It has been said that you are never as attractive to the opposite sex as you are when in a relationship. I've always found that frustrating. I hate to think of human nature as driving people to gravitate toward what they can't have. The "feast or famine" nature of the dating world can also be maddening. As a matter of pure etiquette, I also think there's something rather rude about flirting with someone who you know is in a relationship. Especially when her boyfriend is right next to her.
At the same time, that's the way social proof works. If you're with a good-looking and charming person, it raises your esteem in the eyes of others. I mean, there must be something great about you to attract a person like that, right?
There's also the "it happens when you're not looking" adage. When you're not trying. When are you not looking and trying less than when in a relationship? Not to mention that people having sex on a regular basis tend to have a happy, relaxed glow to them.
It all makes sense, and yet I was still surprised when, over the weekend, several guys acted a tiny bit too friendly with my boyfriend in the vicinity.
One of the guys was a regular at Bar K, there celebrating his birthday. True, we were all toasted (hours of drinking at a previous bar had been going on at this point) and there was a festive atmosphere at the place. Nevertheless, I had talked to Bar Regular on a number of prior occasions and he never flirted with me. That night, however, he smiled, stared, complimented how I looked, and hugged me for a little too long. All with BF David a foot or two away.
It was a nice ego boost, but made me a tad uncomfortable, so I made it more obvious that I was there with my boyfriend. A few smooches later, Bar Regular got the hint.
"You two make a great couple," he told us.
"Yes, we do," BF David and I nodded.
"Have fun," he said to BF David as we were heading out, giving him a significant look.
"Oh, I will."
Another incident took place on the subway on Saturday night. BF David and I were heading to my apartment and took the lengthy ride to catch up on some reading. He was finishing up the last few pages of The Game, while I indulged in a gossip rag.
"Excuse me, but is that a Neil Strauss book?" A guy sitting near us asked.
"It is," BF David held it up to make the cover visible.
Subway Guy then started talking to BF David, talking about how he used to live next door to Neil and how Neil tried to hit on his sister.
"So what's the book about?"
BF David and I smiled, knowing the conversation was just beginning. We told him.
"Do these pickup artists really exist?" Subway Guy asked.
"Honey, why don't you answer that one," BF David gestured for me to take it away.
I talked about PUAs for a bit, and Subway Guy was riveted. The conversation then turned to dating in general and online dating specifically.
"I just got back from an online date, actually," he said.
"Yeah, we're both online dating veterans," I commiserated.
His eyes lit up. "What's your profile name?"
"Oh, I took down all my profiles before I even met this one," I pointed to my boyfriend.
"But what were the names?"
Puzzled as to why he'd ask, I told him, adding, "They're hidden now, though, seeing as I have no use for them." What did I have to do, give BF David a blowjob to get the message across?
Subway Guy was very outgoing and pleasant to talk to, but I was relieved when he got off the train. I got this odd feeling that he may have been flirting with both of us, though BF David said he was definitely flirting with me. I don't know. After all, he didn't even begin the conversation by talking to me. Which is when BF David pointed out that the cluelessness about PUAs might have been a ruse, and an indirect way to get my attention.
"Isn't one of the tricks to ignore the target and get her to start talking to you?"
BF David was right. All this time in the seduction community and I failed to notice one of the primary techniques.
Was subway guy hitting on either of us? Was he a bit more aware of the PUA world than he let on? Perhaps. Was Bar Regular simply friendlier because of his state of birthday inebriation? Could be. Was one of my guy friends from the same bar outing being sweeter than usual because he's been getting some, too? It's possible.
However, BF David has been getting more attention, too. Women are smiling at him left and right.
Where were all of these people when we were single? Probably smiling and flirting with other people in relationships.
Looks like being unavailable has made both of us more appealing.