Roving Eyes

Single women the world over have admitted something epic: we are always looking at men. Blockbuster, right? Whether it’s on the train, during yoga class, or standing in line at Jewel, we’re continuously on the lookout. Who’s cute? Who’s looking at me? Does he have a ring on this left ring finger? We single women are scanning the room wherever, whenever.

I shared this fact with a married friend recently and she looked at me like I was a little off my rocker. “Always?” she exclaimed, eyes wide.

“Always,” I replied.

“It sounds so f*ckIng exhausting!”

And it is a bit tiring. While my eyes are roving, my mind is too. I was recently traveling to Dallas with a single girlfriend. While at the airport, I told her that I was almost giddy at the prospect of seeing who was at our gate. No, I didn’t think that I’d see Mike Ditka again; I was excited to see if there were any cute boys waiting to board the same plane as us. My friend laughed and said that she did exactly the same thing every time she traveled. She and I have been to over 50 countries combined…that’s a lot of airport gates!

I have nearly two handfuls of single girlfriends that I polled recently to see if I was alone in my eyes-wide-open, and turns out, I’m not: 7 out of my 8 single girlfriends emphatically agreed with me. “Yessssss all the time!!!!” a friend responded.

A new friend said, “Yes absolutely. It’s almost like a habit now, I cannot NOT scan my environment when I go out, go to the gym, or to Trader Joe’s.”

“Is this a joke??” one quipped. “I am always always always looking. I could be in a room full of 40-year-old married dads with their children in their arms and I’m still checking them out and seeing who’s checking me out.  It’s a disease I tell you!”

Another said, “I definitely look. Unless something else going on in my life is taking up a lot of brain space, so to speak, I’m always sort of checking around. Not to say I am always open to something happening, or to even saying anything to them if I find someone I think is attractive. But it’s fun to just look. […] The looking (for me) is more an extension of people watching than of looking to make a connection with someone.”

And most of my girlfriends agreed with this. I don’t actually think I’m going to meet-fall-in-love-and-marry someone on the train because everyone’s headphones are always on (though I did just hear a story of a couple that met on the brown line and recently got married…), but it’s fun to see who’s out there. A LOT of cute guys live off the blue line and it’s an interesting experiment to see who’s looking back.

Along with asking my friends if they were always looking, I threw in a somewhat unrelated question: Do you feel like you have to always look your best when you leave your house just in case? The responses I got almost always linked directly back to whether or not they were scanning the crowds for cute men. Most of the gals commented that when they weren’t looking their finest, the scanning decreased. “If I don’t feel that attractive, then I don’t really care,” my new friend explained.

“Going to the gym, grocery store, etc., I don’t care or put forth effort. And in those moments, I try to avoid eye contact with anyone cute because I’m embarrassed,” one girl stated.

Another justified: When I’m drinking “alcohol/feeling super confident in an outfit I’m wearing, it often does raise my ‘crowd scanning for cute guys’ tendencies.”

Something unexpected also happened in their answers. The girls that didn’t wear much make up or weren’t too fussed with always looking at the men around them felt like it was one of the reasons why they were single.

Do men only look at women who have make up on? Do they only consider ladies that try really hard to impress them? Even though no one is approaching each other at the grocery store or on public transport, do we still have to be dolled up to get their attention?

A close friend of mine rationalized: “You know me, always like to look my best, but I don’t do it in case I meet a hot boy, I do it for myself and other girls.” And while that’s probably the case for most of us that like our handbag to match our shoes, some part of us is looking fabulous just.in.case our future husband is across the produce section.

So bachelors, you heard it here first…we lovely single ladies are always looking at you. Are you looking back? If so, come on over and approach us because our eyes are getting tired of wandering.

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