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Craving Male Attention(28 Posts)
Ok, so I've been searching the internet for advice and even came across an old mumsnet thread on this very topic and the responses are sometimes harsh, which I'm prepared for. As per my thread title, this is something that is genuinely starting to bother me greatly now and I'm really hoping that there will be some of you out there who have experienced the same thing and could give me some advice.
Some background: early 30s, recently married. I've always enjoyed male attention (assuming that's pretty normal?!), would never have done anything outrageous or even been with a lot of guys before my husband. My issue though is that throughout every and all relationship (including with my now husband) I still seem to seek\want men to find me attractive and I'm starting to hate that about myself. And before I'm asked the logical question of is my husband right for me etc, I genuinely don't think that's the problem. We get on great, I'm attracted to him, we have great sex - probably not as frequent as the start but still regular enough for that not to worry me. I'm very lucky to have him. The problem is me.
A quick example for context. A new guy at work, few years younger than me has been asking about me to my colleague saying he fancies me bla bla. Nice guy but young and immature. I don't even see him that often. But here I am the familiar old tale of knowing this information that he fancies me, I find myself thinking about him and almost getting a kick out of being friendly back etc. And I feel so bloody stupid and immature myself for giving a shit. It's like my validation comes from if someone fanices me. I would be considered attractive (I know saying that isn't very likeable) not that I have men falling over themselves for me at all - just putting it in for context so that maybe I'm basing my self worth on my looks. And possibly conscious that as I continue to get older I'll get less attention or something?? How can I stop feeling this way?
I wonder too - and the reason for posting (looking for reassurance maybe) is that is this something more common than I think and am I being unnecessarily harsh on myself. I think the reason it's not is the level that it's affecting me. I'm becoming increasingly guilty, probably since getting married and I suppose I worry that one day I'll cheat or something. Never have but it worries me nonetheless. I want to not care what any other male thinks of me except my husband.
Any advice? Please!
You sound unfulfilled in your marriage. When I was your age (I'm 48 now), I was bloody stunning, but I didn't think about it at all, because I loved my husband. Then I found out he was a cheating bastard. Then I was very much focused on how I looked, and I looked for validation from men (low self esteem maybe).
Grow up before you do something stupid and lose this wonderful husband that you have.
I think maybe you are thinking too much about you like.men making it clear that they find you attractive.
You dont want to cheat. You seem fulfilled with your relationship. You have no complaints at all about your OH. The complaint is not even you, but about your thoughts.
I think self esteem. Do you suffer from.anxiety by any chance?
It just sounds like you are overthinking about your thoughts and that is a problem.i have with chronic anxiety
Did you spend much time with your dad when you were little?
I am exactly the same and am also worrying about it. Unlike you, I am in a very bad and unhappy relationship and I am older than you and lately I have made myself look stupid by reading too much into some very minor attention from a few different men at work. I know this doesn't help you but it is definitely stemming from very low self esteem in my case. My Dad battered my self esteem when I was young by being cold and unloving and favourtising my sister. And now I am with a partner who loves our daughter (as he should) but makes it clear he hates me. When I was a teenager my relationship with my Dad made me very promiscuous because I was constantly seeking reassurance that I wasn't unloveable by sleeping with men. All my relationships were very short lived though and this damaged my self esteem even more. I had lots of counselling and finally had a good relationship with someone. That ended and after sometime I met my current partner who has always blown hot and cold but has now been quite emotionally abusive to me for about a year (we have been together 15 years). Because he is showing me no love or affection or kindness, I find myself feeling a bit desperate for attention from other men and i don't want to be like this as in many other ways I am a successful strong woman. I have decided to get some more counselling, I definitely need to improve my self esteem. Do you have anything similar in your past maybe? Best of luck.
Instead of trying to get people to notice you, why don’t you get people to notice how solid your marriage is. Turn heads by having them say “they’re a lovely couple, she’s devoted to him too” Or it will all end in tears.
I'd re-focus actually. What is the point in what you are doing? Personally, I would be so bloody embarrassed to think of myself as being defined by a/ how attractive to men I was and b/ how my life was defined by how men saw me....its soooo bloody limiting! And so bloody last century....get a grip!!!!
Its 2017 for God's sake. Get out there and live....
Well at least you're honest OP. I see "male friends/attraction" threads on here and it's obvious some women are as you are, but they truly think they're hiding it even though their words make it apparent that they need very badly to be found attractive by men.
At least you want to not care re other men being attracted by you. Resist temptation is the best thing. You don't want to cheat on your DH then be left pushed from pillar to post by men who won't take you seriously because they think you've always got your eye on someone else and light up whenever another man shows interest. There are a lot of chancers out there. If your marriage is unfulfilling look at ways of bringing the interest back.
It's not attention you're after, its approval.
It wouldn't let me post again with the other name so I had to change it.
Thanks for the replies, I do appreciate the insights.
I'm sure the reasons for my thoughts/behaviour stem from somewhere between the poster who suggested I'm looking for approval and not attention, and the poster who asked did I spend much time with my dad when I was little. He's a lovely man, very likeable and easygoing but no, never the most demonstrative or emotionally open with us.
Any practical advice anyone has for raising self esteem/not giving a shit what people (men) think of you??...
What kind of workplace do you work in where people freely discuss how they fancy someone who is married?
Women are brought up and socialised to seek approval. From men and other women, but because men as a class have more social power, it's male approval that is mainly sought. In short, op you are quite normal.
Thanks again. Slightly reassured to hear that I'm not totally alone in this 😉 thanks Mini.
And yes Bonfire I agree that it's not exactly the norm to be commenting on married colleagues like that. And it's actually a professional environment, believe it or not! He's been making quite a few comments to my colleague lately, presumably in a jokey manner but still a bit weird. He knows my colleague from years back though and talks to her in quite a laddish manner!
I was like this in my early 20s when my self-esteem was scraping itself along the floor. Took a long time to start finding value in myself without needing validation from other people (sexual or otherwise.)
Counselling helped. Also realising that most men would want to fuck an old boot if it had curves in the right places. That kind of validation just makes your self-esteem plummet even further.
I don’t really see much of a problem. You are overthinking and worrying about having the odd fantasy knowing you’ve still got it. You aren’t intending or close to doing anything or even having an emotional affair.
I'm not in a relationship, and I'm older than you, but I think I get what you mean. I reckon it boils down to poor self-esteem, where somewhere along the line we have associated our worth with how sexually appealing we are to men. That doesn't mean to say that we will cheat on our partners (I never have) but can lead to the behaviours you're mentioning.
I think my issue stems from having an emotionally absent then physically absent father, plus being brought up in a society where youth, good looks, and being in a relationship is valued above maturity and single life.
The big problem is is that we age and lose any good looks that we had, and then become invisible to potential mates. If we don't deal with our self-esteem before that time it can be very painful. I know it's bandied around often on Mumsnet, but I think if you could go for counselling to get to the root of this it would be very helpful.
When I was a teenager my relationship with my Dad made me very promiscuous because I was constantly seeking reassurance that I wasn't unloveable by sleeping with men. All my relationships were very short lived though and this damaged my self esteem even more
I could've written this too Mummadeeze. My dad wasn't even awful but I'm sure he's negatively affected my attitude to men and relationships
I think you're overthinking this quite a lot.
People hate the idea of women being sexual beings... As seen on this thread. Woman wants to flirt, so she must be unhappy, have daddy issues, etc. Depressing really...
Women are socialized to look for male approval and attention because it's very important that we have it in order to maintain social status. So that part is neither here nor there.
Hormonally, you're in a stage where your body is likely beginning to dump eggs in earnest as peri menopause appears on the horizon. So your body is probably very interested in sex in general right now, in fertilizing those eggs. Nothing wrong with that.
You're also older and more confident now possibly. So nascent sexual feelings may become more conscious for you now, and you might want to enjoy them more as you've aged and your mortality is becoming clearer.
In short, enjoy the good feelings, keep your boundaries place and focus on having lots of sex with your DH.
Do not fret that you're somehow damaged ffs. You're allowed to be into men, sex, flirting etc. You're a healthy heterosexual adult primate, I presume. You're meant to be interested in sex. Don't pathologise it.
I am puzzled as to your desire for male attention. Do you, generally? And this new male colleague is a bit of a tit, a bit of a knob? But you still would like his attention. Why? Seriously. Think that through. That's not good/normal.
I'm struggling to understand because - I have no desire for male attention. But maybe because that's because I've never had it. I'm very ordinary looking. Men don't flirt with me. I scrub up well and get complimented, by other women, friends, say at a 40th birthday party last night.
Is your self esteem so low, that you need male confirmation? What do you think your Dh would think? Have you seen asked him?
I agree with Grunkle. Stop beating yourself for having a sexual identity beyond wifedom. There’s a lot of complex biology at play. You’re aware of it and you don’t wish to act on it But you feel guilty because women are always given mixed messages about their own sexuality. You’re fine and a lot of women feel the same way as you.
I have no advice, but wanted to let you're not alone.
You’re fine and a lot of women feel the same way as you.
A lot of women have very low self-esteem.
Wow thanks guys, I really do appreciate the advice. I'm definitely feeling reassured now with the posters saying it's normal and I'm overthinking it - thank you 😊 seems it's quite split though with others saying they don't experience it and must be low self esteem etc.
I wonder if maybe there's some truth in the idea that if a girl is attractive and therefore complimented a lot etc, she bases her self esteem/worth around that? Just like another person who may be, say, very intelligent and that becomes their identity.
In an ideal world we wouldn't use either as sticks to measure our worth I suppose.
But I will take on board that I have nothing to feel guilty about as this is all at the thought level so far (haven't acted on anything, although that is perhaps my fear for the future) and just try not to give it all too much head space. Wish me luck!
I am confident, financially independent, live alone, have a DP, professional job, postgraduate education, etc. I definitely don't have self-esteem issues, and I love flirting. So my point is that you are not alone. Flirting is fun for the ones who enjoy it.
In my own case needing male approval was my own basic insecurity.
In my twenties I idolised men and spent a large part of my thirties worrying about losing my looks and becoming invisible.
As another poster on here has said, it has a lot to do with biology too, it's impossible to determine where hormones begin and feelings end and you look back one day and ask yourself what the hell all that was about!?
Having kids for me settled me down a bit, I don't need to push things as much anymore, I have less to prove. Priorities shift.
I think in the past I glamorised 'the male gaze' whereas now I am more suspicious of men and see their attention as an imposition more than a privilege. Maybe it's because I'm a mum now but I think there is a another side to being 'approved' of by men, it means you're being kept in line a bit and I rankle against that now. How much worth should we place on their approval anyway? It's a bit of a trap and I think getting older is liberating for some women.
This colleague of yours has no right to go round saying he fancies you when you are married, who does he think he is? Don't let him compromise you for a bit of sport.
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