Deciding Who I’m Dressing Up For
While on the annual line dance cruise, I got into a discussion with my cabin mate about who I dress for. It started when I said I didn’t think I’d bother putting on makeup for the evening’s more casual dinner. She was horrified I’d neglect my appearance in such a manner, and I finally agreed to at least put on the small amount I used on dance nights. It was a small concession, and in truth, I probably felt better about myself by making the minimal effort.
Over the course of the weekend, we spoke several times about the things we do to attract the opposite sex. Granted, it’s been years since I was aware of anyone showing any interest in me as anything more than a friend or temporary dance partner, while she’s dated a couple of different guys, but I felt, and still feel if someone is going to be attracted to me, it needs to be something more than my pretty packaging. In fact, as I told her, I have no idea what men find attractive these days, but whatever it is, it’s not something I am or do, given my experiences over the last couple of decades.
We talked about one friend who, until she settled on one guy, had men buzzing around her like bees to honey. Not only is she cute, vivacious, and prone to being the center of attention, she has a way of making whoever she’s talking to feel special. I’ve always envied that quality in people, as far back as I can remember. It truly is a talent in my opinion, and one I never acquired. There will always be people to whom I give my full attention, and those I give none at all. Sure, there are degrees in between, and there are certainly those who prefer my lower-key attentions. But I just don’t enjoy people-ing enough to make everyone I encounter feel special.
Oblivious in So Many Ways
Over the years, I’ve learned, sometimes decades after the fact that someone was attracted to me, but I was oblivious to the signs they emitted to test the waters of my own affections. I think my natural oblivion is what makes it difficult for me to know what look or behavior might give someone a clear message I’d be open to exploring the possibilities. It also means I have no idea what a man is looking for either visually or on other levels. When I mentioned my lack of knowledge to my friend, she didn’t have any answers.
I’m wondering if the ability to attract is more of an innate ability. Some women have it, and others don’t. I do know the one who seems to attract them all has had a few get angry when she didn’t choose them. Since she made them all feel special, it probably came as a shock to the ones who hung on, believing they were her “one”. I can see how some might see her natural friendliness as stringing them along. After all, people see what they want to see, and will hang around longer than they should. Heaven knows, I’ve told myself I saw signs where there clearly were none my share of times.
I suspect the conversation will make me more aware of the male-female dynamics around me now. I may or may not learn what the magic ingredients are, but at least observing will give me something to write about in the future.
Visible from the Outside Looking In
I can look at people and see why someone would be attracted. Whether it’s the woman who’s vivacious and friendly, or my friend who is more beautiful and exotic than she probably realizes. There’s also the tendency for Empaths to attract Narcissists. I shut that door long ago, so for the most part, I repel rather than attract, tending to err on the side of caution these days. Some of my friends are still building up their complement of red flags and warning signs, so a few get past their ever-growing defenses. Frankly, I’d rather be alone than attract a Narcissist. I’ve had my share of pain and self-destruction from that kind of relationship. I don’t need new reminders or lessons.
I did learn how differently we can view the world and our lives from my friend. She feels appearances are important, and, I think, attracting someone to share her life is always in the forefront of her mind despite her strength and independence. In contrast, I’ve grown accustomed to being alone. That’s not to say it’s my condition of choice, but as I haven’t figured out how to change it, I’ve accepted my single state, though that door remains ajar nonetheless.
I dress for myself and for comfort. When I put on makeup, it’s for me, and not to attract attention or compliments (though it’s nice when someone does notice). I go to the gym, dance, and try to eat healthy meals for me; not because it will make me more attractive to someone out there who hasn’t even hit my radar.
Showing My Unvarnished Self to the World
People find it difficult to understand when I say I don’t care what others think. It’s not that I don’t listen to what some have to say, and mull it over later like I’m doing with this one. It’s that I know what I like, and how much effort I’m willing to invest. I’ve reached the point in my life where people are going to like me for who I am or they’re not. I can’t change their minds, and putting on what I see as a costume for their benefit would be a return to the masks I cast off long ago. The process was painful at times, and freeing at others, but it isn’t a venue I’m anxious to revisit.
After much soul searching and internal work, the only person I can be is my own pure, unadulterated self. The outside now reflects the inside more accurately than it ever did. I worked hard to get here, and see no reason to backslide for the sake of companionship. Anything I’d attract by putting on a mask; a show wouldn’t be someone who would hang around for the long haul anyway, as the person they’d be attracted to wouldn’t be the real me.
I’m not good at pretending for long. Faking it is all well and fine if it is a means to reaching my success (and yes, I do believe in “fakin’ it ’til you make it”), but when it comes to relationship building, whether in business or my personal life, I’ll always err on the side of realism now. The fake me never attracted anything or anyone worth keeping anyway.
Living in a State of Constant Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for the lessons I learned, and the masks I removed permanently.
- I’m grateful for friends who give me something to think about, even if it’s a concept that’s runs contrary to my beliefs.
- I’m grateful for reminders to be alert, and to observe more.
- I’m grateful for the woman I’ve become, and the work I’m still doing to make her even better.
- I’m grateful for abundance; opportunities, friendship, love, joy, transformation, independence, inspiration, motivation, peace, harmony, balance, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward