Should you yell at your guy for looking? According to science ... he can't help it.
Women (and men), listen up! This is a true story:
My significant other and I were walking hand-in-hand at the mall one afternoon when a super-sexy woman approached. Without consciously thinking about it, I checked her out, casually turning my head as she passed by. I was trying to play it off cool and not get caught.
Fat chance! Before I could even snap my head back, I knew I'd been busted. Yet, what happened next blew me away.
Instead of feeling a shot to my ribs or hearing, "What the hell are looking at?" 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.
In a split second I had totally forgotten the woman I'd just admired, and my attention was instantly focused back on my sweetie. Not only was my focus back where it should have been, but 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. What I can tell you is that because my significant other didn't make me feel like a criminal, and I was able to just be a man and do a little "window shopping," I wanted to immediately find a place to make love to her.
All my energy transferred from the unknown woman 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: most men check out other women, but it doesn't mean we want to have sex with them; nor is ogling meant to disrespect you. We simply can't help it and here's why:
1. Blame it on our noggins. Scientists say 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.
As Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Male Brain explains it, just as cavemen sought out multiple mating partners so they could produce as many offspring as possible, 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. Duh. We guys have six times more of this libido hormone surging through our veins than women do. Columbia University researchers 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. A new study shows that while women tend to feel attracted to familiar faces, men are more turned on by someone they've never seen before. I believe this "novelty" theory holds true 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 your guy 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, saying, "She looks like a slut," "Those boobs are fake, you know," or "I guarantee you she bleaches her hair." All of this screams 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."
- Or better yet, acknowledge and draw attention to it in a playful, loving way. Then, watch how fast he shifts his focus back to you! Above all, remember that your man 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 towards another woman.
Also keep in mind that this isn't just a guy thing. Studies show that women check out men, 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.
For more tips on how to have a super-tight relationship, visit my Experts page to order a copy of my bestselling book, Conversation is Sexy.