Once upon a time, I hit a dry spell (a really dry spell) where there were no potential toasters, no appreciative looks, no winks, no requests for my phone number (even when I was pointedly staring at said object – forgive me – said subject, and speaking eye-language, literally willing him to ask for my number already!), no call backs from the ones who asked, Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I had just come out of a not-so-easy relationship (can’t use the word difficult, as it might connote laziness on my part). And No, I wasn’t in that ‘I’d just like to be by myself for some time’ space that lots of people fall into when they’ve recently exited a relationship. For a change, I wanted a rebound. ASAP. I needed one to take my mind off the sadness and humiliation of the previous relationship. You’re probably wondering what happened. Well, that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, I was rearing to go, looking for the next victor (or victim), telling myself that I’d be over Mr. Just Gone before I knew it, just as soon as I could find a new distraction. I’m not the type who goes out a lot, but I tried to go out to new places, gatherings of young people, events e.t.c basically trying to put myself “out there”. Two months passed, then three. And then the fourth came round and I still found myself sitting in front of the TV after work most weekday evenings, going through a bottle of wine all by my lonely self (talk about a local Bridget Jones). What exactly is wrong with me, I thought. It was almost as if I had a sign on my forehead that said “REJECTED. Do NOT touch with a 10 foot pole!” because the guys just kept ignoring me, refusing to even catch my eye – maybe if they did, they would have seen me giving them my own version of the come hither look.
My best friend said I wasn’t exuding confidence, I wasn’t holding my head up, that it was like I was hiding. And I’m thinking “how is it possible that I’m hiding in plain sight?” Isn’t it more a case of “them” not finding me attractive or interesting enough to be approached? Pshaw! But then I thought about it and realised that it was me who wasn’t catching their eyes, me who wasn’t looking approachable. It was me who was frowning all the time, and not making an effort to make conversation when broached. Granted I was being haunted by the ghost of relationship past, but I wasn’t helping my situation so finding a rebound was twice as hard.
Then it happened. I met someone. After seven dreary months, I finally met someone with whom I clicked. What did I do differently? I took my best friend’s words to heart. I held my head up, I looked directly at people and instead of looking away when they stared, I stared right back and I smiled (only at the correct-looking guys sha o. You don’t want to invite bad things into your life). I even struck up conversations – me, the one who wouldn’t speak unless spoken to, who would only respond in monosyllables – and on some fateful day, I had an amazing conversation with this amazing guy.
To cut the long story short, we started dating and it was great. And then suddenly, the dam of rejection broke and the waters of potential boyfriends gushed forth! (Ok, that’s a bit too dramatic but I’m sure you get the picture). Toasters everywhere! Don’t get me wrong. I’m not drop dead gorgeous or anything like that. Far from it actually, so even I was confused, wondering at what point I rubbed that famous powder we heard so much about in the university, the one they said attracted men. They (the men) seemed to be coming out of the wood work. How convenient, that they would show up when I was already otherwise engaged. They just didn’t want a sister to be great.
So, why did they all suddenly show up? Why was I, out of the blue and without warning, now in high demand? That’s what I kept asking myself. And I think I eventually figured it out.
Boys want what other boys want. Notice how boys used to fight for toys growing up? They always wanted the one that their friend or brother had, despite the fact that they had theirs in their hands. Somehow, the other person’s toy became more desirable the minute they saw them with it because they figured the other person had it because it was desirable. So they wanted it. Sounds a bit convoluted but take a minute to give it a bit of thought.
There I was, dating this really nice guy. We were spending a lot of time together and I was happy because my mind was off any troubles I had. I was taking more care with my appearance, making sure I looked as good as possible every time we were together. When we went out, I wanted to make sure he was proud to have me on his arm. And when we weren’t together, I had the confident bearing of someone who knew she was loved. And I think guys can tell. Somehow they know that there’s a man somewhere in the background (when they’re not seeing him) that’s running that show. And I think it signals to them that there’s something worth having.
I’ve heard it’s the pheromones you emit, the ones that result from having a fulfilling sex life. If only it was easy as spraying oneself with pheromones, I’d order a bottle of the stuff. But no. It’s more than that. It’s also the fact that you’re taking better care of yourself, looking better, more presentable (I admit I didn’t bother much with my appearance once that trouble-filled relationship was over). It’s the fact that you’re smiling more – it shows that you’re happy. And the truth is nobody wants to be with an unhappy person. It’s that you’re more confident, you speak with greater conviction, you laugh more freely, and you are secure in the fact that no matter your flaws, someone still loves you enough to be with you.
And yes, you might be having an awesome sex life which goes a long way in putting a spring in your step (especially on a Monday morning after a fabulous weekend of sexual decadence) but you can get a spring in your step from a lot of other things – like an intense workout. (Did I hear someone say I’ll take the sex instead?). Anyway, my point is relationship ruts shouldn’t even have to exist. You can have relationship breaks or time-outs, but never a rut. Because the moment you let yourself fall into a rut, it starts to become a crater.
Boys want the good stuff, and they can smell it from a mile off. And don’t get me wrong, the good stuff isn’t a hotly dressed mama with the hair and nails of a diva (though they seem to like those too). The good stuff is a happy, confident woman who loves and takes care of herself whether or not a man is in the picture; a woman whose very demeanor motivates or almost dares the man in men to take a chance and ask her out.