How YOU doin’?


As I’ve inelegantly noted before, I hardly ever get hit on anymore.  This really shouldn’t matter to me, because the ostensible purpose of hitting or being hit on is to find a new sexual or romantic partner, and part of me and Collin’s marriage deal is that we’re not going to have any of those.  But what can I say, the patriarchy has thoroughly warped me, and I enjoy external validation in the form of strangers expressing interest in banging me.

I tell myself it’s about me not sending out those “come and get me” vibes, because I’m spoken for.  I tell myself it’s because they see I’m wearing a wedding ring. I tell myself it’s because I cut off my hair, but screw them, my hair is super cute and so much easier now.

But then I get dark and tell myself it’s just because I’m not 22 anymore, and I’m not a size 2 anymore, and I cut my hair off and now I look like an old boring lesbian, not even a cute lesbian because chicks aren’t hitting on me either.  And again, I SHOULDN’T CARE, because really, all I’m missing is the opportunity to reject someone, and that isn’t ever fun, but god. I do.  I know it’s lame.

This weekend I went dancing at a hipster bar in a suit and tie.  With my makeup photoshoot-ready and my hair in a fauxhawk.  On the way over I told my friend Liz, “If I don’t get hit on by any lesbians tonight, I just give up.”

[Photo by Lou Stein]

And then I did get hit on by the same chick twice (I think she was drunk enough that she forgot me in between), and I was like, “YEAH! STILL GOT IT!”  And then I got hit on by a series of dudes, one of whom GAVE ME A ROSE (after saying, “I thought you were someone else, so I got you this, but you should have it anyway”).  [So yeah, um, I was apparently getting hit on at least half the time out of confusion, but I'm not going to let that bring me down too much.  This is my pointless point of pride, I make the rules!]

So, the lesson is, if you would like to get hit on at a bar, wear a necktie.  It gets people’s attention and gives them an icebreaker.

And now I offer this subject up to the forum.  Do you married/relationshipped people get hit on less now, and if so do you miss it?  Do you single people want to get hit on more, less, or just less creepily?  I ask not only out of curiosity, but as a resource for some of my single friends who are genuinely perplexed as to how to appropriately approach an attractive stranger in a bar.  Tell me your best stories of being hit on and hitting on others!  Anonymously, if you wish!

Has anyone told you lately that you’re beautiful?


  1. Sigh. So. I haven’t been hit on since undergrad, which was, well, eons ago. I’m convinced it’s because I have mom hair and mom thighs. Or I’ve just hit the past-35 ugly wall. Or something.

    This past weekend, I took my new husband and my kids to a birthday party at my brother’s house. On the way to the birthday party, I told Tony that there was a possibility that the ex-boyfriend (whom I had not seen in many, many years) would be there because he is still good friendds with my brother and now has a couple of kids of his own. Tony said, “So?”

    And I felt just a smidge put out. We got to the party and sure enough, the ex-boyfriend was there. I said hi, my sister-in-law introduced Tony to the ex-boyfriend and told him we were high school sweethearts. And they both said, “Hi. Nice to meet you.” Then ex-boyfriend went to play with the kids in the bounce house and Tony helped himself to a piece of pizza. Later they were laughing about something or other, and there was no weirdness at all.

    And I was like, um, shouldn’t there be a little itty bit of weirdness? For my sake. But no. They were just fine. Jerks.

  2. I rarely get hit on, even when I was waiting tables and my income was riding on my ability to smile solicitously. Friends have told me my resting expression (public transit face, if you will) is severe/serious.

    I mostly get “appreciated” from passing cars. It’s usually sort of uncreativel and lewd and I roll my eyes.

    My favorite instance was a guy who cried “daaaaaamn” from his open car window as he passed facing me, then pulled around in a lot, drove the other way back down the street toward me and shouted at me from a red light “Girl, can you give me directions to the hospital? ‘Cause you just broke my HEART.”

    I involuntarily threw my head back and belly-laughed at that. It was just so corny and earnest.

  3. So here’s what you do.

    You need a stick- not a big one, mind you, that would look too suspicious. A medium, non-threatening stick.

    Approach a woman at the bar. The bar is usually loud, and that can be a problem, but that’s what the stick is for. Be confident. Walk up to her and have a bit of a half smile. Tap her on the shoulder. She’ll turn and look at you. Trust me.

    Say “did you drop this penny?” and gesture to the stick with your free hand.

    Hopefully, she’s intelligent, and that means she’ll immediately spot a discrepancy. “That’s not a penny.” she’ll point out. “That’s a stick.” But in this moment, you have won the battle.

    Fire back with “It’s cause I’m giving you wood.” and sit down. At this point, confusion will set in, so you order two vodka-red bulls (technically, these are called one armed scissors, but it’s not that kind of bar) and the rest is up to your looks, personality, and especially the time of night.

  4. I think I need to go dancing somewhere where nobody knows me. I’m totally cute enough to be hit on. But it’s hard when everyone knows you…and your fiance. (AKA “your man” “your husband” “the old man” whatever term they use that day)

  5. I do get hit on every now and then … but much, MUCH less than before we got married. And, oddly, it’s now almost exclusively from MARRIED MEN. I don’t understand it … maybe it’s that my ring marks me as “safe”? They can flirt without worrying I’ll want to make something of it? Who knows.

    But yes, I do miss it. There’s something special about feeling desired by someone new.

    Like Sarah, though … it sometimes puts me off how J doesn’t seem to mind. I’m still in the caught-between-being-jealous-and-being-proud zone when HE’S the one getting hit on.

  6. I think you should not underestimate the power of the wedding ring. Sometime around the end of college, I stopped wearing my favorite ring, which only fit on my left ring finger, because a dude friend of ours advised that I looked married. My ring (I have since had it resized to fit my right hand) does not particularly look like a wedding ring, but the guy friend (in my memory, it is Ben, but I could be wrong) was like “any ring. any ring on that finger is going to mark you off limits.” You actually wear TWO rings, so I think that has to be a big reason you don’t feel like you get hit on as much.

    Regarding dudes hitting on ladies in bars, I think the best thing to do is be straightforward and simple. “Can I buy you a drink?” “Would you like to dance?” Opening lines always come off terribly unless you are George Clooney.

    I think getting hit on in bars suffers, in general, from a few bad apples spoiling the barrel. A (very drunk) dude called me a bitch in Philly when I didn’t respond positively to his advances, and it reminded me why I prefer online dating. I feel like that dude, and his ilk, are dicks in high volume, skewing the sample of dudes-who-hit-on-girls-in-bars to seem skeevier than it is. Conversely, I suspect most chicks don’t absurdly overreact to being hit on in bars, even when it’s awkward/brusque/weird. But I bet it only takes one time to sour the experience forever.

    Sorry, that was really heteronormative.

    • I dislike the “can I buy you a drink” because, really, anyone can do that. In fact, sometimes, you’re creepy for trying to do so, because the attempt implies you are aiming for her drunkenness. Ultimately, the point is to achieve 1. Appearing interesting and 2. Being remembered in a positive light. Buying drinks doesn’t do that. I swing for the fences and try hot/cold type openers- if someone responds positively to something I like, it is definitely better odds, and if it’s negative, it wasn’t going anywhere.

      A word of caution: I do not approve of women walking up to me and asking me to buy them a drink. If this occurs, the only solution is to act positive, and ask what they’re having. They tell you, so you order one from the bartender- but you mention the word “diet” in the drink’s title, which evokes anger from the girl, who was an anti-feminist anyway, and often a free drink from the bartender if he’s a man.

  7. I think people really do take notice of rings being worn! It might even just be a sub-conscious sort of thing for the most part, like if you see the flash of metal on a finger, you turn down your hitting-on-others impulses, but I had a slightly strange experience where it was both intentional and audible to me. I was walking in the West Village at night and two guys were walking in the same direction, a few feet for me. One of them started commenting on my rack and I’m not sure if I was supposed to overhear from the beginning or he was just working up to your typical verbal street sexual harassment of some kind, but then his friend was like, no dude, she’s got a ring! And then they actually left me alone!!

    I still think about this experience from time to time because it was like, they have the instinct to refrain from harassing an engaged/married woman, but not to leave other girls alone on the streets. I guess being a jerk isn’t entirely an all-or-nothing proposition, there are different degrees of jerkitude.

  8. I don’t have time to read the above comments, though I’m sure they’re wise and witty and wonderful.

    I don’t get hit on NEARLY as much as I did pre-marriage. I talked to a friend about it, and we decided that contentment is often almost tangible. It’s not just contentedly marrieds that don’t get hit on, but I’ve noticed a lot of my self-assured hot single friends also don’t. It’s the contentment, I tell ya. They can smell it.

  9. I get hit on waaaaay less now than I did pre-marriage and think it’s mostly because of the rings and that when I go out to bars now, it tends to be with either my husband or a large mixed gender group of friends (vs. going clubbing with just my girls). Jason and I both tend to find it amusing or flattering when I get hit on these days (in a “Hey, I’ve still got it”/”My wife is hot” way), as long the guy in question isn’t a total tool.

  10. Recently on the _other_ side of marriage, I do get hit on more. Maybe it’s just putting it out there. But I’m using the term “hit on” loosely.

    Also, I think there’s an inverse relationship between age and availability, meaning the number those around you who are also available as you age diminishes. Smaller pool = less being hit upon.

    And yes, as Liz said, I agree that commitment is tangible – though I’d say palpable. As are availability, desperation, confidence, insecurity, etc. And I hear that dress clothing is actually really good for guys to wear, though I think it’d be silly for me to wear a suit and tie out dancing. Though I can totally see it working for you.

  11. I get hit on less often than I did before I got married; I’m in settings that would involve advances much less often (I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar without my husband) so I can’t speak to reasons other than that.

    When I was single, I got a LOT of guys complimenting me on my smile and dimples. Mind you, a large percentage of these guys had at least 25 years on me. Seriously, the retiree set loves (loved) me. Oy. Awkward. Anyway, I think a genuine and carefully worded compliment is an acceptable way to start a conversation (“I’m sorry to bother you, but I think you have really nice eyes,” or some such).

    Dancing all up on a stranger is NOT the way to go, by the way. But I’m guessing your friends already realize that. ;)

  12. I’ll hit on your tussy, Tussy! mmmm TARNT!

  13. I think Collin’s comment may explain part of your dilemma, Robin. :D

  14. I don’t think I ever get hit on, but I get checked out fairly regularly. I think that’s a lesbian thing – we all just stare at each other. All, “Oh, you too? Yeah, that’s nice.” So, watch out for the lesbian lookover! You’ve still got it.

    Turtle is wonderful about pointing out when other people look at me/us… she gets looked at a fair amount, too. I’m too awkward to enjoy actually getting hit on, but the looking is appreciated.

  15. I don’t really ever get hit on (probably more due to my love of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans). That was the case pre-marriage as well, so maybe I never really had “it?” But part of it is that I don’t notice when people give me a head-to-toe once over. Luckily, I have friends who will let me know when this happens, as well as a husband who thinks it’s hilarious when it happens around him. So he lets me know as well. But yeah, I’m just not really hit-on-able maybe? It doesn’t help that I have no boobs to speak of – so the only guys who check me out are legs-and-butt guys. I do, however, appreciate knowing that there are people who check me out, even when I’m out on a run and super sweaty.

  16. So, yeah, there’s been a decline over the past few years in the number of hittings-on I’ve experienced. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I simply don’t go to a lot of bars anymore. All of my local friends are coupled-up and just wanna stay at home, so if I DO go to a bar it’s with the huz. Hot times in the city, indeed.

    BUT. BUT. I am not so much convinced about the “presence of rings = less hitting-on” thing. To that end, I offer you two pieces of evidence:

    EXHIBIT A) Not so long ago, when I was still engaged and one of my bests was still single, we would often go downtown together and get into all sorts of trouble. The presence of a honking sparkly ring on my finger was not enough to deter some men from making all the moves they had in their books on BOTH of us. I’m not sure if it’s because drunk dudes don’t bother looking for rings, or what. Perhaps their eyes are too crossed to see straight. One of the most persistent of them was convinced I was “an angel,” and followed me around the bar for 45 minutes repeatedly informing me so. “You’re so beautiful! You’re an angel! Let me take you out to dinner! Let me get your number! This is my cousin, he’s like a brother to me! You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve seen! You’ll like me! Let me prove it to you! I’ll take you out to dinner! Let me buy you a drink!” And so on. Annoying and flattering at the same time, if you’ll permit me to be contrary.

    Oh, but some may think, well, honey, you were just wearing an ENGAGEMENT ring a the time. These dudes just thought they might have a chance to get it in before you got locked down for good. Allow me to present:

    EXHIBIT B) When I drove around Arizona by myself for three days last October. Wearing two wedding rings on the correct finger. Exuding contentment and complacency from every pore. And LORD ALMIGHTY, I have never been hit on so frequently in my LIIIIIIIIIFE. The dude at the coffee roaster. The dude at the vegan hippie cafe. Business men on the street. Whistles from passing cars. I mean, it wasn’t any situation like that commercial where the lady rubbed a cashew on her cleavage and all the men came running. But it was a LOT of attention for someone who’s used to not getting any.

    So PFFFFT to the ring thing, I say. SAY I.

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