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Let me give you a little backstory…

The moment I meet a new guy, my immediate reaction to them is:  “Oh cool!  A new friend!”  I don’t know why, but my brain is hardwired to immediately put anyone I just meet into the friend zone.

I don’t know if it’s because I just love being single, or it takes me a moment to warm up to people in a romantic way, but that’s just how I am. Granted, some of my exes have been able to work their way out of it, but friend-zoning is standard behavior for me.  I thought this was fairly normal until one of my friends told me that she’s the complete opposite. Any guy she meets is potentially “The One.”

Immediate friend-zoning has worked well for me in life, but has also brought along some uncomfortable encounters.  Like recently, when after the gym my daughter and I were waiting for my mother to get dressed and an older man approached me. Being the friendly person I am, I didn’t think anything was wrong when he engaged me in conversation and I reciprocated. However, it became very awkward when I realized I was a sentence away from being asked to go to an early bird special with him.

On top of that, after I gently rebuffed his advances and his suggestion of being my daughter’s new stepfather (I’m not lying), when my mother finally popped up, he started hitting on her! (Dude was a live version of “The Todd.” He didn’t care who he got action from.)

Aside from that unpleasant moment, life at the gym has been going smoothly — or at least it was until I saw him and had to immediately look away.

Let me catch you up.

Ever since I was younger, if I felt immediately attracted to someone, I could not look at them. I don’t know what it was, but even if I wanted to send a nice little smile their way, my eyes treated them like they were solar eclipses and would go out of my way to avoid looking at an object of my affection.

I don’t know why this happens.  It’s not one of those cheesy play hard to get attempts at attraction from a ’90s magazines. I honestly just cannot look at a guy who I have an immediate attraction to; I have to ignore them.

Though I try for it not to, sometimes it works for me, and it actually does bring the object of my lust to me. Other times, the crush doesn’t even know that I exist. Eeither way, I end up back in that same “Hi Cute Guy. Yes, I see you, and I’m ignoring you, now, off to crunches!” cycle.

Though this is fairly normal behavior for me, I realized this time that my reason for ignoring the cute guy wasn’t just due to his fine-ness, there was something else going on.

Ever since I first had my daughter, I’ve been engaging in a workout war where I workout for a a few weeks, and then stop. Now I’ve finally hit a good stride where I’m coming to the gym regularly, making healthy lifestyle choices, and seeing really good results. As my weight loss total creeps up to the 30s, I find that I need to ignore Mr. Cutie McCrush-Crush so that I don’t lose focus. I don’t want to get to the point that my desire to go to the gym is no longer based on being a better me, but on seeing him. As much as I think he’s adorable, my inner-feminist won’t allow for my successful weight loss to be due to a guy.

So, I ignore him.  If he walks past my machine while I’m huffing and puffing, I don’t look his way. If I’m reading on the bike and he’s next to me, I won’t lower my book by a centimeter. If I’m in the weight zone, and he walks past, we’ll exchange a nondescript head nod, and I go back to finishing my reps.

Though he’s not a factor in my weight loss, like the solar eclipse that my eyes think that he is, he does make the initial arrival to the gym very bright. But after that, I immediately go back to ignoring him.

So thank you, Cute Guy, for your masculine beauty. It’s very appreciated, but also very ignored.

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