On not getting hit on.

Dear Coquette,

Why won’t guys look at me? I’m 30, pretty, smart, well-educated and have a good career. I like to think I’m a strong woman (or at least appear to be strong, since I’m whining here). Yet when I go out with friends, all of whom are in relationships, guys hit on my friends, never on me. It’s like I don’t exist. True, I’m not very good at hitting on guys, but my friends get hit on without doing anything. Damn, sending this question feels weird.

Either you’re wrong about being pretty, or you’re wrong that guys never hit on you. Take your pick. It’s one or the other.

If you’re willing to jump right in and call yourself pretty, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, which means that unless you’re an insufferable bore or a big pile of awkward, you’re probably just clueless when it comes to being hit on.

Odds are, you have a selective memory. You remember all the guys who hit on your friends, and you remember all the guys who didn’t hit on you when you wanted them to, but you don’t remember any of the poor bastards who tried hitting on you when you weren’t interested.

Of course, pointing this out doesn’t solve the real problem, which is that you secretly think all your friends are much more attractive than you. It doesn’t matter whether this is objectively true. What matters is that you believe it to be true.

Yes, that’s really the problem. I didn’t need to know that all your friends are in relationships, but you thought it was important enough to tell me. It bugs you. That’s the tip of your iceberg of resentment.

This entire question is a head-fake towards male attention when at your core you have issues with female competition among your friends. You start out with, “Why won’t guys look at me?” when what you’re really asking is, “Why are guys looking at them?”

That kind of indignation is poisonous to female friendship, especially when you don’t recognize that it’s there. You need to acknowledge some of your underlying feelings about your friends, and deal them with before your negativity starts to fester.


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