I had a very interesting and, I think, empowering conversation recently.
The first part was somewhat terrifying, and the second a bit mind-blowing (in a very good way).
You see, a married man told me how he has had times of being attracted to me, of wanting to go dancing with me, spend one-on-one time with me.
That was the panic-inducing terrifying part.
He also told me that, whenever that has happened, he has looked at it and asked himself the source of the emotions – that is, why is he feeling that attraction?
Hannah is a wonderful, empowered, self-actualized, beautiful person who cares about herself and about others, and who is totally loving, he thinks, and I love being around people who are like that.
At which point he has acknowledged the emotion, the attraction, and has been able to move forward without dismissing it but without having to act on it in any way.
So, that was relieving for me.
The next thing he said, though, was the mind-blowing.
He said that he has noticed times when I seem to be very “cool” with him, and it makes him wonder if something has happened to cause me to be that way…. when he thinks about it, considers the situation, he wonders if, perhaps, She does not like that I am attracted to her, flirtatious with her – she cannot accept such adoring love, for whatever reason, so I will step back and give her some extra space.
I had not ever considered being okay with a person in a relationship being attracted to me – perhaps my religious upbringing scolded my mind enough with the concept of coveting my neighbor’s wife, but I also have experience of people not managing their emotions, their desires, and causing utterly miserable situations (especially for me)…, so I have been very anti-anyone-even-remotely-in-a-relationship being even the least bit attracted to or interested in me – and yet, here I am now, considering newly.
If the person can separate the attraction and its why’s from the typical story of, ‘I must want this person more than my partner, and therefore just pursue this person,’ perhaps it is a totally different scenario.
Kind of like how I love soft serve ice cream, and it makes me really want some when I see someone holding a fresh, massive cone of it, and I consider for that brief moment going over and stealing the cone, but then acknowledge that I don’t actually want to take the ice cream cone from him/her, because it reminds me of my love for ice cream and I really just want my own cone of it, and so I don’t go shove the person to be ground while stealing the soft serve cone…
A silly analogy, but it makes sense to me.
I also had never considers that someone’s attraction to me, married or in a relationship or not, was, in itself, a compliment to me, an acknowledgement of something wonderful within me…, a small (or large) but of love for that something within me, for me…
I had only ever considered it as wrong and bad (for the relationship guys, anyway), and had left it at that…
My mom and stepdad have always discussed gorgeous people together, attractive people together – they have always been open about it with one another… and I have always been okay with that.
I think they have, therefore, always been able to separate the desire of the moment from the ultimate desire – they see why they are attracted to someone, and discuss that with one another, as opposed to assuming immediately that they have to act outwardly on the desire…and, sometimes, they might learn from that attraction and adapt themselves to incorporate something from it into their own relationship.
I have never been opposed to flirting, as long as both parties are clear that it is only flirting – it’s actually a really great experience to me.
It’s the flirting with a goal of something happening out of the interaction that I rather dislike and that makes me uncomfortable.
And I think that that kind of flirting is what scares me… especially from married people.
Because most men in my experience have not been able to do the former, only the latter.
If, however, we consider the men who can successfully do the first, then we reach the point of what this man said to me tonight – that I am afraid of being loved in such a way that shows that someone is attracted to me.
Because of the second version of flirting, that idea is true – I am afraid of it, and I do not – have not, anyway – see it as love…, because of that second version of flirting… in the first version, however, it is a form of love.
Perhaps a silly form, but a valid form of love, nonetheless – if we didn’t love the person, we wouldn’t bother interacting, let alone being flirtatious.
I feel that I am not effectively conveying this concept, but I’ll roll with it as it is.
I was worried that a married man is attracted to me – afraid, even.
Now, knowing that he acknowledges the why‘s of his attraction and is able to bring logic to the picture, he does not act inappropriately on the attraction, and instead showers me with appropriately-intended love in appreciation of the why‘s he finds within me, I can see the possibility of being okay, even comfortable, with it.
He mentioned that I connect easily and well with just about anybody – he sees it constantly – and that, at least for all the men, they all consider at some point what it might be like to be married to me.
The thought scared me at first, but then it was actually relieving.
He said that it doesn’t last long, but they all consider it…, and I realized that I, too, do this with men… every man I cross, typically, gets thrown into the mental scenario of, “What would our life together look like?”
It doesn’t typically last more than a few seconds, and it isn’t a matter of my wanting to steal the man away from whatever relationship he may have – it is merely an analysis, a bit of mental exercise in playing pretend… and I like it when it goes well.
And it still doesn’t mean I ever act outwardly in any way with the person, because it is just a mental exercise, not a decision in which man around me to pursue.
I would not be offended for the men in my brain games…, so why just I be offended or panicked to be on theirs?
Perhaps I need not be…
Anyway, that’s a lot… please, feel free to be offended, but I invite you to consider something new, as I have done – it might turn out amazingly.
If it doesn’t, then you can just go back to how you’d thought before – no hard feelings. 😉