Thursday, 13 November 2008

Sam: That other woman

The other night I was at a charity party doling out love life advice to punters and as usual was keeping a keen eye on the antics going in the crowd. One thing that particularly caught my eye was how the most attractive woman in the room kept giving me looks in between dancing with the guy in the Lion suit. Got to keep up the old skills, teachers got to be able to do too, etc etc, I rationalised (translate as, lets go and have a chat with her and get a bit of an ego rub even though I’m taken).

Anyway, I wander over and we start chatting. Now this girl could have had any man in the room. Turns out the Lion, just like me was taken. In fact she has spent the entire night flirting with taken men. A quite attractive single guy was showing some serious interest in her as we chatted. When I asked her, she dismissed him, saying ‘no, he’s way to keen’. She then proceeded to complain about how the only men who ever approach here were they taken ones (that’s because you pick them, flirt like crazy and reel them in like fish honey – I had to bite my tongue on that one).

What is it about these women? Why do they un-erringly pick out men who are taken? I can understand it to some extent, men, and women in relationships are attractive. They are getting regular action, they are usually happy and confident, and most of all, not at all needy. Then there is the biological thing of saving time and searching for a mate by picking one that other’s already find attractive. But the problem is, if you are a plan B, 95% of the time, the man stays with the other woman. Lady readers, can you enlighten me more on this one? Lads, any thoughts?


Angela-la-la said...

Sometimes it's just safe flirting, you know it's unlikely to lead anywhere if he's taken but it's a nice joint ego boost for a little while.

Paula Yates' Wine Lodge said...

Speaking personally, I always chose the men who were attached because they were clearly unavailable, as I didn't think I was worthy of being with ANYONE, so it was easier to try for someone who clearly wasn't interested and so I could remain single forever. Rubbish I know, but true at the time...

Anonymous said...

Unless you are wearing a wedding ring that lights up the entire room or have a stamp on your forehead or your current girlfriend standing there holding your hand - how the hell is she supposed to know you are 'taken'? Particularly when you obviously respond to the flirting. It gets me every time too - I just assume (wrongly obviously) that people that are taken, do not respond to those signals. And they shouldn't. If it's purely an ego-boost for you, just don't. It's unfair. To your girlfriend, to the woman who sends out signals, and to the poor single man out there who now stands less chance. If you are out of the game, don't play the game.

Anonymous said...

Some people might not like what I have to say...

I'm single, and some people have said I remind them of Marilyn Monroe. Nothing amazing, but attractive enough to be approached by men on a regular basis.

I've found that I'm approached far more often by married men. Men have told me that married men are "easy pickings", often because they're fretting that they're no longer attractive and are desperate to verify their masculinity. Single men rarely approach me, and those who are persistently single (like a fair number of male friends) are like that because they think most women aren't good enough for them.

My personal theory is that married men not only approach women more often than single men, but that they're also more "settled". This doesn't mean more "confident", though. Also, someone chose to marry them - they're probably not too bad (one would hope). We want what others want - it's part of that whole problem where, for eg, a woman breaks up with a man because she's bored/thinks he's not good enough for her/whatever, and then when another woman finds him attractive his ex is suddenly more interested in him.

"I don't want you, but I also don't want anyone else to have you either." And...

"You're wanted, so I want you too."

Lack of emotional maturity is lurking around the corner here, but I'll take the cheat's way out and blame genes.

thene said...

Well duh, if you're after commitment-free sex, the easiest way to guarantee it is it to get it from someone who's already made a commitment to someone else. I don't stray myself, but who hasn't thought about it? And the whole point of straying is to escape the commitment part, right?

blueskies2day said...

I'm in a relationship and I'm happy with my boyfriend, but I LOVE flirting with people, and I feel a lot more comfortable doing so when I know they are also in a relationship. It makes things feel more safe and less like you're about to stumble into dangerous territory.

Sheherazade said...

In theory, it would be better if people who were committed to another wouldn't flirt because

a) it is kind of disrespecting your mate
b) it is definitely leading someone elseon unless it's clear from the start that you aren't seriously interested in persuing it

However, in practice this happens all the time. One part of me says that innocent flirting is just that, innocent and that it's not a big deal but the other part says that it isn't as harmless as it seems. Given the right circumstances can anyone say that they wouldn't persue the "harmless" flirting to it's logical conclusion? And as anonymous said above, unless there's a ring or a tatoo across the forehead, there is no way you can tell if the person is taken or not.

If you do flirt openly with a member of the opposite sex and you are taken, should you approach them and continue? Not in my opinion unless you are ready to state upfront that you are taken. The important thing, for me, is to be fair and upfront to all concerned. If your lady/man is ok with you flirting with others then fine but if they aren't then you are just playing with fire and deserve to get burned. And if the object of your flirting isn't aware that it's going nowhere, then you've just wasted their time and the opportunity for them to pick up someone else for fun and frolick.

greenlexie said...

Amongst my friends I'm known as the tease and always someones other woman.
This has never bothered me.My only problem is when you ask so is there someone in there life and they say no and then you find out there in a relationship.( i have only had problem once ) but when i know whats going on i know that i feel safe curling up with them and some mates knowing its just a hug and that your just there to make them feel better. and some eye candy really. and it gives you own ego a bit of a boost.

The only real problem is when you slowly start to fall for them. this is the most major problem. especially when there your best friends brother opps

Homer said...

Why do women go for attached men? I reckon a combination of two factors:

1) The law of averages. The vast majority of men over 25 are in relationships.

2) Most single men are single for a reason. Sorry guys, but it's true.

Lily Lane said...

If only I knew!

I am a serial offender: I've slept with 7 men in the last year (approximately), of which 4 have been taken. Furthermore, I had a lot MORE sex with the taken men; I was only with the single ones one, two and three times each respectively. Plus I fell in love with one of the taken men (still am!) and was seriously infatuated with another taken man. Oh and I slept with a girl who was also taken. My god.

This breakdown makes it clear to me that this can't be coincidence or accidental, and my stats are so vastly different from - what I assume to be - the norm, that I don't think a general rule about the temptation of the taken man/woman can be made to apply to the marjority of people. It seems to me this is a highly personal thing, for myself, the woman in your story, and any others who experience this trend.

For myself... perhaps I'm just no good at playing the game, fulfilling the expectations, or fitting into a relationship? I often feel in everyday life as though I am playing by a slightly different set of social rules to everyone else and that I can't see the "normal" rules until I've broken them. Perhaps I play by a different set of rules in my relationships too, and so the outcome is not what I expect. Or maybe I'm talking shit, I don't know. I just don't feel like pop-psychology explanations about self-worth quite cut it for me in this instance.

...Sorry for the self-absorbed rant!

Anonymous said...

At the start of last year I was feeling lonely and vulnerable. I slept with two men, one married and one not. I found both of them repulsive, physically and personality-wise. I did it just for the ego boost (??!) and to feel 'close' to someone for a little while in a way I could 'control'. Also probably just to beat myself up a bit more.

In relationships, I would be the girl who got drunk and secretly snogged her boyfriend's mate, her mates' boyfriends, some random work colleague. I never wanted these encounters to lead to sex - just 'harmless' flirting, please! - and always felt appalled at myself afterwards.

The relationships I had, I never actually wanted to be in. I always felt I was 'settling', but the alternative was too terrifying to contemplate. So the 'harmless flirting' was I guess a method of destroying the thing I didn't feel I could escape from.

I spent a long time on my own to break this cycle of shit relationships. At the end of this time, the 'repulsive' men were a way of trying out whether I'd be happy to have casual sex or whether I should continue to hold out for something more meaningful. I decided to hold. Now I've met someone (single) who I actually want to be with and the thought of going with anyone else makes me cringe.

The flirty girl in the post sounds to me like she subconsciously despises herself. She needs the attention but recoils from the thought of getting involved with anyone. She doesn't even realise she's doing this. She needs to find some self-worth.