Wherever I went when I was coupled up, I felt eyes on me. Having chatted about this phenomenon with my girls, they all seemed to have had similar experiences. Funny enough, the paradox of everyone wanting you when you’re committed is supported by empirical evidence.
You’re More Confident In A Relationship. Let’s address the easy ones out first. You are getting validation from someone that you’re special/wanted/beautiful and whatever else you need to hear. Being more confident opens the social world up for you in more ways than one. You’re more likely to engage in conversations and approach new people which immediately ups the odds that you’re talking to more people. Additionally, should you run into criticism or things that you might perceive as “rejection” when single would be more easily forgotten about. You’re less likely to be stewing about it later, or take it personally at all.
You’re Emotionally Fulfilled, Which Ameliorates Guy’s #1 Concern. No one wants to go into a relationship with someone they think is going to unload a big emotional burden onto them. A lot of the time in relationships, there’s a natural tradeoff. This is not absolute, but generally, the guy listens to and validates the woman’s emotional needs, and the woman fulfills the man’s ego and physical needs. It’s the same reason why a guy who doesn’t come across super thirsty is more attractive to women. Whenever you have the luxury of going into a conversation not needing something from the other person, you’re naturally going to come across more authentic and attractive. It’s easier to do when in a relationship.
Having A Boyfriend Might Be Putting You In Closer Proximity With Other Guys. A lot of the time, guys have guy friends. If they’re coming over on the weekend for some football, or meeting up with you and your guy for some drinks out on the town, you are naturally getting more exposure to a larger number of dudes than you are when you’re single. And let’s be real…there’s always a least a little bit of sexual tension between a guy’s friends and their girlfriends. Ultimately, you spend time with those people, get to know those people, and maybe occasionally catch a whiff of some sexual energy passing between you and one of these other males.
You’re Probably Less Cynical. My single friends and I often like to chat about how horrible guys and the dating scene. It’s a common way girls connect. But rare will you hear a girl in a relationship say something like “guys these days! What a bunch of p*ssies!” Why? Because she’ll be hurting her partner’s feelings. But saying cynical things about dating, guys, relationships etc., especially when other guys are around is probably not helping our game…and yet, it’s such a fun and important part of being single.
The Baby Rattle Theory. You know the one…even from infancy, when someone else picks up a rattle that we weren’t even playing with, we reach over for it. Something about someone else thinking something is special makes us interested in that something too. If you have a guy who really likes you, naturally think you’re more interesting and that there must be something special about you. Once that validation isn’t there, they aren’t so certain.
The Alpha Challenge. We’re all animals, as much as we like to think we’ve transcended that. Strip away formalities and you’ll find that sexual energy permeates our lives in a very real way. A male may show interest in you when you’re in a relationship not because they are interested in you especially, but because they are interested in knowing that you would betray your man for them which is turn proves their superiority over him. So really, it’s about challenging him, not express desire for you.
The Totem-Pole Theory. We all fall somewhere on the social hierarchy. Changing status once you’ve landed somewhere on the social totem pole is tricky business–but dating someone can change your status. Let’s say you start dating a guy who all your friends and boyfriends really like. He’s elevated your social proof a bit. That may open up the social caste you’ve been living in prior to meeting said guy, so you may start to get looks from people who hadn’t been interested in you before.
You’re Noticing It More Because You Have More Boundaries On How You’re Supposed To Act. You know what they say…the grass is always greener on the other side. In being more aware and having to occasionally reinforce boundaries, you’re probably picking up on signals that you might not be noticing while you’re single because you’re not stuck in some self-deprecating, shame-inducing monologue in your head. You’re more present in the moment.