Are Men Attracted to “Nice” Girls?

Name: Utterlyclueless20s
State: New York
Age: 27
Comment: I am an AA woman in my late 20s who has always had difficulty finding a mate. It seems like there is something I am missing in attracting someone of the opposite sex. I am cute, not drop dead gorgeous, but definitely cute. I am a bit shy when first meeting others and I tend to feed off the energy they give back to me. If they are excited about meeting, then I am excited about meeting them. If someone is lackluster toward me, then I try to be nice and end up feeling awkward. I have a hard time meeting men. I work in a mostly female industry and my social life is mostly connected to my career. When I do meet men at parties, and chat them up, I feel like I am always out competed by some girl with better tricks or conversation. I am a genuinely nice girl who prefers to read, cook and have quiet dinners with friends. My interests are mostly related to my career or are domestic. Parties are the worst place for me because I feel like I fade into a wall. I have tried online dating for years and feel like I keep getting men that are not even remotely in my league. They only want sex or they wear gold chains and baggy clothes. I am the kind of black woman that likes going to hipster venues and gallery openings. This has shut me out to most black men but I have been openly dating other races. Yet those guys were not looking for a relationship (at least with me). The problem is getting the right attention. How does one do that in real life?

NOTE: Since I don’t have much first hand experience with dating black men or women, I’m going to leave that topic to the readers who do. Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

These are all great things that many men value and find attractive. But they also want a woman who brings more to the table than just “nice.” Really think about that word for a second. Think about when and how you use it in this context.

“Oh, I met him. He seemed nice.”

Nice is the word we use when we really didn’t get any read or beat on someone because they displayed no dicernable personality.

Nice, to be blunt, is boring. Nobody wants to date boring. Especially the boring people. We all want someone who keeps us on our toes in some way. We want someone engaging. Not to be confused with “charisma.” Charisma is charm on speed. It’s fake and exaggerated and in no way genuine. When women say that they want a guy who has “charisma” what they’re telling you is that they are drawn to phony assholes who know exactly what to say and do to keep a woman’s attention. They want a guy with charisma because those men are usually in high demand. They think that getting a guy with charisma means that man finds her charismatic, too. Except they don’t. They actually find her really insecure and therefore easy to manipulate. That’s the attraction for men like that.

I am a genuinely nice girl who prefers to read, cook and have quiet dinners with friends

Men like nice. But men also like and want a woman that is naughty. They like women with a bit of an edge. As long as the woman displays a sense of vulnerability about her, she can pretty much get away with anything. So often you hear women wonder out loud, “What does he see in her?” What he sees is a healthy mix of femininity, vulnerability and sexiness. That can come in all kinds of packages. But the crucial component in that mix is vulnerability. Does she make me feel safe? Will I be able to be who I really am and show my fears and frustrations without her judging me or making it about her? If a man can glean that from a conversation with a woman and there’s a physical attraction, then he’s going to want to get to know that woman better. We talked before about men being intimidated by certain kinds of women. As long as the woman demonstrates her own ability to be vulnerable, she can be as assertive and bawdy and outspoken as she likes. The lack of vulnerability is what turns men off. So if you want to know what men want..that’s it.

Utterly, the tone of this message lacks vulnerability. You sound stiff  and a little entitled. I’m sure you are a bit of a wall flower, but the underlying rigidness is you’re bigger problem. Most men can and will overlook a woman’s shy nature. They even find that attractive to some degree. But if they pick up on the entitled tone or demeanor, they’re out.

I have tried online dating for years and feel like I keep getting men that are not even remotely in my league

We all feel that way. That’s because most of us way over-estimate what our league actually is. I can assure you that if you can’t keep a man engaged at a party or are always being shoved aside for other women, then you are not the catch you think you are. Leagues just aren’t about looks or status. Personality and charm play just a big of a role when determining your league. In fact, I’d say that personality is the one determining factor that can bump someone moderately attractive/marginally employed up to a higher league.

You need to work on your personality. You also need to take yourself down a notch or two. Anybody that says outwardly admits that someone “isn’t in their league” is merely trying to hide a bruised ego. You’re offended by the majority of replies you get online. Which I get and understand, as I’ve been in places like that. It is frustrating to get message after message from socially awkward men or guys who fall far outside your search criteria. It makes you wonder (as it should) if this is the best you can do.

The answer, Utterly, is…sorta. You need to take a look at the replies that you get online and get a general idea about what all these men have in common. That, in a nutshell, is your league. It might not look pretty or feel good, but it’s a pretty accurate barometer. You’re next step is to look at what you bring to the table and how you present yourself and figure out what you can tweak in order to change the quality of your responses, online and off. Maybe you need to rewrite your profile or post new photos. Maybe you need to work on your social skills. Maybe you could make some significant changes to your presentation. You’re not going to change the men and what they want. But you can, if you choose or feel you should, make changes about yourself.

The starting point for you is find out what men really think when they meet you and what sort of impression you make.



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59 Responses to “Are Men Attracted to “Nice” Girls?”

  1. P. Says:

    Online dating may not be the best venue for you. While I’m not African-American, I’ve dated AA men, both ones I’ve met online and ones I’ve met in real life, and the online pool isn’t of the same quality, in my opinion. I don’t know why that is — if AA men of a certain income and education level are enough in demand that they don’t use online services, perhaps — but the trick may be for you in figuring out where they hang out otherwise.

    You say you’re shy, and like to read and cook — great hobbies, but very solitary, and domestic, as you’ve described, doesn’t really take you out of the house much. Is there anything that you’re interested in that takes you out of the house to meet new people? A sport or hobby? Maybe find an upscale sports bar and watch the Sunday NFL games. Or check out the local meetups for a wine club or foodie gathering.

    A girlfriend taught me a trick to help get over shyness…resolve to go up to at least five guys and start a conversation. Or you might want to try speed dating — my local speed dating provider has a number of events specifically for people who want to date certain ethnic groups, and even if you don’t meet anyone, talking to that many guys in a short time period will help improve your comfort level with chatting up strangers.

    Once you’ve done it enough in a large group setting, it becomes a lot less intimidating. Basically, you need to take yourself out of your comfort zone more, and provide yourself with many more opportunities to meet new guys.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “resolve to go up to at least five guys and start a conversation.” This is pretty close to what my therapist had me to do work on my social skills. I had to talk to at least one new person per day: introduce myself, ask a few open-ended questions, etc. Not all of them will become friends, but she referred to it as planting seeds: some will grow and some won’t. Then, when that had become comfortable, she had me start calling at least one person per day to go hang out (repeats allowed, but not in the same week). Now I’ve got a weekly pool night going with some guys, another of my new friends holds weekly sessions to teach people how to paint (oils), I got invited to a monthly poker night (I suck, but losing $20 for three or four hours of fun is dirt cheap), and I’m running out of time to fit all the people I like into my social calendar–but I still talk to at least one new person per day, so that I never run out of things to do or people to see. And none of these people would accuse me of being shy, even if that’s still how I see myself inside (but that’s fading).

  2. Saj Says:

    I’ve had quite a few people in my circle who were inter racial couples with a couple of those being black women with white men. The women sounded similar to you where their hobbies were simple and domestic and had artistic and bohemian tastes.

    The men were nerdy and a bit bland looking for my tastes (the women were very cute) but their relationships seemed very happy and successful. These men were also nice normal stable guys lacking in charisma but making up for it in sweetness. I think if the OP is struggling she should start to look past looks a bit and try to go for guys who seem sweet first and foremost and work from there. And noooo chains.

  3. Laura Says:

    I am currently dating a black man and have dated all races, and I’m 28, so I might be able to help you a bit. I used to be awkwardly shy, but worked hard to change it, and now consider myself an outgoing person. The most important thing is practice. Start with smiling at strangers. Make small talk with people at the store. Push yourself to talk to as many different kinds of people as possible in as many different situations. If you’re not sure what to talk about, start with something random you observe about your surroundings and then you can ask them open-ended questions about themselves. Most people love to talk about themselves. The more you practice engaging in conversation, the easier it will get until it just comes naturally.

    As far as your hobbies, cooking is awesome. My boyfriend loves that I can cook and I think most men will see that as a big plus. Yet, you also need to get hobbies that are interesting and give you something to talk about with others. If you like to work out, join a running or adventure group. Join a church if your spirtual. Volunteer organizations are great too. The more varied interests you have, the more interesting you will become. Men love a well rounded woman.

  4. Sarah Clement Says:

    They’re probably stereotyping you due to your race and don’t see you as a viable romantic option in their dating pool , the same way your excluding black men from yours.

    The same Preferences we hold, can sometimes come back and bite us in the ass.

  5. Craig Says:

    Of course men are attracted to nice girls. Does anyone honestly believe we all seek a crazy bitch?
    What men are definitely attracted to are attractive women. All too often people’s impression of themselves and what they can pull tends to be a little shall we say…optimistic. The OP says she’s cute. However cute girls don’t struggle with attracting men. But if we take her at her word that she is indeed cute, then we turn to the other potential dealbreaker for men – her personality.

    The OP admits that when she meets men at parties, she’s always beaten out by other women with better tricks or conversation. So what does that tell us? It tells us it’s time to step up your game girl! Too often women seem to think all they need to do is show up, look cute, and men will do the rest. Not so fast ladies. You all have got to develop some game too. In cities like NYC, just being cute isn’t enough because there are literally millions of hot people here. You need to do more to stand out in the crowd.

    The OP also tells us her interests are mostly related to her career or are domestic – yet her career is female-dominated. Well guess what? Unless you want to become a lesbian, you’d better find some new interests outside your career. Further, she tells us she’s not getting men in her league online. Well time for a reality check. Your league is typcially what you attract. Men will on occasion swing for the fences, but we don’t generally waste our time pursuing women we know we can’t get. If you want a hottie, then you damn sure better be a hottie. Lastly, it’s good that the OP is open-minded about who she will date. Why limit yourself? Your soul-mate may end being someone you never imagined yourself with. But she is limiting her options with her choice of venues. Sounds to me like she wants herself a hipster. That’s fine, but not very many of those come in chocolate I’m afraid. To get the right attention, you have to be what your target audience wants and be where they are. Work on changing yourself so that what you supply meets their demand.

    • dina Says:

      But, haven’t you seen couples where one is good looking and the other is not so good looking and you wonder what does that person see in the other? They don’t always appear to be in the same league.

      Re: on-line, I think undesirable people on-line have a false sense of hope and that gives them a false sense of confidence thinking they can approach, when in real life they know they can’t approach and never would. (But at the same time, being used to being shot down, and expecting it, those guys sometimes do approach anyway.) The boundaries are weaker on-line b/c of a sense of anonymity about it all. Awkward people don’t know better, they will reach out to someone way out of their league b/c they are delusional in the first place.

  6. dimplz Says:

    I think you’re just picky and shy, and that really limits you. I’m picky as well. I’m not black, but I am Hispanic, and I don’t like “homeboys” or “papi chulos” either.

    However, not all Hispanic men (or black men) are homeboys. I suggest changing your surroundings and approaching people more and being more approachable when you are out. That means smiling and laughing until it hurts. I worked with a beautiful girl who looked furious when she wasn’t smiling. We used to ask her what was wrong and she was actually not angry at all. Then she would smile, and she looked gorgeous. A smile goes a long way.

    • dina Says:

      Maybe she’s not picky. Maybe it’s just slim pickin’s. She knows what she’s looking for, she just can’t seem to find it.

      She needs to focus her attention on places where that “target rich environment” exists, like Dr. Phil says.

  7. Gregory A. Butler Says:

    I hate to overgeneralize, but I think that most men are attracted to women who genuinely like men, genuinely like sex, are approachable and are pleasant company. If a woman has those four qualities, everything else is gravy – if she has those four qualities and absolutely nothing else, she’s still an excellent choice.

    A lot more women than would care to admit it are lacking in at least one of those elements.

    On the racially specific elements (I’m an African American male myself so I can comment with some degree of knowledge here) I have to tell you there are a lot more available Black men than you might think. All you have to do to find these brothers is to open your eyes and stop making excuses for why you “can’t” date them.

    First of all, don’t make his fashion choices an obstacle to your happiness. Hip hop culture has been a big part of American life for almost four decades now. Since that culture came out of our community, it’s influence is very strong on many of us, myself included.

    Just because a man wears hip hop gear doesn’t mean he’s a “thug” or a ‘gangsta”, nor does it mean he’s “ignorant”.

    it just means that he’s probably a hip hop head who shows his love for the culture by dressing a certain way.

    The man you overlook because of his chains, baggy jeans and braids might just be a vice president at HBO who graduated from Morehouse.

    Bottom line – don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

    As for dating White men – why not give it a shot?

    There are plenty of great White guys who wouldn’t let something as petty as skin color stand between them and happiness with a special lady.

    You do have to watch out, though.

    There are some White guys who believe all those racist/sexist stereotypes about Black women being insatiable sexually. The only reason they date Black women is to live out those sexual fantasies, they do not and never will see you as relationship material. They only see women of their own race in that way.

    There are also some White guys who might be open-minded racially themselves, but they come from very conservative and/or racist families.

    They might casually date you, or use you as a fuck buddy, but a serious relationship would be out of the question.

    They know that they’d have to deal with a lot of awkwardness, and perhaps even open hostility, at every Thanksgiving, Christmas, family reunion, wedding or funeral. They know that if you and he ever married, many of their relatives might not even come to the ceremony, or would only show up to act the fool and say mean things to you and him.

    They can’t deal with that, so they can’t consider you as relationship material.

    Sad to say, there are still lots of ignoramuses and bigots in this country.

    For people of our race, the bigotry of others still limits our potential dating pool, unfortunately.

    • dimplz Says:

      This is also a two-way street. My best friend’s father is black and her mother is Italian. His family disowned him when he married her, while she grew up with her Italian relatives.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “I think that most men are attracted to women who genuinely like men, genuinely like sex, are approachable and are pleasant company . . . if she has those four qualities and absolutely nothing else, she’s still an excellent choice.
      A lot more women than would care to admit it are lacking in at least one of those elements.”

      I definitely agree that these are essential qualities of attraction that many women are lacking and unaware of. You left out physical attraction, though, which in my opinion is not only essential, but primary. I agree with the rest of your comment.

      As I’ve said before, it is very difficult for women to know their “league” because men of all calibers will approach unattractive women for frivolous relationships and sex. This is a distinct problem for women – one of the few, in my opinion and I sympathize. So much of people’s egos are tied to their attractiveness and women have no reliable way to gauge it. At least guys learn quickly that they’re ghastly and unatttractive (though I suppose some of us don’t always get it quickly either.) The disappointing results some women find online, I think, is a reflection of the harsh reality, that they are not in the league they thought they were since they were little girls and daddy said they were Cinderella. So, I agree with Craig’s comment in similar vein but wanted to point out that it’s not women being stupid and lacking self-awareness, but rather the result of actual differences between men and women in our culture.

      • P. Says:

        This is a very insightful post, DMN. Just to add on, with another issue that we’ve also discussed here…men and women don’t value the same things in a partner, so both genders are handicapped in knowing their league. Women think they deserve a partner of similar education, intelligence and career success, because they care about those things, but may not realize that those things aren’t nearly as important to men when they’re selecting a partner — certainly not as important as physical attraction.

        So even though you might think your league is someone who brings an equivalent amount to the table…you’re often not sitting at the same table.

      • dina Says:

        The problem with on-line is that the caliber of men is not the quality you’d expect. That’s what’s disappointing. On-line accepts everyone who pays the subscription fee. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E. That’s very different then going out to a pub, bar, lounge, restaurant, club, etc. that has a certain caliber of person that attends based on location, price, decor, ambiance, food, drink… it all plays a part. That bad caliber of men on-line includes those who pretend to be players, those who play music, Xbox and drinking games, those who have no games to play and those who are wounded and damaged. The emotionally healthy and mature ones are fewer on-line.

        My advice to the Op would be to focus her time less on-line and more at going out and meeting people in real time.

    • Breebree Says:

      I think men will choose a woman for various reasons…..all depends on the man and it’s an individual choice.
      I’ve know men who married and loved plain, homely type women….thats what they wanted as life partners…now granted they had girlfriends who were out-going and “charming” but the woman they wanted to marry was one who could take care of home.
      Some men are attracted to and choose women who always have drama with them and women who are bitches. I’ve had men tell me they got with women who were bitches because they looked good (men are visual first and foremost) and they had “charisma” and were exciting.
      But personally I would rather someone choose me because they genuinely liked the person I was, as opposed to be having to fake being exciting and worldly and bitchy to get the man and get him and have to continue being someone I’m really not just to Keep Him.
      It’s better in the end to be yourself and be with someone who lets you be yourself 365-24/7.

      • Saj Says:

        I always wondered that. Men will go on and on about how physically attracted they must be yet will have sex and short term relationships with women who they don’t find that hot. If being attracted was so important how is the unhotness while getting down and dirty not super distracting?

        Sex seems to trump attractiveness but she needs to be hot for a relationship and then maybe less hot for marriage if she has other domestic attributes.

        So how is a woman supposed to know her league? Just be a jerk to everyone and see if the guys are still fawning over her and willing to put up with her shit?

        • Craig Says:

          There is nothing more distracting to a man than new pussy. So sex does trump attractiveness – to an extent. We mostly won’t sleep with someone totally ghastly just to have sex, but we will fuck down a few notches from who we’d typically date if it’s an easy enough lay.

          How is a woman supposed to know her league? Recall the most common type who has consistently been attracted to you and really liked you from day one. You’ll know who they are – they likely mostly ended up in your friend zone. Whoever wants to fuck you is not a barometer of your desirability among men. That’s not exactly a high bar, as geting laid isn’t difficult when you’re a woman. Even the most busted woman can pull a decent-looking guy at some point in her life if it’s late enough, he’s drunk enough, and he doesn’t think anyone will find out.

          • dina Says:

            I think someone needs to inform the guys of WHAT LEAGUE THEY ARE IN. Not all girls are pretty and not all guys are handsome, but the plain people still find each other and have relationships. Couples are seldom matched in beauty.

  8. Vox Says:

    I hope this doesn’t come off as mean spirited, but are you overweight, op? “Upscale” black men (as well as most white guys and others who date interracially) do not like fat black women. If you are cute and charming as you say, I’m betting it is a size issue. The further you look up on the socioeconomic ladder, the less often you see overweight to obese women with black men. And as for white guys, well they have their own overweight women to date. I dont think I’ve ever seen a white guy holding hands with an overweight black woman. if I am wrong, I apologize. But there is something missing from your post.

    • loveliee Says:

      I REALLY want to know how you got to the conclusion that she was an overweight black woman from this letter.

      • D Says:

        Because she didn’t mention it. She says she’s cute. I ‘ve met plenty of girls with really cute faces who I nevertheless am not attracted to because of their weight. I will hook up with a fit girl and so-so-face more often than the other way around.

      • Vox Says:

        Well it’s got to be something, right? She said she is cute, smart and has a great personality. I’m sure that if she were slim or fit, she would have added her body to her list of assets. Since when does a cute 27 year old woman have such a hard time dating? Look, I am sure “hang in there” and “it’s bad luck” or whatever is a nice thing to hear, but it sounds to me like the OP needs to reassess her dating league. If she is fat, she isn’t going to get what she considers to be a prized man of any race. ESPECIALLY not of other races than her own, because again, they all have their own big girls to date. (exception would be black men with fat white women, but that’s often an issue of status dating, another topic altogether.) What I am saying may be harsh, but it’s true.

        • Breebree Says:

          Vox your way off….she may not be fat but she may be thick…..plenty of men loooove big full figured women…I agree with Moxie in that personality matters a lot and you do have to be somewhat aggressive.
          I feel like I attract men of all races, ages, and colors because I am a people person and good conversationalist and can chat up anyone, any age, about practically anything and I’m a good active listener.
          I’m far from skinny but not necessarily fat either. I’m no beauty queen but definitely confident and know and own my assets.
          I have a cousin who would be considered fat. She gets as much (sometimes more) male attention than me.
          My best friend is a former model and gorgeous and we’ve been out and I’ve gotten more male attention than she has simply because of my personality.
          People in general notice and are drawn to folks with personality.
          Oprah Winfrey is far from beautiful….but everyone loves her because of her ability to talk to and relate to people.
          Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres aren’t the most beautiful women but they are bright and funny and out-going and I’m sure people noticed them before they were famous because of their sparkling personalities.
          By the same token though everyone is not out-going and personable and sparkling all the time… this woman should not pretend to be that if she’s not just to get a man.
          She should be herself and be confident that the right man will notice her and be drawn to her.
          Sometimes opposites attract… she may meet a man who is funny, out-going, and personable who may pick her out of a crowd because she is the only nice quiet girl.
          Never know….only time will tell.

          • Vox Says:

            The OP didn’t write in because she doesn’t get male attention. She wrote in because she isn’t getting attention from the types of men she in particular wants. I don’t care if you use want to call it “fat” or “thick” or “chubby” or “overweight” or “pleasantly plump” or whatever, because at the end of the day she isn’t here because she cares about the terminology. She is here because she can’t get a man and would like to rectify that.

            If the types of men she wants does not like “thick” women, it means she is shit out of luck and that’s that. Time to face reality. So it goes for everyone; very few of us can land what we consider a 10. She is better off facing the facts now – if I’m even right, as of course we don’t know that – than to wait until she is 40 years old and still wondering “Will I ever find The One?” She needs to accept a man who likes “Rubenesque” women instead of blowing them off as being out of her league, while she pines for a Grover-bodied busy bearded hipster.

            Maybe it isn’t a weight issue, but it is a something issue… and it isn’t her race.

            • Christina Says:

              I thought it was pretty clear that the OP does have some personality issues. She’s shy and isn’t a very good conversationalist. I’ve seen plenty of cute, slim girls not get much attention from men because they have a “wallflower” personality. Now, if she IS overweight, that will make it even harder. As others have pointed out, sometimes weight issues can be trumped by a sparkly personality.

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            “plenty of men loooove big full figured women” No, we don’t. There are a (very) few “chubby chasers” out there, but most men in affluent cultures prefer thin women–all other things being equal. The guys you see with “thick” women believe they don’t have any better options–either because they’re not so great themselves or because those women has other redeeming qualities that make up for their size.

    • Breebree Says:

      Vox if no man liked overweight women then no full figured women would be married.
      And plenty of women gain lots of weight after having babies and so do you think men should divorce their wives if they go from a size 6 to a 16 after 10 plus years of marriage and 2 or 3 children?????
      And as far as black men I personally know many slim built black men who like, date, and marry, full figured women, especially caribbean and african men. I’m a size 12 which is not necessarily fat but not small and skinny either and I’ve had nicely built white men flirt with me and want to date me.
      Everybody’s likes, dislikes, wants, and desires are different when it comes to attraction.
      I know twins who have totally different tastes in the opposite sex.

      • Vox Says:

        Plenty of men like overweight women! It’s only a problem with overweight women don’t like those same men in return. The OP stated that the men who ask her out are well outside of her league… I am saying that they most likely aren’t.

        I keep getting men that are not even remotely in my league. They only want sex or they wear gold chains and baggy clothes.

        She judges and dismisses men based solely on appearances… and yet it is does not seem likely to you that she is simply getting the same treatment that she is dishing out? “What goes around comes around” is a tiresome cliche, but it has been repeated so often for good reason.

      • D Says:

        A lot of overweight women who are married put on the weight *after* they got married. (Men too.)

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “plenty of women gain lots of weight after having babies” Yep, usually because they’re married and no longer feel they have to be attractive to men because they “caught” one. Most of the single mothers I know worked their asses off to get back in shape after they had their kids; there are inevitable changes, but most of them look as good as they did before they got pregnant. And many married women do the same.

        “do you think men should divorce their wives if they go from a size 6 to a 16 after 10 plus years of marriage and 2 or 3 children?” Asking what “should” people do is irrelevant; what matters is the reality that many, many men do divorce their wives for getting fat–or they just cheat on them until the wife finally divorces them.

  9. Cricri Says:

    I read that post and wondered if I had posted it in my sleep. I have basically the same story as the OP and also am an AA late 20s woman. My wake up call was that I realized quickly that hanging out at my female-dominated school and work place was going to get me nowhere near what I want ie. a husband for Christmas. Ok, joke aside, I had to change all my patterns and become a social animal. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired from work or what not, I would go to all social events I was invited to and actually also initiate some of them. With Facebook, it’s become so easy to gather 4,5 buddies for Happy Hour once a week, rotating between friends in order to keep up with work and romantic life and see what prospects are out there. It’s actually during one of those HH I organized ( where oddly enough only male friends showed up- Success??!!), that a guy friend told me that the women he was interested in had to bring a certain level of drama. Not drama in the bipolar sense as we know it, but some intrigue, curiosity and some “up for anythingness”. Interesting fact I would have never heard coming from a female friend, busy as we all are trying to be drama free with our cats and knitting. I was never shy before in groups but it actually reinforced me in not being afraid in sharing my opinions, impressions and feelings with people and trying to connect with them, not letting them connect with me only.
    Also, one thing to consider is clothing choice. Sounds trivial, but nice girls ( me) sometimes think their beauty will shine through no matter what they wear. Sure, but do not hesitate to show whatever asset you have. Anything to improve your odds.

    Regarding the quality of men online, I confirm, it hasn’t been very successful either. I also get the chains and CAPS SANS GRAMMAR format. I realize that it may be that we look like the upgrade for those guys but I suspect they wouldn’t want a relationship with someone they can’t relate to. I know better than trying to change someone into something they’re not and find it disrespectful for any parties. So needless to say, I do not put any stock in that medium.

    Just work on attracting the type of friends you want to make, creating the type of milieu you want to evolve in, it should increase your odds of meeting someone close to your ideal partner. Good Luck

  10. Breebree Says:

    To UtterlyClueless I would say be patient and don’t make too much of a big fuss over it.
    There is someone for everyone. There is a man who will love you to death just the way you are.
    That’s the key. Because you don’t want to be someone your not or your not comfortable being just to get a man. Keep being yourself and keep improving on yourself and you will attract the right man just for you.
    When you find someone who loves and accepts you just as you are then you will truly be happy because you will be with someone who gives you the freedom to be who you are and who will naturally bring out the best in you….

    • Angeline Says:

      Yes OP, by all means certainly keep doing the things that have made you so dissatisfied with the results that you write a dating columnist for help. Stay just the same as you are, but also improve yourself. Do nothing to change your odds or your outlook, just be patient.

      This is terrible advice, OP. If your friends are saying stuff like this, quit asking them for advice. Listen to Moxie’s advice about making sure you’re all that, and practicing your relating skills, changing up your limited activities and venues (which are just about guaranteed to lead to limited, stilted and stifling conversation with a man). Taking the step to ask for advice is smart and brave. Best of luck to you.

    • Vox Says:

      There is someone for everyone. There is a man who will love you to death just the way you are.

      But if he is wearing baggy jeans and a gold chain, she will reject him before she gets a chance to experience his love. Why does she deserve to be loved to death just the way she is, but the men who approach her don’t deserve love if they dress in a way she doesn’t like? How can you go on about accepting overweight women, while ignoring rejecting a man who wears the wrong style of pants?

  11. joe-f Says:

    As fellow New Yorker, I feel this not a city where you can sit back and let things fall on your lap. You really have to make an effort to get the things you want whether-it is the apt, the reservation at the sought after restaurant or a mate. Everyone’s advice to get out of your shell is spot-on.

    Guys are simple creatures. We start by going after the hot girls but when we get older and wiser, we realize the ones who make the best girlfriends are not necessarily the hottest ones we could get. Like you, we want to be with women who are excited to be with us. The other women aren’t using some tricks or conversational skills to get us. We are made aggressive. If you show interest, we will carve a way to your door.

  12. D Says:

    I like the advice about vulnerability. I’ve found that being vulnerable works for me as well The trick in conversation is to break out of the usual patterns. On dates I’ll sometimes say “Can we skip the small-talk interview part? I hate that part of dating. I’d rather do big talk instead.”

    Then ask something like “When’s the last time you laughed so hard water came out your nose?” Or even “when’s the last time you cried?”

    I have a ready answer to both of those questions. It’s a little game-y as a tactic, but it results in a more authentic conversation.

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      If my ex had been able to display a bit of vulnerability we might still be together. Showing a bit of vulnerability can melt a mans heart. Being self-sufficient and emotionally controlled is attractive at the beginning, but having to always be in control is corrosive to the man’s sense of being needed.

      Also, showing vulnerability takes real confidence. Very sexy.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    “Your league is typcially what you attract.”

    Variables can skew these results though. When you put yourself on an online dating site, you’re opening yourself up to all kinds of people. People of all ages, sizes, and what not. Anybody can easily send a wink and not care if anything happens after that.

    As far as the replies that she’s getting are the best she can do, I wouldn’t be too quick to assume. Most people are looking for THE man/woman and not the hundreds of people that contact them. While I’m not saying that you should be extremely picky, the people that respond to you don’t have to be the people that you settle for.

    If you’re not happy with what you’re attracting, spice it up a bit as moxie said. Work on self-growth or change the venues you attend. Put yourself out there. Show up. Doing the same thing over and over again won’t give you results.

    • joe-f Says:

      “the people that respond to you don’t have to be the people that you settle for. ”

      The issue of leagues has been a meaningful issue for me. Given most of us put our best foot forward in dating profiles, online dating has become one-dimensional of looks. In real life, I think we have one league for looks, one for personality and one for career. You might be a hot stud who hits women but earns millions. As a result, we easily dismiss those who are great in personality and/or career when dating online.

      So I don’t think your league are people who contact you online but rather who you can date and who commit to you in real life because only in real life do you see the whole package.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Joe, I agree. Your league is better assessed with who has committed to you in the past and not just by the random people that show interest.

        People also may not be in areas where their type is showing up. I know what it’s like to work in a female dominated field and live in an area where there are mostly families. So, that’s why I joined moxie’s speed dating events haha!

    • Saj Says:

      I swear the people who have approached me in person were far more bizarre and unattractive then who I was able to score dates with online. Which seems opposite of what others deal with. I blame it on being utterly unapproachable and grumpy and or stoned looking rather then being hideous.

      That weird socially awkward guy at your work with an unpleasant personality who actually insulted you during your last conversation? Yup that’s who was asking me out. At every job. The predator looking for an easy mark? Yup. That cute guy who your friend SWEARS likes you because he told her and wants to go out but never actually makes the move. Nope always the weirdos.

      Online. Oh attractive, intelligent, polite would you like to go out? Sure!

      Leagues are screwy so I don’t really buy the who asks you out offline or online is the best you can do. You’ll get ALL sorts who ask you out of all desirable or undesirable personality traits. I say try to get a general idea of what “personality” you like and aim a couple of points lower then what you think you “deserve” and start from there. Being humble is good during a dry spell. Then hey you may get lucky and find that guy with the personality your drawn to who is actually easy on the eyes because now your confidence is up a bit.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Saj-I don’t agree with the whole leagues idea either, as I’ve seen couples that break the stereotype.

        My opinion is if you’re attractive …you’re bound to get approached by creeps and weirdos. Our vibes do definitely stop the right people from approaching us. If we look too serious, if we look busy, if we look anxious, if we’re in a hurry…..we may not realize if we’re coming off as warm, personable and approachable. Being approached isn’t just limited to how you look.

        • Vox Says:

          How can you tell just by looking at them, that a couple isn’t in the same league? Do you think it’s only about looks?

          • Anonymous Says:

            To be honest, I’m not sure what people exactly mean by league, but moxie clarified it wasn’t just about looks. There are couples that I know personally where people would say “I can’t believe he/she is dating him/her.” Yet, these couples are happy with each other.

  14. Christina Says:

    OP, I’m like you in a lot of ways (though not AA). I’m naturally very shy, and the first thing everyone says about me is “nice.” I’m also reasonably attractive, though not beautiful by any means. At some point, I realized that I needed to step up my game if I wanted to meet quality guys. I got over the shyness- this is really just insecurity and not at all hard-wired. It takes some practice and spending a lot of time out of your comfort zone, but the payoff is so worth it. You’ll find yourself having a lot more fun. Since I did this in my twenties, I never again had problems meeting quality men.

    Conversational skills can be learned as well. Part of that is simply learning how to be a good listener. I always recommend Dale Carnegie’s, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” an oldie but goodie. It also helps to have at least one or two interests you can talk to guys about. This was relatively easy for me, since I enjoy current events and military history. Once you learn to be better at conversation in general though, you’ll find that it’s easy to talk about a lot of different topics with just about everyone.

    As Moxie said, just being “nice” isn’t enough. There are a lot of guys who want a nice woman, but they also want her to be at least minimally attractive and interesting. It sounds like you have what it takes; you just need to put out some more effort.

  15. nathan Says:

    The biggest thing I get from her letter is that her life revolves around a small circle of areas. It seems like it might be helpful to do some different things. Start a new hobby. Go different places with friends. Step out of the comfort zone a bit.

  16. dina Says:

    I think everyone knows their “league”. Their league is the relationships they choose to pursue. Not those who choose to approach you on-line — you can’t control other people, especially in cyber world.

    To the Op… Don’t let other people project their insecurities on to you, especially homely looking women — they are always jealous of cute girls who are always getting attention from guys, while they are always being overlooked. I’m sure you can hold a guys attention just fine. Some guys behave like a kid in a candy store, especially when other girls may want to steal some of his attention when he’s chatting it up with another female. And don’t worry, haven’t you been the girl who all the guys were trying to chat up and get some of your attention at the same time? Yes.

    Remember, if you are cute, you will always be cute. Pretty faces never change.

    • Vox Says:

      Remember, if you are cute, you will always be cute. Pretty faces never change.

      Are you kidding? That isn’t true at all. ALL faces change. EVERYONE gets less attractive over time. Fact is, the OP is about to start her downward slide in the looks department. That is why I think it is time for her to reassess her shallow views of the men who approach her. The selection will get worse as she becomes less attractive. She can get a boost in standing now by upgrading her body at this point, but her face is about to start the slide downward. Setting aside making a body change, the best of what she can get right now is far better than the best of what she will be able to get at 35.

      • dina Says:

        No, I’m not kidding. Good looking people remain good looking for life, as long as they take care of themselves and stay in shape. A person has to have an attractive face, you have to look at the person. If their face is a turn-off who cares if they have a nice body. Of course, as a person gets older they’re not going to continue to look 25, but I’ve seen many attractive people above that age, and they were good looking back in the day and continue to be.

        Some people are better than average looking. MOST are average. And the others are less than average. Just based on that… the average and less than average out number the better looking. So obviously, anyone less than what we deem as attractive (if we’ve been affected by the media and advertising even in the slightest way) is going to pale by comparison. We all do it.

        “the best of what she can get right now is far better than the best of what she will be able to get at 35″. that’s probably true, b/c the selection is going to be comprised mostly of the “average and less than” groups.

        Calling someone shallow is fine, as long as you realize you realize you’re probably just as shallow. When you approach a girl aren’t you approaching her b/c of her appearance? Hmmm? Right? So who’s being shallow now? You or the girl who turns you away. I’m sure there were plenty of girls you turned away too b/c their appearance didn’t appeal to you.

        It works both ways.

        • Vox Says:

          I am curious – why are you so sure I am a man?

          • dina Says:

            i am not sure you are a man, i just assumed you are from the position you took.

            maybe you’re an unattractive bitter woman who has no looks and now wants to put other women in the same ugly boat as you’re in.

            maybe you’re a man who approaches women out of his league, gets turned away and then takes the position that women need to lower their expectations and “has to reassess her shallow views on men who approach her”. maybe it’s the men who need to step up their game and quit pretending that the women need to do all the work — quit acting like coy women. that “shortage” of men we keep hearing about isn’t gonna give an ugly guy a chance with a woman out of his league. if he gets shot down it’s b/c he’s not appealing to the woman he’s approaching. obviously an attractive woman isn’t about to sacrifice what she’s looking for just to be with some guy who simply shows up.

            pretty girls are hit on all the time no matter their age. she’ll accept the advances of someone in her league… it’s just a matter of being at the place that has the caliber of people she wants to meet.

            • Vox Says:

              I am a 41 year old single African American female who spent almost 20 years with a career in an artsy, white collar industry which is extremely dominated by well educated women. (I only left 3 months ago, did a major shift) I get where this woman truly is – as it relates to dating, as well as a variety of other issues that you most certainly don’t understand and never will.

              While I am divorced and not a never-married, I also know what is coming for this gal if she wants to turn her nose down at men who like her now in the hopes that her dream boat comes along. Dating at this stage of the game is not even close to what it was when I was her age; I can imagine that if I were pining for marriage, it would be quite horrible. I am giving her the straight dope here unlike your ridiculous, Pollyanna approach. “Don’t worry you will always be cute” is total crap and does not help her.

              I am giving her the truth, information that will really help her. Here it is in a nutshell. OP, if you can make a radical shift in yourself which might better attract the type of man you want, do it now. If there is no shift for you to make, time to come back to reality about who you can attract. “Just be yourself” is fine if you are willing to accept the men who like you as you are. If you can’t accept them, then you have to change. The other choice is, hold on to your principles and be willing to be alone. Make up your mind now, because trust me, you don’t want to be a single white-collar black woman in her late 30s or older who is looking for a husband. The pickens will be way more slim than you possibly can imagine. (And hell, in 5 more years all the men you see now are going to be dressing differently anyway. The hipsters, the hip hop dudes, they are all going to be dressing in less flashy attire in a little while anyway. )

              • dina Says:

                “I am giving her the truth, information that will really help her. Here it is in a nutshell. OP, if you can make a radical shift in yourself which might better attract the type of man you want, do it now. If there is no shift for you to make, time to come back to reality about who you can attract. “Just be yourself” is fine if you are willing to accept the men who like you as you are. If you can’t accept them, then you have to change. The other choice is, hold on to your principles and be willing to be alone. Make up your mind now, because trust me, you don’t want to be a single white-collar black woman in her late 30s or older who is looking for a husband. The pickens will be way more slim than you possibly can imagine. (And hell, in 5 more years all the men you see now are going to be dressing differently anyway. The hipsters, the hip hop dudes, they are all going to be dressing in less flashy attire in a little while anyway. ”

                i like the advice you’re giving the Op, it is a hard look at reality from someone with the perspective of having been there or passed through it. however, what you’re asking her to do is very difficult. radical shifts go against someone’s nature. and accepting the baggy jeans and all that other stuff that comes along with it is not her style or speed. it goes beyond the baggy jeans, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of being, it’s a way of thinking. every stereotype out there (for every culture and ethnicity) is under the same scrutiny. every woman who is approached by that expected stereotype is going to come up against that same sinking feeling. we all know our own people, we know what we don’t like about them and you can’t hold that against someone.

                so, you have to realize that the pickin’s aren’t good now, if they were good, we wouldn’t be discussing this. yeah, they are not good at her younger age group. they may not be good later either in her older age group when she gets there, but what you’re suggesting is that she settle. that’s never a good feeling.

              • dina Says:

                and yes, she will always be cute b/c pretty faces don’t change.

                and i gave you the first “like” just so you know.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “I think everyone knows their “league”. Their league is the relationships they choose to pursue.”

      So, I choose to be in a relationship with Angelina Jolie. Therefore, she is in my league. This is so cool! Wish someone had told me this before. Talk about a kid in a candy store….. who knew it was all about ME!

      • dina Says:

        If Angelina Jolie and you were dating, and you decided to pursue a relationship with her and she back, then Yes, you’re in the same league. But if one of you decide not to pursue a relationship for whatever reason, then you part ways.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    ” you can’t control other people, especially in cyber world.”

    That’s a great way to put it.

  18. nathan Says:

    “EVERYONE gets less attractive over time. ” This simply isn’t true, unless you are using youthful appearance as the sole marker of attractiveness. Which is certainly a problem Americans seem to have. There are plenty of attractive older people out there, if you just bother to pay attention and shift what it means to be attractive.

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