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Are you in a committed relationship but can’t stop looking at other women?
Is this about a particular kind of woman, or are you staring at a specific woman?
Looking at other women while you’re in a relationship is disrespectful to your partner and counts as micro-cheating. This means that, while you’re not technically cheating, your wandering eyes might mean that you’re cheating in your head.
Do you notice other attractive women to admire their beauty, or are you fantasizing about being with them? There’s a big difference between these two, and your partner can’t read your mind to tell which it is. So naturally, she is probably going to assume the worst and be upset by your behavior.
You should also note that staring at other women isn’t such a great idea, even if you’re not currently seeing anyone. It could make you seem creepy or like a player—the type of man most women don’t want to be involved with.
Your best choice is to learn to avoid staring at other women. Sure, when you see a beautiful woman, it’s okay to notice them. After all, this is not always a conscious choice but an instinctual reaction. How long and how often you stare—as well as what goes on in your head while you do—is what makes all the difference.
Choose not to ogle other women, whether you are in a relationship or not. Improving your self-control could be all it takes for you to finally have eyes for only one woman, even if you do occasionally notice other attractive ladies.
We’ll soon talk about how you can resolve this issue, but let’s first look at the reasons the issue occurs to begin with.
Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you control your gaze and stop looking at other women. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient.
10 Reasons Why You Look At Other Women
The reasons why you look at other women are very important, especially to your partner. She is probably hurting because she doesn’t understand why. You will need to talk to her about it and let her know what’s causing your wandering eye. It’s likely one of these things:
1. It is a natural reaction or a force of habit.
It’s natural to notice beautiful people, and it’s perfectly normal. You don’t have complete control over where your eyes look all the time.
Noticing a woman is one thing, but how long you look, how often, and the way you look are a force of habit that you probably learned as a teenager. Now you’ll need to unlearn that habit to be fair to your partner and respectful toward women in general.
Again, you shouldn’t feel guilty about simply noticing another woman every now and then. However, frequently looking, holding your gaze, and imagining having sex with them is a lot different than noticing.
2. You notice attractive people, and it makes you feel good.
Noticing someone attractive can give you a bit of a high. It can be addictive.
You like admiring attractive women and pay attention to them whenever you notice them. The very sight of an attractive woman makes you feel good and gives you a rush that keeps you looking at them.
However, it’s important to establish the difference between noticing and staring. It’s okay to notice, but it’s not okay to stare. If your girlfriend or wife is with you at the time, then staring is an even bigger no-no.
You might be consuming a lot of media that objectifies women, so cutting that off may help, but more on that later.
For now, you need to know that, even though your need might be natural, it probably makes your partner feel like they’re not good enough and causes them to be insecure and unsure of your feelings for them.
Is seeing a pretty woman passing by worth losing the woman sitting next to you? Learn to have eyes only for the person you’re with and you’ll have a much healthier relationship.
3. You are not happy in your relationship.
Maybe you’re not looking at other women; you’re looking for an exit strategy. You’re looking to get out of a relationship that makes you unhappy. If you’ve been having problems in your relationship, you might have already decided to look for another partner, even if subconsciously.
Maybe you’re not looking to cheat, but you are looking for a substitute for your girlfriend or wife by seeing what’s out there and imaging how big of a fish you could catch. Perhaps you think that you’d be happier with someone else and that you could find someone better than your partner. You look at other attractive women and think that they would make you happier than your woman does.
This is the wrong thing to do to a woman who cares about you. You should also know that someone’s physical appearance is not an indicator of what your relationship with them might be like.
Objectifying women is wrong, and you’re supposed to notice who they are on the inside, not just on the outside. Don’t be shallow. Either work on the problems in your relationship or end it before moving on to the next potential match. If you’re already cheating in your head, rest assured that your relationship is suffering the consequences, so you’re only contributing to it falling apart.
4. You are thinking about cheating.
If you’re looking at other women to fantasize about and you like to imagine what it would be like to sleep with them, you’re cheating in your head. While you’re not technically cheating, this micro-cheating can be just as dangerous. It can even lead to actual cheating.
Doing something like this while you’re in a committed relationship is disrespectful to your partner, but it’s also disrespectful to the women you’re looking at. Just because a woman dresses a certain way doesn’t mean that she wants you to see her as a sex object. Many women like to dress in sexy clothes as a personal preference or to feel great about themselves. So, if all of this comes down to your sexual fantasies, you need to work on this problem.
5. You want your partner to pay more attention to you.
Sometimes, men will look at other women to get their partner to notice them. If you’ve been feeling neglected and your needs aren’t being met by your partner, your gaze might just be a cry for attention. You wish your partner would pay more attention to you, and so you give your attention to other women as a means of provoking a reaction from your partner.
Communicate with your partner about this and let her know how you’ve been feeling. Don’t purposely look at other women just to get her to react—explain what has been troubling you. Act as an adult and communicate your feelings to save your relationship.
6. You are bored and/or distracted.
Some men look at other women for no other reason than they are bored or distracted in the moment. If that’s all there is to it, and it’s not a force of habit, it won’t happen frequently. You won’t rest your eyes on a pretty face; just glance over it.
When you are bored and/or distracted while you’re with your partner, try to refrain from looking around in the hope of seeing something interesting. You’re basically telling your partner that they’re not interesting enough to you, and that hurts.
Try to focus on them, and plan a fun date where there’s lots to see if your eyes are purely searching for intriguing and/or beautiful scenery.
7. You are noticing specific things about the other women.
Maybe you are not objectifying women. You are just noticing a certain hairstyle, an interesting tattoo, or an attractive perfume. The point is, you are not thinking about the woman at all, let alone in a sexual sense, you are simply noticing some aspects of what makes her attractive that are familiar to you.
Unlike in the previous examples, you are not attracted to the women, but some details that likely remind you of celebrities or attract your attention for a few seconds. Maybe you are evaluating their fashion sense, how expensive their outfit is, or the price of their hairstyle.
This is just one of the ways in which a man can look at other women without being attracted to them or seeing them as sexual objects. Again, it is important not to stare. The emphasis is always on how long you look, how often, and in which way, not just the fact that you’re looking.
8. You are bored with your partner.
Maybe you’re in a long-term relationship and things have fallen into a rut. You are generally bored with your partner, so your eyes wander in search of excitement. You notice other women because you’re secretly hoping for a new relationship, which would make things fun and exciting again.
However, you don’t need a new girlfriend to stop the monotony in your relationship if that’s the only issue you’re facing. There are plenty of fun date ideas, hobbies, and activities that you could try with your partner.
If you are looking for a new partner, you should first end things with your existing one. Try not to let your need for something new drag you into a situation where you’re micro-cheating.
9. Other women are flirting with you.
You could simply be an attractive guy that other women notice! If you’re looking at other women because they’re looking at you, are you really doing anything wrong? Well, if you are in a committed relationship, it doesn’t really matter who started it as long as you end it.
Maybe you’ll engage in an innocent flirt here and there, but doing it in front of your partner is very disrespectful. If you are that attractive to other women, your girlfriend or wife could also be terrified of the possibility that one of those flirty smiles will turn into an affair.
You will meet other women while you have a girlfriend or a wife, but nothing’s stopping you from mentioning that you’re taken. When a choice is presented to you, it can be difficult to maintain your loyalty, but know the difference between what’s innocent and what’s plain cheating.
10. You are interested in other women.
It could be very simple. You look at other women because you’re attracted to them. Is this okay? Well, this depends on how your partner feels. If this behavior has been hurting them, you should definitely restrain yourself from doing it.
Don’t do it in front of them, and know that they won’t tolerate it forever. Hey, some people are even into non-monogamous relationships, so it doesn’t have to be cheating! But when you’re into other women, you are, on some level, cheating on your woman.
If she is free to look at other men and you’re both totally chill about the whole thing, great! However, if your woman feels hurt and insecure due to your behavior, keep reading to learn what to do to stop it.
How To Stop Looking At Other Women
Few women will be happy about their man looking at other women, especially when they can see it or hear about it from others. Unless you have some sort of arrangement where this is cool, your partner probably considers it hurtful and disrespectful. Even if they don’t, the other women, the ones that you’re looking at, might not enjoy it either. Here’s what you can do:
We really do recommend that you seek professional help from one of the therapists at BetterHelp.com as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to improve your self-control and change the way you think about beautiful women.
1. Bring it into your conscious awareness.
You started noticing pretty girls as a teenager, and you never stopped. It’s a force of habit because you appreciate the beauty of women. But this can be harmful for your relationship.
Instead of explaining to your partner that it’s harmless or trying to convince her that it’s okay, respect and validate her feelings. Make an effort to notice when you’re doing this and look away. Your girlfriend or wife will appreciate your efforts.
If you keep trying not to look at other women, eventually, you’ll stop noticing them. It might sound too simple to actually work, but try it and see.
2. Avoid too much bad media.
The media often objectifies women, sets impossible standards, and uses sex as an advertising technique. If you consume too much of this type of media, it may be a contributing factor as to why you look at and objectify other women.
You should also consider the amount of explicit material you watch. Watching too much of it can have a negative effect on you. It can lead to problems in your daily life, such as the one you are facing right now.
Start looking at women as human beings, not female creatures. They’re people, just like men. Just like YOU. If you’re focusing on the fact that they’re female, and instantly have sexual thoughts about them, this could be a result of the types of media you consume. Maybe you look at women that remind you of celebrities or you have frequent sexual thoughts because of dirty movies.
3. Know the difference between a natural reaction and staring.
It’s normal to notice beautiful people because they attract attention. However, most people simply notice it and then proceed with whatever it is they were doing.
If you stare at women and practically look like a cartoon with your eyes popping out and your heart beating out of your chest, you’re taking it too far.
The point is, if you’ve noticed it, you’ve noticed it, but don’t hold your gaze or let your eyes linger. There’s a saying “undressing me with his eyes,” and it exists for a reason. If you are looking at other women in a clearly sexual way, you’re expressing desire for them which is disrespectful to your partner and those women.
4. Understand how it makes your partner feel.
Your girlfriend or wife probably feels like she’s not good enough for you. She feels invisible when you notice other women and thinks she’s not attractive to you. Maybe she even thinks that you’d rather be with someone else.
Your wandering eyes can cause jealousy, insecurity, and self-esteem and self-worth issues, among other things. Your partner might already struggle with her body image and self-acceptance and you inferring a comparison with other women by checking them out will only make matters worse.
If she lets you know that she feels this way, respect her enough to restrain yourself from looking at other women. Understand how it makes your partner feel and imagine yourself in her shoes.
5. Acknowledge your partner’s feelings.
Instead of accusing your girlfriend/wife of overreacting, acknowledge and validate her feelings. Different people have different definitions of cheating. If this hurts her, consider it micro-cheating and talk to her about it. Reassure her that you are committed to her and that you’re not going to leave her for someone else. Tell her that you’re still attracted to her.
If this is not the case, talk about working on your relationship if you want it to last. A relationship counselor can help you talk it through and face issues whether they are big or small.
For now, just respect your partner’s wishes and stop looking at other women. If you’re not okay with this, consider whether you care enough about your partner to stay in the relationship.
On the other hand, maybe they don’t think it’s a big deal and their self-confidence hasn’t taken a hit from this. They understand your need; maybe they look at other attractive people too. Talk about it, and if that is the case, you’re all good! You set the rules for your relationship—just make sure that you’re both on the same page and no one’s feelings are getting hurt.
6. Don’t try to justify your behavior.
You certainly shouldn’t try to justify your behavior, especially not by telling your girlfriend/wife that she could be better looking. Don’t compare her to other women or give her ideas on how she should look based on those you admire. This is hurtful to most women, so try to get her to open up about how she feels and see it from her point of view.
Maybe she’s fine with it, but in case she’s not, tiny things like these might bother her a lot, especially if you’ve been doing them frequently without considering her feelings. Don’t blame this on her in any way because it’s your eyes that are wandering, not hers.
If you have problems in your relationship, you can talk about how to work on them together. Maybe you could both dedicate some time to self-improvement to grow as individuals and as a couple.
You could suggest something like that, but don’t ever tell a woman she’s not as pretty as the girls you admire. She probably already feels that way, and it likely hurts her feelings.
7. Focus on your partner.
You might be looking for attention, but your partner needs it too. Focus on her when you’re with her. Put your phone away and don’t get distracted, not even by a waiter, let alone a pretty girl at the bar. Let her know that you’ve only got eyes for her.
If you want to bring back the spark, put some effort into the romantic stuff. Go on interesting dates and try fun activities and new things. You’ve been giving your attention to other women besides your partner. So try to give all your attention to her, at least for a while.
You might find that you can freshen up your relationship to the point that you no longer need someone new around the two of you to notice the attraction being there. You might see only her.
8. Respect your partner more.
Looking at other women is disrespectful, both to your partner and to the women you’re looking at. Even if these women are beautiful or are dressing in eye-catching clothing, you’ve got some control over where you look. They might catch your eye, but you don’t have to keep staring, especially not around your partner or their loved ones.
While, from your perspective, this might be entirely innocent because you’re just looking and have no dirty thoughts in mind, it can be seen as disrespectful and demeaning to your partner. Unless you’ve discussed and agreed on it, consider it that way. Be cautions even if your partner says that it’s okay. She might not want to tell you that it’s hurting her, so get her to really open up when you talk to her.
9. Consider what it feels like to the women you’re staring at.
It can seem creepy when you’re staring at a woman, especially when there’s another woman sitting right next to you. Of course, you can’t control your every movement, but lingering or plainly checking someone out is, most of the time, inappropriate.
Basically, unless you’re two single people at a party looking to hook up, it’s probably not appropriate to overtly check someone out. You check someone out when you want to let them know that you’re interested. When you’re already taken, looking at women this way is on the verge of cheating.
10. Learn to control your need and look away.
Practice makes perfect. Looking at other women has probably turned into a habit of yours, and a habit is something that you keep repeating. Now, you should persist in your efforts to look away when you feel the need to stare.
Remind yourself that it’s okay if you’re looking, it’s just in how long and how often you look that there may be an issue. If your partner has let you know that this behavior bothers her, work on it and persist with it. She will notice your efforts and appreciate them.
Still not sure how to stop looking at other women?
We really recommend you speak to a therapist about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to manage your thoughts so that you view women differently and provide tips on self-control to help you look away when you notice another woman.
A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to a therapist. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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