Up until four months ago, the world greeted me each morning with a smile, a high-five and a free coffee.
Well, not always, literally, but it certainly sometimes felt like that.
You see, when you’re an unattached woman living in a city full of single men, the invitations to parties are plentiful. The queues at the sandwich shop a little friendlier. The bouncers at bars a little more eager to invite you to the front of the line. The men on the train keen to offer up their seats.
But six months ago, I got engaged. And the sparkling vintage band I’ve started wearing? That thing has magical powers. You see, I think I’ve become invisible since my partner slipped it onto my finger.
My coffee shop guy has stopped striking up a conversation. He’s not rude or hostile now; he just fixes his gaze above my head and continues his conversation with the waitress rather than drop me a “hey.”
I also haven’t been asked once for my number since I got engaged. Oh – except when I went on holiday and left my ring behind for safekeeping; strangely enough, dozens of men offered to show me the local sights…
And maybe I’m being paranoid but I could have sworn men used to stop me on the street to ask directions a couple of times a week.
All of a sudden, as soon as I started sporting some serious bling on my left hand, all the handsome lost men in the city found someone else to assist them.
Some other 20-something woman with a conspicuously bare finger, I suspect.
I hope I don’t sound bitter. It’s not that I miss the attention of men (well not that much).
It’s just that the experience has opened my eyes to something I’d naively overlooked until now: the fact that many of my regular interactions — not with my true friends and family, of course, but with new acquaintances — were based on attraction, or flirtation, or… possibility.
By declaring my choice to get married, the possibility of sex — and if not sex, then at least hanging out in anything other than a casual friends kind-of-way — was drastically reduced.