Ask A Woman: “Pretty woman, walking down the street…”
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All men check out women. All men. Men in committed relationships. Men in happy relationships. Old men. Gay men. Young men. All men everywhere. I should maybe make this all people, because come to think of it, all women check out women, too. Everyone everywhere is watching women walk by and making assessments while I’d wager that most men (good-looking, well-dressed men) walk by and it hardly registers for a lot of people. So that’s either good news for those of you who are shy, or bad news for those who want some attention. Anyway, believe it or not, there is an art to checking out women (since we know you do it!) and here it is demystified, depending on your relationship status.
If you’re newly dating someone,
,you want to be as subtle as possible. A new relationship is a fragile thing. Both people are unsure of exactly where they stand. The rules or expectations that existed in previous relationships have to be renegotiated in the new one. You haven’t established trust yet. Thus you want to be very careful about looking at other women when you’re with your lady. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t do it at all, but that’s not realistic. If an unknown woman is walking towards you, don’t give her the up and down. Just a glance and then you’re done. If you think someone interesting is coming at you from the side, watch out of the corner of your eye, but no head turning. And for God’s sake, don’t ever turn around and follow a strange woman with your eyes. Also…no mouth gaping. Don’t nobody wanna see you catching flies.
“Close your mouth, Michael, we are not a codfish.”
If you’re in a solid, long-term relationship,
,you actually have more leeway than your friends in the previous category. Seems counter-intuitive, right? But if you’ve been with your mate for a long time, you’re both probably secure and trusting of each other. You recognize that it takes more than a glance at a good-looking person to topple your happiness. Also, most people will acknowledge, however grudgingly, that after several years or more of coupledom, it’s unrealistic to expect each partner not to admire or fantasize about someone outside the relationship. As long as it stays in your head, what’s the harm? But you still want to be respectful when you’re with your other half and you see a Big Bottom gal go by. Take a look or two, but again, subtlety is key. Pretend you’re looking around the restaurant, not trying to see just how tight that top is.
If you’re single and merely admiring,
Take a gander. G’ahead, take more than a few peeks. You don’t have a lady whose feelings you need to look out for, so feel free to admire. Avoid ogling, however. You know, wide-eyed, a little drool leaking from your mouth, stopped mid-sentence talking to your buddies–that’s just going to make the woman you’re looking at feel uncomfortable. Five, six, seven glances in her direction are fine, but no sustained staring. It borders on rude, and it’s too intense.
If you’re single and serious,
Maybe you’ve been to this establishment before and you’ve seen this woman multiple times. Maybe you just have a feeling about her and you want to throw caution to the wind and approach her. Good for you! This requires a finesse game (which, incidentally, neither Duke nor Villanova had during March Madness–which totally screwed my bracket, thanks a lot guys). You want to make the glance in her direction an attempt at connecting with her in a friendly, non-creeper way. Try to catch her eye, give a small smile (avoid the big, over-eager, toothy grin), then look away. Five or ten minutes later, try it again. If you notice her returning the glance first, or if she gives you a smile back, these are both good indicators that she could be interested. Approach her in a friendly, restrained way, and strike up a conversation. Good luck!
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