My boyfriend is checking out chicks while I'm standing right there!

It bugs me that he does this, but I don't want to make a big fuss.

Published July 23, 2007 10:31AM (EDT)


This is probably what you'd consider a luxury problem. I have a great relationship with a great guy. He is, for me, perfect. We've been together for close to a year. I won't bore you with all of his finer qualities, but truly, he is a catch, and he loves me, and I him, and we are decent and kind to each other. It's all good.

My problem is this: He checks out other women right in front of me. No game, this guy, no discretion, he just kind of assesses the merchandise. To be clear, I believe he does this when he doesn't believe I'm looking, which is to say that he's probably, at least on some level, aware that it's a bit ungentlemanly, this behavior.

I need to find a way to feel OK about this. I've never been in a relationship with a guy who is so blatant about it, and it kind of makes me feel bad about myself. I'm familiar with the adage, "When I stop looking, that's when you worry," but that doesn't help.

I don't want for this to be an issue between us, and I certainly don't want to pick a fight over it ... so I'm looking to you for some advice. Guy to gal. Please make me feel better so I don't launch off and say regrettable things and potentially sabotage a great relationship.

Wandering Eye's Girlfriend

Dear Girlfriend,

Next time you see him doing this, how about saying, "What do you think?"

To which he might reply, "What do you mean, what do I think? What do I think about what?"

To which you might say, "What do you mean, what about what? You know what. What do you think? On a scale of 1 to 10?"

He might regard your overture as a clever trap. He might try to pretend you didn't just say that.

What method does he generally use to pretend you didn't just say that? Does he use the silent, completely ignoring that last remark method? Does he use the confused, bewildered, sorry, must be going prematurely deaf method? Or does he use the mental deficiency method: "I'm sorry, I don't quite get what you're asking."

Any of these responses would be understandable, as he will sense the danger and will need a minute or two to evaluate his options.

However he responds, the fact is that you are attempting to cross over into his realm. He may want to deny you entrance. But he may also feel a tingle of excitement, as though you had suggested an activity you read about in the Kama Sutra.

But chances are, the first time you bring it up, he won't really go for it.

So let it go, but try it again the next time. Next time, if he does not respond, just throw out a number, say, "5."

See if he proffers a different number. If he is cautious, he will go low. It may still look like a trap to him.

If he comes back with a "4," you reply, "You're right. She has a fat butt."

Thus you may be able to slowly win over his confidence and trust. If you are able to hit the right tone, you may soon find yourself crossing over at will into the forbidden territory of guys checking out chicks.

Now, of course you have other options. You could berate him, which would be unpleasant. And you could continue to ignore the behavior, which will fill you with resentment. It is a lot of work to ignore the obvious. It is also a lot of work teaching a man how to behave.

So this response has many advantages.

For a man, it is interesting to hear a woman talk about other women the way a man might talk about them. And for you, instead of being judged, you become one of the judges. Now, in performing your duties as a judge competently, you may on occasion find it necessary to award a certain woman a higher score than you yourself have been awarded. That is OK. It is healthy.

Also, by learning which women seem to have the most profound effect on him, you can perhaps have some fun with that later when you are alone together. There's nothing wrong with that.

Checking out chicks with your boyfriend is tricky, however. You may want to discuss it with your girlfriends to determine if it is allowed under the terms of your membership in the sisterhood. It may not be.

If not, be sure to inquire what the penalties are for a violation. You may just have to break the rules and pay the fine.

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