Ask Amy: Woman wonders why men ‘hit’ on her
Dear Amy: I am a middle-aged, happily married woman with a wonderful husband. We have a relationship that others spend their lives trying to find, and we are both extremely grateful for our many blessings.
I am not social, and I am not conscious of my appearance.
I never wear makeup. I am a jeans and T-shirt type of woman. Also, I’m a bit overweight.
Given all of that, why do men continually try to hit on me and chat me up?
I grew up with two older brothers and have a history of having platonic male friends of all types throughout my life.
I guess I don’t fit the typically “girly” stereotypes.
I talk about my wonderful life and relationship with my husband, and it doesn’t seem to stop these men from hitting on me.
What am I doing wrong? And ... why me? — Sick of Being Hit Upon
Dear Sick: You are not doing anything wrong. Your crime is to attempt to move through the world, minding your own business.
Women who are “girly” and wear makeup and feminine clothing are not asking to be hit on. Women who wear jeans and T-shirts are also not asking to be hit on. Women jogging, riding bicycles, walking their dogs or talking with their friends are not asking to be hit on.
I have a caveat, however. I grew up in chilly New England where people tend not to speak to people they don’t already know. But I spend part of each year in New Orleans, a city where people are so outgoing and gosh-darned friendly that it is almost off-putting. And yes, oftentimes strange men will call out and comment about hair, clothing, or urge me to “smile more,” rudely intruding into my comfort zone. But occasionally they are also only saying, “Hello!” It can be hard to decode the difference between someone being friendly and someone trying to “chat you up.”
In my view, you should never get far enough in conversation with a strange man to wax on about your wonderful husband. Men who hit on random women are pulling a power play: they don’t care if you are married.
Dear Amy: I am 32 and single. I lead a pretty fulfilling life. I do work that I love. I’m close to my parents and have a really tight, small group of friends.
Over the past couple of years more and more of my cousins and friends have gotten married and now, people who are younger than me are about to be married as well.
I honestly do not “want” to be married (if it happens, it happens!). However, lately I can’t help but feel that everyone else is “growing up” and moving on, while I am stuck. I am worried that there will soon be a time when I might regret not being more committed to finding a partner.
I haven’t met or dated anyone interesting in a long while, and importantly, haven’t felt the urge to go out and find someone.
Should I more proactively seek out a partner? — Wanting to Want
Dear Wanting to Want: Even though you are happy and doing well, you wonder if you are supposed to want what others in your age group want.
But there is no one way to do life. There are people who seem to map out every move and proceed as if following a script. The challenge is to write your own.
Given the fairly consistent divorce statistics, there is a technical term for around half of the weddings you are witnessing. It’s called: First Marriage. My point is that a wedding is not a prescription for happy-ever-after. Knowing who you are, doing work you love, having happy and healthy relationships is.
You may go through phases where you are eager to engage in a special partner-relationship, and when those times come you should fire up the matching machine, get out there and meet people.
Dear Amy: “In a Quandary” described his godson’s decision to sell a train set he had given to the boy several years ago.
Many years ago, I gave my daughter-in-law a ring my husband had given to me.
I was disappointed when she sold the ring for a down payment on a piano for my grandchildren.
Today, all five of the grandchildren play the piano beautifully, and two of them are professional musicians. What joy that ring has brought to many people! — Learned my Lesson
Dear Learned: Your daughter-in-law let that ring sing. Well done!