Why Do Men Look At Other Women When They’re Supposedly Happily Coupled Up?

You’re coupled up with a great guy and he’s exactly what you’ve been looking for. Everything is going great; there’s just one little problem: You catch him ogling other women sometimes. He’s always telling you how hot you are and he definitely makes you feel sexy. But if that’s the case, then why does he ever avert his eyes? Why do men look at other women when they’re supposedly happily coupled up?

Why do men look at other women when they’re in a relationship?

  1. They’re basically hardwired to do it. It’s in men’s nature to look at pretty things, according to the University of Oslo‘s Department of Psychology. That’s because attractive women release neurochemicals in their brains that amp them up and make them feel great. Women do this too, to a certain degree. We’re just not as obvious or shameless about it.
  2. He’s not that into you. It is possible that this habit is a bad one and indicates an underlying dissatisfaction with the relationship as a whole. Men who are unhappy with their partners often look at other women because they’re fantasizing about a way out. Often, they turn to infidelity to ease that feeling, but not always.
  3. They don’t even realize they’re doing it. Men aren’t always conscious of their actions. Your boyfriend might be checking out an attractive woman absentmindedly, not even realizing what he’s doing. That’s not to say that he’s not aware of who he’s looking at, just that he’s not giving her his attention.
  4. You’re not the only attractive woman on the planet. It sucks to admit it, but it’s true. You’re a total snack, a babe, a dime piece, whatever you want to call it. However, there are other beautiful women out there too. Your boyfriend is bound to notice them. He noticed you, didn’t he?
  5. They always want what they can’t have. They realize they’ve hit the jackpot by finding incredible girlfriends, but that doesn’t mean they don’t think the grass might be greener on the other side (or wonder if it might be). Try not to take it personally. Chances are, your partner won’t put this into action. It’s just a harmless fantasy.
  6. The woman is drawing attention to herself in some way. If she’s scantily clad, acting outrageously, or doing something to draw attention to herself, everyone will be looking, not just your boyfriend. You can’t blame him for that, can you?
  7. They like keeping you on your toes. Men sometimes do look at other women on purpose as a way to make you jealous. They’re not doing anything really wrong, but they’re playing a little game to pique your insecurity. They want you to think they could always find someone else. What they don’t realize is that you could too.
  8. They’re bored or distracted. If your relationship has felt stagnant lately, this could be the case. It’s not that your boyfriend doesn’t love you, he’s just bored. So, he looks at other women occasionally for a sense of excitement. That doesn’t make it right, but it does happen.
  9. They’re having an affair. This is not necessarily the likely answer, but it is a possibility. This is especially true if you notice him paying attention to one woman in particular on multiple occasions. Look for other clues to see if you’re right to worry.

Does having a wandering eye lead to cheating?

The short answer is: not necessarily. Just because men look at other women doesn’t mean they’re destined to be unfaithful. Given that guys are visual creatures and can’t help but appreciate hot women (of which you’re one), of course they’re going to look. However, that doesn’t mean they’re unhappy with you or would ever betray your trust by having an affair.

While it may be hurtful, merely appreciating another woman’s physical beauty by looking at her does not constitute cheating. And if it’s a solitary behavior — they don’t do anything else shady or hurtful — there really is nothing to worry about. If you need further convincing, research has proven that looking at other women doesn’t have a real-world effect on infidelity.

What to do when it happens

  1. Call him out on it. By “call him out,” we’re not suggesting that you start screaming and shouting at your boyfriend about it. That’s silly. However, if you notice it happening a lot and it’s upsetting or annoying you, communicate that with him. Let him know that it hurts your feelings and makes you feel insecure. If he cares about you, he’ll try to be more aware of that in the future.
  2. Don’t make a big deal about it. When you do communicate your feelings with him, keep things in perspective. Turning it into a huge issue or instigating a shouting match over it won’t just result in the opposite reaction that you want, it’ll also make you look a bit nuts. You can tell him how you feel without losing your cool.
  3. Ignore it altogether. Since men look at other women all the time without it leading to anything else, you might be better off straight-up ignoring it. Don’t call him out on it, don’t acknowledge it. Hell, don’t even think about it. Recognize that he’s with you and no one else. That should be enough.
  4. If he’s generally a good partner, look inward instead. If you’re really struggling with this despite your boyfriend being a really caring, attentive partner, you may need to take a look at yourself. Work on your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It could be that your insecurities are making this issue bigger than it really is.

When “just looking” becomes completely unacceptable

  1. He actively flirts with other women in front of you (or behind your back). When men look at other women, that’s one thing. However, if they start actively flirting with them or acting inappropriately, that’s a no-go. Flirting with other people when you’re in a relationship is not only disrespectful, it’s totally unacceptable. You shouldn’t put up with it.
  2. His social media accounts are full of Insta and OnlyFans models. While it’s human nature to notice other attractive people, if your boyfriend’s Instagram feed is full of scantily clad women who work in the sex industry (no hate, by the way — more power to them!), something isn’t right.
  3. You find out his dating app accounts are still active. If he’s so addicted to looking at other women that he feels the need to “look” via dating apps, he’s definitely heading toward cheating. That is if he’s not doing it already. This is never okay. It’s certainly never something that should be happening in a happy relationship.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia