Dating Question

Unless you’re Hugh Grant and you’re in a movie, don’t do this. You’ll look like a cheesy feeb. That’s what I think but I’d love to hear from the single women on this. Either she’s interested or not. Flowers won’t change that other than scare her off if she is on the fence.

I should clarify that very often, the characteristics that prevent me from messaging someone are outright dealbreakers. I also think that people often find dealbreakers in me. I have a number of very unusual, idiosyncratic characteristics that I suppose dissuade others, but I can’t do anything about that. I do want to try to broaden the net, but I’m not sure if I can.

I forgot to mention that I’m trying speed-dating soon, and the group will self-select to prevent at least one big dealbreaker, so it seems like a good idea.

Dude. It was just the holidays. Now is catch up time. And yes, people are sick. You may have blown it with questioning if she is telling the truth. That would be very off putting to me.

Have you thought of calling instead of texting?

Whatever those deal breakers are, are there specialized dating sites that will be more likely not to have them?

Agreed, it’s too soon/late for that. It’s too soon as in they’re not in a relationship and it’s too late as in, if he called her after the first two dates to set up the third and she said she was sick then maybe. But at this point, doing that would be creepy/desperate. Maybe he’s Hugh Grant, but more likely he’d end up being the poor schmuck who waits at her house for her to get home from work only to meet the new boyfriend that’s picking her up for dinner.

Some of both. They’re very often taken, but even when not, they sometimes refuse outright, and I rather appreciate that. I’ve often received the evasive fade-away, which is perhaps my biggest pet peeve, for two reasons. For one thing, on just a few occasions in my life, mostly as a child, I have done that to others, and the thought that I am one of those obnoxious kids is almost unbearable. For another, I’ve written people off many times before, only to run into them in person, and everything seems fine. Sometimes I actually did have the wrong email address, or they lost their phone, or whatever. I can never tell if it’s genuine.

It’s also very hard to accept when it happens with near 100% certainty. That may seem backward, but rejection for me was so common that I got the idea that it was just something I could overcome by being persistent, and that it was common for people. I had no counter-examples, so I thought this was how it worked. I think that the arts gave me a lot of misconceptions as well, since aren’t so many songs and films and prose stories about winning her heart?

When I’ve gotten a date, I usually can’t get a second or third. That happens less often.

I’ve been in therapy (solo and group) off-and-on for years, I’ve taken pills, and I’ve asked a great many people if there is something I can work on, as you put it, and I’ve gotten nowhere. Whether it’s a significant other or making and keeping friends, it’s been a problem for me for fifteen or sixteen years. I was very depressed for most of my youth, to the point that I didn’t even know what “trying to get a date” was, and on one occasion when a woman was attracted to me, I barely understood what was happening. Now that I’m less depressed, why aren’t things better?

I can try to specify those characteristics on mainstream sites, but it hasn’t helped so far.

I understand that you probably don’t want to list them here but, for example, if you’re looking for a Christian then Christian Mingle would be the place to go rather than a regular site. At your age, if you are positive that you don’t want kids, that’s a tough one.

That’s the big one, as I am childfree (and sterilized) right at the time when women are making those definite decisions. It’s not the only one, though. The speed dating is for people who are in my position, so I am looking forward to it. I can indicate that status on dating sites, but it’s fairly complicated, since many women apparently leave it blank, and there are often two separate questions. In other words, on one site, someone can say that they have no kids and don’t want any, or leave the first one blank and just say that they don’t want any, or vice-versa. It’s inefficient, but maybe I’ll try it again, as there should be some new people available now.

There are other factors of mine that seem to turn off others (like never drinking, among other things), but I don’t know for sure, and I’m not comfortable with changing them.

We’re in the same boat other than I’m nearly twice your age. Of course, at my age, not wanting kids, having had a vasectomy and not being a drinker are major pluses. :slight_smile: The drinking thing is funny. I always have to give the “I am not an alcoholic, I am totally fine with you having wine with dinner, I just don’t like the taste” speech.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to say that in college. “No I’m not an alcoholic” (Seriously, I’m 19 and I could turn your brain inside out with all the different baggies in my pocket*), “No my parents aren’t alcoholics”, “No, I’m not allergic to alcohol”, “No this” “No that”, “No I don’t care [person that I just met and will never see again] if you drink” After a while I found it a lot easier to just walk around with an empty beer can. Put an end to getting asked the same questions 10 times a night every time I went out.

*Or as a friend of mine once said when he pointed to a giant duffel bag “I have uppers, downers, lefters and righters, what do you want?”

Yeah, I’ve tried it all but I was always more of a weed and psychedelic kinda guy. I have never cared for booze.

Absolutely not! If I’m interested, I don’t need the flowers. If I’m not, it’s so awkward.

What I like is someone who says “You, me, this time, this place, date”. And it’s not a male/female thing; I am often the person who does this. But I think it’s what the OP should do. Definite place, definite time - if she can’t make it, she’ll have to counter. If she doesn’t, I would let it go.

I understand that because you have past experience with it, the evasive fade-away is particularly hurtful for you. Unfortunately I think it’s something you need to accept, so it’d do you well to try to work on why it’s so upsetting for you and see if you can genuinely get over it. Make your goal to honestly find it irksome instead of unbearable.

You’ve done that yourself so you must understand the women’s motivation. My personal take on it is that it’s so much easier than outright rejecting someone, which is unpleasant for the rejector too. Most people tend toward selfishness with people they barely know, so they do what’s easy for them without worrying about extending your hurt feelings unnecessarily. I don’t see any reason it reflects on you at all, let alone that it makes you an obnoxious child.

I’m not completely sure if I follow you, but I too found it very vexing that with dating, you can’t just keep working at someone until it works. The professional analogy would be that if you have 2 rounds of job interviews and they decline to make you an offer - you’re done with that company/position. You can’t text them after a few weeks and tell them you really like their break room. They made a decision to not hire you.

But I spend very little of my life interviewing for jobs and most of it solving engineering problems at work or life problems with friends or family. I can keep working on being successful at those things nearly indefinitely, which is what I’m used to and prefer.

One nice thing to look forward to is that in a committed relationship, wanting to improve it and work on problems that come up is a valuable trait. You just have to accept that until then, when dating and someone rejects you it’s over and you can’t do anything about it.

Do you think it’s you? I’m wondering if you are going after the wrong women. I do drink, but I’ve never dated anyone who would care if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be happy with a party girl for whom drinking was an important part of her life, so I don’t ask out women like that. It could be my experience is way different from the norm but it’s surprising to me that it’s even an issue for you. Do you take your dates to classy wine bars and then insist on drinking pepsi or something?

How long have you been less depressed? It takes time and practice. It’d have been nice if you learned how to date 16 years ago, but here you are. You’ve got to keep going from here.

Do you have any close friends? You could go someplace you expect to meet women and ask them to keep a close eye on you. Whether it goes good or bad, they’re more likely to have constructive feedback if they’re actively paying attention. Friends aren’t necessarily paying a lot of attention day to day, since they’re busy with their own lives.

Also a word of caution, if someone does give you constructive advice, give it serious thought but don’t put too much stock in it. When I was single I liked asking my friends for advice and I often had different friends telling me the exact opposite things at the same time. They’re not perfect.

I agree. If they had gone on two dates, he called her for a third date, she said she can’t because she’s feeling sick, and then he immediately sent a small “get well” bouquet or other small gift, it would have been sweet. But at this point it would just seem desperate. It might not do anything if she really likes him or really dislikes him, but if she’s on the fence it might scare her off.

This is true. If a guy I wasn’t terribly interested in called for a date and I couldn’t go, I probably wouldn’t say anything else. But if a guy I really liked called for a date and I was sick or busy, I’d make definite other plans saying something like “I probably can’t meet this weekend since I’m busy, but how about we meet on Wednesday for coffee? Maybe at Agora?” I would want him to see that I was interested.

This happened to me, too. I started dating a guy in college in december. Then, i went to india for a month. When I returned all spark was gone. I think if the relationship doesn’t have time to bloom, then it can easily die on the vine.

I think let her bring up the idea of a “next date” and don’t force anything. And also keep on looking. That’s what “dating” is for. Try your best not to get anxious about her status and just keep socializing, and check back with her in a week or so.

I think you straddled a really tough time to start dating someone, but don’t think that it’s over.

I’ve been in your shoes before, with a nearly identical situation, in fact. I’d ask her out for a drink after work, to catch up - but that you have to get going at 7:30/8:00 to help a roommate/buddy out with something. Go for the drink, catch up, walk her to the car - and lay it all out. Tell her you know it’s been a crazy time of the year. Holidays, shitty weather, getting sick, etc. But you really enjoyed your first couple dates, had been really looking forward over the holidays to spending some more time in the future getting to know her, and that you are capital-I Interested. Tell her, “I’d love to have dinner later this week/next week. My cards are on the table - if you’re interested as well, I’d love to hear from you. If not, it’s been great getting to know you.” Kiss her on the cheek/hug her, whatever, and head home.

And leave it at that. It’s both an open invitation as well as all the closure she may need to make her decision. She doesn’t have to guess about your interest level, and there’s no pressure to make a decision on her end. It gives her a nice big comfortable out if she’s not into you, and no one looks a fool as a result.

My motivations were to avoid obnoxious children without causing too much drama between sets of parents. As an adult, I’ve wanted to avoid obnoxious adults. I haven’t done it that often, and I’m disturbed by the possibility of being seen as so obnoxious by so many.

In other words, I absorbed a lot of cultural messages about winning someone’s heart via persistence. Also, since I never got success by asking someone out, I never knew what it meant to have someone be “that into me.” When I couldn’t accept that someone (everyone) would not be into me, I kept on pressing to get closer. As a result, I decided that I was unappealing, thus my self-esteem was both too high and too low. Does that make more sense?

I’m not sure whom else I could ask. There have been no wine bars, I just often get the impression that people are put off by my straight-edge stance. I’m actually not adorned with the tattoos or anything else like that, I only bring it up when it comes up, and I’m not usually bothered by others’ drinking, but I think it’s a sticking point. Something else has struck me- it may not be drinking per se, but the fact that I am so stoic, firm, and, well, sober. That’s me “just being myself.” As I was pondering the “wine bars” scenario you mentioned, I thought of how unnatural the whole process is to me. On the rare occasions that I do have the potential for a date, I’m not certain what I’d like to do that isn’t passive.

A few years now.

Very few, and fewer still in this city. I just don’t think that’s going to work. I can’t imagine a situation like that.

Yeah, I’ve noticed.

I think you’re projecting your baggage on women. Nothing you’ve said makes it sound like people find you obnoxious. Everyone gets brushed off by thoughtless people because it’s easy to brush people off if you don’t care about them.

It’s true that your belief in the value of persistence isn’t doing you any favors. How many failures are we talking about? 25 women? 50 women? I can understand how upsetting that would be - I think anyone’s ego and self esteem would be bruised. The mistake would be believing you’re intrinsically unlikable rather than it being a combination of your depression and inexperience and bad dating instincts, going after the wrong women, etc. I don’t see any reason to suspect it’s not problems like that, that you can change with practice or effort.

Honestly stoic and firm don’t sound like great descriptors for a date. Don’t you ever relax, laugh a lot, tell interesting and amusing stories?

Congratulations on getting over your depression. How many women have you dated since then?