Dear Bitter Amanda,
I think my cupid's aim is off.
Say, for instance, I met a nice guy. Say he's intelligent, funny, good looking, etc. Say I can stand talking to him for more than a few minutes and actually look forward to our conversations. Say I have a mind to ask him out. Now. Why is it, at that particular moment when I've made up my mind to pursue a particular person, that some random friend/acquaintance/colleague (whom I've never had any interest in beyond being buddies and probably never will) starts making googly eyes at me/follows me around/asks me out? Bitter Amanda, why does this consistently happen? No sooner have I got my sights locked in than does some interloper blindside me with affectionate advances, startling me, screwing up my game, and making things difficult. The problem is usually exacerbated by the fact that the two people in question frequently know each other, causing all sorts of loyalties to be called into question. Why!? Why does this happen all the time? And what can I do to a) fend off the intruder (tactfully) while b) pursuing a relationship with my originally intended target?
Pheasant Hunting with Dick Cheney
Dear Target Practice,
First of all, if you've found a man that can be tolerated for more than a moment or two, this is a big deal. Don't give up just yet!
As for your dilemma, that's quite tricky. Let's start with other men noticing you after you've made your choice. I think that when a woman is interested in someone, she tends to walk a little taller. There's that lovely feeling of a new crush that hasn't let you down (yet) and you're seeing new shades of green in the trees and all that romantic nonsense. (Gag.) A confident woman is more attractive, so it only makes sense that when you're feeling pretty good, you're going to get noticed more. And while you're doing your girly strut thing (which we all do when we're interested in someone) while the friends of your desired are around...well, you see my point. They're going to be the ones who notice you. Vicious cycle.
One of the greatest and worst things about men is that they're blissfully oblivious. Knowing this, you should be able to tactfully ignore your extraneous suitors and play it off like you don't notice the drool and googly eyes. Act like nothing is different. Say things like, "It's too bad my friend _______ doesn't live here, because you're just her type." That's like saying ,"Hey, I'm not into you."
Then, just stay the course with your intended. I'm telling you, a boy who doesn't annoy you is a rare and mythical thing. You've spotted a unicorn! Keep tracking him until you can shoot him down to mount onto your living room wall.