Why Do Men Look At Other Women? (And What To Do About It)
By: Carlos Cavallo
I was out at dinner the other night, and I couldn't help but overhear a group of women talking about "Why do men look at other women?" And by "other" women, they meant why do their boyfriends look at other women.
IMAGINE: You’re with your boyfriend (or husband) in your favorite restaurant, having a great time together. And out of nowhere, an attractive woman walks by your table. You look on as the man you love turns his head, scans her up and down, and his eyes linger just a little too long on her chest, or her backside.
Doesn't it make your blood boil...?
Suddenly there’s a surge of emotion in you... jealousy, anger, pain, insecurity.
A rush of questions runs through your mind:
Does he want her?
Does he think she’s more beautiful than me? More desirable?
Is he attracted to me anymore?
The reality is that ALL men visually appreciate women. (I'll explain "appreciate" in a bit.) ALL men do this - not just your guy, not just players, and not just cheaters.
EVERY guy looks at women.
In fact, even at the very beginning of your relationship when you thought it was all exclusive romance for each other, he would still occasionally see women that were attractive and glance their way. It's simply a fact of how men function.
This topic comes up quite a bit in the emails I receive, as well as the conversations I get into with friends. It got so popular at one point that I spend a few days just researching this topic completely in order to explain it to women.
RANT WARNING: This is a topic that comes up VERY frequently for me. It's one of the biggest points of contention in some relationships.
I also have a lot to say on the topic as I understand BOTH men and women's point of view about this. So please be aware that I may rant a little bit as I go through the reasons why, as well as explaining why you don't really have to be worried.
And so, with that, we ask:
Why Do Men Look At Other Women? - And What To Do About It!
Now, I need to start out by explaining a few things about what you DON'T know about why men check out other women. It's important because you may have some assumptions that are faulty. I want to clear these up first...
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW #1: Men are not trying to disrespect you...
A common misperception that people hold is that, if someone is doing something that hurts or offends you, they're purposely disrespecting you.
When it comes to why men look at other women - I want to explain to you that what YOU think is disrespect is actually onlyyour interpretation of his actions.
What I mean is, men almost NEVER intentionally set out to disrespect you. No more than you would intentionally try to be needy or clingy with him, right?
In fact… most people never even consider if what they’re doing is "disrespectful." It's simply NOT the first thing that you check in your mind before doing something.
We are all just busy living our lives out – trying to get by, have some fun on the weekend, and not get into trouble along the way. We don't agonize over whether something we're about to do is considered "disrespectful."
Women do it, too...
People almost NEVER set out to be disrespectful. It's only seen as disrespectful by the person who feels like they were disrespected.
In the end, we're all just trying to get our own needs met.
Unfortunately getting our own needs met is everyone’sfirst priority. We start with our own needs, and then move on to YOURS.
Is it rude for men to look at other women?
Well, if he can't get control over his scanning behavior while he's with you, yeah I'd say that it can quickly become rude. He should be able to rein it in a bit.
Let me ask you: Have you ever TOLD him that it hurts your feelings?
If you communicate how it makes you feel when his eyes wander, there's a good chance he will focus more attention on NOT being so obvious about it and not doing it around you so much.
And if he doesn't, that's a sign to you. A sign of how well he will respect you in your relationship, and eventually in your marriage. There are some guys that just can't rise above their sexual desires.
And you know what? There are also a lot of women who know this and use it. I'll talk about this more in a minute...
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW #2: Men are compelled to check women out visually.
It's got very little to do with CHOICE with a guy. He has a part of his sexual orientation that makes it mandatory that he looks at women. Yes, even women he's not dating.
YOU have self-control, sure. Because you'reNOT WIRED THIS WAY!
In the same way that he asks you "Why can't you NOT CRY during an argument or heavy conversation?"
Can you do that? Could you hold back your emotions?
It would be hard for you, I'm guessing. And for some women, darn near impossible. It's tough to NOT get emotional during emotional conversations.
Now, you might say,
"Carlos! It's completely different! You're comparing apples to oranges. His checking out women is nothing at all like my need to express my emotions!"
Well, yes... and mostly NO.
It's not the same situation, but it is coming from the same place in his brain.
Allow me to explain:
When you cry, it's a natural release of psychological and emotional tension for you. It not only feels good, it's a regulating mechanism. It's automatic - and you really can't control it!
It's in their nature...
When a guy checks out a woman, it's a natural process of his sexual selection psychology. It's automatic, and he can't control it!
A man's mind is wired to "inspect the goods." He will check out all the physical signs that indicate a possible "mate." I could go into the evolutionary science behind this, but let's just agree that there are a lot of "caveman" circuits still working in that brain of his.
The truth is that a man's brain gets a pleasure shot of dopamine when he looks at and is rewarded with the image of a beautiful woman. Dopamine creates a chemical high that our brains give us when we do something rewarding.
And face it - our world is bombarding us with visual feasts of women, in every kind of sexually suggestive pose and situation on every magazine and billboard.
Guys are flooded with this every day. And most of the advertisements with sexy women are advertising to other women!
And yes, men are very easily stimulated by visuals. This is probably obvious from his interest in everything from strip clubs to football games to a sexy car. Men are driven by what they see.
Oh, and in case you weren't aware - you are also hard wired to see these other women as threats! You notice them at the same time he does, but for different reasons. And then your inner relationship circuits start to test the strength of the relationship by looking at how you feel about it.
You, my dear, are not driven by sight but instead by what you feel.
WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW #3: Sometimes this is a huge signal about unresolved insecurities...
Yeah, I hate to bring this up in the middle of this juicy lump of relationship advice, but when we are not secure in our selves and our relationship, we are easily triggered to jealousy. Especially when you're wondering why men look at other women in front of you.
A lot of women admit that much of her response to her man looking at other women is because she's really feeling insecure and pushed on the defensive.
If you're not feeling secure, every woman out there is going to feel like a potential threat to you and your relationship. Not only that, but if he's looking at some other gal's caboose while your relationship is on shaky ground, you're going to react!
Feeling like your on "shaky"ground?
And I don't blame you...
You could be feeling insecure for any number of reasons at that moment:
Just had a fight...
Didn't really have the time to make yourself look good...
Your relationship has been shaky for a few weeks, and you feel a bit anxious...
You know this woman has looks/body that very few women could compete with...
And then notice what comes up in your emotions when you see him checking out another woman:
Are you feeling indignant?
A mix of them?
This is where most people jump straight from "stimulus" to "response."
They don't realize that they've got a choice. Humans do, anyways.
There's a space between stimulus and response, and it's called: PAUSE
Press pause BEFORE you react to give yourself a chance to think about what you're feeling, and if you may be responding from old patterns and wounds. Give yourself a pause to NOT react from old habits.
WHAT YOU MIGHT KNOW: Women often abuse this behavior to get attention from guys...
A lot of women know darn well how hard it is for men to NOT look when a voluptuous, sexy woman passes by. She knows it, and she works it.
She wears those short dresses...
She plunges her neckline to her navel so he gets so much side-boob viewing, she might as well be topless...
She works those hips so hard you want to scream out: "Hey how about some fries for that shake!"
And the real truth is, you were probably checking her out first. Your threat detection mechanism kicks in and you know in seconds which women in a crowd are a sexual threat to you.
Yes, she may even secretly get off on starting couples arguing. It gives her power, after all. It's an empty way to get your validation, but some women do it this way.
WHY DO MEN LOOK AT OTHER WOMEN: Men Love Beauty...
Guys just LOVE to look at women!
Have you ever wondered why there are SO MANY magazines with women in them and on them, and so few with men?
Women ARE beautiful!
Women are adored by all eyes as creatures of beauty. Men simply don't have that visual allure - unless it's a more athletic viewpoint.
It's NATURAL for men to look at women. What's off-putting is how long some guys keep it up.
(It's also said that when we appreciate beauty by indulging in it - taking it in through our senses - we are actually feeling a connection to the divine...)
Yes - Men adore the shape of the female body - and most women do, too!
In study after study of men and women, researchers find that women check out other women at least as much as men do.Often for different reasons, however. Women are assessing her in terms of threat, and a whole host of other indications. And women are comparing, as well as indulging in critical analysis.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN HE LOOKS AT ANOTHER WOMAN?
Well, I can tell you this for sure: It does NOT mean he'd cheat on you the second you turn your back on him.
Men simply have fleeting sexual daydreams all the time - and if there's a real live woman there to spark our imagination, well... We're going to indulge!
In the end, you want a guy who can - occasionally - check out another woman, and not spend 30 minutes doing it.
The fact is that he is checking her out, so don't resist it. As the saying goes, what you resist persists.
Blocking him from seeing other women is going to be interpreted as cutting off his freedom. Men do not respond well to this at all, and he'll interpret you as insecure.
Talk about it...
The best thing you can do is to accept that this is a fact of life for men. In fact, many men grow to find their own preoccupation with visual distractions to be really tiring.
If he's oblivious and tends to be too obvious with his staring, make sure you explain to him that you can see him checking out other women, and how it makes you feel.
But don't stop there. Tell him exactly what emotions it brings up, and why. This is something most women can't do, which is why they only resort to getting angry with him.
It's time to step up to the next level of maturity to make him do the same.
And then explain to him what YOU need - if you want some visual appreciation yourself.
It should be obvious by now, but we all (men and women) eventually grow a bit jaded and lazy about the relationship we're in. And we need to be reminded that we have to step up and work on the things we may have neglected.
Ultimately, you feel hurt when you think that he's giving his interest and attention to another woman.
ASK YOURSELF: What does it mean to YOU?
The most important thing about this situation is what it means to YOU.
And that's why you need to take your time and really figure out what the meaning is for you when men look at other women. Most women react on impulse and get angry instantly, without ever stopping to drill down into the feelings that overcome them.
His interest is fleeting...
You have to reach into yourself and see what it is that triggers you. You might be surprised to see what it is you are imagining - and that it has no basis in reality.
The male sex drive is built on physical attraction.
His RELATIONSHIP drive is built on CONNECTION!
ALWAYS REMEMBER: You have something that the woman he's looking at will not have... HISTORY.
Your relationship with him is what will ultimately make a man choose you over any fleeting visual he gets of a woman in a short dress.
She doesn't have your history with him. She doesn't have your connection. She doesn't have the bond of love that you share with him.
A man values a relationship if the relationship is healthy and whole. Men are not completely ruled by their sexual desires, as a lot of movies, TV, magazines, and books would try to lead you to believe. He's not a puppet or a brainless fool. He's a big boy who can make his own choices - good and bad.
So remember that you have the history with him. Other women are just brief entertainment that walks by him from time to time.
He's simply appreciating beauty!
These are things that are often overlooked by women when her man is checking out another woman. You've got the "home team" advantage.
He loves YOU...
What's often missing in you is knowing that he still looks at YOU the way that he looks at another woman...
And that is ultimately what throws you into a whirlwind of insecurity. You wonder if he's still interested in you. You wonder if he's growing tired and is ready for a "change."
You might even wonder if this is the beginning of the end.
But let me tell you something: This is something you can control ... if you want to!
There are over 50 Million married men in the US alone. Which should prove to you that men DO want long term relationships.
And with over 50 million more guys who are NOT married - you've got a bigger pond to fish in than you might have thought!
What do you do about it?
The best thing you can do about it is learn how to control your man's attention.
How to make him look at you instead of other women.
The truth is that men can be triggered to feel that same Dopamine rush I told you about earlier. Instead of getting that rush when he sees other women, he'll feel it only when he sees you!
It's call The Cupid Effect - and most women don't know what it is or how it works. Even though this has been used for hundreds of thousands of years to hook men into wanting a long-term committed relationship.
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