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Dating - where am i going wrong and do i just resign myself to being alone.

(341 Posts)
notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 10:18:33

Having just spent my 5th christmas on my own, being on my own forever seems more and more likely.

Im 34. Im divorced and have one child. I work, if part time. I have interests and hobbies and am not unattractive, if on the curvey side.

I go out, though its more meals and activities than clubbing, which i hate. I have not had one sniff of interest from any man in the 5 years ive been single.

Ive done online dating for years and never got anywhere with that either.
Having had a break from it i signed up to several sites yesterday, and ive had no messages, not even from the free sites where its known for being a bit of a meat market, where a while back i was beating them off with a stick. Any views i have had have been from men over 40 who look like there are actually closer to 50. Its depressing.

I dont understand where im going wrong and how come i seem to be so unattractive to men. A new girl started at work, shes not pretty, but is thin. And is just 20. Within 2 days she had been asked out by 4 men. I dont get if its my age, or the fact im a size 16, or am a lone parent? or just not what men want????

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 12:10:01

You can use tinted body moisturiser you know, to give your skin a healthy glow in winter. It doesn't have to look orange. It can also mean you can get away with less make up. I steered clear of eyeliner after 25. I think it can make you look hard, unless you use it very sparingly.

I know a divorced woman of 43 with 3 children who has just married a millionaire with several homes - but he is 65! I also know a single mother of 33 who is dating a 27 year old doctor - they met through work, but you'd hate her because shes a size 10 and has long blond hair.

Would you not consider losing weight? I do think most men are initially attracted by looks, although I don't the bar is that high.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:15:27

oh my goodness, quite scathing that post.

i dont have any issues with anyone who is a size 10. i have had a few dates with somone who was 23 myself, but wouldnt seriously date someone of that age. And i have long hair myself, so no hair envy here.

My skin looks fine in winter, it also looks fine in summer, and spring, and autumn confused

tbh, when i look around me, not everyone in a relationship is tanned, nor thin, nor interesting, nor attractive. so i dont believe for a second there are a list of things you have to be to ' get' someone.

I am loosing weight, its difficult as its from a medical condition. Im never going to be a size 10 though. Im a 16 now, which isnt exactly huge.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:23:30

Ive stuck a pic on my profile as i do think you are being overly harsh and have me pegged as something im not.

joblot Fri 28-Dec-12 12:24:59

Perhaps you scare men? You sound confident and self assured, which I find attractive (I'm a woman) but some people are intimidated by.

I completely get you not wanting to change, why should you? But lots of men like to feel superior- my opinion from experience- and they can't with you. Perhaps try more 'upmarket' sites?

joblot Fri 28-Dec-12 12:26:21

And can I just say being thin isn't attractive to everyone. Apart from the tragically shallow

I can sympathise, I really can. I'm 44, three teenage DCs, very independent, fairly accomplished in my field, size 16 (but fairly tall, so I can 'carry it' iykwim) pale, covered in tattoos & refuse to compromise 'me' to be in a relationship that I don't find around 90% compatible.

I do think men in general don't find me attractive. Thats fine. I don't generally find the vast majority of men attractive either, which narrows the field considerably. <shrugs>

What do you like doing spring? I love singing. Love it! I'm starting a choir next year to meet men so I can sing. smile

Arthurfowlersallotment Fri 28-Dec-12 12:29:02

Chicken I had no luck with men throughout my twenties, when I was a size 10 and very well groomed. (And fake tanned..)

I met DP when I was 29, (a size 14) and he 36. Frankly I don't think it's all about appearance, but a fair amount of luck is involved. And it's a numbers game

Though it sounds like you take care of yourself so I don't think how you look is an issue by any means..I would say persevere with the online stuff for maybe six months. At the very least you'll get some good stories.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:31:34

i possibly scare men.
i have been told i am intimidating. i dont really know why..... im not special at all, and im old and chubby smile
but i am confident, and know about lots of stuff and have lived a full life. i dont know.

I like cooking, ive tried hanging around farmers markets. that didnt produce any results either.
i like bands, and do go to see lots, but again, not really the best places to meet anyone.

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 12:31:37

Well you are lovely. You look tanned in your first pic ;)

I am having difficulty with the 60 dates and no success - surely that is some kind of record!?

What about relationship counselling to explore why things might not be working out?

Llareggub Fri 28-Dec-12 12:32:31

With the greatest of respect, you have dismissed every suggestion made by by posters. You come across as being very fixed in your ways and as very rigid. How do you really come across to others, do you think? I mean new people, not your nearest and dearest?

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:35:37

i look tanned because i had been on holiday prior to that pic being taken.

I dont think that number of dates is a record. if you jump over to the dating thread you will see its quite normal. I think people who havent online dated wildly over estimate the effectivness of online dating ( and the fact that most men are just after a shag).

There is nothing wrong with me, i dont need counselling!!!! smile i had a brief relationship of 5 months this summer. i dumped him, i then saw someone else for a month straight after that, who i also dumped. I am a normal, functioning woman. I just cant find anyone decent.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:37:32

i come across well. Ive just made lots of new friends through work.

Im not at all rigid in my ways, im just not going to tan or wear eyelash extensions... which is all that has been suggested as far as i can see.

I do think you're possibly a little premature with re-opening online accounts and expecting an immediate response... Give it a bit longer... Although Internet dating can be rubbish difficult... There are broadly two schools of thought, that Internet dating levels the field a bit, because everyone is looking for something, whether it be a long term relationship or a quick shag...but people can fib online, so they might be considerably older or shorter or lacking of teeth than you expect...alternatively the are people who swear by it, because they have found a needle in a haystack and are superbly loved-up with someone they met online. <shrugs>

I know it's rubbish, but I think stick to your principles, keep doing stuff that you enjoy doing, don't compromise what you are looking for and have a good old read of the rubbish that people put up with to be in a relationship, because being single sounds preferable to dealing with some of the nonsense elsewhere in the relationships bit of MN. I've kind of come to the conclusion, for me, that someone may or might not turn up, either option is fine smile I probably agree that that 'men' as a generalisation might not like intelligent, independent women with children who call-them on any bullshit they try to slide past you. You probably wouldn't want to be in a relationship with that kind of man anyway.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:39:42

oh that and to lose weight.

SavoyCabbage Fri 28-Dec-12 12:40:40

Have you put it out there (as they say) that you are looking? My sister's friend did this thing from some book where you had to tell everyone you knew from your mum to your dentist that you were interested in being set up with someone if they knew anyone.

People were quite excited about it as like you she had a lot to offer.

It worked for her.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:43:50

i dont tend to go on about it, so no, maybe thats one thing i could do, try and put it out there a bit more.
Though those i have said to are generally confused, then tell me to do internet dating.

Teeb Fri 28-Dec-12 12:46:57

Can I ask what it is you are looking for? Qualities, age, looks, personality etc. Do you have an 'ideal man' in mind? I think if we can get an idea of what it is you want, then it will be easier to try to tailor the advice we give.

SantasNaughtySack Fri 28-Dec-12 12:47:57

Is it possible that you just don't come across as well as you think you do? You say that you are very fun and likeable, but does that come across on your profile? Perhaps get a very honest friend to look it over and see if there's anything you could change/add.

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 12:50:45

You have had more suggestions than eyelashes and false tan.

If I may be brutally honest, you keep telling us you have a fabulous personality, but that isn't coming through here. There is a vast difference in qualities desirable for a job and a relationship. You haven't shown a shred of humour and have been pretty dismissive to some posters who have taken the time to write to you.

Maybe a little self-reflection on how you come across?

And I am saying that to be constructive, not unhelpful.

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 12:59:14

Haven't looked at the OP's pictures yet but this is Relationships, not Style and Beauty, so can everyone please stop wittering on about tinted moisturiser?!

Springchicken do you really want to be in a relationship or do you just think you should be in one? You sound like you are fine on your own. I find the longer I am single, the more I get to like it, so the less inclined I am to compromise. Do you feel you have enough good friends and close family relationships? For me, that's all I need plus occasional hot cougar sex with 25yo men grin

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 12:59:37

Blimey 50/60 dates and 2 relationships in 5 years is pretty successful I reckon and busy!

higgle Fri 28-Dec-12 13:03:35

I do think it is a good idea to get someone to have a look at your profile, it maybe that something you have not even thought about is a bit off putting.

Have you tried the more upmarket sites like Guardian Soulmates? Or you could try an introduction agency. A friend of mine found a new man who is lovely in her 50's through Caroline Crowther.

stubbornstains Fri 28-Dec-12 13:04:37

Well....I'm 38 going on 39. And I'm a single mum. But I have met somebody online, and it's going swingingly, after 4 months.

However...I did online dating for 8 months before I got a single date (and that date was the "somebody"!). Part of that was the fact that I live somewhere pretty remote, but I messaged a few men who didn't get back to me, too. I thought it was probably DS that put them off- great to have the sheep sorted out from the goats at such an early stage.

I do think that the majority of men you will find online are looking for little, fluffy, thin women who don't do much with their lives. However, you probably wouldn't find that kind of man too interesting really, would you?

It looks to me like you're in a bit of a "specialist interest" category- independent and intelligent. The good news is that there aren't that many of us compared to the other kind, so when you do find someone who is looking for someone like you, there won't be that many others like you to compete with, IYSWIM.

DP said that he was sick of reading online women's profiles where they said they liked drinking red wine and watching DVDs-all pretty boring- and that mine stood out a mile for its idiosyncracy grin. I would second whoever suggested that you try the more upmarket sites- I think you might be more appreciated there.

As for the weight, well I'm perpetually hovering either side of the size-14 line, and I have to say that I've met most men when I'm at my thinnest. Whether that's actual size or a confidence thing, I'm not sure.

I also found, with the online dating thing, that it helped to make my life so busy that I really did not give too much of a shit whether I met someone or not!

Llareggub Fri 28-Dec-12 13:04:50

I am also single and a lone parent. I think it is has become harder to find a decent relationship online because it is so easy to find superficial fault in a person after one date, as the pool is so easy to plunder. I know a man who is a serial online dater who fully admits that the more dates he goes on, the fussier he gets. I think he now as an unrealistic expectation of finding the "perfect woman.". I say, stop looking and concentrate on developing friendships with people.

Llareggub Fri 28-Dec-12 13:06:15

I would absolutely agree with everything Stubbornstains said.

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