Originally published on Lavalife
Henry from Columbus asks:
I can’t help but look at a few girls who walk by my dinner table when I’m on a date. I know it’s dumb and I’ve been told by other girls I’ve been rude but I can’t help it. Are there any tricks for me to keep in mind before I go out with someone? I’m noticing it’s a problem and girls aren’t sticking around too long after our dates. Oops.
Yeah, oops! You’ve discovered one of the easiest ways of guaranteeing yourself no second date. Appearing to check out other girls while on a date will get you a one-way ticket to Soloville, express. Now Henry, you obviously know this but at the same time you find it difficult to control your natural impulses. There are a couple of things at play here and I’ll break them down for you.
First off, let’s look at what makes up the egos of men and women. When a man really wants to insult another man, what does he go after? Usually his masculinity, his virility, his manliness. “You limp, tiny d—ed p—-y!” would be a fair example of it. Our self-worth can be wrapped up in this perception of how others see us.
Now let’s look at the fairer sex. What do women say to each other when they really want to cut to the quick? “You’re a fat, ugly b—-!” is a fair summation of what might rear its head.
What do you notice? Much of that is based on their physical appearances. A lot of their self-worthy, rightly or not, is tied up into the perception of how others see them physically. Even these sexist baby onsies say “Pretty Like Mommy” as if that is that absolute epitome that women can reach.
So every time that you steal a glance at another woman, what the woman is hearing is “He thinks she is prettier than I am.” That’s not going to go well for you.
Imagine if every time a guy walked by, she muttered, “I’ll bet he has a bigger penis than you.” That’s really going to affect you, whether it’s right or not. So understand, that while it might be something casual that you do, the effect it has on her is more than rude, it’s telling them they are not good enough to keep your attention.
Now, the second part is learning how not to do it. I was diagnosed with ADD more than half my lifetime ago. If it’s moving or shiny, it’ll catch my attention every time. So on dates, I would find a way to bring this up so that they would understand my eyes looking around the room. If anybody, male or female, walks by in a red shirt, it’s gonna catch my attention.
That being said, I had to train myself to try and not react to all the stimuli around me. Regardless of the fact that I had a neurological reason for being distracted, it still reads as rude. Pretend you have blinders on. Practice while walking down the street or commuting. Direct your eyes dead forward and don’t move them for anything until you need to. It’s a lot harder than you think it’ll be! Really try to concentrate on her and what she is saying. Women value eye contact WAY more than guys.
Lastly, what do you do if you do look and she notices? When I started dating my then girlfriend and now wife I tried to explain it to her this way: “If a rhinoceros walked into the restaurant, I’m going to notice and look. It does NOT mean I want to hook up with the rhino!” There will invariably be things that catch your attention. She needs to know that you’re looking not because that girl is better than her, but perhaps worse! “Did you see her shirt?! That makes her looks so classless.” “She’s trying too hard with all that make-up. I like how yours is more natural.”
And, in the worst case scenario when you are totally busted, just own up to it and apologize. Even if you’re being rude, a woman loves a man who can admit when he’s wrong!