with conviction because I’ve lived it and I have listened to hundreds of other people’s stories relating the same type of despair. 
    I urge you to find out more about NPD. 

  11. 161
    Sarah

    I have experienced most of the above – why deny it??? I have seen a councillor who says the problem is with the bf . The word narcissist has come up with 2 different councillor s – I am at the point where I don’t wish to go out in public- don’t want a holiday in the sun because of the leering I experienced.  I need to re- address that i am an dependant person. I try not to let myself be tigons by his actions – I only have control of mine – but how do you cope when stood by someone who has no personnel space with ‘women’

  12. 162
    Jasmine

    My boyfriend once told me i shouldnt be wearing crop tops because im not even sexy and yesterday i caught him he’s been lusting other girl (his classmate) because she is way more sexier than i do. I feel sorry for myself why i wasnt born with a hot body.

  13. 163
    Miss T

    I totally understand these problems.

    I have been dating my boyfriend for 18 months now, initially when we were first together he stared at other women all the time, he would get fixated on someone attractive and it would make me feel awful. Like Karen’s boyfriend he would and does tell me all the time how beautiful I am, how he loves me more than he has ever loved anyone etc.

    I did decided to discuss this with him and I still do, of course he denies it most of the time, although in one structured discussion he did admit that when we first met he did stare more than he should do. He now doesn’t do this as much as he did (not when I’m with him anyway), however I still find this very hurtful and disrespectful but try to bite my tongue the majority of the time. Unfortunately I can’t help myself but to mention it sometimes and then that leads to an almighty row (even if I mention it in a non-aggressive way) which in turn leads to us not speaking for a few days and causing a massive amount of damage to our relationship. I also feel that I don’t want to go out sometimes as I don’t want it to end in an argument. Let me also add that I was with my ex husband for 20 years and we never had this problem, therefore I don’t see this as just my problem as my boyfriend continues to point out.

    The answer is clearly in trying to except the situation, however some of us just can’t. I have had this discussion with a friend who also stated that her husband of many years acts in a similar way. She has never mentioned it to him although it has affected her confidence (although she is very beautiful), as I think it would and does with any person who has a partner with similar personality trait. I love my boyfriend and I know he would never cheat on me, but sometimes I wish that he would be a little more respectful, he may as well delete all the nice comments he says to me when he stares at other women it wipes some of the good. He will also often say to me, ‘how come it’s ok for other men to stare at you, but it’s not ok for me to look at other women’?

    Who knows one day I may have had enough, at the moment the good times out weigh the bad times.

  14. 164
    Leesa

    I have an outgoing, charismatic fitness instructor boyfriend I have been seeing. I met him as a student in his classes at the gym. He is much older than me and has wanted me from day one but it took me longer to warm up to him because initially I was in another relationship. Well my boyfriend is charming and funny, silly, witty and confident. All the qualities I fell for in the beginning. Now they are the qualities I fear most. He said he cares about me. That I am beautiful. That I make him happy. I am all he wants and needs. But I will always have to fear my own insecurities because he teaches classes and they are filled with mostly women. I worry others will see his charm like I did. And I worry that he may engage too much with a certain one or pay attention to them more than I like. He seems to interact a little more with the attractive ones… or the ones who finds attractive although he will not find more attractive than me. Sorry, but it is the truth. Our chemistry is mind blowing and so is the sex. We are almost addicted to one another. Our relationship is great. But my insecurities over the women in his classes sometimes eats away at me. I am in the same classes but he does some when I am not there. When I am, he is generally very respectful and careful and aware of my feelings. But last week he seemed to be interacting too much with this one in particular. One I asked if he found attractive and he answered yes. So clearly it will bother me if I see interaction there between him and a woman he is attracted to. Doesn’t matter if she is married and not interested in him. Doesn’t matter that she is older than me and nowhere near as attractive as I am. You can be the most beautiful woman on earth. You will never be immune. So I told him he seemed to interact with her too much in class. He said it is his way. Student-instructor in class interaction. He said he also interacts with others. That it means nothing. That there is no interest and that I am reading too much into it. I feel foolish sometimes because I feel I am inventing things to be paranoid about. Our relationship is really great and we are both very happy with each other. It is just hard when he is an instructor for women and around women a lot. So I suppose it will be my cross to bear. He has never done anything to make me think he is cheating or will cheat. But honestly I always worry about the possibility because he is a rooster in a hen house. I agree with Evan that I will have to choose to accept it or if it bothers me or eats away at me too much, maybe I need to let him go. But I love him too much and I am having way too much fun with him. I just hope he does care about so that I will be enough for him.
     

    1. 164.1
      Rapunzel111

      Leesa-
      the insecurity jealousy problem is yours not his.
      When you start making rules about how your man can interact at his job
      you are setting yourself up to be left sooner or later.Find your own hobbies outside of your mans excercise class so you won’t see what he’s doing .My ex boyfriend treated me the same way and accused me if screwing everyone all the time.I would paint my nails myself  to save money and he would ask “Are you painting your nails for another GUY???”Well eventually another guy sounded like a good idea and I got sick of his whining so I left him for a coworker.Almost seven years have passed and I couldn’t be happier.I am marrying my ex coworker this year.I do not miss my old boyfriend who accused me but I’m happy to be rid of him for good!!!Please think about this before you compete with other women.If you gain enough self respect and self esteem you won’t care who your man flirts with and you’ll also adopt the attitude of not wanting to be with anyone who doesn’t want you and most importantly anyone who makes you uncomfortable in a relationship.(accusing?)
       

    2. 164.2
      tamara

      @Leesa: Yup I gotta agree with Rapunzel. It’d be good for u if u worked on the insecurity and jealousy. Don’t get angry when I say this, but u may even wanna try a few sessions of therapy, becos otherwise it’s a Lifelong issue that will make u and your partners miserable.
      Of course your bf will notice attractive women, it’s also quite normal for him to interact a bit more with the attractive ones, it’s human nature! Even when I was a 17 year old student, I was in a special program in school where all 4 tutors were male, everyone noticed the teachers would pay special attention to me and another v pretty girl. One of them was widely considered to have a crush on me and he asked me out after graduation (he was divorced). And all these 4 were British Oxford-educated middle-aged men. Often characterised as stiff-upper-lip proper gentlemen, lol. And they’re still not immune to the charms of young pretty girls–and this was although we were in knee-length school uniforms and no make up other than a touch of lip gloss was allowed. What more for an American (I’m guessing) ‘charismatic fitness instructor’? Who’s surrounded by fit women in tight workout clothes? U can’t expect him to be blind, or to not like interacting with a goodlooking woman, just as u would enjoy talking to a goodlooking guy sometimes.
       
      I think u have to understand that if he finds you pretty and you’re special to him because you have a nice personality etc, then if he’s smart he’s not gonna risk throwing that away for some random pretty face he sees. If he does, he’s so not worth your time or your love…And btw, it takes 2 to tango. Do u think the attractive women in the class even desire a relationship with him? Because among the pretty girls I know, a fitness instructor with a gf is not really the kind of guy they’d like. It’s the guys in more intellectual, less metrosexual professions where u gotta worry more. :p Ok i’m half kidding about that last part, but seriously stop worrying so much :)

      1. 164.2.1
        tamara

        Erm I’d better apologise for that last part. I don’t mean to be dismissive of guys in more physical jobs than the mentally-demanding ones. The statement is an overgeneralisation even among my girl friends, plus my sample of girlfriends is a very biased one as they’re nerdy types who prefer braininess in a guy compared to physical hunkiness. But there are plenty of other women who do for the guys with 6-packs.

  15. 165
    Julie

    I am struggling with a similar issue, but what makes it worse is that he glazes into the eyes of other women and they glaze back. This is flirting. In both our cases, the partner is showing interest in other women when he shouldn’t be. Are they really insecure??? Do they feel we don’t appreciate them or give them attention??? My partner loves attention and I would like to give it to him but he’s not there. He likes the attention of other women as it makes him feel like he still has it… these were his exact words. Honestly… what does he need to feel like that when he has me? Anyway… enough about me and back to you. If it makes you feel bad about yourself then you should end it with him. There are plenty of fish out there… you just havn’t found the whole package yet.
    Back to me… (and you don’t want this to be you in the future) I am highly considering getting the attention that I am lacking elsewhere… if you know what I mean!!! I now need to know that I still have it LOL.

  16. 166
    Cindy

    This actually sounds just like my wonderful boyfriend!!! He is so flirtatious but in all actuality, he does not look at them the way he looks at me!! And all I do is see who he’s looking at & comment about her like “you know her?” while smiling & he says “no, she just looks like she needs to be smiled at”… My boyfriend truly feels like women need to know they are beautiful & he feels like he is helping them feel better about themselves. So I do the same but it makes him jealous… That I don’t understand….but I don’t worry about it

  17. 167
    Cherry

    Hi Evan and readers/posters, first I want to say that Evan you are awesome! You are so on target in your comments and solutions to the problems. I was especially drawn to this blogpost, because I had a similar situation as Karen’s, but not on a serious relationship level. So I can give people a little perspective here. Having said that, some people don’t want to have another perspective. Whenever a subject like this comes up, most women execute the guy right away. Someone even said “Don’t do this to yourself.” Come on! The guy is obviously not aware how serious his behavior is taken by his girl friend. In his mind, he is just looking. Open up people! It is not the end of the world, and it doesn’t define a person’s character. He is obviously a great guy, makes Karen feel special, so his only flaw is staring at other girls. Also I have to add that this whole “possessiveness” thing is so American. Europeans are more relaxed about this kind of stuff. Yes, I have been in Europe and had European boy friends. We used to go out to pubs and clubs and talked to different people. We always went back home together. And no they weren’t having fun with me. I promise you that they wanted to marry me. I met another European guy in my vacation last year. We liked each other right away and hung out 3-4 times. He was staring at other women and he did flirt with them when I was right there. He is a very charming guy, so girls flirted with him more than he flirted with them. Okay it wasn’t a serious relationship but it could turn into one if we lived in the same country, and it still can, because we are still in touch as friends. Truth be told, I found his flirting kind of kinky. I liked the thought of him looking like he could be interested in a different girl, but he wasn’t. His eyes could be looking at multiple girls, but his mind only saw me. I knew it. You know it when a guy passionately follows you around and he looks deep into your soul when he looks at you. He complimented my mind and personality, which hit home. Because I don’t care how much a guy says I am hot. But I appreciate it a lot when a guy compliments my intelligence and personality.  Long story short, I always wondered how I would take it if I was in a serious relationship with this guy. Evan’s advise is great as always. You can’t attract bees with vinegar. No guy likes straightforward criticism to his face, whether it is true or not. In fact, nobody likes it. Reach out to his senses, Karen. Don’t play emotional when you talk to him. Guys understand sensible talk. You have to make sure that you tell him that he does make you feel special. It is critical. If he doesn’t know it, he will start questioning himself and his success in the relationship, which will cause passive aggressive frustration. Be patient with him, Karen. He loves you. As Evan said, it is ingrained in his mind, so he may never get over it completely, but he will try. Once you see him trying, I suggest you treat him something special. ;) A night in red lingerie. Show all you got to him. He won’t want to lose you. Listen to your intuition and Evan. :) Don’t listen to negative people. 

    Good luck.  

  18. 168
    Kareen

    Wow, read a lot of these comments. I think Evans advice re this situation is good. I would feel upset too, like Karen and uncomfortable if a guy did that to me. Now, one would expect that a guy will ocasionally glance at another girl, but this behaviour that this guy. Is exhibiting is totally out of line. Speak to him, Karen in a non threatening way and if the behaviour continues, trust me Karen, you know what to do. Now I think when Evan shares his experiences with us, it can be helpful. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it. At least it helps u to know in this situation that he had a similar experience. Plus as someone else said its his blog so he has to right to do what he wants to do on it, to be perfectly honest. I have never experienced this situation that Karen talks about, but I am on the receiving end of stares.

  19. 169
    JennLee

    This does not have to be hard. 1st, you have to understand that it is male nature to look. You can’t stop that. However, if he is staring for an extended period of time, then there is a problem. What I do is tell guys up front, usually the first time I see them do this, that I won;t put up with it, but I do it in a non-threatening way.

    I get in front of him, and make him look me in the eyes, then I smile sweetly and say something like, “I know all men are visual and it is natural to like what you see when you see something that is attractive to you. I am not going to ask you to stop being a man with a pulse, but I am going to ask that you respect me. If you can’t respect me then we can’t be a couple. All I ask is that you only have eyes for me when we are together. Want to stare at other women when you are alone or with your buddies, knock yourself out, but please don’t do it when you are with me. OK?”

    I do it the very first time I see them stare. If they try to brush it off, or say that I am blowing it out of proportion, I insist that they just listen to what I have to say first. Then I let them know that it isn’t going to work to say those things, because it is their responsibility to make me feel cherished. I tell them that. I also acknowledge that it is my duty to do the same for them.

    One thing that has not been mentioned and this is a big one, men (ladies too because you are just as bad at this) introduce me in a proper manner. If we are at a party, and you are talking with a group of people, especially ladies, and I walk up, if I am your date, say so, and toss in the word beautiful, or lovely. Let those other women know that you are taken. If you don’t, you won’t be. Same for if people I don’t know walk up to us, especially women. Again, introduce me as your beautiful date. If I am your girlfriend, introduce me as such. If you don’t, I won’t be. I’ve only encountered this a few times, but it is very noticeable to me, so I tell guys in advance that this is how I want to be treated. If it is on a date, in the car I have a nice,soft spoken conversation with the man, before we go inside. I let him know that I expect this. I don’t do it in an aggressive way, more of a soft vulnerable way. I usually say something like, “We get to see who are and are not the gentlemen tonight. The Gentlemen will introduce their ladies in a manner that lets the other women know that he is taken and happily so.” Often this is enough. If he acts like her doesn’t understand, then I spell it out more directly, but still in a non-threatening way. If after I have made it clear, he still does not treat me this way, then I start looking for a new man, and I let him know it.

    As I said, women are just as bad at this, in my experience. This is not a problem in most Asian cultures. Why is it a problem in American culture? I think it’s an obsessive need to believe you are independent. Independent means single. If you wish to act single, you should be single. Being in a relationship means giving up much of your independence. The truth is, you give up most of it. If that is a problem, you should ask yourself if you are ready for a relationship. Being independent in a relationship means you are trying to have all the benefits of a relationship without any of the responsibilities. I see this a lot in American culture from both men and women. This was not always the case. American families used to be viewed as very strong, now they are viewed as the weakest in the world. Why is that?

  20. 170
    verymary

    Hi, if you are happy with the one you are with your mind and eyes are busy with virtuous things not wondering around lusting for others.  How would you feel if your father was checking out other women in front of you.  It hurts, it just hurts.    That’s it.

  21. 171
    Mrs key

    My guy does this an we are on a break. He has also made lude comments to his friends in front of me about other women. I can clock an attractive woman before him so when his gaze turns constantly in a direction I know why he’s looking. We all look an I have asked him not to do this in front of me, given him freedom but made him mindful. He does it even more! There’s a girl in our office who has a big ego he constantly tries to make eye contact with her for his own ego. Bottom line is it is complete disrespect a man who loves you would not openly do this in your presence, its stripping away your confidence whilst building his own. You have to ask yourself “what’s he like when I’m not around”? What if the girl he was staring at liked him back approached him? I have been in a relationship with a guy who did not do this around me…why? Because he had respect for me, and ultimately was content with me an his self. It’s not a male get out of jail pass, just want men do….it reflects their hang ups, their need for validation, selfishness and immaturity. It is also a narcassist trait. No woman or man should be disrespected in this way, if he’s going to do that wait til she’s going to the toilet or when he’s alone. I personally hate guys like this if I was out an some guy was looking at me whilst he was with his girl I’d ask him if he’d like to take a picture. What he’s doing is making another woman feel good about herself whilst the woman he claims to love sits there feeling ugly!

  22. 172
    Rapunzel111

    If a man openly flirts and acts like a fool right in front of you 
    when you have already told him that you don’t like this,
    just get rid of him.If he needs to make you feel insignificant
    to make himself feel “wanted” or “needed”,you need to
    get him out of your life immediately.Basically what he is doing
    is shopping for a new girlfriend right in front of you.If you
    were not there and the woman liked him too they would probably
    exchange numbers or set up a date.If your man is still fishing
    when he has already reeled you in he is getting a thrill by trying to
    get other woman.He will cheat if he can so dump that jerk and any
    others that do this crap.Anyone who makes you feel less than wonderful
    needs to take a hike.
     

  23. 173
    Leelo

    This topic hits home for me because I’ve been in this position too. Both the position of the girlfriend and the girl who gets stares at all of the time. 
     
    I like what JerseyGirl had to say. When she wrote, “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?” 
    This idea that, “men will be men,” and that we should be careful not to seem to naggy because if we do they will freak out and consider us a shrew is bull. 
    In my opinion the term, “Men will be men,” is horse$(&/t 
    Staring at a woman like an that’s object up for appraisal is wrong. In my opinion it is a symptom of the messed up, man-serving, misogynist, consumer, market-driven culture that we live in. Just hear me out.
     I’ve always been considered to be a really pretty person. All of the women in my family have always encouraged me to marry rich. It offends me and I’ve always felt a little under appreciated as if because I’m am pretty, I must not have much els to offer.  I’ve thought a lot about it, and the way I see it from a more macrosociological prospective, it’s as if women are the product and men are the connoisseurs. Some people don’t realize it and are unable to see the bigger picture or they don’t want to because why would they argue with a system that serves them so well?
     
     Not to state the obvious but attractive women are people too, people with thoughts and feelings and hopes, people with dreams and ambitions and with families who love them. Families, brothers, sisters, and dads who would also be hurt if they knew what these women go threw all of the time being eye humped against their will on the bus, at the store, at work, in class and in some cases having to deal with the sad confused girlfriends of those creeps.
     Men who blatantly and obsessively stare, are treating women like an object, like a magazine picture, like a product, something to take and do whatever the ogler wants with, as if just because she is standing there in front of a man he has,”the right,” as a man, to disrespect her, because that’s what men do?Is it okay to make her feel uncomfortable, and essentially eye rape her, where she stands, in public, with the hopes that she will take it as a compliment and flirt back. 
    Men used to do this to my mom a lot when I was a kid and I remember how uncomfortable it made my mom. I remember one day when we were at the store, I must have been three or so, I was holding my moms hand and she was talking to my some guy. My mom bless her heart has very big breasts, she has back problems because they are to big for her frame. Anyway she was talking to this guy and I remember thinking, “why is this guy staring at my moms boobs,” I could tell it was making her uncomfortable so I yelled out, “stop staring at my moms boobs!” Looking back its pretty funny. But it reminds me of this because even as a little kid I could tell that it hurt my mom. 
    I digress. We as women are supposed to just stand there and take it? Or be flattered? Why? Because the most beautiful women on tv, (our role models), do? Because, “men will be men?” Because some women like it??.. Because that girls self-esteem has been so beat down by society, that she should feel SO GRATEFUL and excited for any attention or approval that she can get? Because she measures her self worth based on how much attention she can get with her looks? Because we tell women that’s all that matters because it’s easier to market that way using pictures of sexy women to market crap? Because she spends hours in front of a mirror every morning trying to fit the standard, telling herself she’s not good enough as is, trying to prepare herself for a world that will rip her apart if she doesn’t try hard enough to look pretty for them, trying to beat out the competition to be the prettiest girl out there so she can feel god about herself and can be the prize for some guy? 
    This competition by the way shoves a wedge between women so that we too are beating each other down and we hate each-other and men love that we fight for their attention. It’s madness. We all go threw the same shit and it’s our individuality that makes us beautiful, not how much attention we get form guys. It’s how we treat each other with love that makes us beautiful. When we treat each-other with disrespect that is what is unattractive. Flirting with a guy who has a girlfriend right next to him to make yourself feel pretty and intentionally hurting her feeling, or ignoring the fact that it does hurt her feeling, does in fact make you a bad person and that in my opinion is ugly. 
    We should be bringing each-other up and we should expect the same from our partners. How can we expect men to respect and care about us when we can’t respect and care about each-other?  
     
    Anyway how does this all relate to Karen? Karen is living in a world where men are encouraged to judge women like they are a car or a hotel room, a product, and women are meant to fight each other for their attention. That’s why it is so hurtful when he stares at other women and ignores her. It’s as if he is saying she wins you don’t matter anymore right now, even though ten seconds ago we were in our own little world and I was telling you that I love you. Your feelings don’t matter anymore because I’m a man and I am entitled to do this.  That’s why it hurts her self esteem. When she gets all dolled up for him and he ogles other women it hurts. He doesn’t respect her. Actions speak louder than words. 
     Let’s just tell it how it is. When we tell Karen that she should let it slide because, men will be men, what we are telling her is that she should accept that this guy has little respect for her and for women as people, (and for that matter he has no
    respect for people and their feelings,) and that she shouldn’t ether. 
    Or maybe he doesn’t realize that he’s doing it because our society is designed to make women a product to sell things, a product like the label on bottle of wine in front of them at the restaurant, or one like the shoes on his feet. Maybe he will realize that he’s comming off like a creep and hurting her feeling and he’ll stop doing it in front of her. 
    After she talks to him about it he’ll ether respect that or defend his God given right as a man to abuse women. I say if it’s the first of the scenario than great you’re golden. But if it’s the latter than kick that guy to the curb he’s got bigger issues to work out before he’s ready for a relationship that’s founded on love AND respect. Not every shoe fits and you shouldn’t force a shoe just because he’s nice to you in a lot of other ways because not all men are pigs and you can find someone who treats you right and also respects you as a person and not just something that he owns. 
     
    My whole point is this if you are one of those people who see things on a deeper level than you are always going to have a hard time clicking with someone who is a little les aware. Actions speak louder than words so even if he tells you that he loves you but still can’t control his, “wondering eyes,” than he’s not worth your time as a deep thinker and he will fit better with someone who is a little more superficial someone who doesn’t mind being disrespected or doesn’t see it that way because they are the same. 

  24. 174
    Bruce Springsteen

    This just helps to solidify a stereotype that women (of recent generations) are intensely rude, inconsiderate, and mean.  What humans like and are supposed to give is kindness, consideration, and attention to one another.  To not do so implies an anti-social/sociopathic/psychopathic persecptive on humanity.  Implies that other people don’t deserve to be noticed or talked to just when one has no essential business with them.  That people are supposed to make contact with each only when they are trying to use the person for something.  

    At no point in the article was it implied or even said he was giving them romantic attentions.  All that has been said is that he notices other women (WOW! Off with his head!) and men.  By implication you seem to want him to cloister himself off from half the world and that right there is an extremely inappropriate expectation.  It too bad all the advice here is so shallow and thoughtless.  If you ever get married you headed for unhappiness and being so selfish means that you can’t have functional relationships.

  25. 175
    starthrower68

    If we think it through logically, the reason a woman gets upset if her guy is staring at other women, it’s because we’re comparing ourselves to them, and we find ourselves wanting or lacking. That is not useful, as we can only be who we are; no matter how hard I try, I can’t be the hot, younger woman getting noticed (not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing). I can be a better version of myself, if I want. If a guy is going to leave us, there’s nothing we can do to change that. There’s no sense in worrying about what we can’t control. Any guy I would date is free to look at whomever he pleases and if he really wants to pursue her, then I will encourage him to do so in order that we both may move on with life as quickly as possible.

  26. 176
    Jenny Ravelo

    Men don’t stop being attracted to other women just because they have a girlfriend, but when they stare for a long time at another woman or enter to a shop because they saw one, even if they are with their girlfriend, it means the woman they’re with is not enough to hold their attention. They maybe don’t mean to behave the way they do, but not everything that’s unintentional is benign.

    His constant praising confirms that and it’s a huge red flag. People whose feelings are sincere do not praise their significant ones every 5 minutes. When someone has the need to do so, it means their trying to convince themselves of their feelings or convince the person they’re expressing ther feelings to. 

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