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Looking at other people

best53 posted 8/20/2020 04:53 AM

I want to preface this by saying that this is my first post here, just in case I make any "mistakes".
I intend to post more of the story, right now I only have one specific question. I'll try to give enough detail. A big problem my BS and I face is that I stare at other people a lot. With stare I mean that my eyes linger on them, or I look at them multiple times, looking at their bodies in general (when talking to them, for example).
Now, we've talked a lot about this and agreed that I would stop, but it seems that I just can't. I won't stare, my eyes don't linger anymore, but I will look down when talking to someone, I'll look at people even though I already know someone is standing there, I "automatically" look at people's profile pictures when looking at my whatsapp chats, I'll find reasons to look down or look at people more than once when I'm out. In general a big problem for me is that my eyes are too fast for my head, and I see and look before I can think. I've tried writing down how I can stop, but that didn't work at all. I seem to to it even more now that I'm trying to stop than I ever did before.
Have any of you had a similar problem and if so, do you have any tips you could share with me? I know that for me to stop for good I'll need to look at why I'm doing this, what I get from it and work on that. I'll start IC for that problem soon and want to explore that question there. I'm hoping some of you can give some insight in spite of that.
Thank you for your answers in advance!

MrCleanSlate posted 8/20/2020 05:36 AM


Welcome to SI.

Did the staring issue play into why you are here?

Out of curiosity, are you on the autism spectrum, ADHD, or similar?
The reason I ask is some people with Autism to cover up do not like to engage in eye contact but will focus on body actions, or can be ritualistic about how they look at people or things.

fooled13years posted 8/20/2020 07:52 AM


With stare I mean that my eyes linger on them, or I look at them multiple times, looking at their bodies in general

I would imagine that I am like every other man out there in that I am visually stimulated.

I was told long ago that there is a big difference between an approving glance at a woman verses a lustful stare.

My wife told me that she appreciates an approving glance and quick smile from a handsome man but would be seriously bothered should that same man stare at her lustfully.

I learned early in life that when you talk with someone you should look directly into their eyes.

This became very useful when I had to work for several days in a nudist colony.

While my coworkers and I did not disrobe while doing our work every other person was sporting their birthday suit while we were working with them.

Each interaction had us locking eyes with every individual we worked with.

hikingout posted 8/20/2020 08:38 AM

What is your mind doing while your eyes are looking? You say look lustfully, are you imagining them naked, or sexually?

I find myself sometimes looking at other women in admiration. If they have a great style I will sometimes find that I am staring at them because my mind is cataloguing their clothing or accessories...because I am curious about them in general. Sometimes I find other women so beautiful or interesting I just take in what it is that makes them that way.

But, mine is not sexual. I don't find I do this with men. I do not imagine these women in a sexual way. So, that's why I am asking a question that might be silly. The thought behind it though is figure out the payoff you are getting from it. It might be totally simple in that it's completely sexual. But, I could also see there could be other answers, just checking to see if those exist. And, could you get that payoff in a different or more healthy way?

Chaos posted 8/20/2020 10:10 AM

BS here - and please take that into consideration when reading my reply.

How would you feel is your BW looked at others the way you do? The answer - to me anyway - would be very telling.

I'm with fooled13years - there is a difference between an approving glance and a lustful stare.

Are you looking approvingly or lustfully? AND- are the people you are looking at getting the same impression? For example - if you know you are looking lustfully you need to get that in check. But...if you think you are looking approvingly and others perceive you as looking lustfully - you need to explore that as well as it could have terrible ramifications.

Are you working with an IC? That may be able to help you figure some of it out.

best53 posted 8/21/2020 06:57 AM

Thank you for your responses!

Yes, MrCleanSlate, the staring issue is connected to my being here.
I'm not on the spectrum and I don't have ADHD afaik, though.

I think how I look at women is often more lustful than appreciative (I do know what you mean though). I'm not sure that these women really notice it, at least now I look away right away when I see a woman.
Yes, I'll have to get better at just looking people in the eyes when talking to them.

A lot of the times I look at them sexually. But I do not imagine them naked or doing something sexual with them (although I did do that in the past, but it's not a regular occurrence). The payoff is probably sexual for me I'd say, but I think I'll have to work on why I need this much "sex" in my life. I do not know yet how I can get that in other, more healthy ways (that do not hurt my BS).

I think it would bother me if other people looked at my partner the way I look at other women. I know that it would bother her to be looked at that way, that's part ofnthe reason she doesn't want me to look at other women that way.

I'm looking more lustfully. How sexually I look at women is something I will work on in IC. I don't want to keep objectifying women like that, I think it's a big problem.

NeverTwice posted 8/21/2020 11:22 AM

Hi Best53,

While my late husband and I both would give appreciative looks at people who were attractive or people with a really cool or unusual style. But there was no undressing them with our eyes or any thoughts of that person sexually.

Hell - we would often point them out to each other! But, at the same time, there was no infidelity in our relationship. My battle scars came from a LTR prior to meeting him.

But, it is one thing to look appreciatively, quite another to eye fuck someone. Try giving them a glance and look away. I am sure you know when you are doing it - so I am sure you can remind yourself to look away.

And as far as conversations with the opposite sex? Listen to everyone telling you to concentrate on looking at their face - eyes especially.

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