There’s a new guy in my life.
He’s got the smile, the money and the time to treat me right.
It feels good.
But is it really love?
Am I really into him or is it more about how he treats me?
What I’m asking is…
Do I like him or the attention? 10 things to consider
1) I feel validated when he gives me attention
When I get attention from the new guy I feel like I’m on top of the world.
I had a childhood where my parents didn’t pay that much attention to me and I know that this is probably part of it.
I also really like attention.
I’m not a huge believer in astrology, but my sign is Leo and I’m thinking it could be something to do with that as well.
Leos are lions who like to be the king of the jungle and want all sorts of attention.
That’s been me from day one.
So this new guy is sort of part of that same pattern. He feeds me food, attention, sex and travel.
Do I really like him or do I just like the perks? I definitely like the perks…
2) If he had a serious problem and needed my help I’d feel awkward
One of the articles I read recently talked about how crisis can reveal our real feelings.
When you think about something bad happening to someone you love it feels almost like it’s happening to you.
But when you think about something bad happening to someone who doesn’t mean as much to you it’s more of an awkward and sad feeling in general.
This is what’s got me thinking I’m more into the attention than into him.
Because I like him giving me his time and energy, but if he ever really needed me I have a gut instinct that I wouldn’t be there for him.
I’ve already fallen through a few times when he’s been down and wanted to talk to me or spend time with me.
Candice Jalili talked about this in her article “Do You Love Your SO Or Just Love Attention?”
“I would say you love someone for more than their attention when you’re happy to make sacrifices for them like taking care of them when they’re sick or going out of your way to cheer them up if they’ve had a bad day.
“If you can find beauty in them, even in their flaws and if you are glad to be with them even in their failures or dark times.”
3) The more I learn about him the less I care about him
Here’s one for the brutal truth file:
The more I learn about my new guy the less I care about him.
He loves golf; I’ve always hated it.
He grew up in the Midwest and likes suburbs; I find both the Midwest and suburbs extremely boring.
It’s not just the outer things about him that bore me, it’s him.
He’s attractive, well-off and decently funny to talk to, but he’s just not that captivating or interesting to me.
I know that if I ghosted him I’d forget almost everything about him in like a week.
Danni Peck tackles this head-on in her article “How Do You Know If You Like Someone Or It’s Something Else?”
“Yes, having a partner’s attention is a wonderful feeling. That being said, you really need to ask yourself if you actually like the person, or you are just enjoying the feeling of them liking you.
“The feeling of you liking them too will last longer and ameliorate feelings of loneliness much more fully than a one-sided partnership.”
4) I’m more into the sex than the actual guy
This guy is a rockstar in bed.
I don’t want to sound shallow, but sex is really key to me, and he checks all the boxes in the bedroom.
We haven’t really defined our relationship, but the quality of the sex had me thinking he was the one for me for the first month we were seeing each other.
I’ve had sex with guys who were so piss poor about giving any pleasure that he seemed like a revelation in comparison.
He actually made me climax.
He used his tongue on me and knew what he was doing…
I sort of figured we were friends with benefits (FWB) from the start, but the quality of the lovemaking had me going wild.
That’s when I thought I had feelings. I think I was imagining that…
The article “Do You Like Them, or the Attention?” by Mackenzie Eaton gets into this subject.
“It is painfully difficult to have casual sex while in constant contact with someone, hence, the dangers of FWB.
“We all like physical attention; so when you get it constantly from someone, your brain can trick you into mistaking pleasure for feelings.
“I thought I was in love with my sister’s guy best friend. Turns out he just had a huge… personality.”
5) I don’t really agree with almost any of his values or beliefs
It’s not just that “new guy” grew up outside Chicago and that he loves golf (barf).
It’s that pretty much all his beliefs and values are not on the same page as me.
I agree with him that it’s important to work hard and be ambitious, but on many other core things, we’re just on a different page.
When I think of a future with him it’s sort of blank.
It seems hollow, I mean how would we really have a deep bond when he thinks UFOs are bullshit and that climate change isn’t true.
Sorry, man, but those are two things where I’m just not going to budge.
6) I don’t tell my friends about him
I told one of my close friends that there was “this guy” who was rocking my world in the bedroom.
But I haven’t opened up with any details about “new guy” to anyone.
When I think about this it seems clear to me that he’s more of a passing fad.
To be fair, we’ve had some good times and sometimes his sense of humor is pretty on point.
I will also say he has good taste in classic films and French cinema (who would have thought a Chicago suburb dude would know about Truffaut, right?)
But anyway, the point is that I haven’t introduced him to anyone I know…
Neko Yama has an article on this called “10 Signs You Just Like The Idea Of Him, But Not Him.”
“Ladies, admit it, some of us think that getting into a relationship is a competition among best friends. When you met someone you like, you’ll immediately text your girlfriends about him.”
I can’t deny it.
I’ve never texted a single friend about him.
7) I’m flirting with multiple guys, not just him
The next thing up on this list that shows I’m more into the attention is that he’s not the only one.
I’ve been flirting with multiple guys online on a regular basis.
It’s not exactly hard to do between the menu of dating apps on my phone.
My main objective in flirting with various guys is pretty much entertainment.
I’ve currently met one other dude for pizza and a drink, but that’s it.
The point is the messaging itself:
I like to tease a bit and send a selfie or two (no nudes!) but the point is that the attention gives me a bit of a high.
8) I find his looks to be a huge ego boost
New guy is a stud muffin.
He looks like a hotter version of Chris Rock with a teasing sense of humor and a body to die for.
When I see these media articles about Idris Elba being considered as the new James Bond I want to tell them that new guy would be even better.
He’s a treat for the eyes, that’s for sure.
Being around him makes me feel awesome. That a guy this hot likes me? Winning…
April Maccario talks about this in her article “Do I Like Him? (21 Meaningful Signs).”
“Take a second to look beyond that handsome face. Think about how well you two know each other?
“Have you been excusing his flaws because he’s hot? Or maybe you love his personality? When you have been blowing off red flags and flaws, you just like the guy for his looks.”
9) Whenever I start thinking I like him I get rude wake-up calls
Sometimes I start thinking I like new guy more than I’m willing to admit.
Maybe my flippant attitude is just my way of pushing away intimacy…
Or maybe I’ve just been spending too much time clicking titles in the self-help section on Amazon.
The hilarious thing that happens when I start thinking I might like him is…
He ruins it. In epic ways.
The last time we were cuddling after he’d demonstrated why he’s the king of the bedroom.
I thought that maybe his smile was hiding more than just a hot guy and maybe we had something special going on.
Then there was a sound like a 10-scale earthquake and he laughed out loud.
The smell was horrific.
He laughed like a hyena. There went that moment…
1o) My gut tells me that I don’t feel that much for him
My gut tells me that new guy isn’t really forever guy.
Not only does the thought of marrying him send a chill through me, but the thought of even dating him for more than another month or two also makes me feel bored to death.
I just want to use his body and absorb his cute smiles that make me feel nice.
I know that’s not optimal.
But at least I’m being honest, right?
No, deep down I know I don’t like him much: I like the attention and intimacy he gives me.
What do I like about him?
I’ve been pretty hard on new guy, so I should mention what I do like about him that’s not just about attention.
I don’t think I have romantic feelings for him, but I admit that these things make me feel warm and fuzzy sometimes.
1) His looks
Like I’ve been saying, new guy is one good-looking dude.
Sometimes he basically takes my breath away just on a physical level.
That’s something that’s hard to find, and I’m not usually easily impressed by the menfolk and their appearances.
But new guy is just another level.
He blows my mind.
2) His humor
New guy is funny. He likes golf, but he also seems to realize it’s kind of dumb, too.
He jokes about being the only black guy out on the course with mostly older white men at corporate events in a way that’s made me double over with laughter.
It’s just so funny.
His experiences are funny and he sees the funny side of almost everything. I love that.
3) His easygoing personality
I was freaked out when I thought new guy was in love with me.
But really he’s very easygoing.
He showers me with attention and gives me his easygoing smile on a regular basis.
He’s a great guy in a lot of ways.
But here’s the thing…
I just don’t see a future with him…
And the more I think about it the more I think that our time together has been me basically using him.
I don’t feel that bad, but I do still feel like maybe this isn’t the person I ultimately want to be.
So that’s left me with a nagging question about me and new guy…
Where do we go from here?
I sometimes feel like I’m walking through a world of human jigsaw puzzles.
Everyone seems to be a piece that fits somewhere, but where do I fit?
And why do pieces seem to fit so well in one way and then be completely backwards in another way?
New guy is awesome in bed. He can be funny. He’s not a bad dude.
But I don’t really care much about him, share his ideas or envision a future with him.
That’s what led me down the road to thinking about what draws me to guys I’m not that into…
And I’d have to say it’s the sex and the attention.
But in the end, they’re really almost the same thing (at least for me).
I love knowing I have someone’s full attention and have a kind of power over them.
I don’t really want anything with new guy, even a “defined” FWB relationship would irk me. I just want attention and affection from him.
Margaret Abrams has smart thoughts on this in her article “How To Figure Out If You Actually Like Him Or Just The Attention.”
“Admit it — you’ve visualized your kids with certain guys, while with others you know you’re not headed towards the Pinterest-perfect wedding of your dreams.
“If you’ve never even considered what your life with this guy would look like, there’s probably a real reason.”
Should I feel bad?
Should I feel bad for spending time with new guy just to use him for my ego and my sexual satisfaction?
But I think my conscience got a lobotomy somewhere between university and womanhood.
I just don’t care that much.
I mean, I’m not forcing him to come sleep with me.
And he doesn’t have to pay attention to me if he doesn’t want to.
Of course…that’s the thrill. I’m getting his attention even in some cases where he’s hesitant such as when he’s at work and I start sending him some very sweet photos.
Sonya Schwartz gets this exactly right, writing that “a thing that many of us are guilty of when we are seeing someone that we simply stick with for the attention, is if you think of him as your back up plan.
“This can mean that you only contact him when you have seen what the rest of your friends and family are up to over the weekend, to find that they are busy.”
And what about how he feels about me?
I know this article has probably come across pretty self-centered.
Then again, this article is about how I like a guy because of the attention I get…
So it’s probably not surprising that I’m kind of self-absorbed right? That’s sort of the point.
I mean, I have also thought about how new guy feels about me.
I asked him once (because I was panicking that he had feelings for me).
He pretty much laughed it off, which was a load off…But I do think he has some fledgling sentiments for me and I’m not thrilled about it.
The main reason is because I just want his attention and his six-pack.
The second reason is I do feel a slight twinge of guilt.
It’s kind of a shit move to use a guy and know that he might have feelings for you which let you continue using him, right?
Because when I’m honest about how I connect with this guy I have to admit that we’re on different pages – we’re actually in a whole different book I think!
Relationship expert Lori Ann Davis asks readers to think about: “what are their values, their goals, and their interests?
“Learn more about their personality and what kind of person they are. As you learn more about them, does what you are learning match with what you desire from a relationship and a partner?
“If it does not, it is time to move on because these feelings you are feeling in the beginning will not last if your relationship requirements are not met.”
Looking for love in all the wrong places…
I’ve come to grips with reality by now. I know that the truth is I just like the attention he gives me.
Like Clare Concannon says, “it’s a lot more than likely that you just thrive off of the attention you are getting. Because if that is what makes you notice him, and the attention they give you is what makes you think about him, then that is pretty much all it is.
“It can even be down to simply being bored, and being in a dating rut, but is boredom really better with a half-assed relationship?”
She’s on the mark with that…
I’ve spent my life looking for love in all the wrong places.
I hoped romance would come and be the answer to the emptiness I felt inside.
A warm embrace that would make the world fall into place and make it make sense.
A partner by my side who would make the years of heartache worth the wait.
But instead of that, I found relationships that were disappointing, disjointed and often toxic..
It led me on a journey of discovery about myself.
What I found was that I didn’t really treat myself well, and I was idealizing relationships and love in an unrealistic and needy way.
When it comes to your situation, I don’t know exactly what’s happening either.
But what I can say is that maybe you need to take a different approach to fixing your relationship.
Maybe you need to work on the most important one you’ll ever have, before you can fix the others:
The one you have with yourself.
I learnt about this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. In his excellent, free video on cultivating healthy relationships, Rudá reveals where most of us go wrong in our relationships.
So why should you listen to Rudá’s life-changing advice?
Well, he uses techniques derived from ancient shamanic teachings, but he puts his own modern-day twist on them. He may be a shaman, but he’s made the same mistakes in love that you and I have.
And now he’s found the solution, he wants to share it with you.
So if you’re done with feeling less than worthy, if you’re tired of toxic relationships, and you want to cultivate real, genuine love, check out his simple yet effective advice.
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