About two years ago, I wrote a post called How to Turn a Guy Down that was mostly for single women not interested in the man who was asking, or for women already taken in a relationship (or marriage). It told of my transformation from a 14 year old volleyball player who rejected an older athlete at a summer day camp and thought herself a man-eater, to a 27 yr old woman who realized men have feelings and should be treated with kindness and respect.
After the camp, our parents would pick us up, mine always worked till 5pm so I’d wait outside the immense Gymnasium watching for my mom’s car. They had other sports camps there, and one day a basketball player that had been eyeing me came over and flirted. I’m naturally kind so I was polite, but I had no intention of making him a boyfriend, or even a friend (I wasn’t nice to strangers). He flirted harder, I tried to stay neutral to not lead him on, then my mom’s car pulled up, I was relieved. He asked for my number and I gave him one, the number my mother always called for time and temperature! I was bad, I didn’t care much about guy’s feelings then, or honesty in general, so of course I told my mom about it and laughed at him in the car thinking myself a real man-eater.
Fast forward 13 years, whenever I have a man flirt with me or outright come on to me now, I’m kinder & upfront. It takes a lot of courage and guts for a man (or even boy) to come up to someone they think is beautiful, and actually ask her out. To be rude to them, or worse, ridicule them for daring to go near you is cruel! I’m reminded of why my mother always told me that young boys prefer real women… because they’re kinder than young girls. But even men deserve honesty – and they appreciate you so much more because of it.
The difference between this encounter, and one that happened 13 years later:
We had passes to a water amusement park this past summer, so I would take my son fairly frequently, I suppose I look like a single-mother, a young handsome guy came up to us and started flirting with me. At first I was so annoyed thinking, really? Can’t you see I’m a mother? But I could tell he was a genuinely good man, so I was kind to him and thanked him for his compliments and promptly told him I was married (showed him my ring) and put an end to it. He was so sweet, he brushed aside his embarrassment and still complimented me, saying I was a very beautiful woman and an obviously good mother to my son, and that my husband must be a very lucky man. I blushed and told him that I was lucky, that my husband is incredible. I also went outside myself and became very forward in order to compliment him – and tell him that he seemed like a very good man, a lot like my husband, and assured him that he would find someone amazing to love him – and that he deserved it!
He thanked me, and actually blessed me (well… said God bless you with heart-felt meaning behind the words), and we went different ways. No time & temperature numbers, no leading each other on,just honesty… it’s amazing how much difference it truly makes! His dignity was preserved, I wasn’t guilty of being cruel, and we both truly blessed each other with very genuine compliments to each other’s souls.
I was reminded of this advice I gave to single women two years ago over the holidays last month. I was out early in the morning without the boys so that I could do our Christmas shopping without them finding out what they’d get. I thankfully rarely get hit on now days because I’m almost never without either my kids or husband when going out. But that morning being alone, even dressed very down and almost shabby, barely any makeup on and hair a little wild looking, there was a man that was also shopping in the toy section and asked me where I thought he could find a certain kind of toy that didn’t appear to be carried there. We went our separate ways, but then I saw him again in a different aisle awhile later, he looked a little nervous, but came up to me anyway, telling me that he’s been looking for a beautiful woman and wanted to know if I would go out on a date sometime with him.
No he wasn’t a homeless man… he was tall, white, clean-cut and looked military, aged anywhere from 30-45, very well built, and actually handsome. Being a mom is the strangest thing, and I swear it makes me more empathetic to men of all ages – I instantly felt my heart swell for him in a weird motherly kind of way, I could tell it was so bold and brave of him to approach me like that, he didn’t have the suave of a pickup artist, and yet didn’t have quite the embarrassment level of an adolescent/early 20’s guy, yet it’s not easy to ask out a strange woman – men never know now how she’ll respond. A man in his age-range and judging by his persona, he probably only cold approaches like that when he thinks he’s found someone that is truly worth his effort, and this made me sorry for him. I frowned and told him that I was actually married (looked down at my ring), and told him that I understand how hard it is. I told him my own brother was having a hard time finding a good woman, and that it just sucks in this current atmosphere to find someone. I encouraged him that I hoped he did find someone, and hopefully that eased the embarrassment of the rejection.
You men have it hard.
Why not flirt a little? Doesn’t this show a married woman she’s still “got it?”
I’ve read in magazines constantly that married women are encouraged to look at these occasions where they may be flirted with, asked out, or hit on as an opportunity to flirt back and “have a little extramarital fun.” It’s validation that she’s still “beautiful,” or that she’s still got it enough to be asked out in the middle of a supermarket.
Let me make something very clear that I missed in that old post two years ago:
MEN RESPECT AND ADMIRE
WHO ARE LOYAL.
No good man wants to really be flirting with someone else’s wife, and no good man will feel good about himself (or about her) if he does this successfully in the long run. Men appreciate loyalty in women, because if they have any empathy for their sex, then they understand that they’d want their own wife to be loyal to them.
This is something our secular culture just glosses over as something that is unnecessary. If she isn’t really cheating, a little flirting when the hubby isn’t there is harmless right?
But it isn’t.
Your husband wants you to adore and respect him so much that you don’t even think twice in situations like this.
Here are some tips for the married woman who is approached or flirted with:
- Immediately bring it to attention that you are married, I always either look down at my ring, or pull up my hand to show them
- Talk to them in a kind, respectful way, never in a harsh way
- Don’t make them feel like they should have known you were married, apologize when you say you’re married, it lessens their embarrassment
- If you feel comfortable enough, if you don’t think they’re actually dangerous, encourage them a little in their search – single men REALLY need this encouragement, and it helps to redirect the rejection
Here are some of my old tips for turning someone down if you’re single or not looking, or in a relationship:
- Be honest but also kind – don’t say something that’s true but cruel, preserve their dignity, they are a human being
- Don’t lead them on, tell them you aren’t looking for a relationship of any kind right now
- Don’t feel like you have to explain why, a kind answer of honesty that you’re not interested is enough
- Try to imagine that they are a friend or relative, and give them the same treatment
- Acknowledge their courage & encourage them or compliment them on their gentility
- If you feel like you might’ve led them on (if they were already a friend) apologize, even if you didn’t mean to