'I keep on attracting men I have no interest in'

Dear Troubleshooter:

I'm a woman in my 20s. I work at an apparel retailer. I'm worried as I seem to attract men I'm not interested in.

When I was a high school student, I didn't have an opportunity to date boys at that time. This was probably nothing special as it was a girls' school. After I became a university student, however, I seemed to attract more than one man at the same time. As we all belonged to the same hobby circle, I felt very uncomfortable. While I was working part-time, a male colleague quit as I turned him down after he told me he loved me.

After I graduated from university and started working, two colleagues told me they loved me, although I didn't particularly like them. As a result, it affected my work. I'm really fed up.

My appearance is ordinary. I'm not particularly pretty, and I don't think I behaved suggestively to attract them. One problem is that I'm not good at firmly declining men who want to go out with me. I feel men who are attracted to me are generally innocent and have little experience with love.

Possibly as a reaction to this situation, I came to like men who already have girlfriends or who are playboys. And I'm always turned down by them.

Recently, I began to hate all men. I can't mention this in seeking advice from friends as it sounds like a boast.

E, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Ms. E:

You're right. It's difficult to bring up such a matter in seeking the advice of friends. They probably would regard it as a boast or flatly tell you that it's just an envious dilemma.

Do you want to get so tensed up by love? It may be too much to say that love is something to steal, but you may think that you should win it.

The tense and positive attitude you have attracts innocent men, even though you don't intend to.

However, you feel it's just a nuisance when such men approach you. The strength you exhibit further dazzles these men. It's like a downward spiral, isn't it?

Although you are fierce enough to want to attract men who already have girlfriends or are playboys, you won't go so far as to try to steal their hearts by sinking into such a quagmire. You aren't that passionate. Therefore, you probably didn't confess your love to anybody or no one confessed his love to you when you were a high school student.

May I suggest you get off the subject of love for once? There are probably many other things that can totally absorb you.

Otherwise, the situation that you wrote about will probably continue for some time as you just long to be in love.

Kiyokazu Washida, philosopher