According to science.
It’s understandably upsetting when your boyfriend or husband checks out other women right in front of you. You might even find yourself wondering, “Does he really love me? He has me, so why does he need to look anyone else?”
The fact of the matter is that his wandering eye and your frustration with it probably has far more to do with some simple differences between men and women than it does his feelings for you.
For example, my significant other and I were walking hand-in-hand at the mall one afternoon when a beautiful woman approached. Without consciously thinking about it, I checked her out, casually turning my head as she passed, and trying to play it off cool so I wouldn’t get caught.
Fat chance! Yet, what happened next blew me away.
Instead of feeling a jab to my ribs, my partner remarked, “That woman was very attractive, wasn’t she?”
My jaw almost hit the ground, and I had to clarify, “What did you say?”
“That woman was attractive, don’t you think?” she repeated.
My attention was instantly focused back on my sweetie, and I found myself wanting to hug the woman I loved and plant a big, fat kiss on her — right there in front of Nordstrom.
Did she really think the woman I’d been checking out was attractive? I have no clue. But what I know is that because my significant other didn’t make me feel like a criminal, I wanted to immediately find a place to make love to her.
All my energy transferred back to the love of my life in a matter of seconds, and I felt closer than ever to her.
I think the take-away from this scenario serves up a valuable lesson to women everywhere.
The fact is that most men check out other women, but it doesn’t mean we want to have sex with them; nor is looking at them meant to disrespect you.
So, why do guys check out every girl they see? We simply can’t help it — and here’s why:
1. Blame it on our noggins
As Louann Brizendine, M.D. explains it, one of the most glaring differences between the male and female brain “is that men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain.”
Just as cavemen sought out multiple mating partners so they could produce as many offspring as possible, she states, the brain of the modern-day male (even a happily hitched one) is more or less programmed to always be on the lookout for a fertile mate.
Not to say that men intend to physically pursue any visual enticement they encounter, but there is still a deep-seated need to “check out the goods.”
2. Testosterone plays a big role, too
Pranjal Mehta, a social psychologist at Columbia University in New York, says that, on average, “guys have six times the amount surging through their veins as women.”
He and fellow researchers also found that “testosterone impairs the impulse-control region of the brain.”
In other words, most guys likely look before they think.
3. Visual creatures that we are, there’s also the “eye candy” factor
Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow found, that while women tend to feel attracted to familiar faces, men are more turned on by someone they’ve never seen before.
I personally believe this “novelty” theory holds true for men with objects, as well as women.
The next time you catch your man turning his head to get a better look at a hot chick, ask yourself this: “Would you get on his case for checking out a cool new car that just drove by?”
I didn’t think so.
So, what should you do when your guy notices an attractive woman?
- Avoid making him feel like he’s done something wrong.
As tempting as it might be, resist jabbing your elbow in his side, shooting him an icy stare, giving him the silent treatment, or even making snide remarks about the woman he’s admired. These behaviors scream insecurity and could quickly lead to an unnecessary argument.
- Ignore it, since it’s likely fleeting.
As Dr. Brizendine puts it, “Men look at attractive women the way we look at pretty butterflies. They catch the male brain’s attention for a second, but then they flit out of his mind.”
- Better yet, acknowledge and draw his attention to it in a playful, loving way.
Then, watch how quickly he shifts his focus back to you!
Above all, remember that he is with you because he loves you.
The sexy, beautiful, or classy woman he’s just checked out can’t even begin to compete with the bond you’ve already established with him. And the emotional connection he has with you is way deeper than a quick look directed toward another woman.
Also, keep in mind that this isn’t just a guy thing.
Studies show that women check men out, too. But, since you have peripheral vision that’s far superior to ours (meaning you don’t have to turn your head to give a hot guy the once over), you rarely get caught.
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