We all want to feel secure in our relationships. To feel wanted and cherished. Trust is an important aspect to any romantic relationship, and a wandering eye can bring up feelings of insecurity and even suspicion.
When the issue of a partner’s wandering eye is brought into discussion, there appear to be two differing responses to this behaviour. It is either met with indifference, and viewed as a human response beyond one’s control. Other individuals, on the other hand, find it upsetting and disrespectful.
Before we dive into the best way to approach this issue with your partner, let’s explore whether it’s necessary to worry about this behaviour. According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine via elitedaily.com it only takes about 100 milliseconds of gazing for the average person to decide if someone is a potential sexual partner. With that in perspective, there’s a fine line between a harmless glance and blatant ogling.
If you are constantly catching your partner checking people out, that’s obviously the first sign that they might have wandering eyes. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology via verywellmind.com found that a consistent wandering eye may hint towards a deeper issue in a relationship. On the other side of the coin, take care to not blow something small out of proportion.
Here’s the thing; being in a committed relationship doesn’t render a person suddenly impervious to attractive people. We’re human beings who are innately drawn to beauty. We’re visual creatures. A quick glance at someone attractive is probably just an involuntary response. What matters is how fast your partner tears their gaze away. If they continue to stare and check this person out in your presence, that crosses the line from harmless to disrespectful.
If your partner is in the habit of ogling other people there’s nothing wrong with communicating your discomfort. It’s not only awkward for you to be subjected to that kind of behaviour, it could also be a blow to the ego.
You’re not expecting them to wear blinders, but asking your partner to be mindful of their wandering eye when you’re around is not unreasonable. Proper communication is paramount here – you don’t want to nag or lead with jealousy.
Contrastingly, many women take a different approach. Instead of showing that they are affected by this behaviour, they go along with it. Here’s an example – let’s say a woman catches her boyfriend eyeing a woman. Instead of turning a blind eye, she’ll speak up, point out the woman receiving her partner’s attention and say something along these lines: “Wow. She’s got insane legs, huh?”
This is an effective strategy for a few reasons. For one, you’re showing your confidence. You’re secure enough in yourself to recognize beauty within other women. That whole “she’s beautiful and so am I” mentality. This is a wildly attractive characteristic to men. It allows you to take control of the situation on your own terms and diffuse it without bringing attention to the issue. It also shows that you’re confident in your relationship. You know that an attractive stranger isn’t going to derail your entire relationship. There’s so more to chemistry than physical attraction. There’s emotional chemistry, spiritual chemistry. You know you hit all these points with your partner – you wouldn’t be in a relationship if you didn’t have that multi-faceted connection. Having that deep confidence in your relationship, having a solid foundation of trust? This makes a huge difference in the stability of a relationship.
A wandering eye can indeed point to a larger issue within a relationship – but it can also just be a simple acknowledgement of attractive people. They’re everywhere – we can’t escape them. Before anything else, look within. Feel good about who you are, and know that your partner was drawn to you for a plethora of reasons. Your partner’s momentary attention to an attractive person in no way diminishes their attraction to you.