My boyfriend looks at other women
My boyfriend is the most attentive, thoughtful, funny person. We had known each other for a while before we got together. We lived in different states and met when I flew up for a friend’s event. I was feeling on top of the world (out of the ordinary) and was the one who got in contact with him first. We built a friendship over a few months which was never flirty but fun and caring. I moved up (for college) and it immediately turned into a relationship. He was very forward with flowers and wanting to see me. I was emotionally satisfied.
He is still as attentive as ever 6 months later but we have had problems. Namely, that he looks at other women. It was not that obvious until my birthday when he stared all night at my friend. This cut to the core. I turned sour for the first time and eventually I told him what was wrong. He said he didn’t have a thing for her when I ask him.
Then, we were in Europe and he was staring at every beautiful woman. Not everyone—as he said he looks at everyone; I observed him to see and my suspicions were correct. It was only young women who were model material, nothing less. I used to think he thought I was beautiful but since my birthday I’ve been plagued by this. I’m not a model type.
He is the manliest person I’ve dated. He cried when I told him that when he looked at women “like that” I felt second rate and unattractive. He said that I’m the only person that he’s ever loved. He’s never had a serious girlfriend before.
I believe that he loves me. But I don’t feel enough physically. And I’m wasting hours and hours and hours thinking about it. It’s affecting my future and studies. How can I get around this issue?
It’s natural for people to look at attractive individuals. It’s also natural to feel insecure when a partner looks at someone else in front of you, especially, if you have negative feelings about your appearance.
There are several things you can do to make this situation better. Keep sharing your feelings with your boyfriend. Try not to make accusations, rather share how you feel when it happens (see talk about problems). Expressing your feelings is better than trying to ignore them or keeping them to yourself.
When you share your feelings with your boyfriend, it sounds like he listens to you and is concerned about your well-being. He doesn’t react defensively, get mad, or dismiss your emotions. He’s being responsive to how you feel. Having a partner who listens to you and acknowledges your concerns is the key to a healthy relationship (see healthy relationships).
With that said, it’s also probably not realistic to expect him to change his behavior. If he’s been looking at attractive women for a long time, it’s probably become an automatic, habitual response, which can take considerable time and effort to change.
It might be easier for you to reframe how you interpret his behavior. When he looks at someone else, acknowledge your feelings, but also quickly remind yourself that he loves you, wants to be with you, and cares deeply about you. If you consistently think about how much your loved and cared for, it can help you overcome this problem.
I have my own question to ask
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