My Boyfriend Is Staring At and Flirting With Other Women!

boyfriend is staring at and flirting with other woman

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,


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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  1. 1

    i dated a guy that flirted with waitresses and we got better service. i liked the attention we got. i liked that other women wanted him but he wanted to marry me. 🙂

  2. 2

    You could do the same back and have him see from personal experience what it feels like. My boyfriend makes comments on occasion about actresses or people on TV, but as soon as I do the same back about some hot guy he change his tune completely, and all of a sudden it’s all about us again, like it should be. Maybe I’m naive but I believe you should be the most important most beautiful person to him, and you should feel the same way back. If not, something’s not quite right.

    1. 2.1

      I would return the favor!  

    2. 2.2
      Special heart

      You are very right! We have enough people in our lives to love us but our men are the only ones to love us in a way that we feel special

  3. 3

    I’ll tell ya what you do!! You dump him yesterday!! He’s a womanizer and with that goes alot of other stuff you would find out toooo late. Please don’t do this to yourself.

    1. 3.1

      Please do not be stupid and listen to this commenter Beth. Most men do the same exact thing like 90%, they just hide it better than your boyfriend. Do not be stupid and dump your boyfreind. You will be alone like Beth.

      1. 3.1.1

        Yo, Tracy….first of all you commented to a person called Bev, not Beth.

        Secondly, you must’ve been brainwashed by making a comment “90%”

        of men do what Karen’s boyfriend does.   No, they don’t.   Some men

        appreciate what they have and don’t want to lose it.   And, then telling,

        not suggesting that Karen shouldn’t dump her boyfriend because she

        will be alone like Bev….sometimes being alone is better than being

        disrespected deary!!!!     You sound like a female cheuvanist.

      2. 3.1.2
        Leslie Payne

        But she won’t be with s lech which is worse alone or with some creepy guy.

    2. 3.2

      You’re so right Bev, you’re setting yourself up for years of pain, if you go ahead and marry someone like this.   They don’t change, and the flirting turns to affairs.   

      1. 3.2.1

        Fee you are absolutely rite I been in a relationship, with my significant other for 9 1/2 years and I have dealt with the same situation yes men like to recognize other women’s beauty but his gaze would linger until he caught the other women attention and made eye contact and it came to a point in my life where I just couldn’t take it anymore. He was becoming more disrespectful with his ways around women and I was just really hurting myself in the long run.

    3. 3.3

      This man is a womanizer! Dump him before it’s too late for you. I’ve known so many men who has this wandering eye and all of them cheated with their wives. Trust me.;

  4. 4

    The occasional glance, or harmless flirtation with a waitress to get better service is nothing to worry about, but if he’s following women into stores, it may be time to trade up.

    1. 4.1

      my ex boyfriend and I had plenty of bad times due to this fact – touching waitresses. I thought it was inappropriate. This was a huge no no to me.

      we are on a break now, he gave me time to think, while he misses me and contact me again.


    2. 4.2

      Loved the advice … gave me a good chuckle!

  5. 5
    Kat Wilder

    There’s a huge difference between looking and appreciating another’s beauty, and staring in a lecherous way. Many times, women confuse what’s innocent looking and what’s not, and that speaks to an insecurity.

    The big test for me is how he reacts when you say something about it. If you can say to him, “She’s got a nice outfit on” or “She has a nice smile,” etc. and then you can talk about the object of his visual affection, then that opens up a doorway to communicate (including, “I sometimes feel uncomfortable when you look at other women…”)

    But if he gets on the defensive (and you’ve mentioned it to him in a nonjudgmental or passive-aggressive way), then that’s a sign that something is amiss, not only with his looking but probably something much bigger. I’d really want to check into that before I got much further into the relationship.

    1. 5.1

      I came to you on this because I like your response.

      I am aware of my insecurity, and its a work in progress, but when we go out he used to do it in a spiteful way because he knew it bothered me.I knew what he was trying to do and I told him that being vindictive will not fix any issues. Making him aware of this because we came from both mentally abusive exes(trust issues).We love each other so much. Get along on so many levels. I know men look. Trust me I know I am a dispatcher for a trucking company, but I keep to myself. I’m learning to get over it. I am working on it. It’s very hard because I try to tell myself that that is how men work chemically and that also no one has the same heart as me even though I’ve fought to not do the same back because he denies it like she had mentioned. That only heighten’s an issue if you do that never clears the air. We fight for each other because we want this to work. Our relationship was definitely rocky from the beginning. I had retaliating reactions due to his drunken behaviors. He claimed to not like his brothers girlfiend’s friend, but I felt like I didon’t exist around her when we drank. So I know she’s nice, but of course he makes me nor like her and creates a threat. He claim’s thered nothing and like the girl in this blog my guy is very sociabe and love’s to be the focal point of any gathering. Doesnt bother me. I think when men do this they are completely aware of themselves (good) and seek their sexuality acceptance through female attention, which isn’t bad unless they ctoss the line. I think I’ve come a long way in realizing some thing’s. I guess I have a hard time and question his past when I know it because I don’t want it to show up the door if you know what I mean. I don’t know how to differ his drunken actions toward his sober thoughts. We haven’t drank in a goodifferent while so things have been great. I just pray it stays like this.

  6. 6

    He’s walking with his girlfriend and walks into stores where he spots an attractive woman through the window? I find that very weird, kinda creepy even. Add to that, the one time his gf jokingly points out his gazing–he gets defensive and won’t say anything? I’ll bet his behavior has been pointed out to him before by previous girls he has dated.

    I think Evan’s advice is good, but I’d still be very leery of a guy who leers as much as this one. Something about it just seems off.

    1. 6.1

      This rubbed me the wrong way, as well.      But perhaps Karen is so sensitized due to witnessing so much leering that she assumed that’s what he was doing, even though he had a genuinely independent reason to walk into the shop.   Obviously, this probably does not apply if it’s a ladies clothing shop.

      So I have been on a couple of dates with this late 30s  guy who was fairly flirty and looky with other women even on the first meetup (which admittedly included quite a lot of alcohol consumption on both our part).   That said, I was talking with a cute younger guy for a bit when he was in the bathroom.   We have only been out a couple times so I will continue to observe him closely after he openly joked about how he can be a bit of a flirt especially after some beers. There’s a fine line between being a sociable guy who  stares too long at the ladies, and being a lech who seems like a cheater waiting to happen.   Only Karen will know, based on close observation and conversation with her bf.


  7. 7

    Evan you’re totally off the mark – this guy’s being disrespectful and rude. And you shouldn’t compare your own experiences to your readers; this woman doesn’t sound as if she’s being overly paranoid or has jealously issues. If anything she’s been grappling with it for some time.

    There’s a difference between the occasional check-out and going out of your way to stare at other women while you’re with your girlfriend. She even brough it up to him in a nice way and he got defensive. This also doesn’t sound like the night you’re staying in watching movies and telling each other which movie star you think is hot. And he’s not being nice/flirty with other woman – he’s going out of his way to check them out.

    In my experience when a guy is interested he wouldn’t do this unless he’s immature or has intimacy issues. I’ve faced this issue before and lots of guys have told me that – esp once you get passed a certain age – they know that ogling other woman is a big no-no if you respect the woman you’re with.

    What he’s doing is unacceptable if it makes you feel badly. Try bringing it up again – if he loves you he’l listen. If not that’s a bigger red flag than the ogling.

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’ll let the original poster, Karen, tell you if I was off the mark. This is from her comment #40.

      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.

      1. 7.1.1

        WOW Justin, why aren’t all men like you… We’d have a perfect world. Just reading your comment makes me look at relationships all different, like we women have no reason to lower our wants and standards to be happy. Just a thank you for your inspiration

    2. 7.2

      I agree when the fine line becomes so large it’s clear. Leering at a woman is wrong, especially when you’re together. Can you imagine what he’s like with his buddies? He probably acts like he doesn’t have a girlfriend cause he can’t stop head to toe bobbing for T&A.

      I know what it feels like, the guy I used to date for the past 1 1/2 years is the same way, maybe even worse. He used to tell me how gorgeous, beautiful, hot, stunning other women are… but I’m just pretty! Wow that sucks because he’s far from Brad Pitt. After putting up with disrespect far too often, he’s now history. No woman needs to feel 2nd, 3rd, 4th place or runner up to a passer by…. that is BS!!!

      Losing a good woman because a man can’t be courteous or respectful to you is his loss!

      Life should be spent with someone who is your friend and lover, a person who you want to be with and vice versa… Don’t stay with someone who makes you feel unwanted or unimportant… its debilitating emotionally and physically!

  8. 8
    mrs. vee

    Aww, Evan, you poor baby… having to deal with someone else’s distorted version of the truth! It sounds to me like you’re still really pissed off about that horrible ex of yours. She must have been a humorless, unlovable birdbrain who’s wallowing in a pile of lonely misery right about now.

    Karen, this is a slippery, slippery slope you’re on here. To have a man tell you he loves and wants to marry you is a seductive experience. But then to have him turn around and so openly forget himself and your feelings and, seemingly, set aside his regard for you must hurt you deeply.

    When you’re the girl who objects to her mates’ “interest” in other ladies, it’s very easy for the guy to put it on you and call you paranoid.

    In these situations, you can drive yourself crazy looking for “proof” that something is wrong. That’s no fun when you’re supposed to be in love and enjoying each other.

    So before you go down that road, ask yourself a couple key questions that help take the guesswork out of the whole issue:

    First, are you generally a jealous person? i.e. do you often find yourself in relationships with men who bring this reaction out of you? If not, then it most likely IS him and not just in your head.

    Even more important than my first question, if he weren’t so into you, would you be so into him? In other words, do you really want to struggle to make it work because you respect and admire this man who gets pulled by an invisible tractor beam towards other women? Can you love a guy who is so motivated to feel attractive to females that he apparently loses self-control?

    If you don’t really care that strongly for him, or, rather, if the strongest feeling you have for him is only indignation, then he’s not worth the hassle. Believe me, it will be a tremendous pain in the ass to try to train that reflex out of him. And I doubt it’ll work, like Evan says.

    Chances are, he probably never will give you the satisfaction of recognizing his inappropriateness anyway and simply remember you as jealous and paranoid.

  9. 9
    Evan Marc Katz

    As always, I would encourage my favorite readers/posters to consider the totality of the post.

    I did NOT give this guy a free pass. I said that his behavior was highly inappropriate. Where my female readers and I part ways is that I actually think that the guy has no idea how he’s coming across.

    And that instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater and dumping him, she should try to notify him that he’s unintentionally hurting her.

    A starry-eyed gazer isn’t necessarily a lech and a lech isn’t necessarily a womanizer. Although there is definitely a correlation and a slippery slope from lustful looks to infidelity.

    But if the guy has exhibited no other signs of poor behavior, he deserves the chance to attempt to reform it – upon which the woman can decide for herself if she can live with his level of inappropriate flirtation.

    1. 9.1
      Joe W

      Why has no one addressed the possibility of a sex addiction? Men who have no control over their behavior and are oblivious to it could fall in this category.

      Evan – your response made enough sense from someone like you who seems to ponder the why’s of your behavior. But some men, myself included at one point, have had such a bad habit of soothing by staring and following women that we risk our whole relationships because we some woman who looks like an image we saw in porn. A fantasy. What sucks about this is that there is just so much in porn, so many different types that your brain starts to objectify every woman.

      It’s a sad state to be in. If I was Karen, I would tell her to watch for other signs of addiction. I am the most charming man around. I was a model in my younger days. I didn’t need to get every woman’s attention and yet, the whole act became insatiable. I started not caring if a woman was sad, angry, whether she was a good person a bad person. A married woman? Who cares. My addiction wanted to feed itself.
      I had to be very truthful about why I was looking, what I was feeding and filing away for later when I was intimate with my beautiful fiancé. I wouldn’t even notice her because I clouded my head with so many images that were vacant and honestly, a lie. These women were not as good as her. I know that. She was the best thing that ever happened to me and I lost her because I was too stubborn and stuck at that time to change and see how sick I was.

      That being said – she made a valid point. It’s usually quiet, shy types that need to have this power. My fiancé used to tell me that she wished I would just go talk to the women I was staring at. Instead of embarrassing her by following or staring or catching eyes. She said that would have been better.

      But you see, I wouldn’t. Because when a man or woman can’t have intimacy or is scared of it, the FANTASY of whomever they are staring at is what is feeding you. If you say hi to the waitress or the woman who has a ring on and her voice isn’t what you thought it should be, or you talk to her and you realize, she’s not that great, then the fantasy is ruined. And you don’t want the reality. It’s really sad. Because if men that did all this gawking like myself realized that they are making up a lot of the story in their head, they would probably stop quicker.

      I doubt one conversation with him changed him. He sounds like how I was and it took a lot of soul searching and trauma work to realize how deep rooted this issue was. Soothing by lust. So glad I’m getting free from it every day. Does this make sense?

      1. 9.1.1

        Makes perfect sense, my boyfriend does this. He never really had a girlfriend and went to alot of strip clubs and watched porn. It hurts me to the point of tears to see him drooling over another girl, it’s a definite problem


      2. 9.1.2
        Elaina M Stokes

        Amen!!! So good you can see now and overcome it

      3. 9.1.3
        Janet DeJesus

        yes it does!!! This is what I go through with my fiancé and father of two children. This is also the reason why we haven’t married. Until now after 13 long years I am building the courage to give up.

      4. 9.1.4

        Thank you for sharing your story, Joe.   It takes a lot of courage and dedication to overcome such a struggle – huge credit to you.

    2. 9.2
      Jem Harper

      You actually think this guy has no idea what he is doing to his girlfriends heart. What is the guy 12 years old or never dated women in his life before. Look, his girlfriend brought his behavior   to his attention so he has been put on notice unless he has a very low IQ and is disabled mentally   to grasp concepts. He became agitated over his girlfriend feeling disrespected which tells me he is selfish and self centered and chooses to ignore her.   My advice to her would be do not believe all the pretty things a guy says to you unless his behavior supports his words and his actions back it up. Do not listen to what a guy says so much   but pay attention to how he treats you and respects you and dont   not make excuses for his disrespectful   behavior towards you. Anything he does bad to you now will only grow and magnify over time. I would not waste my time on a brand of love that is not of my personal taste because their are much classier and respectful brands out there to be enjoyed in a relationship.

      1. 9.2.1
        Sassy pants

        Jem, I agree with you.   I recently broke up with a 56 year old man because he constantly flirted. T is an unintentional invitation period. His past behavior of constantly contacting women thru social media was ridiculous. He was always making excuses until I realized there was no rational reason someone would do that unless they were keeping their options open. I am too old for this shit. If he doesn’t realize if he is flirting…. and inviting problems into our relationship, then it is not worth working out. I am not invested and their are plenty of other men out there that I don’t have to fix or fight for.   I have talked to him and he got always got defensive.

    3. 9.3

      Evan what about love? Surely when two people create a bond, they make plans for their future together as a team. It’s one thing to say I love you, but words are usually followed with meaningful actions: embracing, intimate conversations, laughing together while creating that “I got your back” feeling.

      Let me give you an example: Take the pilot and co-pilot flying in combat. They are in sync with one another because their life depends on it. They know each others, quirks, personality, vulnerabilities, triggers. If one starts star-gazing out the window dreaming about other pilots, well, you get the picture.

      We all look at other people from time to time and wonder “what if”. But this man got defensive when she asked him about a behavior that made her feel insecure. Why? He had a golden opportunity to build confidence in the relationship and share his thoughts and feelings.   If your partner is hurting or feeling insecure why wouldn’t you want to help them? Think empathy.

      You stated “the woman can decide for herself if she can live with his level of inappropriate flirtation.”

      Tough to marry when me means more than we.






    4. 9.4
      Taritza Rodriguez

      Great topic! Would be great to read another article on the “correlation and a slippery slope from lustful looks to infidelity.”

  10. 10

    Hi. My name is Mark. I’m a 38 year old divorced father of 2. I like to appreciate the beauty of the human form, actually all natural physical beauty. Although I’m completely straight I will even mention if a man is unusually attractive. All that said, if I could find “the one” I would make damn sure that I never “over-looked”.

    1. 10.1

      This is almost the perfect answer…completely honest

  11. 11

    I think a lot of people muddy the waters by contrasting ogling with cheating. Ogling always gets dismissed by some excuse like: “Well, he may be an ogler, but at least he’d never cheat.”

    Ogling by itself, can be hugely inappropriate. My father never once cheated on my mother in their 50+ years of marriage. But he wouldn’t hesitate to blatantly turn his chair in a restaurant so he could stare at a woman he found attractive.

    I spent years watching my mother suffer in embarrassed silence while my father swanned around fancying himself a real ladies man, calling waitresses “honey” and stewardesses “dollface”.

    He used the same arguments that Evan uses too. He’d complain that my mother was trying to stifle the side of him that she fell in love with. She once confided to me that there was nothing about that side of him she loved at all. She tolerated that he was a schmooze and self-promoting fake in public, and it was his tender, private side when they were alone that she loved.

    I love my dad, but it makes me very angry to think of how he treated my mother all those years. And for the record, she did tell him that his behavior hurt her, and he just couldn’t stop himself from flirting and making eyes at other women.

    So, Karen, just because your man isn’t a a “womanizer” does not make it OK for him to be the way he is.

  12. 12

    Evan said: “Instead, find a time when everything’s humming along and say, “I’ve been thinking… Now you have his attention. “…

    And that’s when men accuse us women of bringing up their past mistakes out of the blue.

    Karen, I’m sorry, but I just don’t think there is a non-threatening or neutral way to bring his flirting/staring up to him. I don’t know of a single real-world scenario where a girl told her boyfriend that his wandering eye was hurting her feelings and he calmly accepted her statements and stopped doing what he was doing.

    Personally, I don’t think a girl should have to have this conversation with a guy. Any more than a girl should have to ask her boyfriend to not make those farting noises with his armpit at the dinner table. If he’s behaving that way… if he has to be told…then he’s not ready for a serious relationship. Sounds like your boyfriend has a long way to go.

    Like you said, he entertains himself by forcing eye contact with women. Really? The last guy who did tried that with me was a 16-year old gangbanger. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to be there to watch this guy acquire some maturity.

    I don’t think anyone here would fault you if you just excused yourself from the relationship as drama-free as possible – without making an issue of his staring – by saying you don’t think it’s a good fit.

    1. 12.1

      I agree with you I have been with a man that did that and it started to make me have low self worth, and feel ugly about my self,to the point of crying myself to sleep,and staying away from him so it won’t hurt.

  13. 13

    Whether intended or not – and I know most guys have no idea what they’re doing when they stare at other women – she needs to get across to him somehow that what he’s doing hurts her. And he can’t be defensive about it.

    A friend of mine went through this with her husband when they first started dating. He was a bit younger than she, but when he realized how much it hurt her he made a concious effort to stop.

    There is no reason why anybody should settle for anything less than total respect in a relationship.

  14. 14


    He’s walking with his girlfriend and walks into stores where he spots an attractive woman through the window? I find that very weird, kinda creepy even. Add to that, the one time his gf jokingly points out his gazing, he gets defensive and won’t say anything? I’ll bet his behavior has been pointed out to him before by previous girls he has dated.

    I concur completely with Selena.

    In regards to the defensiveness being a sign old dates have brought up the issue before, I have seen this pattern recently for myself. A friend of mine is living with a guy who is a tremendous slob. We aren’t talking about socks on the floor, but Oscar Madison leauge stuff. When she talked to him about it he got very defensive and later indicated that previous girlfriends had brought it up with him. He still hasn’t changed.

    I’m with Evan on this, give him one good chance with one non-threatening conversation about it. If he doesn’t change, move on.

  15. 15

    hi mark,

    where do you live? i’m in the chicago area.


  16. 16
    Jen from NYC

    I used to believe that my boyfriend should ONLY lust after me and yeah, look at other girls, but not be turned on by other girls. Yeah, that was so five years ago. As I have grown older, more mature and way more confident with myself, I have come to accept that it would be completely rediculous and unrealistic of me to think my man would not check out other women. Oh, and that my man would not sometimes comment on other women. It is normal, human, and animalisitc. In fact, if he didn’t sometimes say the stupid coments he says about other girls (i.e. she has big boobs or she is pretty) than I would worry. I dated a guy who used to tell me the men we saw in Nordstroms men department were good looking…..yeah that relationship did not work out!

    Okay, so where does this all leave Karen? Well Karen, I guess the question is, if you have addressed this like Evan wrote, in a non-judgemental and calm manner, and he continues to practice the same behavior that you find hurtful, than it is time to re-evaluate and perhaps find a guy who tells you are beautiful and marriage material and ALSO respects your wishes. As a social worker and someone who has a lot of experience in speaking with people, even people who are close to me, about sensative topics, it really does work best when you do not attack the person, but rather express your feelings in a rational, calm tone. No one really responds well to being yelled at or criticized. People shut down and stop listening when they are attacked. (Not that I am accusing you of attacking your man.)

    Personally, I would so not be okay with my man physically taking me into a store, restaurant, etc to just “check out” how hot a girl is. That crosses the line. I mean,okay lets say you both spot Catherine Zeta Jones. I would run into the restaurant and stare too as she is my woman crush. If he did it once and thought it was funny, than okay. But repeatidly while holding your hand is just bizarre and I 100% think he is aware of what he is doing. In fact, if he is constantly telling you how sexy and beautiful you are….is that out of guilt and making up for his inappropriate behavior? I get mad at my boyfriend sometimes for not telling me enough that I am pretty, sexy, etc, but I think if i heard it all the time, I would feel it was so disengenous. You know? Actions speak volumes over words!!!!

    Lastly, and sorry for the novel, but no one known your man like you do. What do your instincts tell you? As a woman, you have the gd given gift of listening to your gut if you chose to pay attention. Let me end by saying (and please all situations are different I know) that I dated this guy who told me constantly how great I was, how I was his soul mate, how pretty I was, and that I was going to be his wife….but he also told me all the time how pretty his sister was, and I would could I not be more like her, and did things that consitently hurt me. Okay, so he told me all the right stuff in order to convince me I was the “one”, but not one of his actions as a boyfriend showed me or made me feel I was the one. I dumped him. It hurt like hell and I was upset for months, but in the end, I found a guy who yeah, looks at other girls (most guys do) but is overall very respectful about it, we can laugh about it, and shows me on a daily basis (and tells me at just the right time) that I am one of the most important people in his life. That is why I go to sleep at night knowing my man loves me, but can check out other girls repsectfully, and I never have to wonder.

    Jen 🙂

    1. 16.1

      I can’t even take your comment seriously as you do not have proper vocabulary. I ” shut down ” when someone can’t spell.

      To say that it is normal for a man to check out other women is beyond me. Let me tell you a story about my various girlfriends.
      EX 1: Horrible. Beyond horrible. An insane alcoholic who cheated on me several times sometimes with my friends. A complete sociopath, and a pyschopath. Pulled a knife on me once because I told her I didn’t want to talk at that very moment and needed time to myself to think and breathe. She was a mean, violent, drunken pyscho.
      I did not respect her. She abused me, herself, her body, her friends, etc. I had no respect or ” love ” for her. I was mostly attached due to attachment issues that I have from my father. I also didn’t want to be alone, and I found her behaviour so humerous that I really wanted to see what next. What else can this one do? Seriously, while an overwhelming, sick and painful experience, now that I have grown up and matured, it was hilarious.
      Back to my original point, I didn’t respect her. I certanily didn’t love her or want to spend the rest of my life with her.
      I checked out other women. I wasn’t a pathetic man drooler, but I did check out women.
      EX 2: She wasn’t abusive. She was paranoid. A pathological liar, paranoid, jealous and insecure. She was so worried that I would cheat on her or leave her for another woman. It got the point where I wasn’t even allowed outside. If I went to the store, or whatever, it would be a huge chore just to get out of the house anyways, because she would constantly say ” don’t check out other women’s butts ” or ” don’t check out other women, PERIOD! ” or ” don’t cheat on me ” etc. She would even make passive comments like ” have fun looking at girls without me there to get upset “. When I would get home from a ten minute trip to the store, she would ask me if I did, or who I saw, or if I even wanted to come home.
      She was OBSESSED with women, was jealous and insecure of every walking woman on the planet. I couldn’t talk to or say thank you to a cashier. I couldn’t make eye contact with women. I couldn’t even go see my female therapist without my ex literally having anxiety attacks a few days before I might want to leave her for my god damn therapist or have sexual urges.
      I couldn’t play video games with female characters, I couldn’t watch movies with women, I couldn’t do anything without a problem or having to deal with hours of tense silence because she was SO sure that I was a man-whore and that I checked out women all the time obsessively and that I wanted to leave her.
      Now, I’ll be honest. I DIDN’T look at women at first. Never. Wouldn’t even glance, until she talked about asses and women all the time and her paranoid insecurities until eventually, I did start looking. It was as if she engrained it in my brain. I’m not saying it’s her fault. I take responsibility but then again, envision someone saying ” OH MY GOD, A CAT A CAT A CAT ” until eventually you’re like ” what? Where? “. I never thought about asses or women until she talked about them all the time.
      Eventually her paranoia made her seem and sound stupid and lack intelligence. The way she thought of me when I had done nothing wrong but treat her like a queen made me lose respect in her. Eventually her obsessions and obsessive issues with trying to control me killed all my feelings for her.
      And I checked out other women.

      CURRENT WIFE: My dream come fucking true. A beautiful, sexy, hot, gorgeous and adorable woman all in one. A package deal.
      She is not paranoid. She does not freak out when a woman walks by, in fact she doesn’t care. She is confident. She is not abusive to me or anyone. She loves her parents, loves her friends and treats them well. She loves taking care of people. She is the definition of selfless. Generous, loving, caring.
      She will let me go have a few drinks with my friends. She will in fact, buy the first round, and will kiss me on the cheek and say ” have fun guys! ” and she is confident that I will go home to her and will have my mind on her all night.
      She even saved my mother’s life by performing CPR but that is a story for another time.
      She loves my parents, she just loves my family and treats them well. My parents say I’m the luckiest man on Earth, and I am.
      She loves herself and she loves me. She doesn’t lay eyes on men. She is friends with my friends. She respects them. My friends agree that I’m the luckiest man on Earth.
      My wife literally orders us all pizza and wings on game night and goes upstairs when she needs her privacy. We don’t ask her to do this, she just does. My friends love her company because she is non-judgemental, understanding, has a wonderful sense of humour, treats them with respect, and is helpful towards them.
      She has never lied to me. I never question her because I never need to. She is incredibly honest. She is my partner, doesn’t act like my mother and she respects me. She loves me. She is all around a wonderful god damn person.
      Do I check out other women? Fuck NO! Because I respect my wife too much. I love my wife too much. She is too amazing and gives me all I need and I do not need to look. Other women are all incredibly disapointing.
      There is nothing else when you already have the best of the best. She is the best. She is my best, and I do not and would not even think to look at another woman.
      That is love. That is respect. That is a mature, loving and honest relationship.
      Call it whatever the fuck you want. Say ” all men look ” say it’s ” normal ” but it’s not. Men that truly love their wives and respect them the way I love and respect mine would NEVER look or even think of looking at another woman.
      A woman could rip off her shirt, pull her pants down and start thrusting and I would look away. I would not be tempted to cheat on my perfect wife.
      That is what you all deserve. Never settle for anything less like some do because they believe the pathetic, ” animalistic ” idea that all men look and it doesn’t mean anything and it’s normal! Because it’s not. It’s fucking bullshit and I feel sorry for anyone in a relationship with a eye wanderer.
      You deserve better. You all do.
      Stop wasting your time on tools, and get out and find a real man.

      1. 16.1.1

        Finally a man that tells the truth. I’m married a year now and my husband is perfect in every way except this. I have noticed him look quickly. I think he thinks I don’t notice. He dosen’t gawk, but it does bother me. I am here on this feed because I’m trying to figure out how to let him know I do notice, and it bothers me without causing a huge drama. The way you have discribed your wife is the way I am actually and I am really not worried about him cheating on me at all. I want him to have the freedom to come and go like he wants and I would never question him about where he has been things like that. This one thing does bother me though, and I feel disrespected because of it, but don’t know how to relate this to him. We were in a store the other day looking for dog food, and a very attractive large breasted woman walked by. I noticed her so I looked to see if he did and boy did he…lol Anway, while we were in the store he was walking down the aisle she had just went down quickly hoping to catch and another quick look at her, and he did. I could tell she was getting a bit uncomfortable and when i caught up with him I was like, you are too funny, I laughed at him. He didn’t even ask me what I was talking about because he knew. Even though I laughed it did bother me. Another time this happened and these are the only ones I have noticed without doubt he was looking. We went to buy corn for our hunting lease and there was a woman there selling it. She was nothing to really brag about but he was leaning out his window and asked her the price and lingered there a long time after she told him. From her blushing expression a little more was going on than a price check, and I saw a man coming up to them from behind her, and he obviously noticed something he thought was humorus, so I was pretty sure there was some flirting going on there from her behavior and the other guy’s behavior. I was a minister’s wife for 31 years before I married my now present husband and I have learned how to read people and personalities very well.   I am not a parinoid freak. My late husband worked very close with women and it never once bothered me because he never looked at women like this. Anyway, I’m telling you all this I guess because it really encouraged me that there are really men like you that will be honest about this behavior. I’m going to talk to him next time he does this and he will proabably call me paranoid or crazy, but I have to speak my feelings because I can’t live this way. It makes me wonder just how far this flirting goes when I am not with him. Just sayin…

        1. twinkle

          @Brenda: I don’t really get it. U are sure that he won’t cheat. But u feel bothered because he notices other attractive women?   Now and then he’ll watch a movie and see a woman like Charlize Theron or Natalie Portman who are probably 10 times prettier than any woman he sees in public, and I’m pretty sure he’ll notice how hot she is. So I don’t quite understand why women get upset or jealous when their partner glances at an attractive woman on the street.

          Your partner doesn’t ogle either, just does a quick glance. I’m rather fortunate because my current guy has yet to notice any other woman on a date with me (as far as I can tell, haha) but he did once glance at a big billboard of a beautiful model for a half-second. I didn’t mind–I had noticed her too, after all! And he doesn’t mind if we’re watching TV and I mention how gorgeous Keanu Reeves is, lol.  

          I think u should count urself lucky that u have a guy who is quite respectful when he sees other attractive women. Maybe u could talk to him and ask him to pls not go overboard with the flirting, but u can’t really blame him for stealing a glance or 2 at a beautiful woman in public right? Being married doesn’t make him blind.

        2. Kevin

          I echo the spirit of what Justin said.   A quick notice of someone attractive is one thing – that’s normal, and we ALL (women included) do it, unless you’re literally blind.   But leering at someone for 15 seconds or more or repeatedly and following into stores – that’s a REAL problem.   Hopefully the guy in the case at hand is sincere in his apologies to Karen and will truly work on it  immediately and stop, and she’ll see the progress.   But staring and flirting – most people who do that as part of their way of life end up cheating on their  spouse or significant other.   Just speaking from years of  dating experience and the heartbreaking experiences of many other friends and family.

        3. Mary

          \these men dont feel good about themselves they have low self esteem. What they look like does not matter. Maybe they came from abuse growing up but by age 50 a man whose never married has had plenty of opportunity to find himself   and date and meet many women he should be well over that by now. You could expect this behavior from a teenager up to 20 years old…why is it you dont see women doing this behavior??

      2. 16.1.2

        I can understand Nancy’s comment. My man of 6 yrs. Was very flirty right in front of me everywhere we went!!! I watched,observed for a bit then one night while he was driving in the car he almost wrecked! We ended up in a ditch ! I flipped out saying if you weren’t so *****busy staring at *******all the time this wouldn’t of happened. He began to say I was crazy imagining things etc. I’m the only one for me blah blah blah I said to him it makes me feel like I’m not good enough for you, hurts me I carry myself like a lady everywhere I go. Etc. He goes to say men are hunters….blah blah blah I’m like wtf???? Dumped him a week later glad I did came to find out he was cheating on me with 2 other woman _! Woman came knocking on my door to tell me he wasn’t shit…because he left her for the other one! Well my point my opinion ….if your man is flirty and stares a lot very disrespectful….I never will tolerate that again or give a man my power of making me feel less than ,low self esteem or take away my confidence. I know have a man who treats me like a queen we communicate and talk his actions line up with his words!!! When he says I’m beautiful and the only one for him I believe it! I know I’m a beautiful woman inside and out. Never let a man make you feel less than cause he has s wondering eye!!! Never let him take your self esteem confidence and self worth away!!! You deserve to be treated with respect!!! And that’s not respect! Js….

      3. 16.1.3

        Justin, wow … what you said ….   that is exactly what I am looking for in a man.   My number one pet peeve is a flirt!!!!!   Your words have given me hope that there are some decent, respectful men still out there.

      4. 16.1.4

        Thank you so much for this Justin.   Just dated a messed up sociopath and have found it so hard to get over him because of how much he messed with my mind, hot and cold, games all the bs, then randomly dumped. I am an empathetic and selfless person that honestly was just myself with him, gave him my heart, and got close to him before realizing he was just playing his game. It’s been tough. This post just reminded me that there really are  respectful  guys that still exist.

  17. 17
    mrs. vee

    Karen –

    Overly flirtatious men like your boyfriend or Gigi’s father are deeply insecure. They’re the male counterparts of those bimbo women who go out in too much makeup and not enough clothing to get noticed. At the end of the day, they just want the attention. They want constant reassurance that they’re likable and desirable, because they can’t generate that sense of self-confidence from within.

    Ironically, most flirtatious men consider themselves confident because they’re willing to do what it takes to get the kind of attention they want. But ultimately, what’s more genuinely sexy/confident? the strong silent type who already knows his self-worth? or the self-ingratiating guy who gets in your face and insists you find him endearing?

    To me, it’s a no brainer.

    So I ‘m not surprised that you’re getting an ick reaction to your boyfriend’s behavior. He’s wearing his insecurity on his sleeve.

    Good luck!

    1. 17.1

      mrs. vee, I love that you call it like it is. I love that you see through the BS. I think you should start your own sort of “dear abby” or blog. You bring a fresh wisdom to the long list of excuses people make for their behavior.

    2. 17.2

      Love that answer!


    3. 17.3

      Lol! I love this – makes me feel a whole lot better.   I just think when you’re really in love w someone, staring at the opposite sex shouldn’t even be a thought anymore.   On occasion you see the rare model like attractive person, which no one could help notice.   But to notice every other female that passes by is concerning and disheartening, especially when they claim how much they love you and want to marry you.   It’s not pleasant.   And to me it’s more than about disrespect, it’s how they feel about being in a committed relationship rather than being single with their options.   Why lead anyone on when you’ve got your eyes roaming elsewhere?

  18. 18
    Jen from NYC

    Just a side note, I check out other guys too. We are human. Just because you love someone and commit yourself to one person, does not mean you can turn off the natural instinct to find others attractive. I work in a hospital with a lot of hot doctors, but I am not intentionally following them down the halls to talk to them or staring at them. I flirt, we all flirt but that is where it stops!


    1. 18.1

      I agree with mrs. vee.   I am dating a guy who is super social   and uses this tactic to flirt with other women.   It makes him look bad and it makes me look like a fool.   When I ask him about it in a nice way, he gets defensive and says that I am jealous of everyone.   I guess he thinks the best defense is a good offense but he is hurting and losing an amazing women.. me.   I have more respect for myself than that.  

  19. 19

    We’re all human. We all look. This has nothing to do with the fact that he may find other women attractive. Most contributors to this thread acknowledge that it’s not the fact he’s attracted to other women that’s a problem.

    The issue here is the odd, creepy behavior the guy’s exhibiting, and the underlying immaturity/insecurity that causes him to act the way he does.

    Even if he stops his visible behavior upon request, I’d still worry about what’s left in his psyche.

  20. 20

    Christine, I’m near Philly.

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