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Handsome Pool Man and the Curse of Attractive Men
Water is delicious, that way it relieves hot skin on a summer day. Immersion in a cool pool brings all kinds of sensory pleasures to the body. That was the giddy state I was in as I drove 20 laps on a steamy December morning.
I like swimming when the pool isn’t full of noisy school kids – it’s a great place to think. And when it’s full of school kids, it’s a good lesson in mindfulness and focusing outside of circumstances (I always need more practice here!!)
Alone with my thoughts, I finished round 8 and noticed the most handsome man entering the pool from the other end. Gosh, I have no idea how old he was (the older I get, the more I seem to have a diminished ability to pick people’s ages), but he looked like the proverbial Greek or Roman god. Long, slim and very fitted. In my heightened awareness of swimming, it was fascinating to watch how I reacted to this man’s presence in the pool.
I went from happily scooting down my lane, smiling at the people at the other end when I reached it, to completely avoiding it. I couldn’t look this man in the face. I pretended he didn’t exist. When I got to the end where he was, I immediately swung around and started back without stopping to stop. I felt ashamed to be seen without makeup, embarrassed by my pale, non-pool-goddess-like skin and my hair, which was scraping in the water. I was haunted and disturbed by his presence at the pool. It was really weird.
Later that day, while talking to my dear girlfriend and confidant Brooke, I mentioned this crazy episode and my weirdest reaction. We shared a laugh, and the common thing was that neither of us could get along with people we were attracted to by their looks. That when we found ourselves very interested in a good-looking man, we hit it off!
How sad this must be for a very handsome man.
Imagine people ignoring you, not smiling at you, or not being friendly. You may never understand why and just assume that most people are rude and that the world is an aggressive place.
My girlfriend Brooke is a great female role model. A breathtakingly gorgeous woman, but rather meek and shy in nature, Brooke has never had many female friends, we assume that’s exactly why. Other women felt threatened by her beauty. Only now, in her 30s, is she developing better quality female unions, largely because by this age women are (hopefully) mature enough to appreciate people based on their inner qualities rather than seeing others’ beauty as a threat. to himself.
But back to my handsome pool man and my need to avoid when I was attracted to someone. Do men behave this way towards women? I kind of doubt it.
Some time ago I met a man who I thought was quite ‘prickly’ – to use a lame phrase from my youth. In fact, he was just so charming, for the first time in my life I experienced the weak knees phenomenon. I had to lean against a nearby wall to keep from collapsing. Again, very strange. When did the presence of another person start to affect me so physically?
However, luckily I hadn’t ended a rather unhappy and short-lived relationship for a long time. I felt quite strong, independent and free. Fortunately, this allowed me to be relaxed and pretty much myself despite my jelly knees. The first few times I ran into Mr. Uber Cool, I was a happy chatterbox, and usually each encounter came off feeling like I was holding my own and basically glad I didn’t do anything embarrassing. Falling to the floor in a jelly-like mess would be a good example.
That was the first meeting.
Unfortunately, as the meetings – and my interest in getting to know this person – increased, so did the feeling of closeness and closure. My whole body language changed. I would sit hunched over my coffee – the classic “don’t hurt me, I’ve been hurt too much already” defense. I became more and more guarded about my conversations and then beat myself up after each interaction for what I thought were “shameful statements” that made me seem shallow or judgmental. I overanalyzed my appearance – and because I dress quite unconventionally for a country community – more for Brunswick Street, Fitzroy than Chadstone Mall – I developed some “legitimate” reasons why a very cool person wouldn’t find me attractive. You can imagine that after months of such rubbish I had gone from being strong, independent and free to an insecure jellyfish too stuck in my own head. Is it any wonder that Mr. Uber Cool just wasn’t interested – Maybe I should have grabbed him and quickly rolled in the hay as soon as I met him and then moved on to more freedom, independence and strength. I think about everything.
Oops! What to do? If I can’t relax with men I’m interested in, the likelihood of a future relationship is pretty slim.
I settle for men who are interested in me, but for whom my heart does not compete? No. I just don’t have it.
Prepare my mind for a lifetime of loneliness. Hmmm, probably a more likely scenario, but not very appealing.
Learn the art of pretending so I can just grab an attractive guy and go wild? As a bubbly but introverted guy by nature, I just don’t see it happening. It is not me. I just can’t be who I’m not, just to avoid loneliness. Besides, after my marriage, where I did most of the relationships and emotional life, I kind of hope that someone finds me attractive enough to ask me out. I want a man who is the chaser this time.
I honestly don’t think self-esteem is a concern – I have every confidence to dress up in full 50s or 60s regalia whenever the mood strikes, and I’m totally with everyone else in the world… it just is. men I wish everything would work out. And therein, I think, lies my answer.
I – like many, many millions of women around the world – feel unworthy of an attractive man who loves me. And after only one failed long-term relationship, I’m petrified, completely petrified of stuffing things up again. I burn myself out trying to be good enough, loving enough, beautiful enough, smart enough and on and on.
So the reason is simple enough. I feel worthless to the men I want, but at the same time I hope for that great closeness that we all long for.
But what is the solution?
I need to retrain my brain to overcome this very debilitating and limiting belief. To become a woman who truly knows she is worthy of good things happening to her. Worthy of acceptance, warmth, wanted, known, appreciated and loved just as he is. That’s a worthy goal.
And so begins my journey of brain changing affirmations to change the way I think – about myself and the relationships I deserve. Such confirmations:
“I am a wonderful person who is capable of love and success”
“I am ready to let go of the unnecessary being worthless. I am worthy of the best in life, and now I allow myself to accept it with love”
My strategy is to repeat these statements as many times as I need each day until all the unworthiness (which some people incorrectly call a lack of confidence) is left behind.
Where this limiting belief came from, I really don’t know. Honestly, it could be something as insignificant as not getting what I asked for from Santa, and therefore deciding I wasn’t worthy or good enough to get it. Or it could be a result of my past experiences with men. Who honestly knows? The bottom line is that a limiting belief has to go, no matter where it comes from.
So I know where my beliefs are going now. It may take days, weeks, months or years, but eventually I will have a full chance at a beautiful relationship – because it’s what I deserve and because I deserve what I know deep in my soul.
In the meantime, I decided to leave the pool man swimming in his lap, enjoyed the handsome eye candy he brought to my day, and walked out of the pool with a new mindset. It’s a new era. Bring on the “shitty” men!
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