To illustrate my confusion, let me describe an internal dialogue I have with a woman at my office whom I find more than normally attractive. I see her daily, but I avoid talking to her - mainly because I know I'm attracted and I need safe distance. Here's the entirely made up conversation that I have with her in my head.
Me: I don't understand why I'm attracted to you. It doesn't make sense.
Her: You mean you're attracted to me despite my obvious unattractiveness?!
[Note: in my subconscious, women are always trying to find some way to make what I say into a personal insult. It might have something to do with the fact that it frequently works that way in reality, too]
Me: No! I mean that I'm attractedd to you despite there being absolutely no upside to it, at any level. Think about it:
- You're a real person, but I'm only talking to a figment in my head. So being attracted to you has already made me slightly less sane.
- The odds of being rejected by you are pretty high, because
- Your ring tells me you're married.
- I'm just not that attractive
I suspect that being rejected now is not any more fun than it was in high school and college.
- I'm married, so finding you attractive causes pain to my wife, whom I adore.
- In the unlikely event that you did *NOT* reject me, acting on this will ultimately cause me pain as all of the following would almost certainly happen:
- I'd get caught
- I'd damage my marriage, probably irreperably
- I'd lose my kids (at worst) or lose their respect (at best)
- I would (correctly) become a fool in the eyes of my friends and family
What is the possible benefit to *ANYONE* for me to continue to find random women attractive? Yet it still happens. And with a disturbing frequency. I wish there was an off switch. Because I can see no benefit to having this feature remain active.
From talking to my male friends, they seem to experience this about as much as I do. So it seems relatively normal. However, many of my friends simply can't talk to their wives about this at all, out of fear that just mentioning it will hurt their feelings and result in a huge fight. I count myself lucky that my wife (at some level) understands this, even if she doesn't feel it. To her, there is an off switch - at least from a visual sense. She got married. She's stopped searching for attractive men. She recognizes them, but it simply doesn't have any impact on her. For her to be really attracted to someone takes *much* more than just seeing them. At least she understands that it doesn't work that way for me. And she wishes that there was an off switch for me, too.
But the off switch doesn't seem likely to happen. So I keep my distance from women whom I find attractive. I just don't understand why this feature of being a male is necessary. I could really do without it.