Today's advice was requested by a girl from the US who we'll refer to henceforth as Miss J. Miss J asks:
Is it normal for my long term boyfriend to look at other girls even when we're together? It makes me feel insecure. Like he wants them more than he wants me. I know that sounds silly because he is with me after all, but it's how it makes me feel. Should I confront him about it or just suck it up and leave it be?
First of all, Miss J, you aren't alone. I have dozens of private messages about pretty much the same thing from other women all across the globe. So don't feel silly for asking. Secondly, this seems like something guys do out of habit more than anything else. You shouldn't take it personally. That said, it is a little disrespectful for him to do it so blatantly while you are with him. I suggest you calmly tell him how it makes you feel when he does so. But do not be confrontational. He hasn't actually done anything wrong. He may not even realize he's doing it (a lot of guys don't) and he definitely isn't aware of your feelings on the manner. The only way for him to know it bothers you, is for you to tell him it bothers you.
Communication is paramount in all relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic. Failure to communicate your true feelings will result in countless misunderstandings that will put strain on the relationship and lead to resentment. Either yours towards him, his towards you, or both. You definitely don't want to resent the person you're supposed to love. So just open up to him. As long as you remain calm and rational about it, he should respond in kind. Remember, you aren't asking him never to look at another woman ever again. That's asking the impossible. You're simply asking him to tone it down when he's with you, because you should be his first priority.
If he over-reacts you may need to ask yourself where the relationship is headed. He has no reason to get defensive if he hasn't done anything wrong, which makes it seem like he has a guilty conscience about it for some reason. This eludes to the possibility that he isn't being honest with you about his intentions. I'm not saying that he may have cheated on you or is looking to cheat on you, but if he gets defensive about the mere mention of his behavior -- something is amiss. He should be capable of having a mature adult conversation without flying off the handle. If he can't, then he isn't ready for a mature adult relationship.
Hope it all works out,
"Hey again Inari,
I took your advice and talked to my boyfriend about his behavior and you were right. He didn't even realize he was doing it. He even apologized even though I told him he hadn't really done anything wrong, it just bothered me. I know talking to him about it seems like the obvious thing to do, but when you're feeling insecure and nervous I really didn't think it'd be so easy as that. Thanks!!