My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. Our relationship has always been strong; we trust each other, are supportive of each other's dreams, and enjoy spending time together. Recently, however, I've noticed a change in his behavior. Whenever we go out, to for example the mall, he'll look at other girls when he thinks I'm not paying attention. This has made me feel so insecure, and I don't know what to do about it. Should I confront him about it or just ignore it?
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It can be incredibly troubling and hurtful when you notice a change in your partner's behavior. When it looks as though they may have an interest in other people that makes things even more difficult. It might seem like they are looking at them because they are attracted to what they see, and that could make you feel insecure in your own relationship. If this is something you have been noticing recently, it is understandable that you would want to find a way of dealing with this issue.
The first step you should take is to talk to your partner openly and honestly. Checking out other people, especially in a crowded area such as a mall, is a very normal behavior and, most likely, nothing to worry about. They could be appreciating someone's style from afar, or just admiring someone's beauty. If, however, this kind of thing has been happening regularly, it is important to address it to better understand each other's perspectives and ultimately gain clarity. Speak to them in a friendly manner and try to understand their point of view.
Ensure that you don't come off as accusatory or overly critical. No one likes to be accused of doing something wrong or feeling like they have done something to hurt their partner's feelings. Also remember to respect your partner's feelings and listen carefully to what they have to say.
In the mean time, it is important to take the time to focus on yourself and build up your own self-confidence. Losing faith in a relationship is a hard experience and you shouldn't ignore those hard-to-shake feelings of insecurity. Taking a step back to work on your own self-esteem is essential and it can help you handle this situation with greater ease. Spend time indulging in activities that make you feel good and confident. Focus on the good things in your life, rather than only focusing on the negative. Life is full of ups and downs and this is an opportunity to learn something valuable through challenging times.
When the two of you discuss the situation, try to focus on solutions instead of dwelling on the negative. Openly talk about your expectations in the relationship and what healthy boundaries should be set to ensure that each individual feels safe and secure in the relationship. Respect and mutual understanding without being too enforcing is the best approach here, and it should be easier if you focus on solutions instead of causing additional stress. This can provide clarity and peace of mind for both parties involved.
When emotions are running high, it can be hard to take a step back and evaluate the situation objectively. If you feel like a plan of action hasn't been established or if it doesn't feel like progress is being made, reach out to a friend or a professional for support. A more balanced perspective can help you come up with feasible solutions and find closure in the situation.
It is natural to have feelings of insecurity when it comes to relationships, but it shouldn't be something that prevents you from finding solutions. Take the time to talk to your partner and work through it together. Build up your own self-esteem and remember that life is full of variables, so it's important to remain empathetic and understanding with one another.