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,


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. 121

    Honestly I think this whole scenario is either guy that is still a teenager because of previous addiction,  or he has been watching porn and has conditioned response to femaies or he is insecure and seeking reinforcement from women for his insecurities…no matter how you look at this type of crap has probaly screwed up a ton of relationships with women but the dummy still doesn’v connect the dots that it is a deeper underlying problem… This will tax your energy and time. If you invest in this relationship it will eat at you because if he does in your face what goes on behind close doors. You will lose more and more respect for him and over time you will resent him. That he does not respect himself more and lacks  respects for I believe that there are rules of conduct because you were not socialized and educated by the parent correctly does not mean you are no responsible or accountable for your actions of course if your four or five years old things are different

  2. 122

    He  was  abused as a child by his mother physically and emotionally  So I think the pain gets buried deep …in the   unconscious Later  all women will be punished , degraded or disrespected in some way because it is the only way to try to get the abuse  and pain out however the
    pain is projected onto all women ..look at me I’m sick! So,  down the path you go with a immature sick man and there is no way you can build a sturdy foundation with someone when they are so BROKEN And I no longer  wonder why his ex wife has to alway win the child support stuff and nickle and dime him to death  she ” kicks him when heS
    is up,  kicks him when he is down, and kicks him all around.” I think she  realized  he was disrespecting her so she wants to paid for all the emotional anguish and pain and she  will get it at any price …it appears to be a hefty price tag. I wonder if that is the price for creating so much  Pain her in the past. So no matter who this type of man ends with all you can do is feel really sorry for the women because she has to deal with a level of  immaturity,and a form of  emotional abuse.

  3. 123

    My first husband was the most wonderful , thoughtful,  and  respectful spiritual and wise man. I  knew in my heart that he was loyal..  real love is safe and because of it  i felt a deep inner peace, I trusted him and respected him I was loyal to him. I  never ever saw him turn to look at a women in fact he had too much respect for himself and me to ever do such a thing. I would point out a beautiful actress  or women to him sometimes. Because he made me feel safe and secure in the context of the relationship , I never felt uneasy  he was normal. We later parted  Now I’ve dated two men that stared and flirted with women one would even leave the table at dinner to go look
    at women. ..and this is what I have decided men who watch porn are addicted and triggered by certain types of  women. . Men are so consumed with staring at the women  careless about who it hurts, even if it destroys a pile of  relationships this type of guy needs psychiatric help.   Men that need womens  attention to feel okay are insecure and have childhood issues. Seeking attention of strangers  is a needy childish way of being and telling long winded stories is another insecure needy way of getting attention.  One day I was waiting for my BF to pick up tickets for a basketball game I hated going with him anywhere because he more of  a hassle so he goes to get the tickets e he was gone for a long time so that day all these festivities were going on outside the pavillion  while  he was  away a handsome guy asked me to stand on this giant concrete planter with him and smoke a clove cig, I don’t smoke, but I accepted. While we stood on the planter  and I can see my BF and we watched him glued to this window looking at the back on this young girl she was with her boyfriend they were maybe sixteen . As we the handsome guy and I stood watching from this birds eye view …i watched my bf  glued to window in same position for over fourty , looking at the back of this girl ,  by that time the handsome  guy and I  had smoked a few  clove cig,  the handsome guys turns to me says leave this freak now! Go out with me and I swear I  would never ever do such a freakin weriodo  thing. Please  let me take you out! That is when I realized that my bf was so totally crazy.   I left my bf …sometimes you got to see things with your eyes for it to really sink in! Years have passed and he still has not been able to marry anyone he is now in his  late fourties  most of his early life is now over . He wants so much to marry but  volumes of women keep running  away just as fast as they can!He is in denial and clueless for the reason why.  He is a porn addict. When you get tangled up in this type of relationship it causes more hardship,  pain and insecurity  then anything else. Leave at the first sign do not waste years of your life hoping and praying. Just know God has better plans for you.   

    1. 123.1

      Wow, I wish someone would have me stand on a planter and show me the truth. I suspect my husband may be doing this when out of eye shot, but is too sly to get caught. I pray that if it’s happening someone would have the decency to tell me. The clove cigs or a new guy – I’ll pass on, no thank you. But although I suspect it must be true I just cannot trace it yet. It’s just the way other women look at him when we go places together and then they look at me like I’m a laughing stalk, almost as if they know something about him I don’t know. I remember looking at other women that way and feeling sorry for them and angry at their husband in the past, when I was young and more beautiful.

  4. 124

    Lostspirit and Sophi–
    Wow, you both are absolutely right, I felt like you were inside my head. It’s the most painful thing I’ve ever dealt with, and I just need to get up the courage now to make a decision about what I need to do. Break up and leave him, or continue this cycle of madness, anger, insecurity and hurt. Very very sad indeed. Bless you.

  5. 125

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for being so open about what you’re experiencing. You have a legitimate reason to feel insecure.

    I would recommend being totally honest with your boyfriend. Tell him the things you told us. Its hard at first I know. But in my experience, after I started voicing my opinions and concerns, I only had the boyfriend thanking me in the future for doing so. There was no “oh, youre demanding way too much from me”. It was more like he became aware that there were just somethings I wasnt going to put up with and if he wanted to stay with me things would have to change.

    Were still working on that really. I made statements like “you give the prettiest girl in the room all of the attention and that really turns me off. I want to be with a man who makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the room, whether I am or not.” Which is true, and I will leave a man if he cannot abide by this. They are rare and few but some men just know how to treat a girl with utmost respect. And some discustingly dont, it hurts. Some women dont care and deal with it well. Im not that woman and I dont think you are either. Get yourself a romeo and I will too.

    I always worry how much more he looks when Im NOT around. People say the men arent cheating so whats the big deal — well, its the principle that counts. I just hate that he seems to be thinking of cheating and will maybe fantasize later while in bed with me. Ugh the truth hurts. Do they not love us enough? Men? Help!

  6. 126

    Evan, I agree with what you’ve said up to a point.  Whether he’s unaware or not, I think she was being extremely understanding about it.  And her confrontation was as reasonable as could be expected.  Most women will not be that level-headed when confronting him.  

    When you’re walking around with your boyfriend and he’s openly checking out other women (aware or not…personally I don’t see how he CAN’T be aware, but not the point) it sends the wrong message to other women.

    I’ve been that other woman before.  No matter how much a man loves his girlfriend, if he’s staring at me, I pity her.  She looks like a fool.
    And some of the predatory women will see it as an invitation. 

    His rights don’t negate this wrong, which, in my opinion, is a real problem.  

    He should sort himself out! End of story! 

    1. 126.1

      50, never married, refusing to acknowledge he seeks to lock eyes and have prolonged eye contact With women – complete denial. Walking around clutching my hand whilst seeking out potential skirt! Looking through every shop window at the women inside – and i see a women staring back out at him – its a compulsion. I am convinced its an addiction – i am sure he gets a big kick from a woman’s blushes from his expressionless look, refusing to take his eyes off hers.  He stands out of view behind me just to look at a glamorous women on the makeup counter – his whole body is square on.  Yes she sometimes looks at me with sympathy – and some women are more game.  I don’t think he wants to take it further but it is a huge ego boost.  
      Looking round at other couples shopping, they may be following with dislike for shopping, but all the same they still appear respectful of their partner.
      my man scans the shop as soon as we walk through the door – even at women stood still queuing at the cash desk – what the shop is selling is often of little interest.  You can guess I soon lose interest in the shop and find myself following his fixed gaze as we make our way around each aisle.
      love makes u very accepting and can send u crazy.  Dare I be so bold as to add that men look at me – i do not need to confirm this and look at them with interest.  
      I am sad to say I am with him and have to accept it.  where it will lead who knows.  I have given up trying to work out how to change his behaviour some way by changing mine.
      But men, look by all means, please keep your eyes moving, be subtle.  The grass really is not greener – if you have someone lovely, cherish that!

  7. 127
    well well

    I’m supposed to move states to marry a man who said he flirted with other girls because his exgirlfriend didnt give him enough attention in the past and was looking to meet someone possibly. Then I see on his FB a little wink that he had a quick conversation with a girl named (whorish name for real) and wondered what she did for a living. (likely a stripper). He is social and a real charmer but that wont work on me this time. (some other girl says he was flirting but she is really crazy i beleive but i also think he is lying and just didnt admit it cause he relalized she was crazy)
    I am mad because it needs trust and respect for a commitment like was said above especially so in my situation, and yes it makes me look stupid. I am open minded if he wants to quickly look at a girl or say someone is attractive even to another person that is ok but i have my limits too. No I’m not worried about that whore or anyone else taking my man but i got standards.
    So i am going to ignore him if he calls me tonight he will get this speech and no i dont know if he is ready for commitment or if i will consider breaking up with him if he continues and if he tries to say im insecure that will be dick move number 2, so i will consider dumping his ass and will tell him i dont want to talk to him right now I need to think and let him off the phone and maybe ignore some more if he doesnt consider what i say he will be dumped…will give updates. I listen to my gut, and yes it kills my heart.

  8. 128
    Flower White

    Oh Karen…what happened?

    And it appears as though many posters here haven’t truly read this blog cause if you ladies did you’d not be writing paragraphs about men that you should leave.

    Give him a mulligan. Once! Twice, say bye bye

    Women accept the bad behavior! That isn’t love it’s torture.

    His eyeballing other ladies bothers you? Leave him, nothing to talk about, make room for an acceptable man! 

  9. 129

    Ok, I’ve read all these comments and can relate to most. My boyfriend of 2 years has female friends. I had no problem with that. But, after 30 years, an old best friend came into the picture. She sent him naked pics of her on texts and he spoke to her in a sexual manner because, “she was depressed and I wanted her to feel better.” He said. I was extremely hurt. I feel love is not supposed to hurt. What he did was build her self esteem up and diminish mine. He too tells me everyday that I’m beautiful (although I know that’s not true) How important I am too him, blah blah blah…The friend has professed her love to him and carried a torch for him for over 30 years. He claims to not want to be with her in any other means but as friends. He said he told her that and she was understanding and appologized for getting in between our relationship. I looked @ his texts from her and he didnt answer her for a couple of days and she said to him, if you don’t want me then tell me and I will stop communication. This means he didn’t tell her what he said he did. He has hurt me so deeply that I feel undesirable to him if he has this need to get such attention from other woman. I can no longer get dressed in front of him because I feel he liked what he saw in the pics she sent because he didn’t delete them from his phone until I questioned him about it. He then deleted them in front of me. I do know he loves me but I will never be enough for him. I swear this man is in my thoughts day and night. Every decision I make he is considered. I cook, clean and do laundry. Make sure he’s satisfied in bed by taking care of him. I feel I’m not as important to him as he is to me. We have tried the “talking thing” screaming and crying thing. Still he continues to hurt me every single day. He talks to this “friend” 6-7 times a day and ignores my calls or cuts me short because she’s on the other line. I love this man with all my heart and soul and I don’t want to break things off with him but I’m literally sick of being hurt by him. I know what I have to do I’m just not ready to loose a part of my heart right now. TY for letting me vent.

  10. 130

    If you haven’t brough it up yet then you really should talk about it.

     In my personal experience my boyfriend would look at other girls when we first started dating. Not over look but he would still glare. At one point he actually had the nerve to ask me over the phone, while he was with his friends, if I would mind if he went to a strip club one day. To make things clear I was 22 he was 19 when we first started dating so of course we were both young but we did fall inlove and eventually ended up making plans for our future. His friends were worse than that. I met one of his friends at a party. The whole time his friend was talking about this girl he liked and started dating while a different girl at the party was literally all over him and he did nothing to stop it and flirted back with her. His friend even asked me what I think, as in if he should go for it. This was the typical mindset of this guy.

    So back to my boyfriend and his question of whether I would mind if he went to a strip club. I told him he can do whatever he wants. I said, “If that’s something you really want to do then go ahead why should I stop you. But that’s not the kind of guy I want to be with.” If I were to do the same then I would have no right to complain or judge but I’m not a shallow person. There are many things that are far more important to me before I think about how attractive a person is. Don’t get me wrong of course there has to be some attraction but I believe a persons qualities can make their appearance more to my liking. Respect and honor are two very important things to me and I would never settle for less than what I give. You deserve what you give.

    So back to me and my boyfriend. We’re still together its been 2 years. We’ve lived together for 1 and half of those years. Once I told him my answer and we talked about where it came from he became a completely different person. He told me that his friend was someone he really looked up to. So he usually did as his friend did. Once he got my perspective he stopped looking and never brought up going to a strip club again. Now he’s far from shallow and a really sweet, respectful guy. I wouldn’t say I changed him I just gave him a different perspective and he took it however he wanted.

     However, he as been on the other side. One of our first dates was at the movies. We were watching one of the Twilight movies (not my choice) and Jacob one of the main characters would keep taking his shirt off. Everytime he did my boyfriend would either sigh and look at me or just give a look of uncomfortableness. I could care less if this Jacob took of his shirt. But in my boyfriends past relationships he had been with girls who like to look at other guys too so it bothered him to think I was lookiing at another guy but that was not the case at all. So in a way he was able to empathize and realized it’s not right to treat people that way.

     Not everyone is like that and you don’t/shouldn’t have to settle with it.

  11. 131

    Ladies wake up! I had the same problem with an ex husband and ex bf. Both of these men were deeply insecure and needed attention to validate themselves. They erre both mommys boys. Ex husband used to ogle and make comments about sexy girls. He turned out to be a cheater big time. Well i got back at him by cheating too! He ended up crying and saying how i ‘hurt’ him! Big baby well two can play that game. Then the ex bf after loved to look at other girls in front of me too. Sometimes he would gawk. Well this time I planned on being the mature one and not saying anything for a long time til one day i couldnt take it. I told him how hurt i was. He tried to stop but just couldnt. He turned out to be selfish in other ways and even admitted to meeting up with an ex behind my back which he lied about. I was so good to him and never once lookedd or cheated on him. Turns out he didnt stop bc his mother encouraged him to look as she accepted her ex husbands looking and cheating with a blind eye. The real readon they look is bc they are not ready to settle and are not that satisfied with what they have. At the same time they just wNt u to hang around until they make their minds up to see if something is better or to marry u and hope u can put up with this forever. My ex said he wanted girls to acknowledge him. He was in some ways a good bf but couldnt give this habit up for me. They just want to have their cake and eat it. I think women who marry these men are stupid. I know if this happens again i will definitely start checking out guys and playing fire with fire. These babies need to be hurt back as welll only ways guys learn is not thru talk but action. They are so selfish. Eventually my ex broke up with me over this and said that he would keep dumping girls until he would find one that didnt mind his staring. What a selfish jerk. 

  12. 132

    Run ladies run, these men are in love with the thought of being adored by other women and more than their dedication to loving you! It hurts, its hard to come to the reality that the guy you are with is like this.  If you are feeling insecure, hate going places with him or see attractive women and dread their presence because of how he will act around her trust in your instinct of why you are reading this blog and these posts – something is telling you to leave – it’s your instinct and it’s probably right.  It’s not what we want to hear or admit but the truth is in the action of the men in question.  Insecure men seek constant affirmation.  Healthy men only require YOUR affirmation. Google: histrionic personality disorder, narcissism, gas-lighting and you will likely find many traits that resemble the men you are talking about/reading about/dating/married to.   Flirting is an acceptable behavior by the singles crowd but we all know it’s a no-no when in a committed relationship.  Respect comes through in actions.  If your guy does not act appropriate and respectful to you now it’s doubtful he will change.  He could have a personality disorder.  He puts himself first and does not have strong values.  Some men claim they aren’t aware of their starring, but that’s like saying you aren’t aware of where your hands are at all times.  Some men can’t be alone  as it makes them feel unwanted so being in relationship gives them security and when they flirt and get rejected it’s ok because they have you.  Some men even are waiting for something better to come along and flirting assures them that they are actively pursing the next best thing and not missing out.  Many guys are shy and ‘putting it out there’ is enabling their fantasy girl to find them.  Men who are in love with their wives say that they don’t play these games because it is not healthy for their relationship and would hurt the one the love.  Any guy who does not understand this is not likely to be a quality mate.  When you are in public and he acts like a kid in a candy store wanting to get a piece of anything that looks good, run.  It’s not healthy behavior and the sickness will spread to you in ways that make you question yourself.  This behavior can be an indicator of someone who is likely to be dishonest about other things.  Men who have mommy issues often subconsciously act to seek female approval.  These men are in love with the thought of women loving them more than he is about loving you!  (lost spirit, I admire your attitude and thank you for your post!)

  13. 133

    My friends told me its normal, so even though his preoccupation with other women bothered me, I went ahead and married him. Guess what? It gets worse. Thirteen years later my face has fallen a little and he is always gawking at younger women, making some special peacock the center of his attention almost every time we go out. We have a child so I dont want to break his heart by divorcing him but he is breaking mine almost every day. The memories linger and turn you cold. Run now and dont look back.

  14. 134

    I had a very flirtatious ex-fiance. He invited to one of his friend’s wedding.  I paid $400 to fly there, bought a new dress, shoes, bag, and wrap.  Had to arrange for my kids to be babysat for the weekend.  Very expensive. Well, he decided that it was really funny to do a “cock block” routine with his other friend who was about 10 years younger than he and single because he looked like the youngest 25-year old bridesmaid was sweet on his buddy.  He left me to flirt with the bridesmaid all night long.  His friend’s wife told me that I shouldn’t be upset about it because it had nothing to do with me. It was the way they had always had fun.  At the end of the night when the girl transferred her attention to my fiance, he would say, sorry I’m not interested and then it was too late for her to take up with the other guy– so the cock block was accomplished.  My ex only had time to eat with me.  I ended up dancing with people I didn’t know just to avoid looking stupid and alone.  

    I did the thing that Evan suggested.  After several of these episodes and after this one, I said, It really hurt me when you left me to flirt with another woman right in front of me.  You left me alone at a wedding where I didn’t really know anyone.  It wasn’t fun for me.  He told me that it was his way of having fun and I just had to deal with it.  He was 47 years old, not 20 by the way.  

    He would constantly flirt with women and even with men. If a gay guy came onto him, he was his for the night too.  At a conference, he hung out with a gay guy who came on to him and grabbed his ass.  He went to a fancy restaurant with him and even rented a limbo.  He told me about it after he called me the next morning. He was having too much fun to call me on his business trip at night.  When we’d gone to the same city, he wouldn’t get a taxi for me (I had a herniated disk in my back) and made me walk every where and told me that he would only do diners (no fancy restaurants even though I offered to pay!).  Again, I didn’t know what to think.

    Three months before we were to be married, he decided to spent the one week of vacation that I had (I am an educator and got spring break off) to spend it with his friends golfing in another state.  I was selling my house and needed him to help me get it ready to sell and I was hoping that he’d spent the other half on a vacation with me and my children who were going to be his step children.  He went golfing and then called me one morning to tell me that he’d gotten into an altercation with a woman at a bar. He said she was flirting with him and she wanted him to buy her a drink.  He said no and she started grinding her private parts on him. He pushed her, she pushed back. She slapped him, he slapped her.  She kept grinding on him and he pulled her hair and then a bouncer came and told him to leave but took his picture first.   I was shocked.  He is 47 years old.  I know what likely happened is that he was flirting with her first and then she asked him for a drink. He probably bought one. Then she started flirting back.  He flirted some and then she wanted more drinks.  He’s rather cheap so I’m guessing he cut her off and she got pissed.  Then he got pissed.  This was the second one of these that he told me about…it was ridiculous.  

    I told him that I didn’t want to know about his flirtations with women.  If he wanted to flirt, he could do it on his business trips but not with me in the room.  He wanted to tell me because he got a high from the whole dynamic….he felt wanted, got a surge from his sexual prowess, and then got another when he either did it in front of me or told me about it because he knew I felt horrible about it….he would say, look you won…but I didn’t feel like a winner.  Sitting alone at that wedding watching couples slow dance and seeing my fiance flirting with another woman, touching her hair, laughing, touching her arm…it was like some stabbed me with a knife.  

    In the end, he ended our engagement (3 months before the wedding and after invitations were out) because I couldn’t be best friends with one of his ex-girlfriends.  It was all very hurtful. They flirted together too and the worst part was that his family encouraged it and invited her to every family event.  No other ex’s were invited.  He also would invite women he’d been “friends with benefits” with to parties at his house.  I knew how they knew him.  They gave him a BJ some random night whenever he felt lonely….and that was their “relationship.”  He wanted to keep a little fan club around and he wanted me to be president, I guess.  

    I can’t agree with Evan on this one.  Guys like my ex-fiance know that it hurts to see this kind of flirting and then they do it any way. I never made any big scene about it.  I tried to tell him calmly how much I loved him and appreciated him, but that his flirting really hurt me.  I wasn’t hurt by him flirting with the waitress or looking at a cute girl as we walked by, I was hurt by him totally abandoning me at a party or wedding to flirt with another woman right in front of me or when on a business trip, telling me that he couldn’t call me because he was having too much fun spending the night with a woman who was grinding her private parts on him.  

    I will never let another guy do that to me again.  In so many ways, his actions said he didn’t love me even though he told me that he did.

  15. 135

    Hey JD @ 135

    I’m so sorry for your awful experience. Your fiance clearly crossed right over the line of harmless behaviour into not-to-be-tolerated territory.  The difference is in how it made you feel. Barring some major insecurity issues, there is no reason any woman in a committed relationship should have to be fending off such awful feelings on a regular basis.

    You are best off out of that relationship, and have probably learnt something very valuable to boot.  I think there is a vast deal of difference between what Evan is talking about, being charming and friendly to other women because that is your nature, and being completely oblivious to the needs and feelings of your partner because you are looking for an ego/power boost.

  16. 136

    I know how that one feels. Girls do it also. I think if it is something that bugs you and if it keeps happening you should tell him that it’s bothering you a lot. My x gf used to flirt with other guys all the time and it drove me mad. I told her it bugged me a bunch and she didn’t listen…so I dumped her and now I’m happy…if its bugging you that much maybe you should just move on.

  17. 137

    I know this is an old post but I found it very helpful. I used Evan’s advice and it worked. In my case the man I’m seeing has a habit of commenting on women’s attractiveness, usually in a benign way that doesn’t bother me. We almost never watch TV when we’re together but on a couple of occasions while channel flipping he would make very sexual and not all at benign comments about every attractive or semi-attractive woman that came on the screen. I tried to laugh it off and would tell him in a friendly tone “hey, save that for when you’re alone willya?” but that wouldn’t stop him.
    The last time he did it was particularly bad and his comments about how some scantily clad women on some show were “the sexiest women” “so hot, gorgeous” etc.. were so hurtful. It didn’t matter to me that they were just images on a screen and that there was no possibility of him leaving me for them, it still hurt, made me feel like chopped liver sitting there and completely killed any desire to be physical with him. 
    I read this article and others and realized that if I ignored my feelings and did not talk about it with him that I would just grow resentful and that he would probably continue to behave the same way. I vented the worst of my feelings on paper (then shredded it) and approached him a couple days later with a few bullet points. I acknowledged that this would seem ridiculous to him, but that when he reacted in that way to women with me sitting right there next to him that it hurt my feelings and also was a major sexual turn-off. 
    Before I could even get my brief spiel out he was apologizing and clearly felt awful for having hurt me. He was practically promising to never watch TV again but I tried to make it clear that we all find others attractive, that’s natural and not a problem but that expressing so much sexual interest in other women in my presence was. I encouraged him to enjoy looking at those women when I’m not around, pick up a Playboy or something once in a while (he’s religious and extremely opposed to porn, so I doubt he would do even that) so he would know that I’m not trying to control his sexuality or restrict him unreasonably. 
    He is an engineer so I’ve learned that hints don’t work with him. I have to spell it out. He had known that something was “off” with me that night I’d left after the last incident but did not connect it to his comments at all, while I’d been assuming that it must be obvious to anyone that I was hurt and upset. 
    It’s been a couple months now and there’s been no more “commenting” and he’s been great about keeping his eyes and attention on me when we go out to dinner and other places too. Evan’s advice can work, especially if the guy in question is motivated to keep you.

  18. 138

    The dinner starts out with both of us polite and friendly to the waitress. As the meal progresses,  my husband begins smiling at waitresses even as they walk away from the table. This makes some feel uncomfortable.
    One waitress who knows him as Attorney X, looks uncomfortable as she reminds him at payment, ‘Atty. X, did I tell you I she just got married over the summer?” Yes I acknowledge to myself, that has been her 4th reminder over the past 6 months.
    So to all you men out there who think this behavior is innocent, think again. Not only do you embarass your current partner, you may make the other woman uncomfortable and embarassed for your wife/partner.

  19. 139
    Hi Liloni

    Stare at guy’s dicks, it works!

  20. 140

    PLease look at the dynamics here: he ogles (action ), she suffers ( passive). He keeps on staring, she talks ( still no action ). Sometimes talking is not enough, your actions will be way better.
    My boyfriend used to intensely, as if struck by lightning, look at women with cute asses. Ah, my dear boyfriend, i am not going to sit by your side, boiling and suffering in my own anger, i won’t let you humiliate me ! So i had to “act” as well. I simply left him there, by himself, went back to my car, switched on the radio and drove home. He thought i went to the ladies’ room ! I received a “concerned” call from him when i was already home ( still boiling but no need to give him this detail about the state he brought me in, if he did not have the decency to care about my feelings to start with).
    “Where are you, what happened to you ?!”
    “I am at home already, i think its better to give you space to stare at other women and for the future you are free to ogle but not with me by your side. And do not bother to call me again. Good night ” 
    Precious time and a lot of useless pain and talks have been saved, one simple action, at the right time. If you keep on having the talks with him but you are still there, he does it again, you are hurt and have the talk again, slowly but surely your feelings for him will deteriorate, it is a psychological torture. Cut it short; if he comes back with the same behavior everything will be clear for you. Remember, in order to change the dynamics you have to show with your actions, not words. Words are a dime a dozen and if you are in doubt see what he does, not what he says. No matter how gorgeous, educated, successful a man is in the end it is important who and what kind of person he is in the relationship with you, the qualities he has in the relationship and not only he as a single person. 

  21. 141

    Not for nothin but after years of marriage and years of watching this mans staring behavior worsen, to the point of trying to force eye contact with his sly smile that lets the woman know exactly what he’s thinking, and my crumbling self esteem anger and sadness , he has finally been diagnosed as a sex addict.  Actually addicted to sexual fantasy is more appropriate: since he found daddy’s stash of porn at age. 11… He is now in his ’50s….a lifetime of objectifying women but presenting a different persona to me and to the world.
    we are both in intense therapy for two years now, with all the underlying issues for BOTH of us out in the light of day: the horrid abuse by his mother which porn and masturbation alleviated, so he never learned how to deal with negative emotions, ever, and just turned to his drug of choice.  While flatly denying any use of porn, which I never believed , it turns out he was getting further and further into his addiction every day.  I have my own serious issues such as, now I know thru therapy , my parents sexualizing of me really being covert sexual abuse with all of the same resulting problems, which is how I really was “groomed ” to end up with a sex addict.  We met at 20 so who knew any of this?  Nobody does.  It’s mindboggling,
    in my husbands case, the addiction to lust is just the devastating symptom of his deep pain and disability due to abuse.  When we got iPhones, which I immediately saw as his “portable porn provider”, which it became, because he knew that using hookup sites “for his pleasure” might be discovered by me on the PC, the problem became unbearable.   If you choose to investigate sex addiction (I’d recommend Patrick Carnes’ “Dont Call It Love”), you will see the list of ways the partner tries to control what they initially don’t know is an addiction, with all the results of any addiction, only it’s relational and horrible….I did everything on the list.   The partner always thinks its about them… But it isn’t.  I was very hot as a young woman, crawled over by lusting men, and I’m still very attractive…we lose “hot” as we age and it’s hard when you’ve been gorgeous, trust me….having been the recipient of all the ,albeit shallow and meaningless ,attention of horny men, then watching your life partner giving that attention to strangers sucks.  
    This is a complicated bunch of painful stuff.  I’ve never felt such grief in my life finding this out.  The sexual addiction specialists say recovery, just the beginning of it, takes 2-5 years.  I decided to give it that.  He is sick, not bad or evil.  What most look at as “men being men”, thinking with their penises, can often be addiction: many, women also, simply get to addiction level just thru Internet porn: many like my husband, implant deep grooves in their brains by using lust to escape…it becomes the emotional regulator of their nervous systems.
    my recommendation would be read up on sex addiction before you commit to marriage.  Not that you can’t divorce but…check primarily the feelings partners experience …see if you identify.  As the first brochure I ever saw on the subject asked, “have you been affected by the sexual behavior of someone close to you?”….take a look.   
    My best to you…

  22. 142

    My initial take on this situation was that this particular guy sounds kind of creepy with the level of intensity of his actions (staring for long periods, following other women into stores, multiple checking outs while with his gf not even worrying if she notices), and then overcompensating with lots of flowery words of how beautiful his gf is and how much he likes her.  To me, a guy demonstrates his level of caring and concern most by his actions — doing his best not to hurt his gf and protect her and their relationship.
    I really have nothing against flirting but really the way he acts just takes it to a whole other creepy level.  I’d rather he just go joke with the woman like Evan does than just stare for 10 minutes straight.  There is just something not right here.
    When I first started going out with my fiancé, we were in a lingerie store.  This gorgeous girl walks in, totally stacked, looks like a model.  Everyone in the store was staring at her.  She comes right up next to my bf to look at something and he literally turned his back to her to focus completely on me.  I know that he had seen her and I really wouldn’t have blamed him for staring (heck I was staring) but he did everything he could not to on the off chance that he would hurt me and I would misunderstand.  He instinctively protected me and the relationship.  He didn’t even point out and take credit for what he did.  He just did it.
    Contrast this to a guy whom I dated before my fiancé – a hot waitress came to take our drink order.  She was flirting with him and he returned it a little when I was there (I didn’t mind since I’m not the jealous type) but then he had the nerve to send me on an errand to the car so he could flirt with her more in private when I was gone!  I came back early and saw them together!  That is what Evan means by flirting with intention.  He had not a thought that it could hurt me and was not into me enough to want to protect me or the relationship in case it really would hurt me.
    So I really don’t think the OP’s guy’s instincts are in the right place.  I don’t believe anyone could possibly be that dense.  The whole thing seems weird to me and I really think if the guy does not have a reasonable response when you have a mature conversation about it with him, he has issues and you are better off with someone else.

  23. 143

    He’s a sex addict.  Research it.  

  24. 144

    I too am a recovering ogler:-(. I would have loved to found out the outcome of there saga. One thing I realized is there is a huge difference betweeHannibal habit of looking and something ingrained in your everyday routine. You are so right…I was in denial at first because there was no way I was that monster…he was almost creepy… But now, after several attempts of self repair, and failing each time,I resorted to the wealth of knowledge in the web! I was trying to fix an unknown illness and now I see… I was so used to looking for the “pretty” people that I disrespected my most amazsoul love of my life and soulmate. At one point, when I thought I was better, I looked for the pretty people so I could prove I wasn’googling them…that was a self destructive paradox. Lol.  I never ment too… I just did. It wasn’t till I almost lost her completely that I realized I was this monster… And it took (is taking still) a change in the way I see people. Now, I only have trouble not to focus on the neon colors… No matter how hard I try they catch my vision so I see ONE TIME for a couple of seconds and never look bacstub til I can be oblivious to my surroundings, these are the steps that a recovering ogler as myself must do. After all, we are only out for an hour or two… I should be able to control it for that period and now I understand that I am not “looking” Afro anything, I am more relaxed ipublics. Now, we are happy and moving on as a happy couple 😍and plan to marry. I hope this helps give relief that there is hope or comic relief for those who don’t understand just what it takes when you find the one you love. 

  25. 145

    Sex addiction.  Addiction to lust.  Addiction. Lust hit. Patrick Carnes.  Last commenter says there are steps that a chronic ogler must take to stop… Yes…the 12 steps.  SeX Addicts Anonymous.  There is SAnon for partner.  Can’t control your ogling?  Read Patrick Carnes.  Troubled by the sexual behavior of someone close to you?   Contact SAnon, attend a few meetings.  Lust addiction takes many forms: the obvious, the perverted, and “just looking” when out in public.  It’s called “cruising”…voyeurism.  Taking something from someone who is not there for your pleasure.  Lust addiction: it’s real. It destroys lives.   Please consider researching.

  26. 146

    What to say. I went out with a guy for a year and he did the staring thing but always said that it was because he was interested in people, not because he was interested. He did it all the time when we were out and just had to be out at every function he was invited to in case he missed something. I could see the insecurity and his staring did hurt me. He even stared at my sister. I caught him emailing inappropriately with a former flame who is in a relationship with someone else. They both denied it was flirting although he invited her over to his place at 11.30pm and she suggested they get under covers because she had a cold and he said he had paints out and that he had dvds they could watch. Supposedly she did not go over in the end and there were lots of things in the year when she confided in him that her boyfriend only gave her a 6/10 and then he gave her singing lessons and they talked about other things. I understand that maybe she flirted with him because she was not so happy in her relationship and knew she could get the attention she wanted from my (now) ex-boyfriend. He said that he did not consider it flirting and neither did she. In any case, I think it was inappropriate and flirting leads to feelings which leads to infidelity. It has been a month and I am still very hurt. He says it was a mistake and that he will change his behaviour now that he knows it is not acceptable to me but the damage is done and there was so little trust there because of previous behaviour anyway. I never reacted like this with other previous boyfriends. He has been trying to persuade me to give it another chance. I will not although my heart is broken and it is not easy to turn off feelings. Neither of us will change our behaviour whilst we are together. I do not want to be sad and upset when we go out and to think that even if he did not supposedly think anything of his communication with her, that he did not consider that it would be hurtful to me. They probably would have continued to act like his if I had not found out. I hope the person who posted the initial line of topic found her way. I don’t know how old these posts are. I am trying myself to move on from this man as I think trust and actions are more important than words.

  27. 147

    lust addiction.
    there is help.

  28. 148

    Hi Kalea,
    thank you,
    but there is so much denial there on his part. He only focuses that he did not do anything wrong and that he wants me back. He does not see anything I say applies to him. I feel he is trying to wear me down with words. I blocked facebook, email and phone contact just to have some peace. Life is complicated enough and the pain of a digital presence does not let me heal. I also recognise he has had a difficult journey from childhood but he says himself his way is to be very open as he puts it. My journey also has not been easy but I do not behave like that. I am quite strong and have been doing stuff like yoga, meditation and lots of reading of helpful blogs like this one which helps for a while, but I guess I will just have to feel what I feel and hope that time will pass…
    It gets to a point where I feel that words do not help anymore and I am tired of all his game playing (even after we have broken up). I am concentrating on boundary setting as he has turned up at my place a few times unannounced which throws me. I don’t think he is going to let go for a while. Ughh, sorry to go on, it just helps to have talked.. 
    thanks again.

  29. 149

    So I really don’t think the OP’s guy’s instincts are in the right place.  I don’t believe anyone could possibly be that dense.  The whole thing seems weird to me and I really think if the guy does not have a reasonable response when you have a mature conversation about it with him, he has issues and you are better off with someone else.”
    that comment in particular has caught my attention:  yes he probably does have deeper issues: sex addiction.  It’s so important to not stay victimized by this illness, by the sexual behavior of someone you love that is damaging you.  He is NOT a monster: he is sick.  You did not end up with a sex addict by  accident : you will find your own issues underneath it all.  But you can heal; you can heal the relationship…..if you want to.    Good luck….

    Most important, setting your boundaries.

  30. 150

    To JD: number 135
    my heart breaks for you. His behavior screams sex addiction though, addiction to lust, to getting high, as you said, from the whole routine, and him getting off on telling you in bee lied that you’d be jealous,
    I can’t even begin to tell you the pain I lived with before my life partners’ lust addiction was diagnosed and we started recovery .  We’ve been together 35 years though… Since college.  
    Just google sex addiction.  Even though your relationship ended it would help you figure some of it out I think.  My best to you.

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