Why am I invisible to men?

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Why am I invisible to men?

Post by 551 on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:26 pm

I'm 28F and I've never been in a relationship.

I've had a handful of FWBs and flings that never went anywhere, but they've all been pretty one-sided and the onus always seems to be on me to initiate. Even in online dating, I send out way more first messages than I receive, and responses are few and far between. While I'm certainly not opposed to making the first move (I've never bought the idea that it's a woman's job to sit around waiting for men to approach her), having to do it 100% of the time gets to be a downer. It would be nice to be pursued instead of the pursuer once in a while, you know? Plus, the outcome of making the first move is that I end up with guys who are only interested in me because they know I'm available, not because they're into me specifically.

Offline I have a lot of friends, and it's a pretty balanced mix of women and men, so I don't think I have any repellent personality defects. I'm slim, and while I'd rate my own looks as average at best, I always make the most of what I have by wearing flattering clothes and makeup, styling my hair, etc. Personality-wise I skew more introverted, but I can hold my own in a group. I'm bookish, creative, and I have broad general knowledge of many subjects, so I can converse easily with most people. People regularly tell me that I'm funny. I feel like I have enough to offer that somebody would be interested, but it never seems to happen.

Any suggestions about what I might be doing wrong?

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Re: Why am I invisible to men?

Post by Dannyboy on Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:27 pm

You seem fine, based on your own description.

Might just be the luck of the draw, I'm a afraid.

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Re: Why am I invisible to men?

Post by Enail on Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:00 pm

Hmm. There's nothing that jumps out to me straight off the bat.  Some questions I can think of are:

-How much are you  encountering single men of your desired dating demographic in your offline life? In what kinds of situations?

-And what kinds of people are you interested in? What kinds of women do you see those kinds of men dating? Are those general types of guys likely to be interested in dating your general type, and if so are you presenting yourself in a way that shows it?

-Have you ever asked friends to set you up (or to introduce you in lower-key ways) to guys you might be a good match with?

-How have you met the guys you've had flings or been FWBs with? What made you decide they were only interested because you were available rather than being into you specifically?

We do have a thread for feedback on OLD profiles, if that's something you're interested in.
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Re: Why am I invisible to men?

Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:00 am

Your second paragraph is 100% identical to my partner's backstory, for whatever cred that gets me. And it's a problem we occasionally still discuss at length, because it continues to be a problem for her (short version: she likes and wants to continue upgrading our relationship, but also wants to have lots of consensual sex, and my supplies are severely limited in comparison).

I'm having trouble finding it, but I distinctly remember reading a post on this forum that linked to an editorial column of some kind (xojane?) where the writer was reflecting on active/reactive roles in romantic/sexual interactions. There's typically one person who initiates (e.g. asks out the other on a date, asks the other to have sex, asks the other to please move the recyclables to the curbside collection spot) and one who responds. In the dating/sex context, social norms do usually associate the proactive role with the "masculine" side, but as you've already observed it's really just a stereotypical convention that puts many individual cases at a disadvantage regardless of whether the "majority" truly fit that mold.

So I know the above isn't new information for you; I guess my point, though, is that to a certain extent an individual's affinity for the "active" or "reactive" role is influential in, and is influenced by, their general personality. Therefore, try to honestly self-assess and identify which one you're more comfortable with (which may be, but isn't necessarily, the one you're currently closest to), and use that to help decide where to spend extra effort. Just 'cause you don't believe in the abstract idea that all women must wait to be approached by a man, doesn't necessarily mean that you as an individual woman have to do the Sadie Hawkins thing.

(Please forgive me if I have a totally wrong read on this, but it sounds like you're putting a lot of effort into both making yourself approachable and making the first move, which in my experience really wears a person out, and is just that much more demoralizing if it doesn't succeed. If this is the case, it might be helpful to just pick one thing to focus on for a little while, and see if that gets you anywhere.)




Where are your usual hangouts, or where do you feel most comfortable? Some folks might be able to tailor advice to those spots, I dunno.

If you're not out in public or at a fairly large gathering that includes some unfamiliar faces, the chances of happening to encounter someone who will ask you out are low; if the public place is a library or book store, chances are nonzero but still fairly low, and anyone who does ask right off the bat is probably going to seem creepy, because honestly it is at least a little bit actually creepy; if the public place is a divey bar, chances of being asked out are better, but chances of being asked out by someone who's interested in a long-term thing are not necessarily better. I don't know what the other options are, either, though. This is one of several reasons being the initiator never turned out very well for me.

On that note, though, a lot of dudes are looking for, reading, and doing our best to follow, any dating advice we can get our hands on. A lot of dating advice is bad. Therefore, a lot of dudes are following a lot of bad advice. My thought is: if you read the bad advice, maybe you can metagame yourself into a position where someone else who is following the bad advice will cross paths with you. Just...you know, don't let them keep following the bad advice after your first introduction.




Meetup and the like could be viable. I personally don't think so, but it's worth mentioning anyway. That said, my limited, anecdotal experience has been:

- Meetups centered around a hobby are predominantly led and supported by people who care very deeply about that hobby. If you join a Meetup for deep-sea diving, the only thing you can expect by participating in such a group is that you will dive very deeply into the sea on a regular basis. You can meet new people there, and you might happen to meet someone you eventually develop a relationship with, but the only reason your chances would be better there than anywhere else would be because you're meeting people who are passionate about one of the things you're passionate about. It's still fundamentally a chance, not a sure thing, and it can be a pretty big time commitment especially if you're not a hundred and ten percent jazzed about deep-sea diving.

- Meetups that are "for singles" don't forbid members from hooking up, but they don't encourage it, and are willing to eject (or simply encourage the departure of) members who eventually find themselves partnered. Not out of malice or anything, but these groups are expressly for people who have an abundance of time on their hands and are wanting a group of like-minded people to share experiences with. Couples naturally tend to focus on themselves, so making sure members of "singles" groups are populated entirely by people who are single is just commonly understood to be the best way to avoid hard feelings all around.

- Some meetups are pretty openly venues for speed dating. Maybe you have already tried this. I don't know. Depending on where you live, the organizers, locations, etc. can actually be pretty cool. Rules are important. At the one I ended up going to, guests were told there was no need to exchange contact information, or divulge anything more than you were comfortable with to any given person. Instead, you just note the ID numbers of people you're interested in. After the "date" is over and everyone goes home, they email you a link where you can rate each person. Guests who indicated mutual interest were each provided with the other's preferred form of contact; guests who one way or another ended up with zero matches were given vouchers to attend another speed-dating event for free. So, you know. Not a bad deal. (Disclaimers: this is not how I met my partner, I have neither solid data nor anecdata about the success rates of these events, and based on what I unintentionally overheard from nearby guests' conversations that night, I would bet every penny I own that several of the men who attended the event with me are still very much alone.)
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Re: Why am I invisible to men?

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