How to Handle Unwanted Attention From Outside Your Relationship

Do you get unwanted attention from others despite being in a committed relationship? This type of attention can be an annoyance. Learn more about unwanted attention and what you can do to prevent it with these tips.

What is Unwanted Attention?

The definition of unwanted attention varies, but most sources agree that it involves you being the center of attention and getting comments or behaviors from the opposite sex that annoy or disturb you.

Consider these behaviors:

  • Unwanted attention can include flirting and cat calls that you don’t initiate.
  • It can also include inappropriate comments, gestures, and other behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • You may be asked about your relationship status and availability.
  • You may also feel pressured to respond or feel threatened by the unwanted attention.

Instead of getting upset each time it happens, focus on ways to stop it from occurring in the first place. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce these behaviors towards you.

Try these strategies:

  1. Ignore it. If you don’t respond or react, the other person may give up. However, in some cases, they may be persistent. It’s important to avoid getting angry and starting a violent scene.
    • Ignoring the unwanted attention shows class and composure.
    • The other person may actually think you’re rude. Nevertheless, you don’t want to fall into this trap and react to them.
  2. Reject the advances. If ignoring the other person isn’t possible, then rejecting the advances is essential. You don’t want your partner to think that you’re enjoying the attention and inviting it! You can politely reject them without creating a scene.
    • Communicate that you’re not available or interested. Be firm and clear.
    • It’s also important to be consistent. If the person continues to go after you, you don’t want to change your mind and accept a lunch date as a friend.
  3. Tell someone else. Depending on where the unwanted attention occurs, you may need to get others involved to help you.
    • If you’re being annoyed by a coworker, this could be sexual harassment. If talking to them doesn’t work, tell your boss. You may also want to file a complaint with the Human Resources department. Your work should be a safe space, and you shouldn’t have to spend your hours reminding coworkers that you’re in a relationship.
    • If the incident happens in another place, you may want to contact the police. This will depend on how far the unwanted attention goes and if you feel threatened.
    • You may also want to reach out to friends or family for support.
  4. Wear a wedding ring. Simply wearing a wedding ring, whether it’s real or not, can prevent some unwanted attention.
    • Some people are relentless and will go after you despite seeing the ring. However, others will notice a wedding ring and stop. They may honor the idea that you’re married.

Unwanted attention can affect your stable relationship. You can fight back and reduce it from happening frequently.

Be honest about what occurs. Avoid pretending that it’s not bothering you. Your partner will appreciate that you’re firm and don’t give in to the attention.

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