So this is a scene all too typical in my current relationship. It’s Sunday. We’re milling through a crowd. Arm in arm we make our way to what’s next on our weekend dining hit list and then it happens.
One of us spots something special from the corner of our eyes. Well, this person would usually be my boyfriend, because I have the worst peripheral vision ever given to a woman by the greater powers. I am not blessed in this department especially when my focus is on hunting down the grub. (Where is that restaurant again? Insert peals of stomach rumbling.)
“Eh! Look! Look! Your six o’clock!”
“What lah?” I grumble, obviously not too pleased with the massive wall of people that look like it’s closing in on us, probably going to crush us anytime now, because that’s how we (can’t) walk in congested Singapore.
“Chio bu! You missed it already lor.”
At this point I’m likely more irritated by someone slamming into me and giving me a death glare than at the idea that my boyfriend is openly checking out a hot chick that isn’t me in my Sunday Instagram #OOTD best. But that’s just my take on eyeballing another woman right now.
I can’t say I was always cool and zen with it.
I grew up reading all these teenage mags before graduating to the savvier women publications, and no matter what the age group of the target audience is, the glossy pages of “Aunt Agony’s Letterbox” or any of these magazines’ equivalent will eventually publish this deal breaking question written by a despairing girlfriend or wife:
“My boyfriend/husband is checking out other women when he is with me. Is he going to cheat on me?”
This is probably important because this is an age-old, rather timeless nightmare that will weigh heavily on every woman’s mind at least once (and for some, countless times) in their life.
Once upon a time, I was a paranoid ex-girlfriend, and boy would I have jumped if I even so much as noticed a flick of my then-boyfriend’s eyeballs in a direction of another girl.
“Am I not good enough? Is that why he’s looking elsewhere?” I would question myself first and then when I was done, the interrogation of my ex would begin. Needless to say, being a psycho ex-girlfriend, like the one Taylor Swift sings so spiritedly about in Blank Space, made for a real sh*tty relationship.
After putting myself through that ordeal and some major self-reflection, I think I’ve got it figured out. It wasn’t the looking at other girls that freaked me out, but the intention.
With someone who wasn’t right for me, someone I couldn’t trust, even the smallest things felt like the start of being pushed into the danger zone. With someone I know clearly loves me, respects me, and reminds himself to put me first, I couldn’t care less if he was looking at another girl. Especially if he’s cool enough to share his “findings” openly with me and have a friendly discussion over it.
Well, there are exceptions…
So long as he’s not letting a quick look cross the line and become a lingering creepy-ass gaze, showing me pretty babes on Tinder that he’s swiped right on (the horror!) or talking about a gorgeous woman even hours after spotting her on the streets – I mean, come on dude! Even I’d run out of great things to say about Channing Tatum’s abs and personality after a grand total of five minutes. Ain’t nobody got time fo ‘dat!