Question: I’ve never had a relationship longer than 2 months. When I was younger it wasn’t big deal to me, but now it’s getting frustrating. About myself, looks wise I want to say I’m higher than average, I’m in shape, very feminine, and I have a great job in sales, this translates me to having great communication skills and can carry on a conversation with anyone without dominating the conversation. I typically never have a problem getting a first date, second date or even third. However getting past that is hard with someone I genuinely think I could see myself with. Obviously, I realize I’m the common factor here. I’ve thought of 3 things I’m thinking could be the issue, but I’m wondering if there is something you can give me insight in that I’m not seeing.
1. I’m terrible at the playing hard to get. When I think someone is equally interested in me I get really excited and start to text them as much as I would a good friend and I text a lot. I think this over eagerness sometimes might be scaring guys off.
2. I’m really bad about jumping into bed with people on the 2nd or 3rd date. Sometimes I wonder if I had waited longer and made sure there was a deeper connection maybe they would have respected me more to want to develop a relationship with me.
3. I’m not sure I’m dating the right type of guys. I usually date guys much older than myself. The youngest guy I’ve dated in awhile is 30, but usually they are in their mid-30s. I like to think I’m attracted to the older guys because they are more stable and in a place I don’t feel like many people my age are, but I am. I also pick guys who I don’t feel like would be up to my standards (intellectually, education, job, multiple kids), but I like to give them a chance. I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt and usually my gut about those guys was correct to begin with.
Are any of these a giant red flag that I shouldn’t be doing? Or maybe you’ve picked up on it being something completely different I haven’t even figured out yet. I just want to start dating again, but I want to do it better and more successfully. Thank you.
Before I answer your questions, I wanted to include a posting in a list serv I belong to called Help a Reporter. The gist of the list serv is that writers post story and article ideas and ask for feedback and contributions from writers, experts and lay people. Here’s one post that was in yesterday’s newsletter:
I’m writing an article for Match.com’s Happen mag about the
two-month mark as a relationship milestone that many
relationships just can’t make it past. What is it about the
8-week point that can bring on the fizzling of interest?
The first thing you should know is that your experience is not atypical. The two-month mark appears to be the norm nowadays. With all the options out there, people don’t have to commit as quickly, if at all. Many men and women actually like dating multiple people and casually dating. It works for them. The simple reason why it’s harder to find a man to commit is because there are fewer men willing to or interested in committing. If women continue to look for those needles in the haystack, they need to understand that that search is going to take much, much longer than they originally expected. If it’s commitment they want, and they’re dating on a schedule, they best get comfortable with the idea of “settling.”
Now, as for the three points you mentioned might be working against you.
Whether you text “too much” is subjective. I don’t know how these men are responding or the frequency of their responses. As a general rule of thumb, I don’t prolong text conversations and pay attention to cues. If his responses are clipped or delayed, I keep the conversation short and sweet. If he seems as engaged as I do, then I just enjoy the back and forth. Typically, though, I save most communication for when we’re together or on the phone. I do think it’s wise to be a little less available. There’s no harm in maintaining some mystery. Don’t let the guy know you’re hooked. You can let him know you’re interested. Just don’t play your hand too soon and let him know you’re ga ga.
As for the sex….that’s probably not an issue either. The idea that a man likes a challenge and will lose interest if you sleep with him too soon is a fallacy developed by women and insecure men. The more accessible women make sex, the less valuable it becomes in the dating market place. That means that sex is no longer the bargaining chip or “prize” that can be used to get certain behavior from men. Hence why so many women are trying to poison the well by telling women they need to keep their legs closed or risk never finding a manz. The idea of a “deep connection” and wanting to be recognized for “sharing your body” are romantic notions also manufactured by women. In other words, most men don’t think like that. So unless you’re attaching inordinate expectations to the sex, the sex itself isn’t the problem either. As long as you’re not romanticizing the act of having sex with a man and aren’t using it to gain something other than pleasure, you’re fine.
Your third point is more troubling. You’re admitting that you choose inappropriate men, yet you’re confused as to why these men aren’t sticking around. They’re not sticking around because they aren’t appropriate for you. Sure, you might think that they are more on your level in terms of stability and education. But they likely don’t feel the same about you. If anything, they’re dating you because you’re not mature enough. We’ve discussed this before. Men don’t look too closely at a woman’s earning potential or education level when trying to determine compatibility. Those things fall pretty low on the list of priorities. You’re fun to hang out with and bang for a few months. Ultimately, the difference in maturity levels and lifestyles become too apparent to them. If they’re looking for someone to be the mother to their children, that driven career woman side of you is a negative. They’d rather find someone who wouldn’t mind putting their career on hold for a few years. So they’ll settle down with a woman who has already achieved a certain level of professional success or someone with no real career aspirations.
I think you’re biggest challenge is your ego and what you think you deserve. I think you tend to see yourself with a specific type of person. Someone who you feel is on your level. The problem is that most of the men you appear to pursue don’t find any of the things you find important as important. To them, you’re pretty much just a hot 23 year old. You’re fun for awhile, but then they find someone they can take seriously.
My advice is to start dating men who are more appropriate for you and get a clear understanding of what men consider important and attractive. Your diploma, job, apartment, etc are pretty much irrelevant to these men. You also need to understand, especially amongst the men you tend to gravitate towards, that commitment isn’t a priority. Either accept the fact that you’re going to be part of a harem or readjust your expectations as to what you “deserve.” And PS? You can develop your own harem, you know. Men did not corner the market on that idea. You’re 23 and really attractive. Jesus. Work it. Enjoy it. You can date a handful of guys that each meet a specific need. Just understand that if settling down and having kids is a priority, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices and compromises eventually.