Even if the attention may just be friendly toward someone’s girlfriend…he’s spending more time asking how she is doing and missing her rather than getting to know me when I’m not official with anyone. Is it because the guys I meet want what they can’t have? I don’t get why they would spend more time on someone they can’t have than someone who they could have.
An interesting question! Obviously there will be a lot of nuance here, but you can probably boil it down to three things:
1) They’re not that into you
2) Situational Attraction
3) They’re better at showing platonic affection than they are with romantic affection
When it comes right down to it, no matter how available you might be, how into them you are, if they’re just not into you, none of that matters. You could be the best thing since sliced bread, but if they aren’t into you, you don’t have a shot. Think of how many times you’ve been the most eligible single person in the room and at the end of the night, some random person who has nothing going for them goes home with someone you’d definitely have wanted to chat up. How many times have you been left standing there thinking “What the hell is wrong with me?”. Most of the time in love, logic doesn’t prevail. Keep that in mind whenever you get too down on yourself (or the poor and illogical choices of your potential suitors). Even if they should be into you, on paper, you can’t really control whether or not the people who you think should be into you will actually be into you.
You know, I did some research and I swear, I could not find a good word or term to succinctly describe the idiom “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” so, for the purposes of this post, let’s just call that sort of thinking Situational Attraction. The grass appears to be greener on one side of the fence, because you’re standing on the other side. Sometimes, your situation determines how attractive someone is. If you’re sort of seeing someone you kind of like, someone else might be more attractive to you if they have the qualities you look for, even if they are unavailable. It’s not about whether or not they can actually be with them, it’s about looking over that fence, even if you can’t get over it, and wanting what’s on the other side more than what you (could potentially, but most likely could not) have.
There’s also the off-chance that the guy in question, or people in general, are just more comfortable with existing platonic connections than new romantic ones. There’s a 50/50 chance if I go on a first date I’ll go in for a hug on the first date as a greeting. On the other hand, there’s a 100% chance that I’ll go in for a hug with women I know (if that’s how we greet each other), whether they’re single or not, because that’s how I tend to greet people. It might not be that he’s more interested in them because they’re taken, it could be that he’s just more comfortable around them because they’re taken. There’s a certain amount of pressure associated with two people who potentially could date each other talking compared to interactions between people who probably have no chance of getting together. Remember your first crush? Remember how hard it was to talk to them, but how easy it was to talk about them? Basically that.
There are tons of other reasons why, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of those three. In my experience, and I mean me specifically, whenever I’ve experienced this it’s all about Situational Attraction. Sure, I’m tall, dark, charming, and handsome, but sometimes the grass just looks greener. It happens to the best of us. Honestly though, it doesn’t matter why on a big picture scale. If you feel like the guys you’re interested in spends more time and energy talking to other women rather than you, they’re probably not the right guy for you. If you’re feeling like they’re more affectionate with other people rather than you, they’re probably not the guy for you.
Good Luck Out There.