Man Up: It’s Just Window Shopping, Right?

I’m sitting at Panera one morning and notice a group of guys meeting together. The interesting thing about this is the way they were interacting with each other and those around them. The guys were obviously friends and enjoyed their time together, but every time an attractive woman walked in, each one of them noticed. They noticed to the point that their conversations stopped for a moment in order to take in the new addition to the scene. While they said nothing to each other about the objects of their glares, they definitely stared.

Men are visual creatures. It’s hard wired. I’m not disputing this. The issue I have is each one of the guys was wearing a wedding ring and to top it off, at the end of their breakfast meeting, they prayed together. Not to come across judgmental but it seems to me if you are willing to pray with others in public, you are declaring you have a spiritual basis for your life and your actions.

Now before you respond with, “hey, they were just looking, there’s nothing wrong with a little window shopping,” let me ask you, really?

While there is nothing wrong with the quick glance to notice those around us, the lingering stare is a path to trouble. While the stare may not lead to an affair, it can lead to a mind wandering.

Most men don’t need any help in the mind wandering department. Our thoughts can go all over the place without any encouragement from visual stimulation. If we could truly read people’s thoughts, many of us may be locked up.

By ogling other women, we open the door to the “what if…?” thoughts. We begin to wonder about other people beyond our wife. We begin to wish our spouse looked, dressed, or acted a certain way. Frankly, women are under enough pressure as it is in the body image department. We don’t need to add to it.

Let’s explore a little down the path ogling other women leads. You’re going through your day and an attractive woman walks by in a revealing outfit. You take good notice and continue on about your day. That night, while interacting with your wife, her picture comes back into your mind. You disconnect from your spouse. The more this happens, the harder it becomes to fully engage again. You begin fantasizing about other women during sex. Your wife will notice the disconnect and most likely think she’s at fault. She’ll personalize the fact that you’re not into her, thus furthering the growing gulf between you. Soon, your interactions, sexual and otherwise, are just acts. A going through the motions. While for a time that may be alright, it won’t last. I see many couples in my practice that are coming because their marriage has turned into being roommates rather than spouses.

So what can you do?

  1. Be proactive. Use the deviant skills for good. Rather than positioning yourself in order to get a better look or steal a peek, do the opposite. Make it more difficult to stare. Watch those you are around for cues. When an attractive woman walks in now, I watch those around for their reactions rather than watching her.
  2. Bounce your eyes. Noticing other women is inevitable. Staring and looking her up and down is avoidable. Whenever an attractive woman enters the picture, work on your eyes bouncing from the initial glance to something else. Don’t linger. Engage the people you’re with. Get back to whatever you are working on. Get your eyes back on the road. By bouncing to something else, you can limit the amount of wandering thought ammunition to the brain.
  3. Be a man. The person on the other end of your stare is a human being. They have hopes and dreams, hurts and disappointments. She’s a daughter of Eve. The manifestation of God’s beauty. She deserves respect. Even if she’s flaunting her body to everyone, she deserves to be respected. On top of that, she is the daughter of someone. If I begin to glare, I think how I would feel were the glare directed at my own daughter. Any man who doesn’t respect my daughter will have to answer to me.
  4. Rely on a band of brothers. Surround yourself with like minded men. One of my friends I really respect was great in this area. While playing basketball with him, when every other guy on the court would take notice of the women coming and going from the club, he would walk the other way or turn around. He may have been poked fun of in the beginning, but he was respected by each of the guys there in the end.

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