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Weigh In: Flirtatious Guy at the Gym

This FitSugar reader needs some advice about an overly friendly guy at her gym.

Dear Fit,
I joined a gym last Winter because my New Year's resolution was to lose 40 pounds. I'm halfway to my goal, and am really proud of myself. I definitely notice a big change when I try on clothes or look in the mirror, and it seems there's a guy at my gym who has noticed too. I've been heading to the gym after work three times a week for the past 10 months, and recently this guy I've seen ever since I joined has been approaching me. He compliments me, saying things like, "looking good today," or "your arms look really ripped in that tank top." Don't get me wrong — the attention is actually really nice since I never had anything like that when I was heavier, but it's a little creepy. I'm not attracted to this guy at all, and it kind of pisses me off that as soon as I lose weight, I'm worth the friendly smiles and sweet words. Really, I'm at the gym for one purpose only, so how can I get this guy off my back without seeming like a total bitch?
—Annoyed Annie

If you have any experience with this or any suggestions, please share them below.

Image Source: Getty
vanillabean vanillabean 7 years
Wow! I'm single and have been at the same gym for 10 years with zero interest from any men there. Maybe they are all married or I am not working hard enough!
koolkat1021 koolkat1021 7 years
The comments above really seem like just compliments. Where I do think they show greater interest in her (and yes, sadly, sometimes that doesn't happen until we are 20 lbs thinner), they also are quite innocently just "compliments". Sometimes you have to just let a compliment be a compliment. So is he actually hitting on you or being nice? I guess it doesn't matter if it is making you feel uncomfortable. Therefore you should take some sort of polite action. Ignoring him can be a lot of effort and seem rude on your part. If a guy is persistent it isn't really effective. It'll leave you wondering if he'll approach you again and create anxiety. You could throw up the "my boyfriend notices too" smoke screen, but I wouldn't say it unless you have one. Also having a boyfriend doesn't always stop comments. You could try to address it directly. The truth is you don't want to be disturbed at the gym. The next time he compliments on your results, reply with a very "thanks! that's so sweet of you and I notice you've been paying me lots of compliments lately, but it actually is really distracting when i'm trying to keep up my motivation while I'm here." He'll probably apologize and leave you alone more often. After that, you really just need to choose to view those compliments as public recognition of your hard work. I just recently dealt with this at a gym, but there wasn't really any polite scenario to ditch the guy. An employee was hitting on me. This included a longer than normal introductory tour with invitation to dinner, throwing all sortsa free training and stuff at me, being tracked down when I was there, and never being able to go in/out without getting stuck in a convo where he'd make uncomfortable comments while pushing to get me to sign up for stuff. The last conversation I had with the guy, he said he "had memorized everything about my face" and remarked that he was surprised he didn't notice my piercing. He was also trying to schedule me for personal training and asked when I'd be in next. His response was "oh NO, don't come in then! I don't work that day and it'd be really creepy if I showed up here on my day off just to see you." I then decided it was time to GTFO and he found some other free membership "feature" to talk to me about. When I declared I was walking out the door, he was trying to walk me to my car. I quickly left and did a post workout sprint to my car incase he was trying to catch up with me. I was trying not to be rude, but instead just made things really uncomfortable for myself. You don't want to be like "I HAVE A BOYFRIEND" as soon as someone says hello to you or pays you a compliment. It's definitely not an easy situation to deal with and it can kill your motivation for going to the gym. I ended up switching gyms, but it definitely made me think that perhaps I needed to join an all women's gym.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 7 years
he might just be nice... sometimes when you see someone regularly for a long period time you feel like you know them. however, i did have a guy friend in college tell me that some guys will get with a girl who's trying to lose weight, so that when she "gets hot," she'll stay with him because he was interested when she was bigger. i think guys get the hint pretty quickly if you accept the compliment, but don't engage in any further conversation. headphones can also help give you an excuse for not chatting. they work great on public transit too!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I'd say "Suck it" while making a pffft sound and a chopping motion with both hands to your crotch! just kidding although that would be funny ;-) I'd enjoy the compliment. He could just have noticed that all your hard work is paying off and he's giving a nice compliment, sort of his way of encouragement/support. If it continues and becomes aggressive or inappropriate, I'd say something then, like thanks, but you're not really at the gym to socialize or try the headphones. Congratson all your hard work.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I really appreciated your comment, notinthemood. There's something really wrong with being rude to someone who is being nice just because you're not interested in dating him. If he's interrupting when you're busy, say so. If he crosses the line with something inappropiate, say so. Otherwise, just accept the compliment. Also, it's ok to just not be interested, but you say you're not attracted to him. It doesn't sound like you know him well, so it's the same kind of snap judgement you complain that people made about the heavier you. It's a natural fact of life that superficial judgement comes first, fair or not.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I can see where you're coming from, OP...I used to be really overweight and guys never gave me the time of day. Once I started losing weight, I got all kinds of compliments and it felt really awkward. I know it can be creepy if you don't find the guy attractive, but I've learned to smile, say something like "Thanks, it's nice to hear some positive feedback after all the work I've put into my body. My husband/boyfriend/partner can really tell, too!" That will send the vibe that you appreciate the effort, but you aren't interested in him.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
there's nothing wrong with getting more attention after losing weight. admit it - you were overweight, which is unnatural from evolutionary point of you. and attraction is all animalistic. just try and look at the whole situation as something flattering, isn't it nice that someone compliments you?
zeze zeze 7 years
And this is why I go to a women's Seriously though, I agree with notinthemood, it's a compliment and it's based on your hard work, not like he came up to you and said "nice rack" seems like a nice guy wanting to compliment someone on their hard work. Say thank you and move on...if he gets more aggressive THEN be a little more clear in making the point you are not looking for a bf by ignoring him and playing games with with the headphones. Also, ask yourself this, if he was cute (or you were a bit attracted to him) would he come off as creepy or a hot guy who thinks ur cute? It's not this guy's fault ur not attracted to him, so don't punish him and call him creepy because he is not your type.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
OP, isn't it nice that a person who has been going to the same gym with you for 10 months has noticed your weight loss over that time? Smile and accept the compliment, then walk away if you're not interested in him. This happened to me all the time at my old gym and while I wasn't interested in dating any of the men who said these things either, sometimes you just have to learn to accept a compliment. He might not even be into you, just being a nice guy. Maybe it's not about how you look now, maybe he's pointing out how hard you worked... it feels good to know you've done a good job! So wear headphones, politely acknowledge (with a smile) that you have killer arms now, and then excuse yourself to get back to your workout. Girls, don't play into the stereotype that if a guy isn't "to our standards", we won't give him the time of day if he compliments us! I personally love to know that people think I look nice or have a great smile, and it's flattering that someone went out of his way to tell me. That doesn't mean I owe him anything... smile, say thanks, and disengage. You don't have to put up with behavior that makes you uncomfortable, per se, but there will come a time in the future when nobody pays you random compliments... soak it up while you can!
fauxcat fauxcat 7 years
I also agree with the headphones idea. If he talks to you, just gesture to your headphones, shrug, and continue about your business. When he sees that you don't care enough about him to even take off your headphones to hear what he's saying, he'll back off. Another, quicker option to shut a guy down: when he compliments you again on something like your great arms, smile and say "Thanks. My boyfriend really likes them too." That usually takes care of the problem, without you coming off as a bitch. On a sidenote, it's frustrating that we can't just be blunt and say "Look, you seem like a nice guy, but I'd prefer if you leave me alone" without worrying about what the guy will think of us. It's tricky at the gym, I suppose, when you see the person all the time. But he's hitting on you so blatantly, and he doesn't seem have any awareness of how annoying THAT is when you're clearly not interested. Irritating. :p
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I'm sure it makes you feel a bit awkward because it sounds like he's blatantly analyzing your body every time he sees you. I would ignore him and walk away, and he'll hopefully get the hint. Or if he says something about a specific part of your body (like the comment about your arms) you could say something half-joking like "so do you size every woman up this way?" and maybe he'll realize that he needs to ease up a bit.
pinkberry01 pinkberry01 7 years
ignore !
Merlin713 Merlin713 7 years
It really depends on the guy's personality. The one guy that did this to me at my old college gym I could just ignore, and he went away.
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