Hello, world. My name's Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and according to my friends and family, I'm pretty darn good at giving advice.
So I've invited readers like you to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today, we've got this woman, who frequently catches her boyfriend checking out other girls when they're together:
Your boyfriend's behavior is creepy and he needs to cut it out — not only for your sake, but for the sake of these other women he's gawking at.
Like you said in your DM, there's nothing inherently wrong with finding other people attractive when you're in a relationship. That's human and harmless, even in the most monogamous of situations! But it IS wrong to openly ogle at people you think are hot, no matter what your relationship status is.
Your boyfriend's glances are obvious enough that you've noticed them, so there's a good chance the women he's staring at have noticed them, too. I wonder how many women have felt uneasy or unsafe because of his behavior. Your personal discomfort matters a lot here — but their discomfort is important to consider, too.
You say that when you finally brought up this issue with him, you asked him not to check out other women "when [you're] around." He's ignored that request, so you're due for another conversation — but this time around, I think you need to revise your appeal. Let him know, once again, how this behavior is hurting you. But also emphasize the impact his actions could have on other women, too. What he's doing is unacceptable at any time — even when you're not around.
As for whether you should dump him over this, it really depends on how seriously he takes your concerns and how willing he is to change his behavior. You've already made him aware of the issue once, and he didn't stop. That doesn't make me super optimistic about his desire to evolve and do better, TBH.
But being as generous as I possibly can here, sometimes old habits die hard. It's possible he's not yet aware of himself when he's doing it. It's also possible that he struggles with social cues, and that his glances are more awkward and clueless than they are lecherous or aggressive.
At the end of the day, only you can determine what's in your boyfriend's heart. Is he a misogynistic jerk who doesn't respect women? Or is he a well-intentioned but socially clumsy person who sometimes struggles in his interactions with others? If it's the former, dump his ass. If it's the latter, well, maybe it's worth sticking around and helping him do better, if you want.
But "if you want" is the keyword here, because no matter what the deal with your boyfriend is, it's not actually your responsibility to fix it. If you're otherwise happy in your relationship, and you WANT to take on this extra labor of making him a better human being, go for it! That's nice of you. But if you'd rather not spend your time and energy dealing with a boyfriend who checks out other girls, please feel 100% free to walk away from the relationship and let him learn those lessons on his own.
In other words, fix him if you want to, but it's not your job. It's a favor, and one you can stop doing whenever you reach your limit, wherever that limit may be.
TL;DR: Let him know that his behavior isn't just harmful to you — it's harmful to other women around him, too. Where you go next will depend on 1) how open he is to correcting his shitty behavior, and 2) how willing you are to be the one who helps him do it.
That's all the advice I'm giving our DMer today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for her, please share them in the comments. I'll be reading.
And one more piece of advice before you go...
Over the past few weeks, we've mourned the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other Black lives lost in senseless, racist acts of violence committed by police. It's time we sent a message to our government and law enforcement that Black lives matter. Here are some resources if you're looking for ways to help:
Educate yourself, vote, protest, and donate if you can. Have tough conversations with family members, and equally tough conversations with yourself. The national movement against racist police brutality and anti-Black violence needs all of our voices, and I hope each and every BuzzFeed reader will join in on the fight.