C. writes: I'm 24 and I've been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. This is my longest relationship so far. He is very kind and he loves me to pieces. And I love him. But what bothers me is that I see him checking out other girls. The other day at a coffee shop, I noticed the barista’s very cute butt. Well, so did he and he kept glancing at it while we waited in line. Another time, I've seen him make eye contact with a very hot girl and do the whole “quickly look away, look back, look away” thing with her. I call it eye fucking. It has happened other times too but only if the girl is quite attractive. I'm not sure how I am supposed to feel. I know that people in relationships sometimes flirt with others, but it makes me feel very uncomfortable and squirmy. I just don't seem to have an interest in checking out other dudes anymore because I'm with my boyfriend. I honestly don't think he would ever cheat on me. I understand maybe he wants validation from other girls to show he's still wanted. Anyways, I hate the feeling I get and sometimes want to end the relationship over it. But do all guys do this? Will my next boyfriend do this too?
Yes, he will. All guys will do this forever. And you're not going to like this, but... you are forbidden to have any problem with it.
First, let’s correct some of your misconceptions. You call this “eye-fucking”. I’d call it “eye-fondling”. A few glances here and there do not add up to a “fuck”. But I’m splitting hairs. You also call this behavior “flirting”. You’re wrong: it is NOT flirting. To flirt you actually have to talk to someone. Eye-glances are raw biology. It has zero to do with personality, and everything to do with physicality. We are animal beings with animal impulses. And checking people out is instinctual. It’s a reflex, like your leg twitching when a doctor hits it with that little hammer.
And allow me to politely call out some bullshit. You’re 24 years old. You’re hot. I bet men admire your looks dozens of times a day. Statistically, many of those men are in committed relationships. When a man with a wedding ring involuntarily checks out your ass, do you wheel around, raise your index finger and scream “FOR SHAME!” in his dumb, married face? No. You smile to yourself, happy that your butt DOES INDEED look great in those jeans. Then you keep on walking. A cat-call is always horrible, but an involuntary head-turn from a man who finds you attractive? Everyone loves that. Am I wrong?
So until you start REJECTING those physical, instant compliments (never going to happen), you can’t reject the random glances that your BF is throwing out to random ladies accidentally, simply by virtue of him being a red-blooded male. And if you need a compliment, take this one: I guarantee that he is trying to keep his “other lady butt admiration” in check when he’s around you, because dudes are aware that it can upset their girlfriends. He is doing the bare minimum ass-glancing that he can control right now.
And are you seriously thinking of breaking up with this guy over this stuff? You say he’s so wonderful, and kind, and loving… but a few butt-glances make you want to end the whole thing? That’s an insane choice. Are you aware that your ass is not the greatest in history? Neither is your chest. Neither are your legs. Your boyfriend loves the whole package of you. No one was ever as good as the whole parcel of you (mind, body, spirit) is to him, right now. But he never traded in his right to appreciate other stuff he sees. Could this be more about your insecurity than his insensitivity?