Is it possible to gain a man's attraction once it's lost?
October 4, 2008 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to gain a man's attraction again once it's lost? Or is it done / irreversible?

This recently happened to me - where my ex broke up with me after only 1 month stating that he didn't "feel" it for me anymore. I realize I posted about this earlier (that was more about the situation) - but I want to now *understand from men*... if the attraction is lost, is it really over? There is no way to reverse the attraction?

I've read in books that it goes both ways - the attraction will never come back and men move on. But then sometimes the guy will come back begging to try it again. Can you guys explain this to me? And can you explain the logic of what a women should do if a guy doesn't feel it anymore?

Thanks.
posted by freshsprout to Human Relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
1 month? Were you really "boyfriend and girlfriend" after 1 month or were you dating and he decided not to date you anymore?
posted by k8t at 9:47 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


yes, it was 1 month altho we are still talking. That's not the point though..

I've read that book, "He's just not into you" and "It's called a Breakup if it's Broken" and seen many instances - that men will break up with the GF after 1, 2 to 5 yrs. if he doesn't *feel* it anymore. There's no logic other than "not feeling the spark," or "seeing her in the future." I don't understand it - so I would like to know?
posted by freshsprout at 9:52 PM on October 4, 2008


It's important to keep in mind that "men" are, like "women," humans. We're inconsistent and different. Sometimes it's just lost; sometimes it's not. Of course it goes both ways - it's a matter of a specific guy in a specific situation. No magic rules to apply.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:56 PM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Is it possible to gain a man's attraction again once it's lost? Or is it done / irreversible?"

Yes, but it depends on the guy, and the circumstances. I checked out your last question which described the circumstances a little more than this one does. In it you wrote:

"But the weird thing is, he still cares for me, and has said that I'm smart, cute, everything he is looking for. We hung out at a museum last week and he never left my side, he kept looking at me and I still felt that spark. Recently he admitted that he still thought of me, even sexually but he doesn't know if he sees us long term."

Speaking as a guy, yes, it's totally possible for you to get this guys attraction back. Fact is, I think he probably already is still attracted to you. But (and I say this with the knowledge that this is pure speculation as I don't know the guy), I suspect that he's keeping his options open at the moment, meaning there are other girls you may or may not know about who he likes more. If none of those other options play out, he'll probably come back to you, which is relevant to your question of why, sometimes a guy will come back begging to try again.

But that's by-the-by. In short, yes, you can get a guys attraction back. Longer answer, it depends on the guy, if the circumstances are right, and as to how you do it, well, it's as simple as flirting with him and paying him attention (much like women, we guys like knowing we're wanted and we like attention too).
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:02 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Simply put, he doesn't want to deal with her shit anymore and would rather have sex with someone else.

Now, to some men, that might mean she wants a commitment when doesn't. Or she talks a lot. Or she insists on putting the milk in the bowl first and then adds the cereal and that just drives him nuts. He could break up with her for a good reason, a silly reason, a bad reason and no reason. The point is, there are any number of men, with any number of reasons and you can drive yourself nuts overthinking it. Let it go and move on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 PM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


sometimes we move on, sometimes we don't.

is he calling you? are you speaking? if not... move on... withouth him
posted by Frasermoo at 10:02 PM on October 4, 2008


if the attraction is lost, is it really over? There is no way to reverse the attraction?

It's never really over. Can you reverse it? Yes.

Try a makeover (not just appearance but attitude as well). Don't go out of your way to see or contact him but let yourself be seen by him. Few things bother a guy more than seeing a woman he broke up with a short while later looking sexy, confident and totally over him. Don't press the issue you'll just come off looking desperate.

As to the issue you brought up in your original question, if you get him to "come back" you'll have to sleep with him eventually (sooner rather than later) or you'll be back to square one. That's just the way it is. Just don't be duped into being used as a "slumpbuster".
posted by MikeMc at 10:06 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


he's still emailing me... in fact, we almost email each other every day. Rather odd arrangement, but I think it gives him plenty of space. I don't bug him about calling me... yet I don't understand how long is this supposed to drag out (until I get sick of it? or until he meets someone?). He hasn't asked me to hang out either. So I was thinking of giving him the boot, but he wants to stay in touch... :/
posted by freshsprout at 10:11 PM on October 4, 2008


Without regard to your specific situation, I would say that spending time apart is one of the best ways to rekindle an attraction. Sometimes that means physically not seeing one another for a few weeks or months, and sometimes it means cutting off all contact whatsoever for an even longer period of time. I don't believe there are many cases in which reestablishing an attraction is a totally lost cause, although I'm sure there are some cases I can't even begin to imagine.

Beyond that, playing hard to get or somehow making him jealous would probably make you more appealing to him in the short term, but do you really want to play such games for the purpose of establishing what is really a manufactured attraction? More importantly, getting hung up on an ex will likely have the effect of making you unattractive to nearly everyone else. Move on, begin to explore your other options, and see what happens. You'll both be better for it.
posted by iamisaid at 10:19 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


He wants to stay in touch in case he decides he wants to have sex with you again, not for a relationship. Move on.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:29 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


So I was thinking of giving him the boot, but he wants to stay in touch...

Look, you want him, but he doesn't want you, not in that way. As you're finding out, you can't move on if he wants to be friends and stay in contact with you. Stop talking to him and quit being a part in his drama since you're not getting what you want from the relationship.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:36 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


He wants to stay in touch in case he decides he wants to have sex with you again, not for a relationship. Move on.

Agreed. I've been that guy. You don't want to be with that guy, unless you understand and are okay with the fact that he's that guy.
posted by davejay at 11:01 PM on October 4, 2008


Ultimately I think you should focus less on reading books and more on reading people.
posted by rhizome at 11:13 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


He wants to stay in touch in case he decides he wants to have sex with you again, not for a relationship. Move on.

Definitely.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 11:32 PM on October 4, 2008


Keep in touch with him--if you want to-- but only as a friend.

With this question and your previous, he isn't worth the effort. (The effort to convert "back to" boyfriend. I'm sure he's an okay guy.) Right now you have a lot of energy you're burning trying to convert a guy who hangs around you into a boyfriend and it's making you miserable.

Instead, take that energy and find a new, dedicated boyfriend. That always wins over frustration.
posted by Ookseer at 11:50 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you really want him, the best thing you can do is get the hell out of his way - and probably find a few charismatic, handsome guys to hang around, too.

Men and women are different in many respects but here are three values a lot of us share despite the gender divide:

Familiarity breeds contempt:
You don't know what you got 'til it's gone;
People seem more attractive when they're taken (or at least popular with others.)

Don't end up being the clingy friend, the girl who really wants to be a part of his life, the girl with whom there's no mystery, where there's plenty available, where he knows he can pick you up or put you down at will. It shows a lack of respect for yourself but it also plays right into his hands.

Paradoxically, the best way to get his attention will be to stop focusing on him and get yourself some hot ass. But by the time you have achieved that, I pretty much guarantee you that this guy will mean nothing to you.
posted by skylar at 1:40 AM on October 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm not an expert, but I understand that in long term relationships the attraction waxes and wanes. If he's left you, it might be that he doesn't see it as enough of a long term thing to want to stick out the quiet patch.
posted by Not Supplied at 2:26 AM on October 5, 2008


It's over. Let it go and start brainstorming ideas for what (and whom) you'd like to do next. Then do those things.
posted by orange swan at 4:19 AM on October 5, 2008


His breaking up with you quite possibly has little to do with attraction. Actually, since you say he still keeps in touch, he certainly doesn't seem to be going all "oh, what, freshsprout, me? Yuck, yuck, yuck". I agree with the above comments about him keeping his options open, and about wanting to keep you around should he be in the mood for a little something on the side. He has told you he doesn't want a relationship with you - take his word for it, and believe us when we say overanalysing why he doesn't will get you nothing but a big fat headache. Instead, take a long good hard look at yourself. Why do you feel this way about a guy how clearly isn't treating you the way you want to be treated? That's is the important issue, not why on earth he decided he doesn't want a relationship with you.

So what should you do? Well, you're hurting, and that's fine. Actually, I think you're still in denial, going over stuff and thinking up how you could revert the situation. It wouldn't be bad if you got a little angry instead. Get together with the girlfriend who's been telling you what an ass he's being to you, and go over just how much of an ass he is. Blame him for it, not yourself. I know it's hard, it's not like he's an entirely awful person - but fuck that. For a while, let's all assume he is.

Paradoxically, the best way to get his attention will be to stop focusing on him and get yourself some hot ass. But by the time you have achieved that, I pretty much guarantee you that this guy will mean nothing to you.

Yes, this is most definitely true.
posted by neblina_matinal at 6:39 AM on October 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Disagreeing with rhizome. Check out For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. She has some amazing insight based on statistical analysis of particular questions. After reading both the Men and Women versions, I realized a number of life-changing things about myself that needed adjustment -- not from the idea that I should change for someone, but that it was something I dislike and didn't realize I did that.
posted by vanoakenfold at 7:08 AM on October 5, 2008


Stay in touch with him - he might have cute friends.

Seriously - from what you are reporting I do not like him. And even if he has all the best and most defensible reasons in the world for what he is doing, but what he is doing is not good for you so it has to stop. There's no reason not to be friendly, but I'm sure you realize daily emails go way past "friendly."

Also, as others have said, people who had some dates over the course of a month are not in a position to "breakup." What is it with you kids today? (People did this in my day, too. Maybe we should bring back dance cards.)

Please don't think anyone is asking you to play "hard to get" or other games. Just own and live your own life.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:25 AM on October 5, 2008


Can the spark return? Yes.

Can you force it to return? No.

Move on with your life. If he returns, then maybe you'll be interested and maybe not. Honestly, do you want to be with someone who stopped being attracted to you as soon as got to know you?
posted by 26.2 at 11:18 AM on October 5, 2008


From the last question --
I'm 30 from Ca., he's 36 originally from the UK now also in Ca. We dated intensely for 4 weeks, had an amazing time and connected very well - physically and mentally. He's even introduced me to his friends. But after having a few beers, we got intimate (did not go all the way, I did tell him I can't sleep w/ someone until I got a commitment.. maybe that was a bad idea) and a week later, he broke up with me, asking to be friends saying he didn't "feel it.


So, the spark died the first time you were intimate. That makes me think that something about your sexual style isn't what he personally likes. Can you get the spark to return? I'd say it's a lost cause. You could potentially say, "hey, if there's a particular way you like to kiss / make out, show me." But he probably already evaluated the possibility of teaching you and decided against it. (This doesn't mean something's wrong with your style -- maybe he just likes dominant partners, or passive partners, or partners who like smearing hot fudge all over each other -- people like all sorts of things.)

Other possible scenarios -- he knows he doesn't want a commitment, or by making out with you he realized he's not over an ex-. In either of those cases, it's better for you just to let it go. But since he said he "didn't 'feel it,'" I suspect the first one.

I don't understand how long is this supposed to drag out (until I get sick of it? or until he meets someone?). He hasn't asked me to hang out either. So I was thinking of giving him the boot, but he wants to stay in touch... :/

Since the spark died right when you got intimate, and he said he wants to be friends, I don't think he wants to be sexual with you again. But he does want to be friends, so I think he wants to keep emailing indefinitely. If you're not up for that, you should just say so.
posted by salvia at 11:55 AM on October 5, 2008


People should read the last question before responding.
posted by salvia at 11:56 AM on October 5, 2008


Well, hmm.

You don't have to "give him the boot", as in telling him I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU BYE

Just delay your responses to his emails. If you usually respond in one day, respond in two or three.

After a while, if he takes up too much headspace, just stop responding.

It'll either drive him mad with desire, or you'll move on.
posted by sondrialiac at 4:26 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


it kinda sounds like it's not worth it. solid non-dramatic relationships do not involve a lot of thinking about OH MY GOD WHAT IS MY PARTNER THINKING or world of warhammer style FEELINGS QUESTS. speaking from experience i would politely inform him you need some time apart and not talk to / hang out with him for a couple weeks because he is playing you like a comedical music instrument.
posted by beefetish at 10:38 AM on October 6, 2008


Just an update... I picked effigy's response b/c my "friend" and I have since gotten back together (this after hanging out as friends for a while.. but now we're dating again). We did have to work through some problems (still am..) but it's been so worth it. So thanks to effigy for giving me some introspective about him and men in general.
posted by freshsprout at 7:17 AM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


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