I am about to get married. I love my fiancé, but something happened the other day that really bothered me. I was in a restaurant and I saw a really hot guy. Normally, I would get a look but I got nothing. It dawned on me that I might never be desired by another man again after marriage—even if it is just one of those thrilling one-off glances. How do I become okay with this outside of staying single?
Hit or Miss
Dear H or M,
I’m confident of two things. First, you will make mutually-satisfying eye contact with a handsome stranger(s) again someday. Second, the reason this guy did not look at you has nothing to do with your being engaged. I say this because desire knows no bounds. Students desire teachers, priests desire choir singers, married people desire other married people. Some act on it. Some don’t. Regardless, desire itself crosses society’s predetermined boundaries all the time.
I don’t think the situation would have unfolded any differently if you were single. You could have been wearing a shirt that said “Swinging Single” and he still may not have glanced in your direction. Why? Who knows? His girlfriend may have broken up with him. His grandmother may have died. Try not to take it personally.
So this gorgeous guy doesn’t look at you, which is disappointing, but you upset yourself further by taking it to an extreme: “No man is ever going to find me attractive again!” No wonder you’re so bothered. The good news is, you can choose to attach the experience to another thought. What if you go with something gentler like, “You win some and you lose some?” This thought is closer to reality and makes the disappointment much more manageable.
I think this happening close to your wedding may be a good thing. The New York Times posted an article recently called 13 Questions to Ask Before you get Married. Question #10 is: How far should we take flirting with other people? This question is in there because it’s understood that married folk are destined to desire people outside of their relationship.
Ask yourself: How important is the flirting experience to you? What if this man had returned your stare? What if he offered to buy you a drink? Think it through because the desire to be desired will come up again.
It may be as you say, you would be content with just the “thrilling one-off glance.” If that’s the case, I’m telling you it’ll happen. Probably when you’re not expecting it.
You can ask Samara and Caroline questions for the Love & Life Advice Column here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The ideas and advice presented here are not a substitute for professional advice. Talk to your psychologist, counselor, physician or health care professional for situations that warrant further analysis.