3 Signs Your Partner Has A Wandering Eye & Why It’s Probably NBD, According To Experts
Once you're in a relationship, it's totally understandable to want your partner to think you are the hottest person on the planet. And surely, they do. But there are literally tons of attractive people your bae is going to come across on a daily basis, and although a glance or two can be harmless, it's still totally normal to be concerned you're missing the signs your partner has a wandering eye. The thing is, being in a relationship doesn't make you oblivious to other attractive people, so, is this actually something you need to be worried about?
Well, it depends. It's worth noting that looking at someone who's attractive and perhaps even engaging them in conversation is different than anything that would physically be defined as cheating. Although, the definition of "cheating" can and often does vary from relationship to relationship.
It might sound surprising, but according to a study published in the U.S. National Library Of Medicine, it only takes about 100 milliseconds of gazing for the average person to decide if someone is a potential sexual partner. That's less than a second, which is far from the obvious ogling that most people associate with a "wandering eye". I spoke with Brooklyn-based dating expert Demetrius Figueroa to figure out the common signs your partner is window shopping, and how to tell if it's harmless or leading to more risqué behavior.
1. You catch them looking at other attractive people.
"I think the earliest and most obvious sign that your partner has wandering eyes is when you catch them checking other people out," Figueroa tells Elite Daily. "The reality is that even the most faithful person in the world will notice when an attractive person enters their line of sight. It doesn’t make them more likely to cheat."
Now, if they're constantly drooling at others in your presence and it makes you feel uncomfortable, then there's nothing wrong with bringing it up. Even if it's awkward, you shouldn't have to pretend you're OK with something when you aren't. It's unrealistic to expect your partner to never check out a hottie for the entirety of your relationship, but asking them not to do it in your presence should be totally fair game.
2. They engage in some questionable social media activity.
According to Figueroa, having a "wandering eye" doesn't have to only be taken literally.
"You can have a wandering eye on social media just as easily as you could in person," says Figueroa. "If you notice a sudden surge in your partner following ridiculously attractive people [or] liking photos and comments that seem to be a bit risqué, [those are all signs] they’ve got a wandering eye."
But again, is this an actual problem? Well, Figeroa suggests looking at it in from a more pragmatic angle.
"Every cheater has a wandering eye, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who has a wandering eye is a cheater," explains Figueroa. "Tilting your head when someone attractive walks by is relatively harmless, but going out of your way to leave flirty comments on social media is not."
3. They frequently attend events where there will be singles without you.
"You might find that your partner is starting to plan more and more events where they can interact with attractive single people when you’re not there," says Figueroa.
I'm not gonna lie, I'd be annoyed AF if my SO was going out of his way to set aside time to ogle hot people instead of just ogling me. Figueroa does note that "obvious ogling" is much more of a red-flag than "fleeting glances". That said, since there's no way to know for sure that they're going to an event just to look at hotties, pouncing on them for going places solo because there "could be hot people there" might not be the most productive way to address your concerns. Instead, it might be better to consider having a casual conversation about it.
"In the end, a wandering eye, whether it’s online or offline, is harmless on its own," says Figueroa. "A wandering eye isn’t a judgment of your attractiveness or a sign that your partner wants to cheat. It’s just an acknowledgment that other people are also attractive, as long as your partner isn’t acting on it."
Your feelings are totally valid, whatever they may be, so if your partner checking out other people upsets you, then yes. You absolutely can talk to them about it, and you shouldn't have to worry about them not responding well. A good partner will be receptive to anything you have to say. So if you're able to talk about your feels and address concerns in a non-accusatory way, this is almost always a good route to go.
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