Checking out others while out with a SO

km34

New member
I know this has been talked about before, but I can't find it for the life of me!

I was talking to someone I recently started dating (as in we made it official about 2 days ago... haha), and it came up that Keith had mentioned that I have gotten frustrated with him in the past for checking out other women when he and I are out. She kind of jokingly told me that I'll have the same problem with her.

My view: When we are out on a date, don't check other people out, or at least do it discreetly. When I'm in the middle of telling you a story or am talking passionately about something while looking directly at your face, it's really rude to turn your head to watch someone you find attractive walk by! Glancing over is one thing, actually turning your head to follow her is another. If we are on a date, that is MY quality time. If you're spending it looking at other people, I'm not going to feel like you care about that time or me. I told her (and have told Keith) that this is probably a prime example of my neediness, but I HAVE to have someone's focus every once in a while and a date is the time that I expect that to happen.

Now, if we're just hanging out, group activity, or something like that - checking out other people is great and I'll do it on occasion too (I'm not really a visual person when it comes to attractiveness so I don't look at others nearly as often as most people seem to - except boobs, I most definitely look at those :D ).

What does everyone else think?
 
Both Fly and I and Punk and I enjoy pointing out attractive women to each other, it's kind of a bonding thing, I think. But I definitely need to be in the right mood, and it needs to be a together thing. If a partner is checking people out, especially obviously or oogling, when I'm trying to communicate or give or receive focused attention, I think that's rude. Like watching tv or playing video games - if we're both doing it together, or if I'm doing something else, that's fine. But if we're supposed to be having a conversation and you're watching Dancing with the Stars from the corner of your eye, you're being disrespectful and dismissive.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
We Frequently do it together. But, if we aren't looking together, we are all discreet. Being blatantly rude to someone while you are together is unacceptable in our 'polyship' and not 'Jedi' behavior as Galagirl calls it.
 

ThatGirlInGray

New member
When I'm in the middle of telling you a story or am talking passionately about something while looking directly at your face, it's really rude to turn your head to watch someone you find attractive walk by! Glancing over is one thing, actually turning your head to follow her is another.

I'm not usually bothered by someone I'm with checking other people out, but you're absolutely right that what you're talking about here is rude. I guess it's never happened to me to quite that degree, so I've never had to have an issue with it?

TGIB does get distracted by "shiny!" fairly easily, sometimes at inopportune times, but mostly he tries really hard to work on his impulse control so I mostly just tease him when he slips up. It's rare that I take it personally and get upset. But if it happened a lot or I didn't see any effort being put in to show some restraint? Yeah, that'd tick me off too!
 

Avy

New member
Another point to remember is how we as humans respond to small cues and conditioned responses. For example, if you have a habit of going to a busy bar and checking people out together, but then one night you go to the same place but want very focused attention from your partner, it's going to be tricky to switch up the associated behavior.

My wife and I (although not poly yet) both love people-watching. When we make plans to go out, we actually say "let's go to this busy coffee shop and sit outside and people watch", and we'll sit side-by-side and whisper comments about other people's outfits, or how that couple is obviously on a first date and not gelling, etc.

If she says she wants focused attention, we go for a walk alone, or someplace quiet, where there aren't as many distractions.
 

km34

New member
Another point to remember is how we as humans respond to small cues and conditioned responses. For example, if you have a habit of going to a busy bar and checking people out together, but then one night you go to the same place but want very focused attention from your partner, it's going to be tricky to switch up the associated behavior.

That is a very good point. Our date nights (Keith and mine) are generally one of two activities (or both if we're in a spendy kind of mood): dinner and movie. Movie is always in the same place - a mall we NEVER go to unless we're going to see a movie. Dinner can be at places we go to when we're just not in the mood to cook (which is not a date, therefore checking out people is okay), but is generally at a nicer place than what we'd pick in that situation. Sometimes instead of a movie we'll go to a live show, but once again, the theatre is a place we ONLY go to on dates. So, locations don't overlap, really.

That is definitely something to keep in mind for the future, though!

I just couldn't believe that the fight I had to have with Keith about quality time is apparently one I may have to have again. How in the world do I attract people with the same things that rub me the wrong way?! lol
 

nycindie

Active member
Did she say flat out that she would not adjust her roving eye at all, or that she would make an effort to honor your wishes? Does she not see the rudeness and disrespect you feel about it from your viewpoint? In order for intimate relationships to work well, I believe it's very important to try and see things from the other person's point of view, especially if you don't understand the reasoning at first. It doesn't bode well if someone isn't willing to put themselves in your shoes for a moment. Invite her to see things from your perspective - maybe ask her about something she feels strongly about and compare it to that. I hope you won't have to fight about it.
 

km34

New member
Did she say flat out that she would not adjust her roving eye at all, or that she would make an effort to honor your wishes? Does she not see the rudeness and disrespect you feel about it from your viewpoint? In order for intimate relationships to work well, I believe it's very important to try and see things from the other person's point of view, especially if you don't understand the reasoning at first. It doesn't bode well if someone isn't willing to put themselves in your shoes for a moment. Invite her to see things from your perspective - maybe ask her about something she feels strongly about and compare it to that. I hope you won't have to fight about it.

I don't mean that we'll literally fight about it, but I can see myself having to point out every time it happens, explaining how it makes me feel and why, over a lengthy span of time before any lasting changes occur in behavior.

She said it more as a warning - an "I will probably do this too" kind of statement, not an "I do this and there's nothing wrong with it even if it makes you feel disrespected" statement.
 

Arrowbound

New member
I do it too, but waaaaaaay more discreetly than he does, lmao. It doesn't bother me for him to look at other women when we're out; he usually invites me to look for myself if he finds any of them attractive.

That might be a part of why it doesn't bother me. I already know where his focus is and that's enough for me.
 

turtleHeart

New member
To me, watching/appreciating people is part of enjoying one's surroundings. Asking someone not to do so would be similar to expecting them to not enjoy the wind in their hair or the smell of food coming from the kitchen when you're talking to them.
 

CielDuMatin

New member
I think it's one of those "there's an appropriate time and place" things.

If I am in a deep conversation, with lots of eye contact, then being distracted by some attractive person walking by would be highly disrespectful.

Both of my partners and I have turned it into a game - kind of like mutually enjoying a nice view. In the same way that, while out for a walk, we might talk about a nice view of a lake, or a pretty tree, we will talk about a good-looking person that we see too. The point is that it is no more threatening than looking at a nice tree - we know that neither of us are going to start chatting up that person or do anything beyond enjoying a thing of beauty.
 

Arrowbound

New member
To me, watching/appreciating people is part of enjoying one's surroundings. Asking someone not to do so would be similar to expecting them to not enjoy the wind in their hair or the smell of food coming from the kitchen when you're talking to them.

Love! Will relay to my girl-friend who sees red over stuff like this. :D
 
I'm pretty sure that other thread wasn't too long ago, though I remember who it was by and it's been awhile since they posted so maybe its longer than I thought.

I didn't answer on that thread but I will here - I would find it annoying to have somebody obviously stare or appear distracted by somebody else to a noticeable amount when I'm on a date or out and about with them one on one, but I don't mind a "hey I think that person is attractive" from established partners. I'm less comfortable with that sort of behavior during the "we are still getting to know each other and getting comfortable" phase with somebody new. If I find a guy sexy, it's about 1.5 second's worth of look to appreciate whatever I like. A female, 2 seconds. If they are seated within my sight line, I may glance more than once, but if they are walking by, I certainly wouldn't follow them with my eyes as they walked by. If I can appreciate and lust that quickly, I don't see why the rest of the human population can't too! :rolleyes:

A party, kink event, or something where it's about meeting and mingling, I feel differently because there's more of an expectation that we would be open to meet somebody to date there. Looking a lot at somebody you find interesting while working up the courage to meet them and talk to them I'd expect a partner to do. It's when looking too long at strangers (be it me or them doing the looking, or being on the receiving end of it) then I think it can be creepy or inappropriate..
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
What does everyone else think?

Think about what? That you have explained your limits to your partner? Good on you. You definitely tell your partner where your limits lie.

What MY limits on checking people are out with DH?

Depends. It's fine to look if we are out together -- just SHARE the peekie with me so I can look too!

It is fine to look if you are out alone -- and you can share the peekie verbally later or not. Up to you. Sometimes I'm out alone and admire someone from afar and I remember to tell DH about it or I don't. It's not a big deal to us. We're not looking to ask for their phone number or anything.

But no peekies around the kid, or around other people that could take it out of context -- that is not discreet.

GG
 

Tonberry

New member
Probably depends on the stage of the relationship.
At the very beginning, I expect to be very much focused on each other, and checking others out constantly could get annoying. Once a relationship is established, though, that's more of a bonding thing, and although I'm straight I could be the one pointing out a woman to him.

Ultimately I wouldn't make a rule out of it, I would only call someone out on it if they do it the whole time and I feel like they're not listening to me. I'd feel like I'm boring them. Doing it only a couple of times during a date would be fine, I think.
 

StrayKitten

New member
To me, watching/appreciating people is part of enjoying one's surroundings. Asking someone not to do so would be similar to expecting them to not enjoy the wind in their hair or the smell of food coming from the kitchen when you're talking to them.
Agreed, turtleHeart! I love people watching, and if I'm out with my primary-type I point out especially attractive women to him, but haven't gotten that comfortable with my girlfriend yet.
But I'm also very good at giving undivided attention when needed. When a serious conversation is happening I don't get distracted by "shiny" in the corner, but if I'm just chatting casually or at a bar waiting for a drink, I have no problems looking or with my partners looking. It's perfectly fine to admire beautiful people, IMO ;)
 
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