A woman on the “TrueOffMyChest” forum on Reddit is complaining that she feels like she’s beginning to “despise” her boyfriend because he follows Instagram models while she says she only has eyes for him. She doesn’t understand how someone could be in a committed romantic relationship and still look at other people they find attractive, or even find other people attractive at all.
“I’m sick and tired of seeing my boyfriend follow Instagram models,” she writes. “I feel so hurt that despite me not paying attention to other men and finding him the most amazing man in the world he still follows them.”
“I know he loves me a lot but he just cant understand the fact that I don’t care about other men and I will only look at him, he doesn’t believe me because he says that everyone does it and it’s normal.”
It’s certainly an exaggeration to say that “everyone” looks at other people aside from their partners, but it is very common. Clearly, it doesn’t apply to this Redditor, but the strong majority of humans can’t help but turn their heads from time to time, even if they have absolutely no intention of cheating or leaving for that other person.
According to licensed therapist Jeff Guenther, who made a TikTok video on the subject in 2022, this behavior is indeed “normal.”
“Being attracted to lots of different people is natural and it’s not going to magically go away just because you’re in love with someone,” he explains. “There are a ton of hot people in the world, and it’s okay to sometimes think about what it would be like to be with them.”
Whether or not most people in relationships follow a ton of thirst traps on Instagram, however, is another story.
Regardless, the fact that the OP’s boyfriend refuses to stop following hot women on Instagram is causing her significant distress, and it’s starting to put their entire relationship in jeopardy. She stresses that it’s not about insecurity because she considers herself to be attractive as well, even going so far as to claim “pretty privilege.”
“I know that people find me really attractive and I have pretty privilege but I just can’t understand why people want to look at others when you should find your partner the most beautiful person. Corn and hookup culture has changed so much the way both men and women view love and romance. I just can’t adapt to knowing that whoever I date will want to follow other women and fantasize about them.”
If you’re confused by the word “corn,” just replace the first letter with P.
This topic comes up frequently, and very often results in quite a bit of debate over whether it’s okay to sneak a peak at other people while you’re in a relationship and how far you’re allowed to take it. Some people feel that demanding your partner refrain from following or otherwise looking at others with lust is controlling behavior that can quickly tip over into abuse territory.
The only reasonable answer to this question might be that those who are uncomfortable with their partners checking out other people to any extent may simply need to find each other. Many find it pretty much impossible to stop or simply don’t want to feel so restricted. The hard truth for the OP might be that she and her boyfriend are simply incompatible.
After some TikTok commenters pushed back on Guenther’s video because they feel the same way as this Redditor, he followed up by clarifying that both preferences are okay as long as you communicate them to your partner.
“Some commenters in my last video are proclaiming that they never think about being with other people when they’re in love, and that’s what they expect from their partner — and that’s okay. You do you. If that’s what you experience and want from your relationship, that’s perfectly fine.”
“If you feel strongly one way or another, I think it’s important to talk with your partner about what to do with these feelings before you actually experience them.”
While it might be unreasonable to expect most people to never find another person outside of a relationship attractive, most commenters are on the OP’s side when it comes to following Instagram models.