Are We Ever Off the Market?

Let’s face it, it’s a nice feeling to be desired by someone other than your partner. Both men and women want to feel desired and love to be flirted with.

Are We Ever Off the Market?
Photo by Allef Vinicius / Unsplash

Ok, I have to brag a bit. I’ve been working out and losing weight. It’s a big deal for me because I have the “best looking” dad body out there. It was such an awesome dad bod that my doctor told me I was obese and put me on blood pressure medication.

Yikes! Wake up call! I used to be underweight as a kid and now I’m o-fucking-bese.

So I’ve made a course correction. I’m down 25lbs and need to go another 25lb but damn do I feel good. A proper diet, occasional intermittent fasting, and kettlebells in the morning can do wonders. Plus I go swimming a few times a week down at the lake.

I hang on to every spoken inflection, the tone in what was said, what their body language was, and ultimately what actions they took.

I feel stronger, look better, am more in control of my eating habits, and have a raging libido.

But this post is not about my exercise routine and before I continue, I have to give you a bit of my background about myself.

Simply put, I make my living reading people’s body language and by making presentations. I obsess over what people say, how they say it, what they do after I interacted with them, and so forth.

I hang on to every spoken inflection, every tone of what was said, what their body language was when they said it, and ultimately the actions they took. I work tirelessly every week to make comprehensive presentations and take great pride in communicating complex subjects in an easy-to-digest way for my customers.

Doing this has led me to present at conferences and in front of 100’s of people, and it’s giving some insight into group dynamics and how they evolve. I’d like to think that I have a very high emotional quotient (EQ) and heightened sensitivity to human interactions. So when female friends and acquaintances started commenting on my weight loss, I took notice.

…a female friend mentioned to me how there were wife swap parties in our gated community.

At first, I thought they were being polite but then they started to make more vocal comments about it when my partner was around too.

One evening at a small gathering we hosted — with lots of wine and champagne — a female friend mentioned to me how there were wife swap parties in our gated community. Not once, but three times.

Have I embarrassed myself in the past? Hell yes!

Another female friend invited me out for a drink one night and casually mentioned that she’s polyamorous.

Then my partner’s walking friends told me I looked good and that I was turning into a hottie. My partner was next to me at the time.

…I might have to put a leash on you …

Of course, all these interactions fed my ego and I am guilty of sometimes reading too deep into these things. Have I misread signals in the past? Of course! Might I be misreading these signals? Probably.

Have I embarrassed myself in the past? Hell yes! Do I try to stay humble and objectively analyze these interactions? I do.

But then my partner made a passing comment in our kitchen. She said,

“You know, if you keep losing weight I might have to put a leash on you and keep the ladies away.”

We both laughed and I did what any ego-stroked male would do, I strutted around the kitchen like I was a badass. Every man reading this will understand that feeling and every woman will make the same eye-roll my partner did.

I got bored dating within my extended friend pool and decided to try Match.com.

That night we connected very vigorously behind the bedroom door. As I drifted to sleep I had an epiphany, I realized that we’re never off the market.

Competition in the Sexual Market

I gained weight when I quit smoking 20 years ago. I started dating a woman with a small child and decided that I didn’t want to be a bad role model for her kid, so I decided to quit.

Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I did up to that point in my life and my ex-girlfriend help ease my cigarette cravings by having a lot of sex with me.

One of the last things she said to me when we broke up was, “don’t start smoking again,” and I didn’t. What I did do was start eating and gained a few pounds. 5 pounds became 10, then 20, and so on. By the time I met my partner, I was already overweight.

I got bored dating within my extended friend pool and decided to try Match.com. Internet dating was new back then and wasn’t the cesspool it is today. I wrote a nice profile about my wants, desires, and likes, attached a photo, and uploaded it. Then I created my filter and started messaging women.

I was looking for the one special someone to dance through life with, to hold each other as the music played on.

After a few weeks, I started going out on dates. Some were good, others were horrible, but I needed to get out on that dance floor and dance with potential partners.

I didn’t realize how competitive the sexual market was but I always knew that dating and the game of love was one big dance. For me, it was about finding the right partner to ‘flow’ with.

I had a fun time, to say the least, but I had a mission. I was looking for the one special someone to dance through life with, to hold each other as the music played on.

A few short months later I met her. Dating, traveling together, engagement, marriage, house, and kids came in fast succession.

“the lobster guy was hitting on your wife!”

While my life started to take off, my weight kept creeping up. I didn’t care because I resigned myself to being “off the market” there was no need to compete anymore because I had won!

I had won my prize and she was married to me! I can let myself go now, because what’s the point anymore. Right?

How utterly wrong I was.

Dancing with your Partner

When you go dancing you dress up nicely for the type of club you go to. The same can be said about dating and competition. It can be a good thing.

My partner was “hit” on when we were in Cape Cod a month ago. I wasn’t there at the time but she was with her friend buying lobsters. The first words out of her friend’s mouth to me was “the lobster guy was hitting on your wife!”

The competition for and the desire others feel for you makes you feel like you matter.

I joked that I should go down there and beat him up and we all laughed, but I know it made her feel good inside.

Let’s face it, it’s a nice feeling to be desired by someone other than your partner. Both men and women want to feel desired and love to be flirted with.

It’s like being asked to dance, it doesn’t have to mean much more than just a dance but it makes you feel like you still matter.

The competition for and the desire others feel for you makes you feel like you matter.

You matter to that person or it shows your partner that you matter in the eyes of others.

Now, do you hear the music playing?

That’s the key, you still matter.

Are you divorced? You matter. Are you overweight? You matter. Are you 65? You matter. Are you LGBTQ+? You matter. Are you drowning in the dating pool? You matter.

Whatever is going in your life and no matter how bad you feel, you absolutely fucking matter. A LOT!

How did I feel about a guy hitting on my partner? It didn’t bother me much to be honest. I’m the luckiest guy in the world and I’m honored that my partner chose to share her life with me, but I still pretended to be a bit jealous.

I did it in a silly flirty way to let her know that I desire her above all the rest and that she matters a helluva lot to me.

That’s why we’re never off the market. We need to be on the market to feel desired and matter to ourselves and others.

Now, do you hear the music playing? I hope so.

May I have this dance?