During your relationship your partner has undoubtedly looked at other women. It may have been a momentary glance or even reached the point of ogling, but there is almost virtually no chance that he hasn’t done so at some point. Looking at women, and the tendency to objectify them, is something that men learn very early on from the male role models in their life, from their social network, and the media. Additionally an argument can certainly be made that the behaviour is nature, as much as it is nurture, since the behaviour has an almost animalistic quality to it. Simply put, the behaviour may be a way for a man to indicate he is looking to mate. It does not mean he wants to mate with the woman he’s looking at, but rather a more general statement. However, such behaviour, especially when it is done while you’re spending time with your partner can be very hurtful and damaging to your relationship if it’s not handled properly.
To begin with, you will have to accept that at some point your partner will check out other women. This behaviour is very much ingrained in the majority of men through various repetitions. Yet, if your partner has essentially gone from one relationship to the next, during his immediate dating life, he has usually learned how to be more subtle about this behaviour and has made an effort to curb it considerably. If your partner has been single for a period of time prior to your relationship, though, whatever subtle and tactful ways he might have learned for dealing with this behaviour have eroded. With time he will improve and re-learn what he needs in order to function in a relationship, but it will take time and patience.
Just because your partner is checking out other women, doesn’t mean he is looking to cheat on you. Men do have times when their testosterone levels are higher than others and when this occurs he is simply feeling sexually attracted to the opposite sex in a very general way. However, the one he wants to be with is you. So if you notice him one day ‘checking out’ a large amount of women it’s a pretty good indicator that he wants to have sex with you. It’s in many ways a mating call meant for you and he’s waiting to see if you respond. Your partner may not even know that’s why he’s doing it as the behaviour isn’t always a conscious one.
If you find yourself feeling hurt when your partner looks at other women, when you go to discuss it with him it has to be handled carefully. You need to proceed without anger, without yelling, and without any accusations about him cheating on you. Any of these reactions will just cause him to become defensive and won’t help him really understand how much he hurt you. Take some time and cool down before discussing it with him. You need to be able to speak to him when your frame of mind is calm and tell him that you find it hurtful when he looks at other women. Ask him if he could please reduce the amount he looks at other women when you spend time together and be patient. Most caring partners will take action, but changing such behaviour does take time so it may not happen overnight. When you notice that he’s reduced the behaviour acknowledge it and thank him for being considerate of your feelings. As stated earlier he may not have even been aware how much he was doing so and simply needs to be made aware of what he’s been doing.
When dealing with this behaviour if your reaction towards him is one of anger it can severely damage the relationship. Not only might he become defensive, but depending on your partner’s personality type he might start doing it even more as a sort of rebellion. This usually happens when the man feels like he doesn’t have any say in the relationship or feels that you’ve been guilty of behaviour that’s just as hurtful or worse. A common comment from many men about why they feel justified looking at other women is their partner’s interactions with other men, a male friend, or an ex. They will commonly describe how their partner is overly affectionate or flirtatious with them and feel as if they’re receiving a message that their mate isn’t as attracted to them as she is to others. So when they check out other women it is a way for men to say they’re hurt by your behaviour and also to try and see if other women find them attractive to make themselves feel better. Consequently it’s important for you to look at your interactions with other men to see if perhaps something you’ve done has hurt your partner. If so you need to sit down and discuss both issues and listen to how each of you feels. Only by dealing with both of your behaviours will you be able to come to a resolution.