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Male attention and how to deal with it.

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Old 03-26-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default Male attention and how to deal with it.

HELP. Oh boy, this is something I knew could happen, but I figured I was a 40 something old lady now and it wouldn't effect me, but for some reason the men have started to come out of the woodwork....(must be spring fever).

First off, let me say I am a happily married woman to a great guy. We have been married almost 21 years, (in 2 weeks). He has stood by me through thick and thin, and I love him very much... I am in no way seeking another man. One is enough, and I want the one I have. I just have to wonder though if I'm giving off vibes that are attracting men, or if it's just that time of year. Married, single, old and one younger...I have been hit on at least 5 times in the last 2 weeks. I have to admit it is kind of exciting, but I am finding it a bit difficult to deal with...As in I have had 5 binges in the last 2 weeks kind of problems. Every time it happens I deal with it by overeating. Why do I do this, and how do I just smile and go on?

I hate it and kind of like it at the same time. I think I eat because I like the attention and then it scares me that I might do something stupid so I punish myself or something. ugh. This sucks.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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I think it's the season because the same has happened to me recently. I realize I'm a bit younger at 20 something, but I am also happily married and have been for just over a year. I've done quite a bit of thinking about it and I've come to this conclusion: I think the appeal of guys hitting on you has to do with reminding you that you are an attractive woman (to people other than your husband) and of course, who would be mad to hear that they are good looking? They way I work with it is to compliment my husband. I know he's a great looking guy and I love giving him compliments anyhow. So then both of us feel good about ourselves.
Don't get me wrong, I would prefer not be hit on by anyone other than my husband! We just can't control other people... =/
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:19 PM   #3
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I've experienced this, too, at various weights. Most of the time I'm able to pretty much ignore it because it's a one-time encounter with a stranger (like you're just out walking somewhere or in a store or something) and chances are I'm never going to run into that person again. Guys like to flirt. Sometimes they'll say something and I might smile, say thanks, and walk away and that's the end of it. Men don't seem to need a whole lot of provocation--I had one guy who hounded me for a long time because our first meeting at work involved him holding the door open for me and me saying thank you!

I guess it kind of depends on the nature of the "hit." Chances are, most of the guys that hit on you/me are also flirting with just about every female they think is cute. You go on about your way and they're probably looking towards the next one. For guys like this, it may just be more of an ego trip/conquest type thing. You can pretty much just ignore these guys and you'll both forget about each other soon enough. Now, if it's people that you know or have to see fairly regularly, that can get tricky. Are these guys basically flirting with you, complimenting you, or are they propositioning you?

Anyway...in the end, you know what? We're allowed to not be so nice sometimes if someone is being bothersome or annoying. Some guys can mistake politeness or niceness for interest. Just tell them you're happily married and good-bye. Stagzr is right...we can't control other people, and they're going to hit on you. We can tend to obsess about it, for better or worse, and, chances are, they're not giving it another thought.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thank you guys. You both bring up some excellent points. I know men flirt, and there is a good possibility I'm reading too much into things. I'm just not used to being complimented on my appearance, and offered things. (Like help loading my car at Walmart, fixing stuff for me, or help with "things" in general.) It's just weird. It's the more advanced comments from men I know that are the hardest on me. I just need to tell a couple of them where to go I guess. LOL
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:00 PM   #5
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lots of valid points brought up! especially that a naturally polite, vivacious, upbeat person will act that way towards everyone...but some of those 'everyones' will read more into it. I would say that as long as they 'back off' after the first 'not interested' response, things are OK.

Your subconscious might be thinking that you encouraged the attention, and that's why you're feeling guilty. You shouldn't feel guilty! Any man can look for a wedding ring on your finger, and if he sees one and still presses on, he deserves a 'not cool, mister' response.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:39 AM   #6
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The first time this happened to me, I went all deer-in-the-headlights. As in, I just stood there, staring stupidly, with my brain going wait, what? Did this guy just hit on ME? I wasn't offended or upset, I was just BAFFLED. What finally came out of my mouth turned out to be my standard line, which is, "I don't think my husband would like that very much."

It happens more and more all the time now, and I still freak out internally when it does, because I am just not used to this. I spent 20 years being effectively invisible, you know? There, finally, ONE thing I can say that I liked about being fat: I didn't get hit on very often. Now when I'm out and about, and some guy is looking at me, trying to catch my eye or something, I often just flee the area, because I can't deal with it. It hasn't triggered me to overeat or anything yet, but it makes me feel weird and uncomfortable.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
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Lori, thank you for posting your journey. It is inspiring to see all that you have accomplished. Plus you start some great threads/responses that have helped me in my own journey. I agree with all that has been said. What worries me is that you have had 5 binges in the last two weeks over this. You mentioned being scared that you might do something stupid. What are you afraid you will do? One thing I find helps me when I haven't liked my response to a situation is to replay it in my head only having it end with the outcome I would have preferred. Doing that seems to help me be better prepared for the next time it happens. Please keep us posted.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:06 AM   #8
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What worries me is that you have had 5 binges in the last two weeks over this.
YES! This is what worries me too. Actually I think Catherinef might of nailed it when she talked about the invisibility. I spent a long time being invisible and I kind of like it, sure made this aspect of my life eaiser. Thankfully I have been good inbetween binges, and am only up 2 pounds...back on the wagon again today. It's not good. Maybe I'm looking for problems. I can be a mess...that is how I got to where I was.

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You mentioned being scared that you might do something stupid. What are you afraid you will do?
I don't know, maybe what I have seen countless friends do the minute they lose weight...or horror stories I've seen on Oprah about trading one addiction for another...Food for sex...yikes! I'm also nervous that some day maybe a mega rich sexy hottie will shower me with compliments and I won't be able to resist. LOL That kind of fear.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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Had to laugh when you said you figured as a 40 something old lady this kind of thing wouldn't effect you. I am 56 and though I am still halfway from my goal weight I notice a definite increase in male attention. I believe a big part is due to the fact that I am so much happier with myself, so much more self confident. I also feel sexier. I am currently reading The Secret Pleasures of Menopause by Christiane Northrup and she claims research shows that women have the best sex of their lives in their 60's and 70's so you have a long way to go girl!

I too have been married over 20 years and love my husband very much. That being said, a 20 year relationship is much different from a new relationship. Both have their pros and cons. There are times when I am walking out of a store and a man is walking in and our eyes connect and I automatically smile as I feel an adrenaline rush. I think that is called being human and I don't think it ever goes away. I too have fantasies of being carted away by the perfect male. Luckily, I do realize that 99% of the time the fantasy is better than what the reality would be.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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Isn't it strange, to suddenly become sexually viable to men, after not being so for a while? I feel sometimes like someone has handed me the keys to a sleek red sports car. (Which is my body.) The temptation is to gun the thing down the highway, just to see how fast it can go, and to cruise around town with the top down. ;-) But I have to remind myself, I need to remain a responsible driver. And I'm not going to the race track. I still have to get to work, to run errands, to live the same old responsible day-to-day life. Only I'm in a car that turns heads. I'm still the same person down inside. Just maybe a little overexcited by the new possibilities. I trust myself not to cause accidents & not to drive it drunk.

Whew. Enough of that analogy. But you see what I mean. Suddenly, we have power, where we had none before. We are not only visible, after being invisible, we're actually drawing eyes. It's scary. We could GO CRAZY!!!

I think there was always more than over 100 pounds separating me from someone like, say, Madonna (or maybe Lady GaGa). I am not voracious, exhibitionistic, or otherwise liable to overdo it. Despite the new body, I don't think I'm going to change much. But it's nice to feel a little kinship under the skin with the femme fatales, instead of thinking they're a completely separate species, quite unlike mine.

Anyway, hey, I live in New York. Any time I feel like I am looking really good, I just have to walk through NoLita & run into leggy models shopping at boutiques or dine late in the Far West Village & see them teetering on their kitten heels between the Belgian blocks, drunk out of their pretty minds. And my place in the hierarchy gets reaffirmed. Yeah, I weigh less, but in their world, I'm still a rather dumpy little jalopy.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:00 PM   #11
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Smile, let them know you're married and go on about your business.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:13 AM   #12
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Hmmmm...I was gonna start a thread about how I used to be invisible, and now I am not. For all those years I was fat, I could go anywhere, do anything and feel invisible/be invisible..I just was there..

Yesterday in the course of going into McDonald's...yes, for a greasy Sausage Biscuit with Cheese...I hafta *do that once in a blue moon...(did not eat it all, I have to admit) ..I had a whole table of guys half my age stop their conversation and look. ...and not start talking again until I had passed....and going out, a guy half my age coming in the door..quickly did a double take and backed out, holding the door open for me with a flourish. I like it! It is quite the treat at my age, lemme tellya. I don't think I am inviting it; I don't think I am giving off vibes. I just think that thin is attractive, and for most of my adult life I was fat. I deserve my moment. I don't think anyone of us should feel guilty, or that we are *inviting the attention. If we have made ourselves better, healthier, more attractive, then we should enjoy the attention. I am sorry and appreciative that may be hard for some of us, but I think we deserve it, we should try...and we will enjoy it!
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Bell View Post
I'm also nervous that some day maybe a mega rich sexy hottie will shower me with compliments and I won't be able to resist.
If he ever shows up, you just give him my number!

The attention from men is something I feel equally terrified by and excited about. I'm single, so my concerns are going to be less turning them down and more how do I tell who the jerks are? After being invisible for so long, I really think I'm going to have the deer-in-the-headlights thing going on.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #14
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I have had 5 binges in the last 2 weeks kind of problems. Every time it happens I deal with it by overeating. Why do I do this, and how do I just smile and go on?

I hate it and kind of like it at the same time. I think I eat because I like the attention and then it scares me that I might do something stupid so I punish myself or something. ugh. This sucks.
Hi Lori Bell,

I'm a bit late to this conversation, but just wanted to add my two cents:

I have been overweight/obese for most of my life. Not only have I been invisible to boys/men for most of my life, but it has also been made clear to me many times in my life that most men are simply not attracted to my body. And I will say, it wasn't just men - women were sometimes cruel as well.

This started to change in my early twenties, when I lost a ton of weight. I was still large (always will be), but I had a real hourglass figure. It's a little bit difficult to explain, because the changes were quite subtle in terms of how I was treated in my hometown (I think this is because of my race, which I think removes me that much more from mainstream beauty standards). Even though the changes were subtle, I was suddenly getting more attention than I knew what to do with. And THEN I moved overseas for a year, to a part of the world where women with my skin colour and body type and everything were considered to be more ideal - and I was terrified of all of the attention I received.

Part of this was a feeling of being unsafe - I simply wasn't used to men hitting on me, and it felt more aggressive than it actually was. I got over this part, but you know what I am still struggling with? I struggle with the sense that when I lose weight and receive all of this attention for losing weight, (not just from men, but particularly from men), I am still being judged. I feel that men are still judging my body. I become self-conscious and resentful, because it's like they suddenly think I'm "good enough" and I am at a stage where I am trying to believe that I am ALWAYS more than good enough. But it's not easy - so I binge. I'm struggling with this a lot.

The way I deal with it right now is to focus on making myself feel good everyday for me, to acknowledge sincere and non-creepy compliments with a smile and thank-you, and move on. I can't get hung up on what others think of me, good or bad.

Anyway, that's my $0.02 about how all of this new attention, whether good or bad, can put weird pressures on a person who is struggling with their weight and body image, and trigger binging. It might not be the exact same thing for you, but I can certainly relate ...
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #15
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I just wanted to jump in on this thread...

I have started to notice the same thing myself lately. I've been married for twenty years and met my DH was I was 21-- pretty much first and only boyfriend.... I was really self-conscious about that. I thought I was totally unattractive to men and I never dated in high school-- a complete social nerd. I had no idea how to flirt. I felt like I didn't even know what flirting was, exactly. In high school and college, I was constantly falling into mad unrequited love with guys who ignored me or hit on my friends.

Well, fast forward 25 years, and I still feel the same way. I am completely confused about the whole thing....

It's not like I'm getting hit on right and left, but I have DEFINITELY noticed that men I've known for a long time are suddenly just a little friendlier.

To make matters worse, I don't even KNOW very many men-- really. I work in an almost all-female profession. I have a wide and very close circle of female friends but not too many male friends. I like men, and enjoy their company, but most guys really aren't that friendly to me and I just don't befriend them easily. I have always had a tendency to really back off when a guy is being friendly to me. The last time I remember being actually "hit on" I was 25 and weighed 145 lbs. Even back then, I didn't get hit on much. I just don't give out that vibe.

But recently, I've felt so much more confident that I'm a lot friendlier--

So, now I feel now, when people like my friends' husbands, or a guy from work are suddenly just talking to me more and paying more attention to me, I'm completely confused....

I feel like I get a teeny crush on every one of them, and then I worry that maybe I'm flirting and don't even know it....

I know that might sound just plain crazy, but I'm SO CLUELESS.

I'm like a confused 13 year old walking around in a 48 year old body.
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