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Could Your Boyfriend’s Wandering Eye Save Your Relationship?

Could Your Boyfriend’s Wandering Eye Save Your Relationship?

A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology is shedding some new light on the “forbidden fruit” theory, which simply says that we want what we can’t have. Isn’t that the the core of human nature? As children, we wanted to play with any toy that was taken away from us. As adolescents, we wanted to do all the things we weren’t legally old enough for. So it stands to reason that as adults, we’re going to want to do the precise opposite of whatever it is we’re told not to do. Researchers in this study sought to find out whether the forbidden fruit theory worked the same way in romantic relationships, saying:

Just as people want jobs they cannot have, salaries they cannot earn, and cars they cannot afford, people may desire attractive alternatives more and desire their current relationship partner less when they are placed in situations that limit their ability to attend to attractive alternatives.

And low and behold, the results of the experiment proved their hypothesis right. A set of three experiments were conducted on different groups of undergraduate students, some in committed relationships, some casually dating and a few either engaged or married. What the reseacrhers found was that “reining in a wandering eye leads people to devalue commitment and remember cute strangers better.” So you may want to think twice before slapping your boyfriend on the wrist for cocking his head at that hot girl who just walked by.

The argument can be made that if you’re in a committed relationship, then your partner shouldn’t even want to look at other people in that way. Well, I have to strongly disagree with that argument. Expecting a human being male or female not to notice another attractive person is virtually impossible. You don’t suddenly put blinders on just because you’re “in love.” Let’s be real we can all appreciate beauty when we see it. Frankly, I’d be a little worried if my boyfriend didn’t find any other woman attractive. Ladies, the thing to really take away here is that if you truly are in a committed relationship, then it shouldn’t worry you if your boyfriend notices another woman’s good looks. But if the lack of trust is so high that you can’t even let him look at another woman, then you may have bigger problems in your relationship than a boyfriend with a wandering eye.

  • Been there & don't recommend it

    Looking is one thing! Sending flirtatious emails and texts, going out for drinks and meals outside work, making “dates” and keeping all of it secret from your spouse is something else altogether! He never looked at anyone else when I was around (and, frankly, I have never made a big deal out of looking!). He just — JUST! — acted on a “whim”. And our marriage will never be the same again.
    PS Attractiveness is very subjective. He went for an androgynous “nerdy” type. Go figure.

  • Liz

    Ok here’s my thing. My boyfriend constantly comments on women. I’m not use to this. In my past relationship (8 years) my ex didn’t comment often and when he did it didn’t bother me. However, my current boyfriend comment constantly and at times repeatedly. So should I ignore the comments or what? It’s not the fact that he finds other women attactive it’s the fact that he won’t shut up about it. Yes I agree she has a nice butt, can we not turn this into a ten minute conversation? Or do you have to comment on every woman? Would this bother anyone else?

    • http://stylecaster Linda

      One glance is okay, but if they continue to steal glances while with you, I think that is blatant disrespect.

  • Concerned Scientist

    I realize this is a style website but this always bugs me.
    “And low and behold, the results of the experiment proved their hypothesis right.” Experiments can’t prove anything – empirical research can demonstrate, suggest, etc. ‘Proving’ however, is a word and concept reserved for math and logic. Experiments depend on probabilities and statistics not pure logic.

  • Lucy

    Yes — I regret that I cannot have Brad Pitt just because I don’t look like Angelina Jolie. It really sucks that I have to settle for less.So …I am left with a wondering eye and wishful thinking.

  • amy

    Hey, the guidelines are simple–“notice” attractive people when your boyfriend/girlfriend is NOT around. Doing it when you are with them is insensitive, and hurtful. And commenting on it is seriously ridiculous. I can talk to my girlfriends about hot guys and he can do the same with his friends, but I certainly don’t want to hear about it. Advice to Liz–start checking out guys and comment on their great assetts when you are with your BF. I bet he says, “Hey”…and he will get the point.

  • smdx

    The writer seems to confuse noticing and looking. Obviously men and women will notice someone if they’re attractive but that doesn’t mean you should make it a point to keep looking, especially not if your partner is there. You may openly acknowledge other attractive people or not in your relationship but it is in bad taste to be “caught looking.” If you both actually talk about the attractiveness of other people as an activity then by definition it would be ok, but if you’re not doing that then respect demands not making a “scene.” When one partner gets mad it’s usually not because their mate finds someone attractive it’s because of the disrespect that they were shown in how the “looker” made it obvious.

  • Perskaya01

    Sorry–relationships demand respect. And that is from both sides. Suggesting a “wandering eye” helps a relationship is one of the stupidest things I have heard in a long time.

    Yes, people may notice someone is attractive (as another poster here wrote), but continuing to look at someone is rude and disrespectful. Beyond that, this article doesn’t even address the thought process behind such actions. This goes far beyond “looking” at someone–men are actually openly admitting they are imagining having ### with the women they look at in the street. There are many animals far more faithful. :/

    All those men need to commit adultery is opportunity, and a reason to believe they can get away with it. After all, they’ve already imagined it in their head for quite some time.

    So go ahead, Andrea. Be **proud** of how your S.O. looks at other women and you have no issue with it. Yeah, what a cool, trendy, and hip girl you are…and try to forget when he’s having ### with you that he’s probably thinking about someone else…the girl he saw on the street with her ##### hanging out…the #### at the gym…and keep telling yourself that your “intimate” times are really drawing you closer together as a couple. Yep. **wink**

  • Amber

    It’s one thing to look and another thing to really LOOK. Someone that makes a point of always LOOKING and surveying the landscape has a wandering eye problem. My husband’s wandering eyes led to affairs. I used to think it was normal and okay, and didn’t mind his looking. i don’t believe this any more. I learned this was his way of assessing an individuals interest in him, and when they responded he turned on the charm. It was his social lubricant. Wandering eyes is a character flaw.

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