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

Why do men look at other women when they’re supposedly happily coupled up? Every woman has probably been in a situation where they’re on a date with a new guy or even with a longtime partner and he glances at another woman who’s walking nearby. While it’s not the worst thing in the world and doesn’t mean he’s looking to be unfaithful, it is pretty obnoxious and can be offensive. If you’re looking for a bit more perspective on why this happens, here’s my take on it as a guy.

  1. Guys find other people attractive. Let’s get some things straight here. Just because you’re in a serious relationship with someone else doesn’t mean you can’t find other people attractive. It’s just a natural response to someone’s physical appearance. It has nothing to do with being invested in the relationship or not. Plus, let’s not act like women aren’t attracted to other guys while they’re in a relationship! It’s just that men are worse at preventing themselves from looking when they think they’ve spotted a beautiful lady.
  2. It’s a reflex. As I said, it’s natural and almost instinctual to find someone attractive and men like to look. For guys, glancing at an attractive woman while she’s walking by is almost an uncontrollable reflex. Try to understand that most of us have been doing this since we were teenagers and first discovered our attraction to the opposite sex. It becomes a part of who we are and can be a difficult habit to break. Not to make excuses, but we don’t always realize that we’re doing it; it’s almost a subconscious reflex we have to turn our heads when we see someone attractive.
  3. Men are visual creatures. I think we all recognize that men tend to be more visual and less emotional compared to women. Seeing something excites us more than feeling something. We also tend to crave seeing things that are new to us, which is why we tend to give a glance if we see an attractive woman we haven’t seen before.
  4. It’s fun. Honestly, looking at hot women is just fun. I mean, is that so hard to believe? I know that it can hurt the feelings of the woman that you’re with when you leer at someone else. But since most guys don’t think about this at the moment, we see it as mostly harmless fun. I can assure you that most of the time it’s just looking and a guy has no other plans. What’s the harm in that?
  5. He’s not giving you his full attention. Okay, this one can be our fault. Good guys will typically make an effort to give you their full attention so that they’re not tempted to look at anybody else in the room. But the emphasis should be on “make an effort.” We’re not always able to do that, and so we slip up and allow an attractive woman to distract us for a split second.
  6. Sex is usually on our minds. I know it’s not exactly a huge revelation that guys think about sex a lot. But the fact that guys think about sex a lot can make us more susceptible to looking at other women. It’s not that we’re planning on cheating on you or anything. It’s just that guys are inherently curious about what it would be like to sleep with the people we find attractive. For just a second or two when we see an attractive woman, the thought goes through our mind, which is why we try to steal a glance. It’s not the noblest thing, but it’s how our minds operate.
  7. We’re arrogant. I don’t want you to think that this applies to all men, but some guys can be cocky and arrogant when it comes to checking out other women. We think we’re being sneaky and covert about it. We also think we can do it without you realizing it. Essentially, some guys are arrogant enough to think they can get away with it, even if you’re right there. Clearly, most guys who think this are usually wrong. But just cause it’s wrong doesn’t stop guys from doing or thinking something.
  8. We don’t realize it hurts you. Not to plead ignorance, but not all guys recognize that women are bothered if they check out another woman. As I said, it’s our natural instinct, and we don’t usually assume it’s a big deal. If you let a guy know that it bothers you, the good guys will make an effort to stop. But no guy is perfect, and as I said, it’s a tough habit to break. As guys, one could say that one of our biggest flaws is our inability to stop looking at other women. But I assure you that it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not invested in the relationship.

How to get men to stop looking at other women

The difficult answer here is probably that you can’t. As I said, it’s an innate quality many of us have and it’s very difficult to train it out of us. However, if this is becoming a serious issue in your relationship and you want your boyfriend/the guy you’re casually dating to cut it out, you could try one of these methods. Note: there aren’t many options here!

  1. Tell him straight up that it bothers you. If he keeps looking at other women when you’re together and it’s annoying or upsetting you, tell him! He might not even realize you feel that way or that he was doing it and having it pointed out will be enough to draw his attention to it. Plus, if he truly cares about you, he’ll hate knowing that his behavior is affecting you negatively in any way and he’ll make a conscious effort to stop.
  2. Let him know you find it disrespectful. If you’re trying to take the high road here and not come off as insecure (which you’re not, but he might think you are if you mention this), tell him that it’s disrespectful for men to look at other women when they’re with one at that very moment. How he’ll respond to this is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth a try.
  3. Try to forget about it. At the end of the day, if he’s a solid guy and a good partner in general who doesn’t exhibit any other concerning behavior, you might just want to pick your battles and let this one fly. It’s probably a totally harmless thing that really doesn’t mean much, and making a big deal about it isn’t going to do anything but cause unnecessary drama.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.