Making the hard sale.

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Post by Archetype694 on Fri May 22, 2015 9:11 pm

First off, thanks everyone for taking the time to read my post.

It's been about ten years since I have last dated or been in a relationship. There are various reasons why but the crux of the matter is that I suffered from depression and had such low self esteem that I frankly would likely have not been a good partner even if I somehow wound up being paired up. That said the people I have dated / had ONS with I am good terms with the majority of them.

For context: I'm 34, no kids, with a stable middle class job. 6ft 360ish pounds.  

For the past couple of years I have taken time to work on myself, getting to a place where I think I can perhaps be a good boyfriend to someone and wanting to have such a relationship in my life. I'm trying to be the kind of person that I would want to date. My problems are multifold some which I am working on such as;

Insecurity due to my weight: To address that I am exercising and improving my diet. This is a long term work in progress. That and having in the past been so bound up in the idea that I was unloveable due to being ugly. This was a big part of me turning into a hermit. I'm always going to be a chubby guy but the goal is to be strong and husky.  

Appearance: I am working on this by trying to be a better dresser, learning colors and paying attention to style blogs.

Inexperience: is a big one both physically and in dating social expectations. One example would be not knowing or picking up on signals that I should try to initiate, such as when to go for a kiss. I've been gently teased by friends in this area more then once.

Thankfully these are all areas that can be improved with effort and time, however I do worry that if I do find someone whom a long term relationship seems a possibility how would I explain my lack of dating for the past decade without coming off like a freak or an axe murderer Sad

I realize I have a long way to catch up to my peers and would like to learn the skills required to be a good partner to whomever I eventually meet. I'm open to advice and suggestions as well as insight from those who perhaps also are re entering the dating pool in their 30's and 40's.
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Post by reboot on Fri May 22, 2015 9:15 pm

For inexperienced, do you mean as a partner? Because it sounds like you have dating experience, so are you interested in advice on transitioning from casual dating to relationship?
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Post by Archetype694 on Fri May 22, 2015 9:30 pm

reboot wrote:For inexperienced, do you mean as a partner? Because it sounds like you have dating experience, so are you interested in advice on transitioning from casual dating to relationship?

I mean inexperience in dating (as it's been a decade since I last dated and even then I only dated a few times over the years) so advice in both casual dating to relationship would be welcome. Also I am inexperienced in areas such as when to go for a kiss, or make a move. I only state that as I have been told in the past that since I never tried to make a move that would read as lack of interest where really I was just trying to be respectful and well, I'm shy and reserved unless I feel comfortable with someone.

Does that clarify things? I'm not the best at articulating issues at times.

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Post by Caffeinated on Fri May 22, 2015 9:52 pm

Archetype694 wrote:I'm shy and reserved unless I feel comfortable with someone.

One thing you can do if you're out with someone you like, but who you're not yet comfortable enough with to make a move, but you don't want to give the impression that you're uninterested, is say what you said above. Taking some time to warm up to someone is not an uncommon trait. Telling a date that you have that trait does two good things for you: 1) If the reaction is really negative, then it gives you information that maybe this isn't someone who'll be a good fit personality-wise. 2) If the reaction is positive or neutral, you've made some space in the process for you to be yourself and move at a comfortable pace, without accidentally giving off the impression that you're holding back because you don't like the person.
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Post by jcorozza on Sat May 23, 2015 6:46 am

I think there are a lot of other ways to show the other person you're interested without it having to be physical - most of the guys I've dated have been shy on this front, and I am a bit as well. But they were able to show that they were interested in other ways, like initiating another date enthusiastically, not playing the "wait X number of days until I contact you" game, that kind of thing. With one of my exes, I knew he was still genuinely interested because he mentioned he'd been looking online for ideas for affordable fun dates we could do around the city. So, I knew he was actually thinking about me and stuff we could do together even when we weren't in the same room together. Another remembered that I liked kiwis, and that I couldn't get them on campus, so when he went to the grocery store, he brought me back a few.

Something else to consider is what type of woman you're looking for. If you tend to like shy ladies, they might not even see it as a sign that you're not interested. If you like more forward/assertive women, they might actually make some of those moves themselves.

Oh, and regarding the "how to I bring up why I haven't dated for 10 years..."
I wouldn't, early on, unless asked (and if it comes up naturally some other way). If things are going well with the person, then yeah, I'd bring it up. It's the kind of thing that once they've warmed up to you they probably won't see it as the biggest deal, but if they're on date one looking for dealbreakers, it might scare them off. I think you could also go with a version of what you said here - that you're weren't at a place/headspace/whatever you want to call it where you would have been a good partner. I think most people will respect that - I know I at least find it very admirable when people realize that they need to take care of some of their own stuff before they can be with someone else (and then actually go and take care of that stuff), rather than just finding a partner anyway in the hopes that said partner would fix their problems.
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Post by Jayce on Sat May 23, 2015 9:17 am

I've been thinking, I don't think inexperience is a big deal as it's supposed to be, when you're meeting someone for the first one or two times they are really only seeing who you are right now, not who you are before. I remember reading the doctor's post on dating struggles & origin stories (I forgot which one) and how people can't really see that since they aren't you and haven't experienced your personal struggles.

There are no official signals, green lights, or wacks to the head, telling you when exactly to make a move. All of this is context sensitive, but you DO have to make a move at some point though.

So if you feel that a date was successful and you want to kiss them, I would personally just ask that I wanted to kiss them. The worst possible thing that can happen is that she's turned off by it because she wanted you to be bolder and actually just "go for the kiss" or whatever other scenario that is to her fancy. But the best thing to do is still to ask, because how else are you supposed to know if they are ok with that or not? This is one case where its better to be safe than sorry, because this is a matter of entering someone's personal space and being intimate with them. To me, just going in tells me that I don't care as much about her personal space or her personal desire of whether she wants to kiss me or not in comparison to me wanting to kiss her. While asking still conveys that you want to kiss her, it also tells her that hey are you ok with that?

One of the reasons some people view asking, as something that is unsexy and a bad move, is because they don't think of somebody asking in a confident and assured way.

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Post by Archetype694 on Mon May 25, 2015 12:33 am

Caffeinated wrote:One thing you can do if you're out with someone you like, but who you're not yet comfortable enough with to make a move, but you don't want to give the impression that you're uninterested, is say what you said above. Taking some time to warm up to someone is not an uncommon trait.

This is good advice, I often forget that their is nothing wrong with showing some vulnerability to others. I would have never thought to simply use my words and describe how I am feeling. Simple, effective and to the point.

jcorozza wrote:I think there are a lot of other ways to show the other person you're interested without it having to be physical- they were able to show that they were interested in other ways, like initiating another date enthusiastically, not playing the "wait X number of days until I contact you" game, that kind of thing.

I think perhaps due to  peer pressure I was always under the assumption that I had to make a move or I would be judged as being "lame" or uninterested. Though that has happened in the past, now that I reflect upon some of those I did date were really not the type of person would normally mesh well with. Not in a bad way, just during those years I associated with a crowd that was more concerned with wealth, or at least the appearance of it and being flashy which is something I personally do not place much value in.

jcorozza wrote:Oh, and regarding the "how to I bring up why I haven't dated for 10 years..."I wouldn't, early on, unless asked

I think this is the best course of action. I tend to over worry and perhaps I am making more of the situation then there is. Worst case scenario, if someone did reject me for this (which would be totally ok) they would simply be doing us both a favor.

Jayce wrote:When you're meeting someone for the first one or two times they are really only seeing who you are right now, not who you are before. I remember reading the doctor's post on dating struggles & origin stories (I forgot which one) and how people can't really see that since they aren't you and haven't experienced your personal struggles.

I often forget that people are not mind readers, being able to see every thought and insecurity that races across my mind. I like the idea that everyone has their origin story. I guess it's all in how you spin it.

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