Is She Coming Off Too Desperate?

awk

Name: Jennifer

:
Question: I have been single for about 7 years; the guy was a drug addict, fresh out of prison, who cheated on other girls with me (while dating a bunch of them at the same time), lied (he was really 33, but said he was 26 – a 15 year age difference between us), and took advantage of my and others’ good intentions, money, friendship, etc, to the point where I call it (borderline) abuse. We dated off and on for 7 months, were a couple for 3 weeks: he promised to go to rehab and get a new job (lost the one we met at for drug posession I heard), but did not. We tried to stay friends, but the drugs always took presidence over me. He might have been stalking me a few years ago. Recently learned he kept alot of serious information from me, the girl he claimed to love (after I broke up with him), and that he has not mentioned me to his “friends”, nor has he been to/continued rehab. His behavior appears to be the same, and his criminal record and time on probation on lieu of prison also continue to steadily increase.

Since I broke up with my ex-con druggie ex, I have used a multitude of dating sites, free as well as paying, sometimes two or three times. I have been ghosted, ignored, cat-called, uninterested, or bored by and with my matches/messengers; a group of friends attempted to get me on Tinder (again), but all the guys were looking for hookups – not my thing at all. Off-line, I have attempted to flirt (not an easy thing for me to do, as I have a form of autism that makes conversation with people difficult) with guys I see regularly and find attractive; one such guy went to my church: I approached him, we talked for a few weeks at church socials, but when I asked for his number to hang out outside of church (NOT for a date), he said he was “flattered” and left.

My first date in 7 years was a set up earlier this year with my boss’s incredibly shy son; his only topics of conversation the entire day were politics and religion (we share the same views), and I got very bored very fast. Unfortunately, I was unable to leave because he was my ride home from the city.

Other friends have tried setting me up, but the guys are either incredibly rude when contacted, or I am simply not attracted to them.

My closest thing to a relationship in 7 years has been an affair with another (much nicer) ex. Our brief relationship in college has been forgiven (he dumped me after 2 weeks for someone else, who treated him badly), and we are now very good friends. Our first affair, 2 years ago, was purely emotional; we recently started a second affair, which could very well turn physical. He’s been married legally for 2 years, only 5 months in the church (a “formality”), and his wife doesn’t like me (despite never having met me, but I don’t care much for her, either); they have been together for about 7 years, and appear to very much be soulmates.

I keep thinking that I must be doing something wrong, to have been single this long (a friend even went so far as to say I’m “desperate” when I took it upon myself to contact a friend of hers on social media whom I found attractive, being told he was single, but found out he has a live-in girlfriend); another friend, who is a licensed psychologist, tells me she does not think I’m not doing anything wrong.

I’ve been told that I’m pretty, and I’m not overweight (far from it, really), I do not drink or do drugs or have a criminal record. If a guy is attracted to a girl, he approaches her because of her looks, not her brain (unless he has x-ray vision). I have taken every single piece of advice given to me, including buying a ton of new clothes, bleaching my hair from brown to blonde, getting more fashionable-looking eyeglasses, etc. I do go out with friends on occasion, but there are mostly couples at these events, or no guys in the room that I’m attracted to.

So, why can’t I get a boyfriend after all this trouble and time?
Age: 26

 

and his wife doesn’t like me (despite never having met me, but I don’t care much for her, either)

Before I get to the rest of the letter i have to address this. Uh, duh, her husband is carrying on an emotional affair with you. She has reason not to like you. Don’t make her out to be some shrew. You and her husband have proven to her why her attitude towards you is justified.

Moving on…

I think your biggest hurdle is not being so obsessed with finding a boyfriend. As harsh as your friend might have been, I think she’s on too something. It’s possible that you are coming on too strong and scaring guys off. It sounds like maybe you need to get more experience socializing with guys on a platonic level. It might be that you’re going from zero to sixty too quickly and the guys are getting a weird vibe from you.

It’s probably your approach that isn’t working.. You very well might be sending some signals that you don’t intend. Or maybe you do and don’t realize that you’re acting inappropriately. If you’re talking to every guy you find attractive and making it clear you think he’s potential boyfriend material, that’s your problem. Think about it this way: if you were a dude and you hit on everything with a pulse instead of treating the woman like a three dimensional human being and not a vagina with legs, you’d be considered creepy, right? Same goes for your situation. The guys you find attractive are picking up something off-kilter with you and they’re backing away. (You’re probably also batting out your league, but that’s another conversation.)

You’re dating convicts and junkies and guys with girlfriends.  You’re cold calling guys on Facebook. That is desperate behavior. You have to identify why you’re so driven to be in a relationship. Obviously, there’s social and peer pressure, which I totally understand. But you have to come to grips with the fact that – hey – you might not ever find anyone, and that’s okay. You’re okay. Your life has value. You have value, regardless of whether or not you’re attached to a guy.  That’s where you need to start.

I hate to be all, “gurl love yourself” but…gurl, love yourself. You’re worthy of love. Realize that now, not when some guy comes along and says all the right things. Getting a man’s approval should not be the reason you finally believe you have value in this world. Because, see, you’ve already taken that low road and it didn’t work. Why? Because you just wanted somebody so you could be part of the in-crowd. Make your own crowd. Don’t worry about fitting in. That’s when it will happen. I know that’s trite to say, but you really do need to learn to be alone before you can have a healthy relationship. Emphasis on healthy. Anybody can find a boyfriend. Anybody can get married. But those long lasting relationships, the ones where two people truly get each other? Those take time to find and to develop.

Slow and steady wins the race every time.

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18 Responses to “Is She Coming Off Too Desperate?”

  1. stephanie Says:

    spot on advice. you would do well to take it to heart, OP. i know it’s hard, but it’s worth it in the end. good luck!

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  2. Richard Says:

    I’m in my late twenties and realistically, I’d be in your dating range.

    I agree with Moxie. You’re coming on too strong. If I’d been contacted by a total stranger on Facebook expressing some form of sexual interest my first thought would be disbelief and then utter fear. Your behaviour comes off as desperate. If you wanted to connect with this chap from Facebook, ask your mutual friend to set up an evening out where the two of you would come in to contact naturally.

    I’m a little awkwatd around members of the opposite sex also, so I share your pain on that one. But I would suggest initiating contact with men is easier than initiating contact with women though. You can initiate contact through something as simple as smiling for a few seconds at a guy and batting your eyelids. 99% of men understand that signal – It means we can come over and start up the conversation. Technically it means you’re starting the initiation, but the action you take is low-risk, high-reward. Potentially at least. If a man walks over to you ‘uninvitied’ so to speak, the situation becomes high-risk for him. A lot of guys won’t take that increased risk.

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  3. AnnieNonymous Says:

    There’s a lot of iffy stuff going on here. She still carries the emotional scars from a three-week relationship that ended 7 years ago. I fully understand what it’s like to want to replace a really bad experience with a new good one, but I think she needs to stop thinking of her dating life in relation to this non-relationship. They only really dated for three weeks. Why is it still casting such a huge shadow over her life? You can blame someone else for victimizing you while also understanding that it’s a waste of time to wait for that person to make things right. In the interest of solving the problem and getting what you want, you need to fix it yourself.

    Tinder sucks. It just does. But if she knows that spontaneous in-person flirtation doesn’t do her justice, she doesn’t have many other options. I don’t think the autism is the issue; everyone says stupid and embarrassing things when their flirting. The big issue might actually be religion. She’s active in her church and it’s a big enough part of her life that it’s something people hone in on when setting her up with guys. They’re setting her up with guys who are also very religious. Is Tinder the right venue for someone who’s going to end up talking about church? Why not start going to more church events? Sorrynotsorry, but you’re not going to be the only one there who doesn’t know how to flirt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **They only really dated for three weeks. Why is it still casting such a huge shadow over her life?**

      It wasn’t really clear to me how long she dated the 7-years-ago guy (possibly I missed/forgot it). But yeah, the “huge shadow” jumped out at me, too. If you’re really over someone, you can summarize your relationship with them in a sentence or two. Not saying she wants him back, but she does go on and on about him and seems to define herself/her love life by way of this guy. Hate to say it, but maybe she really does go for the guys who make her think, “I can fix him!” as a distraction from her own issues.

      And yes, what everyone else said about the cold calling and trying too hard and failing to read social cues. Like, an attractive and together guy at a church picnic is likely to have…y’know, a wedding ring on. And so what if you’re single for a while? It doesn’t mean you will be forever. Nothing wrong with wanting a man but stop acting like you need one like oxygen.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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      • AnnieNonymous Says:

        It doesn’t even matter if you’re not fully over an old relationship. You still don’t talk about it in such minute detail seven years later to people in real life, as she did in this email. When asked about past relationships, I always say, “It ended badly. There’s not much to say about it,” and then move on.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          I think it’s far more forgivable to say those things to Moxie than to a date, but the fact that it’s taking up so much real estate in her mind at all is…yeah, not good. Find a therapist, dig through the facts, take whatever lesson’s to be had from it and move on.

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  4. HerGuyFriday Says:

    “I have taken every single piece of advice given to me, including buying a ton of new clothes, bleaching my hair from brown to blonde, getting more fashionable-looking eyeglasses, etc”

    This isn’t self-improvement.

    I’m going to give you the same advice I would give a guy: hit the gym, eat better, read more, and sign up for same classes (Anything….dancing, art, foreign language).

    Do *something*. Because the typical girl approach of always trying to look prettier is not going to help you if there is nothing to back it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

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    • UWSGal Says:

      … And signing up for a Spanish or tango lesson will make her more attractive to men? Puleeease. These classes are populated by divorced women who were told by dating “experts” that it’s a way to meet men. Waste of time and money.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        She wasn’t suggesting that the OP take classes to meet men. She suggested classes as a way for the OP to broaden her interests to make her more engaging instead of just relying on dressing well and looking good.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

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        • UWSGal Says:

          Actually, it doesn’t seem that the OP’s problem is her lack of depth. If anything, i would suggest further ditching glasses in favor of contact lenses….
          I think your advise was spot on. She does come off as desperate, perhaps because of relative inexperience and/or because of her spectrum condition. She would probably benefit from female companionship (to pick up proper flirting techniques, as asking for a guy’s number is NOT flirting) as well as some therapy to get over her dysfunctional 3 week long relationship 7 years ago. Adult education classes – i don’t see any benefit..

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  5. ? Says:

    She did say she was autistic. Everything she says her suggest this. She appears to be socially tone deaf. Oh my special man friend’s wife does not like me ? Bugger her I don’t like her too. I think this is her problem and she needs to address this first and foremost.

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    • BTownGirl Says:

      And how many years of medical school have you and the other moron diagnosing the LW with a spectrum disorder completed? If you have something to contribute answering her actual question, that’s helpful, but maybe leave the “diagnosing” to be people actually qualified to do so.

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      • Yvonne Says:

        The OP herself says,”I have attempted to flirt (not an easy thing for me to do, as I have a form of autism that makes conversation with people difficult)”, so I don’t think there’s an armchair analysis going on here.

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  6. Noquay Says:

    One, folks on the spectrum are the opposite of desperate; they tend to not care about being in a rship. Yep, I am qualified to make that statement. The OP needs to have a full non-relationship dependent life before even considering dating. That and fix her picker; addicts should not be allowed any face time, let alone be in ones psyche for years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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    • ? Says:

      Hi Noquay. As you have noted, ASD is a spectrum disorder so there are degrees of ad socialbility. My son has the condition and wants desperately to have friends, but doesn’t know how to go about doing this
      He was diagnosed by two different medical doctors.
      Then again, there are lots and lots of people, both men and women, who have really really bad social skills. Like you said, OP should just chill and maybe learn how to have normal male and female friends before rushing headlong into a romantic relationship. Friendship skills do prepare you for something more intimate.

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  7. sarah Says:

    Have you tried red hair?

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    • Nia Says:

      Sarah, I’m disappointed in this response. A man who dates a woman based only on her hair color is not going to be a solid choice for that woman. Sure, some guys have a preference for certain hair colors. But almost every guy I know will quickly and easily set aside that preference for a wonderful woman that they feel is a good match and they have solid chemistry with.
      Also, this OP needs to stop bending herself into a pretzel for some imaginary man’s approval and affection.
      She needs to become more comfortable with who she really is. Imagine living out your entire life having to literally disguise who you are lest the man in your life not be attracted to you. Sounds fun! /s/
      Now if she wants to dye her hair for fun, sure, why not. But to dye your hair to “attract” a man is harmful, reductive, and dated advice.

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