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Attraction detection

(23 Posts)
EBearhug Thu 01-May-14 21:56:33

I was talking to a friend, who was saying she'd had the sort of day where it was a struggle to stay professional, because the client was very attractive and distracting. It was apparently mutual, so mutually awkward. Apparently a girl always knows.

Do they, though? I couldn't tell as a girl, and I can't tell now I've reached my 40s. She says it's never come as a surprise, to know a man is attracted to her. I certainly have, to the point of speechlessness in one case. In some cases, I have been able to tell (not necessarily when it's been mutual.) In some cases, I have hoped it was, but it's turned out to be my over-hopeful imagination running riot.

I think possibly she expects to be found attractive. I never have. So perhaps we find the evidence we expect. Only I have also lived through the humiliation of thinking they were attracted, to be told very bluntly they weren't. So now, if people seem attracted to me, I tend to assume they're just being kind. I know some people like me, but as a colleague said when I picked him up on some sexist comment about a woman who walked past, "Oh, you don't count, you're one of us," so they just don't see me as a woman you'd be attracted to.

Is it just me? Does everyone else always know when someone's attracted to them?

Appletini Thu 01-May-14 21:57:56

She sounds a bit unhinged if I'm honest.

FolkGirl Thu 01-May-14 22:01:58

I never know!

I suspect she is attractive because she expects to be found attractive so people find her attractive before they've had chance to think about whether she's attractive or not. IYSWIM.

But no, as far as I'm concerned, no one is ever attracted to me. I know I'm not 'unattractive', but I don't think men find me attractive.

gilmoregirl Thu 01-May-14 22:13:17

I never know either! I just assume that men aren't attracted to me. Too busty going about my own business. I have very few single friends but do have a recently single friend who isvery confident and makes it v clear that lots of men are attracted to her ( lucky thing!)

gilmoregirl Thu 01-May-14 22:14:19

I agree that if you expect to be found attractive and feel yourself that you are attractive, then you will be

EBearhug Thu 01-May-14 22:28:02

At least it's not just me!

I think the thing I found most odd was her incomprehension that others might not experience life that way, knowing just what people think about you.

EBearhug Thu 01-May-14 22:28:39

I suppose it might work both ways - I may be equally unaware about all the people who really dislike me.

Twinklestein Thu 01-May-14 22:30:02

I dunno I have a friend who thinks people fancy her when they don't, it may just be self-deception...

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 22:38:04

I used to know, but I do not any more. You can always tell when someone's pupils dilate like N times. I can tell now by my ex, because I have started to see what he sees too. We skype a lot, and I can now realise what my girlie friends used to say about me. In skype, you can see your own facial expressions, and you can see the other person's too. It really shows, and it is quite true.

FolkGirl Thu 01-May-14 22:41:20

I was about to say the same as Twinkle.

My mother was a little deluded. She thought she was irresistably attractive to all men, to the extent that when men 20 years younger than her and were 'my type' looked in our direction, she still thought they were looking at her. I pointed out to her once that he might have been looking at me. She just looked really confused and said, "you?! Why would he be looking at you?"

So there is a chance that she believes these men are attracted to her when they're not.

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 22:42:21

I have also seen, 2 people, one is taken and married, and the other divorced, having coffee, and their body languages mirrored each other, and they have a smiley face too, and then the woman started to rub all parts of her own body in a suggestive way. She is actually very sexy. I thought to myself "what are you doing gf?" I remember when I once asked them for help, and I interrupted them in conversation she gave me an evil stare. I thought "uh oh, you are smittened". This guy was similar age to her, and she (as I learnt later) married for a long time. So she did not have to go through heartaches and relationship break-ups. But everybody see their interaction every day. I have also seen him scold another younger colleagues, who he project manages, and she is stunning. So you see how you can always tell when people like each other. They will also start to mimic your body language as well in a "I like you" way.

Twinklestein Thu 01-May-14 22:50:59

I think you can tell when other people like each other, but you can't always tell when it's you...

My above mentioned friend, call her S, was convinced that a male friend of mine was in love with her. I didn't say anything because she didn't fancy him so it seemed harmless enough. When the woman he was actually in love with moved to Paris with her husband he was devastated and kept talking about it to S, who was extremely miffed, and eventually realised the truth...

grumpasaur Thu 01-May-14 23:17:34

I think I usually know when men are attracted to me... And when they aren't! Happens less and less often these days, so I think part of it is a vibe you give off... Now I give off the "I am boring and married and will be in my pajamas in an hour" vibe which is understandably less attractive that the "I would love to have another drink and a boogie and a snog before we head back to mine and frolick in the sheets" vibe....

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 23:19:52

It's funny isn't it ? People are not self aware as well, it is so instinctive. smile

I also saw the same with another female friend, and when the guy was obviously smittened with her. She was about to leave. He was about to tell her all his "master plan" (of "how I can do well and provide for you" thing), she obliviously overlooked him as she was in a rush. Whereas her friend tried to get her to talk to him, cos I think she was very astute in spotting that he likes her. I just stood and watched him squirm, as she answered his questions about where she will be, and what she will be doing in her new job. I got the impression that he really liked her. shock

I also used to think that it was a line when guys used to say that I looked good that day. I realised they really mean, "I like what I am seeing".

Pride. It falls, and it falls. Well, I learn.

EBearhug Thu 01-May-14 23:36:30

People are not self aware as well, it is so instinctive.

Possibly. I had my mother telling me they couldn't be looking at me, no one would ever love me, so I guess when I did instinctively tell, I thought about it and decided I must be mistaken. So our instincts may be there at the base, but they need developing to become useful.

Still single. Wonder how many I missed? But then there have also been the ones I thought were and weren't, so maybe it balances out.

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 23:53:17

Sometimes we are conditioned with preconditioned. That is why, I remember thinking to myself "if I dress this way and I got looks today, then this guy must like me for me". That was how I learnt slowly. But on my side, I also learnt from a book as well on body language. And it is so true. We do not stop to think about ourselves, or is aware of how we come across. But we often have little "clues" which we give off to someone of the opposite sex.

My ex called me "low maintenance", which I got peeved off about actually. So if you are "one of the boys". Don't do that. Uncondition yourself. I was aware that I shied away and became one of the boys too when I worked in IT. Until only recently that I plucked up the courage to be more feminine and dress more feminine too. In fact, when I dated my ex, I mentioned that I was a tomboy. Which I now do regret. To be something that you are not because of how you think society expects you to be. Be you always. I took the courage to put myself in a dress in one of my job, and I found slowly that my female boss did the same too. We got stares. The other guys thought that she was a mean woman, but she was brought in for a purpose. After she did the hire and fire round, she dressed more feminine, and she left the company thereafter. So definitely be self aware.

EBearhug Fri 02-May-14 00:13:23

I do sometimes wear a dress to work - and I think I'm quite good at work body language, telling whether people are engaged during a meeting and so on. I suspect it is mostly not expecting anyone to be attracted to me.

Maisie0 Fri 02-May-14 00:27:12

But if you feel it, express it.... ;) Work or no work. You must've suppressed it for a long while. I know I have ! lol.

BOFster Fri 02-May-14 00:39:22

I think you can tell, yes. I couldn't say exactly why, but you can.

I don't think that makes me deluded- I can also tell when their eyes glaze over and they are just smiling politely more often these days grin

Bogeyface Fri 02-May-14 00:49:14

I am half and half. I can always tell when the guy I really dont fancy, fancies me. But I can never tell if the guy I fancy feels the same!

I have made an utter arse of myself at times thinking that I was on a sure thing only to be told in no uncertain terms, that no, he doesnt like me back blush

beaglesaresweet Fri 02-May-14 00:52:25

exactly, Bogey, when you like someone it's MUCH harder to tell (hope is at play).

Bogeyface Fri 02-May-14 01:10:14

beagle I think its that you read things into innocent conversations and interactions because (as you rightly say) you are hoping that they like you too. Whereas with someone you dont fancy, you can see things as they really are.

beaglesaresweet Fri 02-May-14 02:03:18

yes, when you don't fancy them, you seem them objectively and also their interest jarrs with your own lack of feeling (even if they don't say they behave kind of 'clingy' with the staring and lookign you up and down etc grin).
But personally it does annoy me that I can't tell when someone is just being sociable and nice, especially of there is a lot of chat an eye contact, whether they are attracted. I wish someone advised me! had a couple of disappointments. Sometimes it's the case that they do fancy you but have a gf so would never act on it (but it's awkward to ask whether they do have a gf if you don't know them well).

I think the simple answer is - actions or lacj of any on their part. If they don't ask you out even though you obviously give vibes, ten it's a no-go. I really believe that a single man would always ask you out if really attracted, but if their interest is just lukewarm, then best to avoid anyway.

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