How Come None of The Guys She Likes Likes Her Back?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Webgirlo-BAD-DATE-facebook

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Comment: I keep coming across “dating out of your league” here and I have a question – how do you know what league you are in?

I lived in a smallish town for the last 10 years, a town that is called “LA of Canada”, with big cars, blonde hair and push-up bras a norm on the streets and petit brunettes like me don’t get any attention.

I have now moved to Montreal and I get checked out every time I walk into a coffee shop (I am in my early 40s, fit, small, short hair, look a bit younger). So I’ve started to perk up and a sense of “my league” had risen together with it – that is until I went to a speed dating event with me marking down 5 decent looking dudes, with whom I had a normal, fluent enough 4 minute conversation, all appearing to be in their late 30s with… sigh.. no matches. So now I am confused. Every time I go to an event, there is a guy materializing beside me, invariably in his mid-fifties or older and who I consider to be too old for me.

So, what is “my league|? How do I find it? I’ve been married, had a few serious boyfriends and I was physically attracted to them all obviously, but as I get older, “my league” is getting kinda fuzzy or unachieveable and I am not quite sure what to do about this? Go out with somebody I don’t feel like kissing? Is it even possible to downgrade your looks expectations?
Age: 42
City: MONTREAL
State: QUEBEC

 

I don’t understand why men and women always jump to the worst case scenario when they topic of setting your sights a little lower comes up. That response is actually quite telling. It makes me think that these people expect to experience some kind of immediate and intense physical attraction when they meet potential mates. Maybe that’s the core of the problem.

Nobody ever said that people should forgo physical attraction when they’re advised to date within their league. I don’t know why so many people interpret the advice to stop dating out of your league in that way. All that is being suggested is that, if you want a relationship, go for people with fewer options.

I am not at all surprised that all the men you selected at that speeddating event didn’t select you. You’re going for men 4-5 years younger than yourself. Of course they aren’t going to be interested. Sorry if that seems blunt or misogynistic, but it really should be common sense. They have more options than you do. Ergo, they are out of your league.

I can tell you for a fact that men are not the only ones who refuse to date women their own age. At least 80% of my female profile review clients over 37 select a preferred age range that skews almost 5-7 years younger to only 2-3 years older. And, in every instance, the reason for that is that they want someone “active.”

Nope. You want someone younger because you’re not comfortable with your own age or have deluded yourself into believing you look younger than you do. Full stop. Cut the bullshit.

In those cases, I tell both my male and female clients that they need to select a more appropriate age range. They can contact anybody they like, but they should present themselves in a way that doesn’t give anybody pause. A preferred age range that that skews inordinately younger than older will absolutely get you branded as delusional or insanely picky. If you insist upon listing a preferred age range that is 5-7 years younger, then make sure you select an max cap age range that is 5-7 years older, too. Yes, you might get messages from people you won’t date. At least you won’t be handing the people you do want to meet a reason not to contact you.

People need to ask themselves why their “type” is so rigid. Why will you only date guys 6 feet tall or over? Why will you only date women with a certain body type? There are a lot of things that clog our filters when it comes to finding a partner. Much of what we are drawn to is determined by messages and biases that we have internalized throughout our life.

Webgirl, the first thing you need to do is cut back your exposure to an audience that is out of your reach. My suggestion is to stop searching for profiles of men who are younger than you. You should also cease attending events where you fall at the higher end of the age range. The ideal speeddating event for you would be one with an age range of 40-50 or 45-55. Don’t go to parties or events for the 30’s crowd. Stop torturing yourself. This goes for men as well. There really is nothing more uncomfortable to watch at a speeddating event than someone obviously well outside of the stated age range trying to hit on people a good 10+ years younger than them. People sign up for those events to meet someone within the listed age parameters. If you fall more than a couple years older or younger, that event is not for you.

More pressing, Webgirl, is your hesitation to date men who are older than you. I can understand not wanting to date someone in their mid-fifites. That’s a different generation and so you won’t have as much in common with them. But you should absolutely be looking at men in their late forties and early fifties. You want to go for men that want you, not men that you’ll have to struggle to keep interested.

As for how you determine your league, I have said this numerous times…what you reasonably pull with little drama or effort is your league. Once you figure out who isn’t in your league, it’s a lot easier to determine who is.

I’ve found that many people try to shoot out of their league in an attempt to prove something to themselves or because their taste hasn’t matured from a time when they could reasonably pull those people.  This isn’t about a hot or not score, nor is it about being shallow. Everybody jumped on LISD in this post and said his weight was his biggest challenge. Wrong. While losing weight will certainly widen his net considerably, his biggest hurdle is being attracted to people who don’t return that attraction. Plenty of people who carry extra weight or who aren’t 6 feet tall or who won’t be gracing the cover of a magazine any time soon find partners that they adore. Why?

Because they accept and embrace their audience and are completely comfortable with who they are.

Start there, Webgirl.

 

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34 Responses to “How Come None of The Guys She Likes Likes Her Back?”

  1. Fyodor Says:

    “I don’t understand why men and women always jump to the worst case scenario when they topic of setting your sights a little lower comes up.”

    They do it to create a strawman to knock down so that they don’t have to confront their pickiness. “I can’t date someone who is ugly and revolting-how can you ask that of me”

    It is telling in your article about unequal financial contributions, wives that make more of their husbands, so many women responded by explaining why they couldn’t date someone unemployed or unmotivated. Only a small percentage of men make 100K a year, and most of those who don’t are employed and hardworking. But it’s easier to crap on the unemployed then confront your own status-conscious preferences.

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    • Fyodor Says:

      This isn’t to say that men don’t have as many or more shallow preferences as women,but you are less likely see them coming up with these types of arguments to make their preferences seem justified and necessary.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14

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      • Bree Says:

        No, men will just say it’s “biology” and “natural” for them to prefer younger women because they are “hard-wired” to breed “young fertile” females.

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        • Nicole Says:

          And there are plenty of women who use the biology argument to explain their preferences in men… Saying we’re wired to seek out a good provider or someone who can protect us to justify wanting a rich, tall guy.

          Everyone’s entitled to want what they want. But it does get really tiresome when people cry “biology” or “chemistry” to justify unreasonable expectations. The only people I ever hear saying this are the ones who can’t find or keep the kind of partner they want.

          People shouldn’t feel like they need an excuse – or a scientific explanation – for their preferences. They just need to realize that they might need to improve some things about themselves or compromise in other areas to get the hot young girl or 6’4″ investment banker.

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  2. coffeestop Says:

    I don’t see men in their early 50’s as being too old for the OP who is in her early 40’s. She has decided that herself but if that is who she is getting attention from she could broaden her age horizons and see if she actually likes one of them. It would seem easier to get dates with people who are actually interested in you. I am older than OP and I would date somebody ten years older. I think OP needs to evaluate how her preferences are limiting her.

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  3. coffeestop Says:

    OP said mid 50’s and I said early 50’s so there is a discrepancy, I still think she needs to be more flexible.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

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    • Julie Says:

      If she isnt attracted to the mid-50s guys, she isnt attracted. I dont find any 80 year olds attractive and the fact that some 25 year old girls think Hugh Heffner is a catch does nothing for me.

      If the OP is really hell bent on dating younger, what about cougar/cub events? Otherwise, its time to go for some kind of happy medium. If she doesnt think she looks old then presumably she doesnt think guys her age look old. Maybe feeling out guys her own age is a reasonable starting point?

      As far as a 42 year old woman going to 30-something speed dating events….ohhhh, please dont. It just comes across as creepy.

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      • mindstar Says:

        I assume that the cougar-cub events are really just for hooking up (never been to one I’m more of a sabertooth myself) and that webgirl is looking for something more long term.

        Agreed she should certainly look at guys her age and older

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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  4. bbdawg Says:

    Yeah also the OP needs to realize that men in their late 30s with no kids might be holding out for a woman who can give him a kid or two. I’d say the OP could focus on men 46-52 and have better luck getting dates. Because in dating it’s worthwhile going on dates even with people that aren’t “ideal” on paper because you just never know.

    If the OP continues to seek younger men – especially men in their 30s – she may eventually find one who might have some good times with her, but will promptly leave her for someone younger before making an exclusive commitment to her. Yes there are exceptions, and they are called exceptions for a reason. 42-year old Sofia Vergara and her super hot 37-year-old fiancé? Are you as hot and as rich Sofia Vergara? Because you need to have A LOT to offer to a man with lots of options. At this point, you’d be swimming against the current, even if you’re attractive.

    Seriously. Men in their mid-to-late 30s are in high demand and can pretty pick from women 28-35+ and above. It is what it is.

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  5. Snowflake Says:

    I have always been attracted to guys that are older than me. Yes I agree getting some attention from a younger guy is nice and it helps my ego, but when it always comes to dating, I have always picked guys at least 3 – 5 years older to start. I am 37 and my range is typically 39 – 46, anything older and I won’t have anything in common with them. As for younger, the lowest I have gone is 1 year maybe 2, anything younger and I have nothing in common with them, life experience, etc. It is true, younger guys have a wider net to select from and I am far off their radar, as they are off mine.

    I will take maturity over youth any day, its my personal preference however it has always worked for me.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      You see it most strongly in high school. Girls will happily date older boys, and virtually never younger boys, as if it’s shameful to have a younger boyfriend.

      At that age, most boys don’t really care about the age of their girlfriend.

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  6. jane Says:

    I think its less about lowering your sights and more about aiming for equality. Human nature is to want to get a ‘prize’. We all aim just slightly higher than ourselves, but you definitely need to keep your own offering in perspective. Aim too high, and even in you get your prize, you’ll struggle to keep it and feel worthy of it. Aim too low and you’ll be bored and unsatisfied. Ideally I think you want someone who is a bit of a prize to you in some ways, and you also have some things to offer the other person that makes you a prize in other ways. This is why the older richer men work with younger attractive women – they both have something that is a high value prize to the other. So figure out what your main prize is going to be, and work on finding the men who are attractive to you but also going to value your main assets.

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  7. Yvonne Says:

    I’ve dated quite a few younger men. Sometimes they can be more open to dating older women than the older guys who often are looking for someone much younger. While it’s true that younger men may have more options, there are also more of them who are single than there are older men.

    If the speed-dating event is geared towards the under-40 crowd that might not be an ideal place to meet them. If she does want to meet younger men, she could try activity groups as well.

    However, there’s a big gap between men in their late-30s and those in their mid-fifties or older. That leaves a whole range of men in their forties for Webgirl to date. She says that that invariably much older men are hitting on her at events. How does she know for certain how old these men are at first meeting? Perhaps they are closer to her age than she thinks?

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    • josh Says:

      Younger guys who date older women do it because they are almost a guarantee on easy sex and they don’t have to waste money or time on expensive dates. The older women don’t expect it as much and feel lucky to be with them usually treating them like a spoiled son. That’s okay if that’s what you’re looking for, but don’t expect a long term exclusive relationship with a guy much younger than you.

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  8. Donnie K Says:

    (I am in my early 40s, fit, small, short hair, look a bit younger).

    Says who? You? I’m a guy in my early 40’s and I hear this all the time as well. Mostly from my friends. Trust me it’s meaningless.

    I went to a speed dating event with me marking down 5 decent looking dudes, with whom I had a normal, fluent enough 4 minute conversation, all appearing to be in their late 30s with… sigh.. no matches.

    That’s because these dudes in their late thirties can do better than a woman in her early-40’s.

    These type of letters are getting old. By that I mean that unless someone is totally new to the blog, they have to know that how old you “look” doesn’t matter. I’ll out on a limb and say Moxie is tired of responding to letters like this.

    As yes, when a man sees a 42-year-old women seeking men ages 25-43, we view her a pathetic.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 18

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    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Just curious…why do you sound so angry at this woman?

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      • Donnie K Says:

        It’s not this woman. It’s the question. Also, it’s not anger, it’s more of an eye-roll “OMG are you kidding me” reaction.

        The answer to her question should be obvious, yet she’s beffudled.

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      • AAORK Says:

        I did not detect any anger in the post, only frustration in seeing repeated letters of the same tone: women seeking men who do not seek them and her expression of total cluelessness as to why.

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    • Yvonne Says:

      “By that I mean that unless someone is totally new to the blog, they have to know that how old you “look” doesn’t matter. ”

      Sounds like you are saying that it DOES natter, though. You’re saying that the men at the speed-dating event somehow knew that Webgirl was older, and that’s why they rejected her, because in your words, they could “do better”.

      Also, I highly doubt that a man around the same age or a year older than the OP would view her interest in him as “pathetic”. It’s your disdain for the OP that makes you sound “angry”.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

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      • Donnie K Says:

        You managed to misinterpret just about everything I said. AAORK on the other hand, completely understood what I was saying. You might want to read my reply to Moxie again.

        If this woman is what she says she is; early 40’s and attractive, she should have no problem finding men the same age or a little bit older that want to date her. On top of that having no kids works in her favor. The reason she’s having problems finding men to date is that for lack of a better term, she is behaving like a dumbass.

        The solution is simple. Stop chasing men five years younger. Start pursuing them in her age range. Problem solved.

        To reiterate what AAORK said, it’s the utter cluelessness that we’ve seen time and again, not “disdain” for someone I’ve never met.

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        • Yvonne Says:

          “As yes, when a man sees a 42-year-old women seeking men ages 25-43, we view her a pathetic.”

          Note your age range. And I never saw Webgirl say that she is looking for twenty-somethings.

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          • Donnie K Says:

            My comment was in response to the comment below from Moxie’s reply:

            “At least 80% of my female profile review clients over 37 select a preferred age range that skews almost 5-7 years younger to only 2-3 years older.”

            What I am saying (and I admit “pathetic” was too strong a word choice) is when I see this in a woman’s profile, I dismiss her immediately. I don’t know how old you are but, I would think that when you come across the profile of a man who is in your age range and he’s looking for babes 10-15 years younger, you probably dismiss (rightfully so) and move on.

            It’s frustrating to watch people shoot themselves in the foot when you’d like to say to them, “C’mom, you’re better than that!”

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  9. Steve from the City Next Door Says:

    In the speed dating events I have gone to you don’t know people’s age unless you ask (other than the age range of the event – and even then I have seen most places accept people outside the range). If guys aren’t ask you your age, then either it is something else or you appear older than they desire. If they are asking your age then it is important to them — and possibly they aren’t so sure about your age.

    My guess would be that most the guys in their late 30s and even early 40s still want the younger women to have children with – unless they already have children and don’t want more.

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  10. Sandra Says:

    Whether the OP “looks” 42 or not, it is not always age that is the issue. I mean seriously, a 38 yr old man does not just look at a 42 yr old woman and know her age, or really care. In dating, there is more rejection than not, at least for the average person. Also, and I know this does not sound nice, but a woman in her early 40`s is getting used to the shock of how bad many men in their late 40`s + really look. Yes, men experience this also, but many older men are barely recognizable from their younger selves. It takes getting used to. I am sure she will start finding more suitable dates in time.

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    • AC Says:

      True and not true. You can argue that more men than women let themselves go as they enter their forties, However, there are some uncontrollable factors, namely grating hair and hair loss. I know. There are women who experience both. At the same time, no one thinks twice about a woman dying get hair or wearing a wig- in fact,most would agree that it’s acceptable, even encouraged for a woman to do this. Men risk looking foolish for doing either of the above.

      About age. Men and women can guess within a few years in most cases. Anyone who uses the “I look younger” defense looks foolish regardless of gender.

      As for the OP, I think other posters have more than covered what she should do.

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    • Nicole Says:

      Everybody ages, though. I don’t look like I did ten years ago when I was 25. But I think we notice it less in ourselves and our close friends because we see it happen gradually. I bet a lot of 40 something guys are also a little shocked at how old women their own age look.

      The thing is, there’s a difference between aging and letting yourself go. I dated lots of guys in their 40s who were still serious athletes, dressed very well, and knew how to wear their greying hair with style or recognized their thinning hair and went full on bad ass shaved head.

      If someone wants to date younger, that’s fine, it’s their preference. But saying you want a younger guy (or girl) because everyone your own age or older looks unattractive… It doesn’t make any sense to me. There are attractive and unattractive folks in every age group. And it’s probably much easier to find a very good looking partner your own age than to find a halfway decent looking one who’s ten years younger.

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      • AC Says:

        You make a valid point.

        I think the confusion sets in when we hear someone who’s XX sat they look five years younger than XX. How many times have we seen this movie?

        “I’m a 45-year-old woman but my guy friends say I look 35.”

        “I’m a physically fit 51-year-old man.”

        It’s not so much that they’re touting that they look good but it’s the attitude that because they’re in “great shape” or “look young” they’re entitled to a younger partner.

        We get it..you look great. How about finding someone your own age who also stays in shape.

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    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Men do look and do care, and are good at it. I can almost always tell if a woman is older than I’m interested in even if she’s facing away from me.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

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    • bbdawg Says:

      I have to agree with H&N, from talking to men on dates I notice men care, A LOT about age. it’s almost like the older they get the more youth matters to them, regardless of the “childbearing” argument , they drop it in conversation the age of a woman they dated as a badge of honor.

      I have been on a couple of dates where men told me the age of the woman they had dated to sort of show off the “level” of women they were getting. These were men in their late 40s saying they had dated women in their early 30s, just as a woman would drop that her last BF was an investment banker. To me it made them look sort of immature and shallow, to them it sounded as if they were sharing that they had been validated of their attractiveness somehow.

      In exceptional cases men won’t care but I think they do, especially if they don’t have children. I avoid dating men close to my age, as I attracted to somewhat older men AND I assume I am outside of the preferred range of men my age to begin with. This is such a touchy topic because the ageism is so obvious in dating, especially for women, who are judged harsher than men when it comes to looks and age. (cue in the topic of men in their 40s avoiding dating women of their own age group, that’s a whole other can of worms).

      Just reading Donnie’s post, a woman in her early 40s is “pathetic” for wanting to date younger. A man wanting the same is doing what is “natural”, even of both genders might have difficulty attracting people to date because they want someone exceptionally younger who is probably not interested anyway.

      In the OP’s case, not only does she have to deal with younger men not being interested, she also has to deal with men of her own age also being not interested simply because of her age. Older (4+ at least) is really the most sensible option here.

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      • AAORK Says:

        I really don’t understand why the “women are judged harsher” snippet keeps being brought up in comments. Especially since this ‘judging’ most always originates from other women, not men. And since it seems so many like to toss out anecdotal evidence to support their viewpoints, I’ll throw one out what ‘Moxie’ was quoted on and what I share as my personal experience with women and online dating: “80% of my female clients over 37 select a preferred age range that skews almost 5-7 years younger to only 2-3 years older”. I’ll add the all-too-common “must be 6′ or taller” and 100K income requirement too. No wonder these women have so many problems. They’ve eliminated 99% of guys out of the gate!

        I’m pretty sure that social media is a big contributor to the problem. An example: I think we’ve all felt the inner awkwardness when we see an older women (through a social media connection of some sort) post otherwise bland selfies (a sort of ‘validation’-seeking?) or other attention-seeking posts and get some likes and often a few (clearly questionable) ‘You’re gorgeous girl!’ comments from other women. I’m pretty sure this is significant contributor to those women then forming an elevated self-perception of SMV which then results in their disappointment (and cluelessness) when they side-step their REAL audience and keep chasing after guys that are clearly not interested in them, or at best treat them as back-up’s. I call it “fishing in the wrong pond”.

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      • Julie Says:

        I’ve noticed that too. I know there are guys out there who are happy dating women their own age. But it is very strange to see so many guys who married women their own age and older in their 20’s or 30s go into their 40’s and 50’s chasing women a generation younger seemingly for no better reason than bragging rights. I chuckled a little at the fact that the guys I’ve known who dated much younger women were completely blindsided when the girls who were in their minds supposed to be fun started pushing for marriage and kids or just got pregnant. What do they think makes them so attractive to much younger women if not the promise of maturity, stability and a willingness to commit?

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        • Mrsrightnyc Says:

          Women in their 20s and 30s typically date much older guys because they are looking for a provider. They can have fun casual flings with hot guys closer to their age but know these guys won’t be ready to settle down for years.

          My 41yo friend regularly gets girls in their mid early 20s. He likes to think it’s because of his prowess but I challenged him to take off his high income and prestigious degree from his online profile and see what happens.

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  11. Lucy Says:

    It’s good not to have an ideal. You get disappointed that way and I don’t think you go in looking for a guy who matches everything on your list of ideals and then try love after that. I think you start by looking for love and check your feelings with him and how he makes you feel. I think it’s all about your mindset and what you consider a priority.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean you go for someone you don’t find attractive. I just think that if you really want a genuine romantic relationship, whether they make your vagina tingle with just one look is not something you put into consideration on first knowing a person.

    I don’t know. I may only be 25 but I’m starting to look beyond the surface (both in terms of appearance and outward confidence). Some guys I’ve made the wrong call on recently and they have surprised me and it’s just taken me aback how restrictive I’d been about the kind of guys I could fall for. I’m opening my eyes more and I feel more open to love than ever before.

    Online dating can encourage rigidity. A lot of people don’t realise they are being so rigid.

    I just think you have to let go of any preconceived ideas of how your dating life ‘ought to be’ or how it ‘ought to happen’…and who your ideal guy ‘ought to be’….Because real life doesn’t work that way. Real life happens outside of your head :P

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  12. Lizzie Says:

    I agree with Lucy. I’m 30 and my dating range is men between 21 and 42, even though I’ve noticed that guys my own age struggle with the same things so we automatically have more in common, which unfortunately isn’t always a tell on how much you’d have to talk about.
    My experience with comments about the age I look: it’s all wishful thinking. 21-year-olds think I look like 23 at most, or are astounded when I tell them my age and say they thought I was more like their age. 30-something guys can also think I’m 30-something, just because they see me in a context in which they believe people are of a certain age group. So context is much more important than the way you look.
    I’d like to add to that that it’s also much more important to be able to have conversations than how much older or younger someone is/looks. Especially if you’re looking for a relationship, because picture yourself 20 years from now, all looks will have faded but hopefully you can still enjoy each other’s conversation. And it might be nice not to be the one who needs to go to an elderly home first, nor to be the one to send the other one off to one. I imagine this to be very painful in any case. Since you’d hopefully rather stay with your loved one.
    OP; don’t worry about your league, just experience the types of guys that are out there and are interested in you and let them surprise you as to what kind of people they are. Be optimistic and curious and give other’s a chance to get to know who you are and then you can decide whether you’d like to spend more time with that person and vice versa.
    Moxie; I wouldn’t want to be with someone who thought I was lower in hierarchy, I don’t think this is what you had meant to say but it might be an effect. I do think it would be nice if people became more self-aware and actually OP is asking for advice to become just that. I believe the key would lie in self-esteem, if you are comfortable with who you are, you will probably look for a person who’s also comfortable with who you are, regardless of age.
    Last thing about ageing; it happens to all of us, we all struggle with it. Let’s look at the bright side, thank goodness we are ageing! And let’s not take ourselves too seriously, we’re too old and wise for that ;)

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