is it wrong to look at others while with one?


New member
well, there it is, is it wrong to check out other people whil you're with someone? And if so why? Is it merely self conscienceness which makes the one you're with uncomfortable? Or something more?
I think it depends on the situation....

I spend almost every free moment with my husband. We check other people out all the time in front of each other. No big deal. HOWEVER, when we go out on a date, I don't and he tries not to (or at least does it more subtly so I don't notice as much).

It also depends on the people. He and I don't care. We know we both check people out and we enjoy talking about the people that catch our attention. It also doesn't offend us or make us uncomfortable because we feel very confident about our relationship and our dedication towards one another. Now, there are times that I will get after him when he is ogling a bit too openly and could seem like a creepy staring guy by strangers. That's more so people don't judge him though. :) There are also times when I'm not in the mood to check people out (usually when I've chosen to be frumpy and am wearing comfy, unattractive clothes and didn't really do anything with my hair and he starts pointing out these women in short skirts and heels and nice hair) so he tries to keep it in check at those times, too.

My ex girlfriend, however, got PISSED whenever I or her husband would check people out. It also didn't help that he and I have the same taste in women and she really doesn't fit our stereotypical "type" (we generally like tall, blonde, booby... she was average height, brunette, small-ish boobs) so it really bothered her to catch us both staring at the same chick.

Pretty sure it's all in the other person's head. When I'm feeling kind of frumpy or unattractive and he points out someone that I perceive to be more attractive than I am, then I feel like he is comparing us and that I am losing. Not the case, he's just enjoying the view, but I let it bother me.

Being rude about it and letting attractive people walking by distract you from talking to or paying attention to the person you're with, not good, but it's natural for people to look at others (I think) so.. yeah. As long as you're somewhat subtle and don't let it negatively impact the time spent, why not?
I think it's just human nature to notice and admire others. Their beauty, personality, skills, knowledge, whatever.

Just because you feel an emotion doesn't mean you have to DO anything about it. You don't choose to feel it. You just feel whatever you feel when you feel it.

What you do get to choose is how to respond -- you choose to REACT to the emotion or ACT WITH INTENT.

And in my case, I choose to enjoy the passing feeling and let it go. Sometimes I share the feeling with DH and he's amused. Sometimes I do not and enjoy it blowing on through by myself. Crushes are fun but they don't have to mean anything or go anywhere.

It's not a threat or a bother or anything. Neither of us feels uncomfortable with it. We both feel it's just passing emotion, and we're both secure in ourselves and in each other. We're not in an open time right now, so it's a non-issue. And if we were in an open time, we trust to bring it up to the partner, process, and get the green light first before trying to act on it in a different way than just choosing let it blow on through.

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I think it's about the insecurity of the person that has an issue with it. Bear and I routinely check out other people. He checks out just women, I check out women and men. Neither of us feels threatened. :::shrug:::
Exactly what I was thinking reading one of those posts popping up after the other. Just wanted to second Emm. (Whose post is miraculously gone ...?) You should really start looking for ways to find a workable solution on the basis of what you two can provide, not by comparing what others did or would do. This is your relationship, start to trust your own feelings and listen to your needs.
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My wife, her boyfriend, my girlfriend and I all enjoy checking people out together, any time we're out, or looking at online profiles together. I don't know of any time when we'd be trying to avoid doing so, it's fun to see what we each like, and where there's overlap.
Just wanted to second Emm. (Whose post is miraculously gone ...?)
Sorry, I deleted it as I thought it was erring on the side of unnecessary snarkiness. I hoped I'd done it soon enough after posting that both it's existence and sudden absence would remain unnoticed.

To summarise, my point was that Polypenguin often seems to post hoping that most of the replies will be of the type he can use to convince GeneBean that she's Doing Poly Wrong. My suggestion was that he stop relying on the opinions of internet strangers and try to solve the problems that actually exist rather than trying to find some kind of poly group-think he can then use to browbeat his GF into seeing things his way.

Phy, feel free to un-second me if my re-write veered too far from my original post.
Everything's alright, just what I was trying to say basically :)
Not to me. It's unrealistic to expect my SO not to look at other women, and it's unrealistic for him to expect me not to look at other men or women. Illogical, irrational, etc. I've told a girlfriend of my view on this before and she agreed but acknowledged that she still can't handle being witness to an SO looking at anyone else. To each their own I guess.
Not to me. It's unrealistic to expect my SO not to look at other women, and it's unrealistic for him to expect me not to look at other men or women. Illogical, irrational, etc. I've told a girlfriend of my view on this before and she agreed but acknowledged that she still can't handle being witness to an SO looking at anyone else. To each their own I guess.

I second this.

Expecting no looking to occur = ridiculous. It's pretty much an automatic reflex for most people, and while it can be controlled to a certain extent, more than likely it's always going to happen unless a person keeps his or her head down and never looks at anyone.

Expecting a partner to be respectful about it = fair.

Polypenguin - I would say if you're making it obvious that you're checking others out or making comments about others being hot all the time, it's not cool. If she just watches for signs that you're doing it, that's her problem.
A bright and shining moment of my youth stands out in this category. I was newly out and bi, and I was dating a very handsome bi man. We stayed together in his dorm room a lot. He had a roommate, Phil. One morning, we were all waking up, lazing around, thinking of getting up. My amour was spooning me and were both facing Phil's bed (their beds were opposite each other).[oh to be young again, and able to sleep double in a single bed without waking up in agony]

Phil was sleeping in shorts or something, no shirt. He reached a muscled-arm down to the floor, picked up an aluminum can (probably beer) and crushed it. My date and I both shivered with delight, and caught our breath. It was completely weird, and completely lovely at the same time.

That said, most of the men I've been with pretty much only look at me when we're together. I sort of like that. My high school boyfriend and I checked out women all the time; and I did that with the complete and total knowledge and confidence that he only wanted me; and it was just an exercise in eye candy. Had I thought for one moment that he was shopping, I would have been deeply wounded.
EMM, I can understand where you can get that from, but the truth is, i'm trying to find out whether i'm just being a chovenist by looking at other wemon. Genebean doesn't usually read my posts.
I think we're genetically predispositioned to admire the human form. Runic Wolf and I sit in the mall food court and check people out together over dinner. Wendigo and I once had a conversation about who, in our larp, made our ooh, I'd love to hit that, but know it's never gonna happen lists.
We've got eyes and a biological drive towards reproduction on a primal level so I find it completely normal to notice when someone is attractive.

However there is a difference between noticing and leering. Single me found being leered at by someone out on date night with their partner just as uncomfortable as married me does. If they are both into it and whatnot they cool for them, I still find leering at people to be a bit classless.

When I'm out of a date, I might finds someone else attractive. My eyes see it and I internally think "that person is hot" and it takes all of about a split second for that to happen. I don't need to draw anyone else into that process if I'm out of a date and I find it to be derailing to my focus being on my date and the time I'm having with them especially now with poly since not all my dates are with one person. They have to share my attention all the time already, they shouldn't have to share it while I'm with them too.
So people enjoy people-watching, others enjoy ogling, and still others don't. trying to come up with a blanket rule for this is futile, in my opinion.

So my answer is - that totally depends on your relationship.
I'm personally fine with a partner who doesn't feel like looking at others, or with a partner who likes looking at others and does. What I don't like is a partner who wants to look at others, but doesn't and builds up resentment because he feels it's my fault he can't.
Once again communication is key. I've had a lot of experiences with ex-partners "sacrificing" something "for my sake" and resenting me for it when I didn't ask for anything in the first place.
I've had a lot of experiences with ex-partners "sacrificing" something "for my sake" and resenting me for it when I didn't ask for anything in the first place.

I had this issue with my ex. One of the most aggravating things ever, especially since I encouraged him to acknowledge his attraction to others. He'd get so twisted inside and feel so guilty he'd ask for 'breaks', like that was supposed to be a cure-all.:rolleyes:
I think it has to be put down as a big FAT depends. Wrong ...maybe ?
Bad form maybe ....with your pregnant wife ...and get caught ...pushing the wrong side of things. So it depends.:D. Hope that helps