Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Dating - how do I stay positive when it seems I'm just not "relationship material"?

(14 Posts)
Stormtreader Mon 04-Apr-16 13:15:21

Had a few relationships but never anything serious enough to get near the point of being proposed to or moving in together - most of them seem to just fade out after a few months.
I don't think I'm ugly, but I'm no head turner and never have been, always been the plain jane in the background really with her head buried in a book.

I think I've got good points, I'm interesting, funny and warm-hearted, but I'm getting really disheartened by the utter lack of interest from anyone now I'm ready to date again. I have a few friends recently who became single, and it seemed that they had male friends who leaped at the chance to date them, they were single for a few weeks and then bam! Whereas I'm messaging people online and not getting even a "no thanks" from any of them, the silence is deafening.

I feel like I'm stuck with "know who you are and do the things you want to do, be geeky, read sci-fi, but no-one else wants that person at 35", or "pile on makeup! Say you want to travel the world! Do loads of exercise classes that dont interest you! Keep lowering your standards until you find someone who finds you bearable!"

How do you stay true to yourself when you also feel youve been single long enough now thanks? I feel like I'm easy enough to get along with on dates, but I'm not even getting that far!

Stormtreader Mon 04-Apr-16 14:59:33

Anyone?

Arrowfanatic Mon 04-Apr-16 15:06:47

I would say that it's best not to dwell on it, see where life takes you xxxx

INeedNewShoes Mon 04-Apr-16 15:12:13

I've moved on. I'm 33 and the longest relationship I've had lasted three months.

In my twenties my confidence was crap and I didn't see myself as a good catch at all. By the time I was ready to date there didn't seem to be any single men left!

After my last bloke who seemed really keen ghosted me I've decided enough is enough. I don't need a man really. I have a very busy, fun life with lots of lovely friends and family. I'm having a really nice time.

The only time I've been at all unhappy in the past few years was after this guy ghosted me, and it made me think - why jeopardise my happiness when life is really rather nice as it is.

I'm not ruling out relationships forever but I've switched mindset from 'woe is me; single in my thirties' to 'I'm so lucky to be having such a nice time. If this is it then I'm actually content with that'.

Woopsiedaisy Mon 04-Apr-16 15:16:27

I think it is OD that is the issue, not you.

10 years ago it was an OK way to meet people, now it appears to be one giant knocking shop.

Both men and women complain of being badly treated online. I spoke to my younger Brother last week, who is lovely and would really like to be in a relationship. He told me that all the women he has met online have been quite screwed up by the OD experience and either overly wary or very aggressive. His view is that 'nice guys often don't get a chance to prove themselves'.

If you are looking to meet someone why not try Meetup. Join groups that you feel comfortable in and you might find someone with something in common with you. I belong to three groups, one focussed on walking, but others arranging social events in and around my local city. I get to meet lots of people and know quite a number of members who have met their DP this way.

HelpfulChap Mon 04-Apr-16 15:33:06

I think the whole dynamic has changed.

Ten years ago people who used OLD were seen as a bit desperate but this has swung full circle and it seems it is the preferred method of meeting someone (easy to bail out/keeps your options open).

I have had two female work colleagues complain recently that blokes won't just come up and talk to you (in a pub for example).

But having read some threads on MN it seems that the direct approach is an absolute minefield.

One has a date later but the geezer sounds full of shit to me. I look forward to an update tomorrow!

pocketsaviour Mon 04-Apr-16 15:38:46

Have you asked a friend (preferably a straight man) to view your profile and give you honest feedback?

It can be a real eye opener.

clingclangclong Mon 04-Apr-16 16:02:59

In my experience of friends who are in a similar position, the repeated sense of being overlooked, seems to fuel a defensiveness or guardedness that is off putting to a partner in itself and difficult to get past.

On your OLD profile, imagine you are writing about yourself like you would a character in a book. Sci fi and neediness is very interesting and very attractive to a lot of people, so play it up.

clingclangclong Mon 04-Apr-16 16:03:19

nerdiness not neediness!!!!!

DrMorbius Mon 04-Apr-16 16:13:33

nerdiness not neediness grin grin epic text failure or Freudian slip hmm

TresDesolee Mon 04-Apr-16 16:24:19

Sorry you're having a crappy time of it OP.

In my experience the real answer lies in self-confidence. People who really like themselves and genuinely aren't looking for someone else to 'complete' them are always attractive. They still get knock-backs occasionally, but their self confidence means they roll with the punches better - they know that the problem isn't with them.

Easy to say but not that easy to do, I know. If you think you've got poor self-confidence (and lots of us do where men are concerned) I'd do some focused work on that, possibly with a therapist if you can afford it.

The other thing that really helped me was really coming to terms with the possibility of being single for ever. I really thought about it, felt the sadness, looked at older women who I knew were long-term single. I really planned out what my life would be like if that were me (I decided I'd have a flat in central London and a dog, and wear fabulous clothes grin).

I really worked at coming to terms with it until I could genuinely say to myself 'if that's what happens, it will be fine'. It sounds weird and possibly counterintuitive but it was actually an incredibly powerful thing that somehow made me make much better choices about men, and to know which ones were just not worth worrying about.

MadeMan Mon 04-Apr-16 16:54:27

"...know who you are and do the things you want to do, be geeky, read sci-fi..."

Well, definitely don't give this up to go and swap for the fake tan (fake everything?) and thickly applied makeup lifestyle that seems to be found everywhere these days.

Kapere Mon 04-Apr-16 20:01:53

OP, just continue to trust your judgement and have patience.

I spent my teens and 20's in back to back relationships. The longest lasting 6 years. At 29 I decided I wanted to be single and have fun. I'd worked hard building a good career, bought a lovely home in an expensive city, travelled lots and had a really active social life.

I used to thank my lucky stars everyday just having that freedom. I felt lucky.

When I hit my 30's. I admit I panicked. I always found it so easy to meet a match that I didn't think I'd have any problem meeting someone I wanted to be with when I was ready. My friends all around me that had spent forever single had all suddenly met partners online dating and married them within 2 years. All relationships of convenience in my view.

OP, you strike me as someone genuinely looking for love. If that is the case, you will just have to be patient but also accept it may never happen. If you are looking for a life partner, then I suggest you get back online and maybe think about what you have to offer and what you expect in return, because I genuinely believe that those women who do really well in OLD are either super attractive or play the 'game'. For example, my friends are all intelligent and successful. Also solvent. It's no coincidence that they have all shacked up with men who are quite grabby and like the finer things in life. Not saying you should take that approach, but you get the principle.

The PP who mentioned meet up groups, I have heard those are also good. Lot's of singles (or attached and looking) tend to go as generally people that are not happily shacked up are more likely to spend their free time away from their partners partaking in hobbies etc....

Stormtreader Tue 05-Apr-16 10:24:17

accept it may never happen - thats what I'm worried about. I had a short relationship with someone that was really "love at first sight" for me a few years ago, and it really made me aware that that "in love" feeling was what I wanted, that I was ready for a really serious relationship where before I'd never been that bothered. Its like suddenly realising youre really hungry, and watching everyone around you tucking into burgers while telling you "you dont need food to be happy!"

those women who do really well in OLD are either super attractive or play the 'game'. For example, my friends are all intelligent and successful. Also solvent. It's no coincidence that they have all shacked up with men who are quite grabby and like the finer things in life.
Wow, thats depressing. I'm not super attractive, I didn't quite realise that a cocklodger was the best I could hope for though sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now