What To Do When He Won't Stop Looking At Other Women

This week we have a lady who can't stand it when her boyfriend gawks at other women. Will she finally tell him how it makes her feel and get the respect she deserves? Or will he be too busy staring at other girls to see her walking away for good?

Photo: Antonio Guillem (Shutterstock)

Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random guy on the internet to kick 'em in the teeth (with honesty, that is). I'm the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.

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Note: I'm not a therapist or health professional of any kind. People ask for my advice and I give it to them. End of transaction. If you have a problem with it, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with it:

Help! My boyfriend of six months won't stop gawking at other women when we are together in public. Sure, I've mentioned it a few times over the months and, for the sake of not being "the jealous girlfriend", I let it ride most of the time.

Over the long weekend he took me on a much needed beach holiday, planned the whole thing, paid the way, and even got me a few of my favourite things for the trip. It seemed like the perfect getaway.

But once we were at the beach - which we know is full of almost naked girls - he can't even carry a conversation with me because he's too busy drooling over the cheekies some young probably-just-graduated high school girl is wearing while she wades in the ocean, arse glistening for his pleasure.

Cut to me beside him, looking beautiful. I always make an effort and I'm blessed with good genes. But I'm also trying to recover from a messy divorce - still pending - and an abusive marriage. It's hard to feel good about yourself when the guy who you belong to couldn't care less you are sitting beside him while he lusts after other women.

Then he expects my panties to hit the floor when we are finally alone together? Go fuck yourself dude, literally, because I don't want to.

His disrespect towards me makes me want to run for the hills. Am I overreacting?

Feeling Small

Hey Feeling Small,

Maybe a smidge - but let me clarify because you're definitely not in the wrong here!

First off, know that it's normal for people of all sexes to glance at other people. Your man isn't necessarily looking at other women because they're prettier than you, or because he wants to be with them instead of you. When we glance it's because we naturally find someone physically attractive, plain and simple. We are animals attracted to beauty, with biological instincts that sometimes get the best of us.

That said, it's also perfectly normal for you to feel the way you're feeling, and you have every right to take issue with his creepy gawking. Notice I said "glance" above, not stare or gawk. There's a big difference there, and biology is definitely not a good excuse for his particular pattern of behaviour.

Men may have a hard time completely averting their eyes from a pretty woman in a bikini, but we most certainly have the ability to control how we look at her, and for how long.

Maybe he can't help but give a quick glance to Miss Cheekies on your beach holiday, but he shouldn't be staring and drooling. That is totally disrespectful to you, and her! What's worse is you've expressed your displeasure toward his gawking in the past and he continues to do it.

But before you shove this guy's cartoon eyes back in his head and kick him to the curb, you might want to try a different tactic besides merely calling him out on his staring.

As much as you don't want to sound like a "jealous girlfriend", Feeling Small, you need to have a thorough conversation about how his behaviour makes you feel. This conversation is NOT:

  • You yelling at him.
  • You chastising him.
  • You telling him to "go fuck himself", as much as you may want to.
  • Or even you telling him to never look at other women (that will probably make him want to look at them more).

If you go in guns blazing, he'll get defensive and probably find a way to blame it on your insecurities or some other BS. Don't give him the opportunity!

This conversation should simply be you expressing how horrible you feel when he does this in front of you; how it makes you feel like you're not good enough for him, how it makes you feel small and unimportant, and how it makes you question your future with him because you want to be with someone who respects you and thinks you're beautiful.

He knows you don't like him looking, Feeling Small, but he needs to understand why. So make him. He needs to learn how to keep his eyes on the prize - you - without being told "no" and getting swatted on the nose like some sort of pet each time he gets caught.

But go in with realistic expectations here, Feeling Small. He isn't going to magically stop seeing other beautiful women in the world. He's probably going to glance from time to time, and he's probably going to imagine - for a fleeting moment - what it might be like to be with them before moving on.

But the bottom line is he should start respecting you more, and stop staring and drooling over other women - especially when he's around you. If he doesn't, you tell him to gawk at you as you walk away. There are plenty of mature men out there who can control themselves.


That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.


Comments

    I am that guy.

    A couple things about this;

    First, and I'm not trying to say you're a liar, but you've clearly been through a bad situation so it might be worth trying to stop and view his actions dispassionately. You're coming from a situation where the last man you had a serious relationship was horrible and that's gotta colour your opinion of other men. So it might be worth taking a deep breath, pausing and asking whether he really is leering at other women, or whether it's a casual glance that you're exaggerating because of your past experiences.

    Now regardless of your answer to the last paragraph, it's still worth having a discussion with your partner just like the article recommends. But if you can dispassionately view his actions and they're still creepy, borderline perving it might actually be better to consider whether you *should* be with him. If he's as pervy as you say in the article it sounds like you're moving from one bad relationship to another. You might be better moving on and finding a nicer person.

    Secondly this line bothers me;

    It's hard to feel good about yourself when the guy who you belong to

    The phrasing on that really sounds negative. You DON'T belong to him, just like he doesn't belong to you. Neither of you are property. Maybe it's just bad phrasing on your part, but if you genuinely believe you "belong to him" you should probably go have a chat with a psychologist.

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