Nice pic, Lousy date

I’m talking about me.

I’m on and someone will IM me, “Nice profile,” we’ll chat for a bit, and if we sense a mutual interest, we set a rendezvous for coffee. We meet, chat, then we leave, and I never hear from him again. I can only think that I’m a lousy date with some glaring defect in my personality.

I have analyzed it over and over again:

Looks? No, my pic is up to date, and guys who meet me say I’m even better-looking in person. Not bragging, just saying I’m confident in the looks department. so the problem has to be

Personality. Clearly, there is something horribly wrong with me that I can’t see.

Is it that I’m a Log Cabin Republican?
Is it because I tend to listen more than talk and I’m comfortable with long stretches of silence? IRL, I’m a very quiet guy, and I’m not good at chit-chat. Friends have told me that I’m too serious, sometimes.

Is it some misanthropic vibe I give off? I admit I’m not a people person, but I really do try to be a mensch.

Is it because I can’t stand Madonna?

I’m not desperate, I’m very happy to be alone and I enjoy solitude. Contrarily, I’m a one-man man and I would very much like to settle down with Mr. Right. However, I don’t think there’s a guy in the DC area who wants anything out of me than a fling in bed. I can get that anytime I want.
I’d like a buddy, a pal, a companion to share my life with.
Someone who likes science fiction, books, movies, hiking, working out at the gym, and Scrabble. I don’t want smokers, alcoholics, workaholics (a whole bunch of them in DC), or
queens. Nothing wrong with them, just not for me. Phsically, I’m not at all demanding. I tend to go for blond guys, but as long as a guy’s not grossly obese, I don’t much care what he looks like. My ideal guy would be muscular with a slight beer gut to give him that blue-collar look I really dig.

Maybe I should just reconcile myself to the fact that I’m an unlovable jerk and just give up on dating.

I can’t talk about this with folks I know because it will
appear to be fishing for compliments, plus I never talk about anything to do with my feelings or insecurities. I keep all that business very deeply repressed. I’m grateful to the SDMB for letting me voice feelings I could never admit to IRL.
Yeesh, I feel like Eponine singing, “On My Own.” Thanks for letting me vent.

Oh come on Goboy, there have got to be lots of Log Cabin Republican, madonna hating, non-creepy, men out there in the DC area. Maybe you should try looking other places besides the internet. I think that might be your problem. Do you go to local log cabin meetings? To MHA (Madonna Haters Anonymous)? I think it’s your approach.

You’d be perfect for my roommate. Poor guy. He’s intolerably handsome, monogamous, quiet, a classically trained pianist who loves good food and better conversation. He’s blonde, fit, and you’d never know he was gay unless he told you (by this I mean not a queen). We live in Boston, just a hop and a skip on the shuttle…

goboy, i’ve been through the personals experience myself. Though I’m not gay, i would imagine that this works the same anyway. When you meet these people, are you meeting them someplace where you can do anything other than just drink coffee and chit chat?
My last date, i proposed we meet at a pottery painting place called OurNameIsMud, i’m sure new york city isn’t the only place that has places like this. We met there, got the chance to do more than just talk about ourselves to each other, we got to paint, which somehow made things a little more comfortable. we went out for coffee afterwards, and the result was wonderful.
Maybe it IS your approach. Do you show an interest in them? Maybe you should suggest meeting at a place where you do have interests, so you can be more at ease in chit chatting away. DC is full of museums and great shopping.
Just a suggestion. My 2cents.
Keep the change. :wink:

It could be that quiet thing. Never underestimate the power of chit-chat to help get over the awkward phases early in a relationship.

I’m somewhat shy myself. When I was dating I used to try to get around that by asking my insignificant other a lot of questions. Gradually I caught the message that what I had hoped was a genuine interest in someone came off more like interrogation.

Talking about careers, hobbies, etc. came off as more of a safe middle-ground.

Unfortunately, not wanting someone who’s “grossly obese” eliminates all of the single gay men I know in the DC area. Both of them. Sorry.

This sounds like the key to the problem right here. If you are getting together with someone to feel them out, and you spend most of your time not feeling. The impression you give off is that you are not interested in them. Try more chit chat at the beginning and taper it off as the person discovers the real you.

The word from both my straight female and gay male friends is that as a general rule, if you want to meet a nice guy who is not just looking to hook up, you have to sift. So even when you feel like you did everything right, sometimes it’s still not gonna happen. Not your fault – you’re just looking for different things than the guys you’re going out with. Don’t assume it’s always your fault.

It certainly helps if you can get some conversational spark going early on. That will make it easier to pick out the good ones (and for them to pick you out, more importantly.) Just don’t get discouraged – there’s probably nothing wrong with you. Stay calm and confident. (Now I sound like a deoderant ad. Crap.)

I’m not gay, but several of my friends are. Most of them are also very prone to one night stands, and that’s all they’re looking for. I don’t question them about it. I don’t think it’s my business. Another friend of mine has been with his SO for 16 years. The topic came up one time and he told me that even when his friends weren’t looking for one night stands, they still usually couldn’t stay in a relationship for more than a few months.

The point of all this is that you being ready to possibly settle down scares them. Is that a topic that’s brought up in your online chats? If not, it’s something that may be worth bringing up. Just make it clear that they don’t have to move in with you that night, but that you don’t want just a fling, either.

Not sure if this helps at all, but it’s all I’ve got. Given enough time, everything always seems to work out.

Here are three possible approaches:

  1. Ask your friends what kind of impression you give. If they tell you that you come off as reserved and generally non-talkative, then there’s your problem. A first date is going to see you as tight-lipped and sullen, and you’re going to have to get past that somehow. Work on your social skills, choose venues for meeting that bring out a different aspect of you, etc.

I know that you said ”I can’t talk about this with folks I know because it will appear to be fishing for compliments, plus I never talk about anything to do with my feelings or insecurities. I keep all that business very deeply repressed.” If you can’t even talk with your friends about this sort of thing, then maybe you need to work on opening up more with people in general. If you’re super-reserved around your own friends, it’s going to be hard to get past that first date with strangers.

  1. Spend more time chatting on-line with a stranger before you agree to meet him in person. Learn more about him and establish more of a connection before you meet him. That way you’ll go into the meeting with more of a bond, you’ll know more about each other and have more opportunities for conversation, and you’ll know in advance where you have tastes in common. You will also be playing to your strengths since you mentioned that you can communicate better with strangers on a message board than you can with people face to face.

  2. Get off the Internet and into some social groups IRL where you can meet people in a setting where you have mutual interests. I know that there’s more than just meat markets in D.C. There are activist groups, gay church groups, cultural groups, etc. Get into a group and work with the group for a while. You’ll meet people, the individual group members will get to watch you over a longer period of time and evaluate you as a potential long-term SO, and you can network a bit and pick and choose at your leisure. In short, you may have to work at this as a long-term project and invest time and energy into establishing yourself as a member of a particular community before finding the right person.

In any case, don’t give up. There are lots of other gay men looking for monogamous long-term relationships out there, and it’s just a matter of time, energy, and determination till you find the right person.