He Really Was “Just Looking,” Says Portland Relationship Counselor

June 6, 2013 by

As a Portland Relationship Counselor, I’ve seen how the wandering eye of a male partner can be frustrating and hurtful.

How could it not be when you’re sitting right across from your significant other and his eyes dart over to check out the rear end or cleavage of the woman who just entered the room? Are you not attractive enough for him? Is he scanning the room imagining how he could pick someone else up? Doesn’t he realize how it makes you feel and that his darting glances can cause marriage problems?

And if you’re brave (or mad) enough to call him on it, chances are he’ll act surprised that you think it’s a big deal – after all, he was just looking.

Here’s the thing, though: because of the way men’s brains are built, he really was “just looking.”

Portland Relationship Counselor: The Science of “Just Looking”

It’s important for women, and men in relationships with other men, to understand where “just looking” comes from.

You’ve probably heard that men are visual before, but it’s not just some platitude or old wives’ tale. In every man’s brain, there is a lust center (women have them too, but ours work differently!). When a man is, say, sitting in a coffee shop and an attractive woman enters, his brain basically shouts at him to “look, look, look!” He’s like a dog that catches a powerful scent, and his instinct is to react – in this case by glancing up.

Does that mean that you should just grin and bear it if your guy is ogling other women? No!

We Don’t Have to Be Ruled by Instinct, Says Portland Relationship Counselor

Many men genuinely don’t understand what the big deal is about looking – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be taught. Let them know how it makes you feel, and ask how they’d react if you started looking at other guys. Chances are, it would cause marriage problems.

If we simply followed our knee-jerk impulses, most of us would probably never have a long-term relationship. In order to truly be committed, both partners have to strive to understand and please each other, and often that means modifying behavior and thinking about the other person before acting.

If you don’t know how to change on your own, a Portland relationship counselor can help.