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?
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.
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.