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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????

GoodGirlGoneBad74 Fri 28-Dec-12 10:30:18

Hi there
This is a really tricky one to comment on really. Without meeting you, it´s impossible to know! I would suggest you ask a trusted friend or family member to sit down with you and be as brutally honest (but with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism of course!) as possible. Perhaps you need a bit of a make over...a la those terrible TV programmes!
A lot of attractiveness is in a person´s attitude. I find men are definitely attracted to fun and carefree women. If you come across too serious and heavy and a bit woe-is-me...they run in the opposite direction!
Good luck, I really hope 2013 is your year!

lubeybooby Fri 28-Dec-12 10:32:55

You are not alone! Lots of this happening for lots of women (and men) Come and join us over here on the dating thread. Just jump right in

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1644002-Crotch-grabbing-jelly-nailing-double-quick-portions-and-man-parts-floating-in-a-pear-tree-dating-thread-33-survived-Christmas-so-bring-on-NYE

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 10:35:07

i dont think i need a make over, but thanks. Im attractive, i get told all the time that i am. Im also the most happy, upbeat, positive person a going. I make friends really easily, i am sociable.

Noone can fathom it out, it was brought up again in conversation over christmas, both with family and friends.

I did have a short fling which i dumped as he turned out to be a bit of a cocklodger. And ive had a few one night things.... and a month long thing which i also dumped for being wet.

I look around me and i dont see how im any different to any other mid 30's woman in a relationship. I dont look/ act wildly different. I just dont get why im still on my own and why it doesnt look like thats going to change.

Alittlestranger Fri 28-Dec-12 10:37:08

Am I alone in thinking it's not normal for someone to be "asked out" by four men within days of starting a new job? I've known a lot of workplace flirtations but they tend to be a lot more subtle than that. Are you sure you've had not a sniff of interest in five years, or are you waiting for someone to march over and ask you out like a 15 year old?

And you must have had unattractive men sniffing around?! No one is lucky enough to escape that!

Do you approach people on the dating sites? You really do have to be proactive.

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 10:39:34

Forget online dating unless you're prepared to lie about your age. I have had the same experience and realised that men in their 30s are searching for women aged 18-30 (32 at a push). Mid-thirties men on these sites don't even see your profile, because they've filtered your age out when searching. Meanwhile, older guys are also looking for younger women, which is why you're getting interest from the 40-50 age group. It's soul-destroying.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 10:44:11

well, im putting her being asked out like that down to youth or something??

Nope, no interest when ive been out, no interest in real life at all. not from even unattractive men.

I have dated a lot from dating sites, im not a shy person, i have no qualms with making contact or even asking someone out.

As i said, i did have a short fling which i had to dump due to his cockloding tendancies. and one for being wetter than a wet fish. And thats it. In 5 years.
Its sad, while i am happy on my own, i would really like a nice relationship.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 10:46:41

holla - ah, that makes sense. earlier this year i was getting lots of messages, i have had a birthday since then, and now, despite joining with the same picture i had earlier this year, ive not even had one view!!!
On match i was contacted by a 53 year old. Honestly, depressing.

wannaBe Fri 28-Dec-12 10:56:14

I am in the process of getting divorced and honestly the thought of dating horrifies me. And I am certainly not attractive or pretty or any of that and I am 38 (soon to be 39). I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be single for the rest of my life.

Have never heard a good word about online dating so have no intentions of going there. ever.

I think it's a big bad world out there tbh.

overbythere Fri 28-Dec-12 10:58:23

It's not your age or the fact you are a single parent. I am ancient (49) with young children and have been single about 9 months. I have found it easy to meet men, especially online. It is more difficult in real life but possible e.g. work, odd night out. The main things I have done differently are:
- put myself out there i.e. go out everywhere I am invited
- tart myself up a bit i.e. got my teeth whitened, made an effort with hair and clothes. People have commented that my appearance has improved!
- made a special effort to be fun and upbeat even when I haven't felt like it (I can assure you)
- made it known I am single and 'available'
- probably been a bit more flirty
- been very proactive online which means a bit more rejection but also a lot more success.
I have met up with six or seven guys online, all lovely, (the nutters having been weeded out) and amazingly everyone has wanted to see me again.
I was seeing one guy for several months but he lived too far away. I am now seeing a really lovely guy but taking it slowly.
Please don't think I'm showing off. I am really nothing special. Just to say it can be done, just build it up and keep working at it.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 11:00:39

To be fair, online dating is rubbish. I have done it on and off for years and have vowed never again.
Match. com was touted by friends and family as i would be ' snapped up' so, forgetting all my previous experience with it, i joined and 30 minutes later it came flooding back why its crap.

You might change your mind about dating in a few years, when you have healed from the divorce. Most people do, its just then, it seems nigh on impossible to meet anyone.

I just dont understand what it is men what.

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 11:04:19

Are you happy within yourself OP?

I find once I am feeling really good about myself and confident I tend to attract plenty of men.

I recently became single, I am 35, size 12, and am described as very attractive although I would beg to differ smile

I am getting quite a lot of male interest whereas my friend who is 38, reasonably attractive and a size 18 hasn't had any in years and can't fathom it.

I put the difference down to two things, I am fun and approachable and very easy going. She is quite serious and intense. Also as shallow and as crap as it is, her size will put some men off.

...I am hoping to avoid dating sites for the exact reasons Holla describes. I am finding going out for drinks in bars and clubs with friends is working really well although I appreciate that's not as easy when you have dcs.

I am seeing a lovely guy who is 26 - I met him in a bar one Saturday night. He probably isn't the one but right for now.

Best of luck OP. There is someone for everyone cut sometimes it takes patience and hard work.

Ps Don't rule out the makeover, it's amazing what some eyelash extensions, a spray tan and a new haircut can do! grin

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 11:09:17

ive had rather more online dates that 7 or 8. Over 50. possibly over 60. Not all were lovely, most had issues and it was very clear why they were single. And that was after weeding out the dross.
Maybe 4 or 5 wanted to see me again. I only wanted to see maybe 3 of those again.
Im not overly picky, but im not going to date someone with massive red flags.

im very fun smile i started at a new job recently and people were begging me to come out with them as ' you are so fun' I do make an effort looks wise, i look nice, i have my hair done every 3 months. I dont drink tea/ coffee/ red wine/ smoke. so my teeth are white, and straight and i have no fillings.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 11:16:08

i am fun and approachable. Im in a new job and was hired after physchometric testing for having those very attributes. I am nice and chatty and friendly etc... thats not even in question.

i hate bars. I hate spray tans and have no wish to have eyelash extensions. that is not me at all, if i went out like that i would feel uncomftable and awkward and horrible. Maybe thats were i am going wrong??

And yes, i am happy with myself, and by myself etc... etc.... I have no self esteem issues ( if i did i wouldnt have dumped the last two men, i would have hung onto the relationship desperate to be in one)

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 11:19:53

I don't think you should do those things if they are not you.

You sound like you are doing everything right.

Just keep doing what you are doing and maybe it's a numbers game? But keep trying new stuff too. Get involved in a new sport - join a local gym or change to a new one if already a member etc.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 11:31:30

no, they arent me. I cant stand the towie look, i just cant. and i dont like bars frequented by those types. And i dont like men with overgelled hair, and those deep v neck t shirts, and glammed up like some kind of, i dont know... i dont know, i just dont like it.

Ive tried a lot of new stuff over the years, even tried a social group, but that was also full of women, all there for the same reason!

Im not paticullary sporty, but do like outdoors things like camping/ fishing/ off roading.... thats not got me anywhere either though.

Im all for getting out there, but it doesnt seem to help. This young girl with the amazing record of being asked out is as fluffy as they come and just giggles and has literally nothing to say. My sister is wet and cant even walk across a car park by herself without her partner, she cant go shopping without him, cant do anything without consulting him. Meanwhile im driving into london tomorrow by myself..... without giving it any thought at all. I go on holiday on my own, i do any and everything by myself.... I dont think being independent it attractive to men at all.

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 11:48:00

Op you might be stereotyping/generalising to your disadvantage though. For over Christmas I treated myself to a tan and eyelashes but I am as far from TOWIE as you can get. I just wear jeans, blouses, subtle make-up. In bars you will always get a contingent of the men you describe but there will be others who aren't like that too. The guy I met recently was jeans, t-shirt, curly hair, clever and funny smile They are out there.

What about more traditional pubs - more your scene?

I think in some cases, men can be put off by independent women which is a bit depressing.

I think being somewhere regularly so you see the same people can be good for meeting people - hence gym suggestion or what about a local pub quiz, or walking group?

overbythere Fri 28-Dec-12 11:49:21

From what you say you are obviously a fun attractive person. Not to be rude, but to have been on 50 or 60 dates and still be in the same position after 5 years does suggest something isn't right that we can't identify here for you.

If it's any consolation, you sound fab. Stuff the spray tan and eyelash extensions. wink personally, I'd give up. I'd stop looking, I'd continue with cool activities for example, learn Spanish, join a local running group, do something where you don't expect to meet 'The one' hmm Join an online forum for an interest that you have. Just be you.

I hate the idea that only thin, towied, giggly women can attract male interest, they will attract men who are attracted to those attributes, you will eventually attract a man who likes you for who you are, not just what you look like.

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 11:55:18

If what you're currently doing isn't working, why are you so against making changes? Theres also less single men available in your mid thirties, and to some extent you are "competing" against other women, so why not do everything you can to make sure you stand out from the rest?

Taking care of your appearance does not mean the TOWIE look. A light tan can make a lot of difference, as can nice hair, subtle make up and making your eyes stand out more, whether with mascara or eyelash extensions. And I'm sorry, but I do think unless you have a very pretty face and lovely hair, many men tend to bypass those over a certain size.

That said, I do think you're right about the independence thing to some extent - looking around my male friend's girlfriends and DH's work colleagues, it seems to be a minor miracle if any of them has a full time job (few have children yet) never mind anything approaching a career.

Echo the joining sports/hill walking clubs, but don't expect instant dates, get to know people first, or friends of friends.

stookiesackhouse Fri 28-Dec-12 11:56:27

Ps yes do ignore the spray tan etc, esp when it isn't you. Guess what I was saying is do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

Cos when you do feel good about yourself it shines through.

Totally with snapes on doing some stuff that you enjoy, just for you, as a positive way forward.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 11:57:21

i think ill have to try to find some kind of group. or just find people to go to a local pub with regulary ( which is harder than it might seem, finding people, time and funds)
Traditional pubs, or cool, alternative pubs are far more my thing.

I dont think there is anything wrong with me, i think the dates ive had have just been not right for me. I know i come across well in person as i was hired for that very reason.

higgle Fri 28-Dec-12 11:59:50

At 34 maybe you should consider men of 40 and a little bit more? If you are a single mum at 34 and you meet men of about your own age they are either going to be single, and possibly by 34 /36 a bit set in their ways, perhaps not really wanting children of their own or anyone elses. If they are divorced they will probably be either broke through meeting their obligations to their children or not nice people if they are not. A man a little boit older might be regretting the choice of a single life or well over any split with family issues resolved. Just thinking.

When I was single I used to mee most boyfriends through things connected with work but not people I worked with - people I met on courses, who did the same job as me for another firm or who worked in places I had to go to in connection with work - do you do a job that might get you out and about a bit more?

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:01:46

i do wear make up!! frankly id look shocking without it smile

mascara and eyeliner are my friends. Im not some kind of jogging bottom, hair scragged off face, heathen.

I do make an effort, i do look nice. (my goodness)

i dont like spray tans. id rather not look orange. in any shade.

im not against changes, im just aganist changes that go aganist what i believe - which is what snapes said, that only giggling, thin, fluffy women have men. but then again, im still single.....

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 12:03:31

No, i dont go anywhere with work. And 99.9% of male employees are either gay or 20, so thats not much help. I have gone on a few work nights out though, and will continue to do so.

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.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:06:37

i think it comes across in any profile i have had. Ive had it looked over by friends and things who have ok'ed it and made suggestions.

and to be fair, its not a humerous situation, ive made a few jokes at my expense, im asking for advice, not trying to pull you all smile

I know in real life im lovely and funny and Do have a nice personality, so i am going to ignore any thing to the contrary, im sorry about that.

I dont have an ' ideal' type, nor a list of things he has to be, im not that shallow. Saying that i do like dark hair and stubble. Someone clever, funny, interested in current affairs, reading would be nice, so would an appreciation of something other than football, beer and the sun newspaper smile Job,car and not living with parents are essential.

Lueji Fri 28-Dec-12 13:08:25

You did say that people (men?) found you intimidating?

Do you know why?

Are you or can you be too independent? Or are you very assertive?

As others mentioned, it would probably take people watching you to be able to really help.

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 13:09:26

Just looked at your pictures and you look fine! Definitely attractive. I don't however, think either shot is suitable for an online dating profile - so if you do want to try that again, use smily, clear, natural photos with just you in them, and include at least one full-length and at least one face close-up.

But as previously mentioned, internet dating is fairly pointless once you hit your mid-30s, unless you want to date older men...

Mosman Fri 28-Dec-12 13:11:26

You look lovely, no make overs required grin
I met DH through online dating and never looked back, you do come across some right plonkers though, just have to go on a lot of dates and I mean a lot almost turn it into a full time job.
I think I met 29 idiots and 1 nice one, so I married him immediately. (as in 3 months later, still together 12 years and 3 DC's later).

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 13:11:32

Ime all the available men I know (in 30s etc) don't make them selves available. It's hilarious. All go to a BLOKEY pub and chat to each other yet are desperate for women (like me - sounds vain sorry but want women their age ) are always asking me if I have single mates.

Was only thinking today that they'll not meet anyone as they don't put themselves out there! You do and still don't.

If I were single now id do online or find a nice pub with graduate type clientele (sorry but you know) where there's a nice mix of ages.

or stalk obsessively at a rugby club ;)

Good luck.

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 13:12:47

Oh and definitely lose weight. Don't let that be a reason as well as age to dismiss you out if hand

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:14:31

i am happy on my own smile that is true. Im not sitting at home waiting for a man, and tbh, most of the time i dont miss it. i also dont feel that i NEED to be in a realationship, id just quite like one.

I am independent, i could be that, i am confident, it could be that. Im not confrontational, but will say if i dont agree with something.

Ive been told by a male friend i am intimidating,because im pretty, and clever and funny and seem very together. I laughed in his face, because im not, not really. Maybe that wasnt the best reaction either smile

I dont want to date older men... not older than 38 really, and i dont hold out much hope for online dating, having tried it lots before. Its not the be all and end all.

I think i was just hoping for some kind of magic answer.... smile

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:16:37

also, the more upmarket sites just dont have many people in my area on them. So, i need to move... which might be a bit desperate!! lol

badtime Fri 28-Dec-12 13:17:31

I was single for about 5 years. I wore size 4 (yeah, the mythical US 'size 0'). I looked nice, was funny, interesting, all that stuff.

I realised eventually that there were a few reasons for my singleness:
-I am terrifying. I am intelligent, educated, attractive, and kind of naturally haughty looking, so men always thought I wouldn't be interested;
-some men think they need to impress a woman for her to be interested in them. I am not easily impressed, and men therefore got confused and went away. Or thought I was 'hard work'.
-I apparently don't know how to flirt. I thought I did, but when I did online dating (which I found useful and interesting, and I am still in touch with everyone I met) I realised that people didn't know when I found them attractive.

So yeah, maybe you are so intimidating that you need to telegraph a bit more when you are interested.

(I met a nice 34-y.o when I was 36 and have been living together for almost 2 years now)

Longdistance Fri 28-Dec-12 13:18:31

I hope you didn't mind, but I had a nosy at your pic.

I do think you are attractive, so I don't know why men wouldn't ask you out?

Are you very independent and maybe that puts them off.

I used to live on my own for about 5 years, and that used to repel men, as in fact I didn't really need one. My job used to attract a few takers, but when I was 'busy' at work away they'd think I wasn't interested. In fact I was out of the country, and sometimes worked weekends, so that put the men off. I'm also 5'10" myself, so all shorties were out of the question.

What sort of chap are you after? My dh sense of humour got me.

emsyj Fri 28-Dec-12 13:19:25

People used to tell me that I was intimidating - I just waited til I met someone who wasn't intimidated. Perhaps you just need to give it a bit longer. 5 years isn't that long to be single IMO and you have had plenty of interest, just not from men that you would choose to pursue a relationship with. Maybe you need to think about what you're looking for and where you're likely to find that sort of man. I met DH at a sports club (for a sport that I was oh, about 10% interested in...)

I do agree though that what you say your personality is like is not what is coming across on this thread: perhaps the way you come across in real life is not what you imagine? I tend to find you get what you give, and if you are very friendly and positive and have no problem making lots of friends then it does seem strange that you don't feel you get a great reaction from men that you meet.

Llareggub Fri 28-Dec-12 13:19:28

We are the same age. Why not give the older man a try? I did and was blown away by one I met - best night of passion of my life! Sadly it was not to be but we enjoy a good friendship.

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 13:23:41

I find you a little intimidating! I'm trying to imagine if I was one of those much maligned creatures, a man, and I do think the constant referrals to how great your personality is and how confident and nice and interesting you are would give me the impression you considered yourself too good for me. And possibly a bit too full of yourself.

And I think I'm quite rigid in my distaste for older men, but no more than 4 years older and I'm not sure how many years younger, but you weren't keen seems a bit strict even to me!

You said you hadn't had any interest from men but also you've been on many dates and had two relationships?

Your OP is very critical of men for being interested in a slim, 20 year old woman at your work. It almost seems to suggest how dare they? Yet I do think some men might prefer such a demographic to a 34 year old size 16 single mother with health issues. Some men won't, but it seems to be your experience that many do.

I don't think thats shallow. I met DH through my participation in sport, and so did many of my friends. Many nice men want to meet women who have similar interests to them and don't just want to spend their time in the pub. Thats not shallow, thats pretty genuine.

nickymanchester Fri 28-Dec-12 13:29:17

higgle At 34 maybe you should consider men of 40 and a little bit more? ... A man a little boit older might be regretting the choice of a single life or well over any split with family issues resolved. Just thinking.

I must say that I really do agree with higgle.

I'm a year older than the OP and my DH is 11 years older than me. We've been married for eight years and have two DCs.

A couple of his friends, who are the same sort of age as him, are divorced and, were it not for me being totally smitten by DH, then I could well be tempted by them myself.

Ignoring a man just because he is over a certain age is just as bad as when men ignore women just because they are over a certain age - it works both ways. You could be missing out on some really nice people.

However, if the men you come into contact with at work are mostly either gay or 20 then perhaps I can understand why you don't find slightly older men attractive. Each to their own.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:41:05

Y'know I think there is some truth in that Higgy ad Nicky....I am still sort of attracted to blokes I would have gone out with when I was 21....but at 38 a bloke with dreadlocks crusty style is not necessarily gonna bring me joy..

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:41:51

Soz Higgle

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:42:35

no,im not at all critical at the 20 year old and her offers, nor of the men that asked her out. its just interesting that its so different, thats all.

i wouldnt ignore a man who was older, ive had some dates with older men, i just dont tend to be attracted to them. i wouldnt apply a blanket rule though, if someone was great and happened to be 42, then of course i would date them ;)

and i wouldnt go on and on to any man, nor person about how great i am. Its just that it was brought up on here that i needed to be more friendly/ fun/ etc, and thats not the case at all. Im confused as to how any one would find me intimidating, but it has been said by a close friend recently. A school gate mother has massive hatred for me and yet again blanked me. My close friend, who is also friends with her told me that this woman is very intimidated by me and gave me a list of reasons. I dont see it myself, but it has been said to me a few times. Its entirelly possible i am too independent, but for goodness sake, if i wasnt, how on earth would i manage with life. i cant sit in waiting for prince charming to come rescue me smile

i meant that ive not had any real life interest, ive had lots of online interest, but thats not come to anything other than a string of first dates.

I also dont have health issues {confused} i have pcos with insulin resistance, which makes it very hard to lose weight. its not any kind of issue other than fat sticks to me like glue smile

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:44:26

ike - yep. i understand that. but again am fully aware that they are not the best people to be in a relationship with. Ive been on dates with older men. the last one i dated and dumped was 38. Ive had a date with a 41 year old. its no bones.

stubbornstains Fri 28-Dec-12 13:47:16

No ike, what you need at our age is a man with a sensible haircut who reminisces about his dreadlocks days...grin

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:50:02

Yes indeed stubborn must try to avoid those thrash metalheads...then again the last one was completely bald just thought he was still a raver...ah well it is a conundrum indeed..

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 13:51:17

but not so much so, that he refuses to grow up! lol

Which is another issue - they can seem all nice, and sensible and funny and lovely, and then you find out they only like getting hammered on a friday and sat, and eating cold pizza in their pants while playing x box!
lol

NcNcNcNc Fri 28-Dec-12 13:56:20

You do come across quite scary and as if anyone said even the smallest 'wrong thing' you'd jump down their throat. Not a very relaxing person to be around?

You're very pretty though smile

maleview70 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:57:34

First things first, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you look.
The first picture in particular is lovely. The 2nd a bit more formal. What's your dating picture like?

How do you describe yourself on line?

Some men are driven by looks and weight. Half of my friends would not date anyone bigger than a size 12, but these are gym going types themselves. I assume you do not rule out men who are not toned?

I would never dismiss a woman because she wasn't spray tanned so wouldn't worry about that.

Maybe try different websites or join a group or something. One of my friends met his future wife on a cookery course. Another in a walking club.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:59:22

Having looked quickly on POF this morn the only bloke I find remotely interesting has a kinda shaved mohawk ...but then his job appears to be a hairdresser (handy) he is looking for someone with equally silly hair (mine is pink) but only wants under 36 yr olds. I am 38/41 whats a woman to do eh????

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:01:14

The body fascism thing is an issue too ...its true that I personally would not be over enamoured with a chubby bloke but if he had a great face, style and personality it would not really matter. So I assume that blokes would feel the same?

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 28-Dec-12 14:02:18

OK, you are at a slightly difficult age for online dating: mid-to-late 30s is the age at which women are supposedly desperate for DC (or more DC if they have any already) which is one reason why some men filter out that age group.

What do you like doing, OP? I would advise looking for a hobby with a social side that appeals to a range of people, so you get a range of ages, singles and couples.

stubbornstains Fri 28-Dec-12 14:05:44

Message him ike- I bet he'd make an allowance for pink hair!

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 14:06:33

no, infact toned blokes dont really do it for me at all. Im more likely to rule out a gym going guy than someone ' normal'

Im not after some adonis, in fact im well known for having quirky taste, i go more for personality really. but agin, thats not got me anywhere.

ive only defended myself when the advice has been spray tans or telling me i need a make over or personality overhall. i dont need either of these things, and have only said as such.

maleview - ive used both, but only the one withthe child if ive been asked for a fully body shot. I know im curvey, i dont see why it should be an issue...and if anyone has asked ive shown various full body shots.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:08:11

Mmmmwould do stubborn but I've sworn off dating for a while ..like to keep my eagle eye out tho for tasty Morsels...goodluck to those still active tho!!

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 14:11:12

I too am apparently intimidating. but frankly, anyone who is intimidated by me at first meeting (when I'm dolled up and on best behaviour) isn't gonna cope with me when I'm being grumpy/hungover/fierce, so I think that's for the best. I don't want to spend my life diminishing myself so that some feeble baby of a man gets to feel bigger.

ike1 unless that hairdresser is also way under 36, he is definitely too old for a mohawk. Take comfort from that grin

stubbornstains Fri 28-Dec-12 14:15:46

I don't want to spend my life diminishing myself so that some feeble baby of a man gets to feel bigger.

Say it like it is SISTAH! (bumps fists)

So, Ike, you've sworn off online dating but you're still cruising PoF hmmmmmmm?

G'wan......

maleview70 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:15:58

If you are using both the 2nd is not as good as the first. It would not put me off at all seeing a picture of you with your child(assuming that is your child!) as your description would state that you had a child anyway. Is it not OD etiquette to show your child?

Anyway had I been OD and looking for someone, your first
Pic would have definately have got my attention. The 2nd not so much as I find it a bit formal.

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 14:23:38

Think the 38 age limit at 34 is a bit blinkered.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:24:42

Oh now stubborn you are encouraging me to enter dangerous territory again.. and yeah we are both too ol for our silly hair dos common ground in itself lol....x

tawse57 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:34:52

You Mumsnet nickname is notsuchaspringchicken - when I read that I thought you were going to be in your 50s or older... and then I see that you are just 34. Yes - JUST 34.

Mindset is all important isn't it and little things often give our mindset away. If you choose a nickname like notsuchaspringchicken then perhaps that is the message that you are giving out to men. I am often shocked by just how many women write on their dating profiles that they consider themselves old once they are over 30. If you think like that then no man is going to be interested in you and will run a mile.

What nickname have you used on the dating site - please don't tell me that it is the same one? If so, 99.9% of men will not even glance at your profile.

If I am going to date a 34 year old woman I want a woman who is fun to be with and who enjoys life and having fun. (Yes, that most definitely includes sex - in fact, sex would be a major component for virtually all men). So a 34 year needs to telling the men that she is young, vibrant, fun to be with and, yes, keen on a healthy sexual relationship.

I notice that you say you are curvy - when men read dating profiles they read 'curvy' to mean over-weight, fat or even obese.

There are thousands of women in the UK on dating sites who describe themselves as curvy and, bluntly, when you look at their photos they are bordering on clinically obese.

You then mention a friend who is thin who is getting loads of attention... so I think you need to be honest about your weight here... are you sexy curvy or are you fat.... and if you are the latter then you really MUST do something about your weight otherwise the majority of men will not look at you... and you will be only a magnet for those freaky men known as chubby chasers... Dating sites are full of 'curvy' (i.e. fat) women moaning about why men are not interested in them...

I don't mean to offend or to come across as blunt... but I am saying these things to try and help you out. I wish you all the best and am sorry that you have been alone for so long. Christmas just makes thing worse doesn't it.

notsuchaspringchicken - men like young, tasty birds. Change your nickname if this is the one you are using on your dating profiles.

Best of luck.

HollaAtMeSanta Fri 28-Dec-12 14:35:52

<high fives stubbornstains>

I think the second photo is a bit serious/gothy looking. Also I might wonder if you only had one eye, but I am deeply cynical after years of online dating.

You look stunning in first pic. I would cut dd out and use that as the main one.
I think you come across very well, articulate and strong. There is no need to fluff up.
I would put word out among friends etc that you are looking, plus maybe revamp your profile so it's lighter (NB. Have no idea if it's not light already)
Less words, more pics prob.
When I was 34, I went on guardian soulmates. Bf had become pick of the week or something. I didn't get a single nudge. I like to think DS put them off! (I don't know) on match, I had loads of dates then met DH...
Don't compromise or fake tan!

SantasNaughtySack Fri 28-Dec-12 14:46:02

If you're positive that there is nothing wrong with the way you look, your personality, the way you put yourself across or your dating profile itself, then what advice can anyone give? They are the only things that can be changed to adjust the situation from your end, and it sounds like you like them all just the way they are.

I think it's good to remember that in the end there's only so much we can do, a lot of it is just down to timing and luck.

I was practically never single between 18 and 32, then for reasons I still don't understand had nada, zip, zero for about three years. I was exactly the same, just things weren't happening for one reason or another.

I moved to a new city, started dating younger men (don't rule them out!) and eventually got together with my DH at 36 (he's 8 years younger).

You joked about moving and while I would never suggest moving just to find a man, you may find living in a different place helps you find more people generally to socialise with and do the kinds of activities you like, which makes it more likely you will meet someone.

SweetSeraphim Fri 28-Dec-12 14:48:00

Loving all the advice telling the OP to lose weight, or men will not look at her hmm

I'm overweight, and I have never had a problem pulling men. The difference being that I'm not interested in shallow twats hmm

SunRaysthruClouds Fri 28-Dec-12 14:48:26

For what it’s worth another bloke’s view here. I generally agree with Maleview – you are attractive and you don’t need to worry there.

However having seen your posts you are coming across as very fixed–view, as in ‘it’s my way or no way’. It seems odd that you have been on 50+ dates and not met someone who fits your requirements, unless you haven’t been reading their profile and communicating. And I mean really reading and communicating. There is an awful lot not said in profiles and emails as well as what is there in black and white. It may be that you are still thinking of all the things that were wrong with your marriage and are being very specific.

I speak from the other side as it were – I have done o/l dating twice. Met someone wonderful each time pretty quickly but their personalities came out in the profiles emails and IMs. First time lasted 18 months. This time was on Match and we have been together a few months and there have been no surprises – it was all there before we met.

I suggest you look carefully at profiles of the interesting blokes, and then contact the ones you like but with a considered email, not just a ‘I see you like reading, have you read 50 Shades of Shit?’ note. Then really engage.

Oh and not all blokes want women umpteen years younger; there are advantages to having similar ages – such as childrens ages, similar teen-era memories and so on.

SweetSeraphim Fri 28-Dec-12 14:49:21

Seriously OP, you're really attractive. You don't strike me as someone who would change to please a man, and nor should you. You want someone who likes you for you, surely? Just keep on keeping on and one will turn up.

tawse57 Fri 28-Dec-12 14:51:23

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

There you go saying that you are old again. You obviously believe it so perhaps you should just target men in their 70s?

If you are intimidating and you scare men you probably need to ask yourself honestly why you have that reputation? Is it how you truly are or is it how you want others to perceive you. Some women enjoy being intimidating - they usually have a whip in their wardrobes though - lol.

Please stop saying that you are old.

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 14:54:50

agree - you arent fucking "curvy" aka fat.

you are normal (and pretty to boot)

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 14:55:52

oh and re intimidating - thats shit. I am fucking TERRIFYING and get on with men who like it.

you wont get on with a man who is a puss

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 14:57:47

come on twitter - loads of men on there and the ones i interact with are FUN ( and some are single to boot!) huzzah

SweetSeraphim Fri 28-Dec-12 14:58:57

See, Mariah agrees with me. No strong woman wants a man that's easily intimidated.

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

rraaar

seriously - twitter

tawse57 Fri 28-Dec-12 15:00:17

Ditto the view of Maleview and SunRaysthruClouds - just seen your photos and you are attractive looking so that is not the problem.

Which brings me back to the negativity that I mentioned in my original reply.

Just one other thing - I notice that you have a photo of your daughter and yourself here on Mumsnet. I don't know if you have the same photo on your dating profile but lots of men are really put off by photos of women who post photos of themselves and their children on-line.

Women seem to think that such photos say "This is me - this is the package you get which includes my child/children" but the dating site profile information will tell a man whether you have children or not. You do not need to post a photo of your child/children.

A lot of Men simply think it is weird when Women post such photos and, frankly, most of us think it is not the right thing to do as the children have no say in their photos being placed on a dating site on their Mum's profiles... and it could attract the wrong kind of individual.

A man wants to date YOU first and foremost. Getting to know your children is for later on if and when the relationship develops and goes anywhere. Here is a really good article about what Men think about dating site profiles of Women.

13 Things That Men Are Too Embarrassed to Tell You

http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/dating/13-things-that-men-are-too-embarrassed-to-tell-you/

nje3006 Fri 28-Dec-12 15:01:47

You don't look 'curvy' which I agree in the OD world is usually code for morbidly obese.
I started OD when I was 41. I hadn't dated for 22 years. I went on a couple of dates but I was pretty fierce at weeding out those I didn't think would be fabulous. I wasn't at that time looking for a serious relationship, I wanted someone to date, go out with to places, have fun with.
I took it pretty seriously, invested time and effort in it once I'd decided to do OD. I agree with the poster above who said the photos are not great for OD. I don't know if they are the ones you use. The one with your dd is not great for a dating photo, I guess you tell people you have a child so there's no need imo to post a photo of her online. The other one also is not really dating material. I think a selection of photos is good, it shows you haven't picked a totally unrealistic 'lucky' snap. I also think years on the photos are good, shows they're not unrealistically old. Btw, I don't know if the photos show your weight realistically, you don't look 'curvy' in the photos so again I don't know if the photos are unrealistic or whether you are being unrealistically harsh on your description of yourself but something isn't adding up on that point.
As for being independent and intimidating. Ime some men are easily intimidated and it's best to just leave them be and hold out for someone who isn't intimidated - they are out there.
I did OD 8 years ago and this year married DH, we met on the Times Encounters OD service. My bff did OD at the same time as me, she also met her current DH online (can't remember which site though). We have another friend younger than us by 10 years who has never married, has no children but has never really got further than a few dates. She is very inexperienced in relationships and despite our best efforts with her profile, dress sense, photos, how to respond etc she is still a million miles off what we both know will work - she's kinda given up now
I guess what I'm saying is it's hard to know in your case whether you're being honest about eg your weight but your pics are not saying the same thing or whether your pics are realistic but your own description is putting men off. I'm not saying it's all about the weight, I'm just using that as an example of checking what you're saying against reality.

aleene Fri 28-Dec-12 15:34:45

Op - you don't need to change yoyr appearance. IMO OD is a game of chance. I meet someone wonderful but it took a while and I found the merrygoround of messages and dates a bit soul destroying.

It may be worth thinking about your expectations. Nothing wrong in high standards but set the bar too high and no one will have a chance.

Alittlestranger Fri 28-Dec-12 16:31:30

There's nothing wrong with setting the bar high if you're prepared to have fallow periods.

I'm frequently told I'm intimidating, by men and women. I do think, however, that it's a bit of a red herring. I think if I was super hot men would find a way to overcome the fear grin. It's probably been a bigger barrier to forming friendships with women.

I get a bit baffled when people argue that weight etc shouldn't be an issue. We're all dating to find a sexual partner and we all have specific things that we are attracted to. I am very, very unlikely to be attracted to an overweight man so would be unlikely to respond to a message from a man who looked overweight in his pictures. It might be different in real life if something else about them was a fantastic turn-on, but in the sweetshop which is OD, why actively chuck chaff in with wheat? Does this make me shallow? I have plenty of physical attributes that will be a turn off for some people and I wouldn't take it that personally if someone wasn't attracted to me because of them. I also get annoyed with people who complain that weight is their problem as weight is the easiest thing to change!

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 16:42:53

I agree with you Alittlestranger. I don't see why men having preferences about certain attributes, such as weight, makes them shallow.

If I were looking for a man, I would have certain requirements beyond which I wouldn't consider - preferably a graduate in employment, not overweight, interest in sport - if that makes me shallow, then I guess we should all go out with the first person of the opposite sex we ever have a fulfilling conversation with!

FromEsme Fri 28-Dec-12 16:58:38

First of all - OP, you are beautiful. You are not old and you sure don't look chubby to me.

Second, men are intimidated by me as well. I am grumpy, independent and often disagreeable and that puts a lot of men off. My partner is not intimidated by me and I'm glad I held out for someone who isn't. I don't want to go out with someone who is insecure in that way. Fuck 'em. I know a lot of people say you have to be relentlessly positive all the bloody time to get a man, but I am a grumpy person and I'm not going to pretend I'm not.

Being into outdoorsy stuff could be a good way of meeting new people. Could you try another realm of outdoorsyness? Canoeing, climbing, hiking, biking? I find a lot of people who are into that kind of stuff generally pretty genuine and accepting.

overbythere Fri 28-Dec-12 18:28:27

With respect, it is almost impossible to have 50 or 60 dates and only 4 or 5 men want to see you again and you would only see a few of them again. Presumably you have chatted online long enough to know there are no red flags or alarm bells going off before you arrange to meet. Out of the 7 or so guys I have met the only reason I did not see them all again was because it was getting complicated and I didn't have enough free time to keep seeing them all. Only one guy was a definite no and even then if he had pursued things more strongly I might have met him again as he was still a nice guy, just not my type. You build a kind of relationship with a guy before you meet so you can hardly go wrong really. I can't believe how lucky I have been to have met such great guys and as I said before I am nothing special and 'old' compared to you.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 18:32:29

i am chubby, or according to bmi - overweight ( i was obese, but have lost a stone since sept) I AM a size 16, the dress in the pic is a size 16.
I have listed myself as adverage body in the past, but thought that maybe i was turning up and chubbier than they were expecting, so thought id be more truthful and say curvey.

My user name on any dating site is nothing negative, i name changed for this and couldnt find anything that wasnt already taken, the spring chicken in a long standing joke, it came to mind, so i used it.

I dont have pics of my child on my profile, i dont mention my child, only in the ' has children' bit. Im of the view that my child is nothing to do with dating.

I also dont mention my size, nor anything negative on any dating profile, or when im chatting with someone, im nothing but light, carefree and interesting.

And yes, i have had that many dates, to be fair, its not that ive discounted them all, i would have seen many of them again, to give it a chance, its just they havent been interested in seeing me again, for reasons unknown.

Im not a grumpy person at all, but i am a real person, im not always happy and smiley and i wouldnt want someone who expected me to be so. Its not nice if you arent allowed to be more than 2d prettyness.

I dont even think i have high expectations, i just want someone nice, who has a job/ car/ doesnt live at home, and has social skills. you wouldnt think it that hard......

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 18:58:53

Ah - just realised my profile wasnt actaully active on any of the sites, but was in fact hidden, or not activated yet. Which explains why i was not getting anything at all. phew.

overbythere Fri 28-Dec-12 19:05:37

That's the whole point then, isn't it. Why have you had that many dates and almost all the guys don't want to see you again? You say 'reasons unknown.' If you could identify the reasons, you would know why you are still on your own. But would you change or even want to change, even if you knew?!

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 19:12:07

i think some are/ would be/ include
- they arent ready for a relationship, they just just got dumped/ divorced/ whatever - and just want to date lots of people
- they are married or in along term thing and are trying to cheat
- they have no interest in a relationship and just want sex
- they dont contact you if you dont have sex with them. but dont if you do as they have already got what they wanted
- they are just interested in ' dating' and not in a relationship
- its a ego boost for them.

Ive had lots of the above, and lots of them have admitted thats the score. It does not follow that just because someone is on a dating site saying that they want a relationship, that they actually do. or that they want one with you.

i realise that sounds terribly jaded, but it is the case.sadly.

tawse57 Fri 28-Dec-12 19:19:30

The brutal reality of relationships is that if we keep choosing bfs/gfs who turn out to be awful people - and we keep on doing this - eventually we all have to look inside of ourselves and, truthfully, ask ourselves why we are ending up with such people again and again.

I have a female friend who is a serial dater on the dating sites. She will ring me up one week and tell me how she has found this wonderful guy. Within 5 to 6 weeks she will be on the telephone telling me how he has abused her and her emotionally. On one occasion she ended up in A&E after being beaten black and blue by a man she met via a dating site... broke up with him for about two months... and then went back to him only for... well, sadly, you can guess the rest.

I have talked with her for hours and days and weeks on the telephone giving her advice and counselling her. The hard cold reality that she will not admit to is that she chooses these men. She likes men who are, for want of a better term, complete b*st*rds who womanise and use people. She gets a kick out of it. You can meet plenty of such men on dating sites - and she does.

Sadly, she will happily ignore all the 'nice guys' and go for the b*st*ard each and every time.

So the only person who is responsible for hurting her is actually herself - she ignores the good men and goes for the nasty ones. She clearly gets some sexual kick out of it but is doing herself no end of emotional harm.

So, to get back to my point - we are all responsible for our dating choices.

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:21:45

Interesting but predictable thread. I'm male, mid 30s and in a relationship. For quite a while I was single, and can honestly say that the problem with the majority of (single) women is that they want much more from a partner than they can offer themselves. Also, a surprising number seem more concerned about whether you work and if so in what job (ie how much money you have) than is reasonable. Gold digging tendencies are a definite red flag to men, especially those stung previously.

LuluMai Fri 28-Dec-12 19:24:09

badger- I wouldn't date anyone that was unemployed. Not because I'm a gold digger, I am financially independent and always have been, but because I wouldn't want to support a man who doesn't work (like my very first teen boyf) and because having a strong work ethic is important to me.

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:24:38

I also agree with tawse57 above, a lot of women are like that...they go for "unpredictable" men and then seem surprised when they act unpredictably (in a negative sense of course!).

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:27:23

It's up to you LuluMai, but I wouldn't go near a woman for who this is an instant "deal breaker"...for me, relationships are about the person, not their money, job or status.

Llareggub Fri 28-Dec-12 19:33:26

I have dated a man who was unemployed and probably wouldn't again. Not because of any particular status thing, but because the impact on his self esteem made our relationship tricky.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 19:36:43

oh - i avoid men like that like the plague. i wouldnt be interested at all in someone like that.

Im also not going to want to date someone with no job. Sorry, but no. Its not about gold digging, its about having the same outlook on life. Unless they had been made redundant and were looking for work.

My last fling worked, but was tight and sponged off me, and i have so little money its laughable. I dont care about what someone earns, so long as they are not a knob about it. I dont even like men paying for dates and always offer my share, or a round or two of drinks, or something equal. I have issues with men paying for me, but its 2012 and i dont see why it shouldnt be equal.

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:41:47

This is the problem you see. I would bet you have a list as long as your arm of " i wouldnt be interested at all in someone like that". The problem is that "perfect" men want "perfect" women.

I knew it wouldn't take long to solve this one...lol

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Dec-12 19:44:02

This was me 15 years ago. I had given up. Was very attractive, but often described as quite serious. I just didn't know what was going wrong. I hated the thought of being "bubbly" to attract men, it just wasn't me at all. I started to think that because I wasn't bubbly/fun/optimistic/outgoing/wouldn't wear high heels/whatever/ there was something wrong with me....but I refused to change to catch some random man. After 5 years and millions of blind dates with real knobs i gave up. I stopped looking or searching and just let myself be me. Then I met DH...

She said she wants a man with a job, who is not mean and who is not abusive.
You really think she is setting the bar too high, badger?
Blimey.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 19:46:53

Oh I dunno badger its not about 'perfect'...my last bf was unemployed ...not that much of an issue but I agree on the self -esteem stuff plus I enjoy meals out weekends away that was difficult cos he could often not afford it. In the end the relationship broke down because he was a powertripper. I think it is fair enough to prefer you partner to by in some form of employment.

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:47:28

Yes, because as I said, she will have a whole host of other "i avoid men like that like the plague" points. As I said in my first post, women very often want much more than they can offer themselves, and therein lies the problem.
Blimey.

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Dec-12 19:50:50

But what's wrong with a list Badger? I tried dating men who didn't meet what was on my so called list. It didn't work at all, and wasted a lot of time. Surely the point of a list is to weed out any misfits before you get going.

Also don't men and women want different things from relationships? Not sure a woman is a golddigger just because she wants a guy with a job. In terms of procreation/biology/anthropology isn't she just trying to do the best for any future offspring?

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 19:51:00

I could set my bar quite high own my house outright totally financially secure and to an extent would be happy to be the main 'earner' but the guy would have to be not a cocklodger and emotionally very balanced for me to do that.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 19:51:01

no - my list of people i avoid, are as above, the abusive idiots.
which i think, to be fair, its best to avoid them.

I also try and avoid all other kinds of idiots too. I have dumped two men this year, one i was seeing for about 5 months, and one for one month. The first was sponging off me, treated me like a hotel and free shag and not once even took me out or paid. I dont expect the world, but i do expect to me more than a free taxi service/ place to stay/ shag with no effort.

The second i dumped, as despite being good on paper, was wetter than a wet fish and so different from me it was never going to work. An example of this is i am socialable and love having people over for dinner etc... and he confessed that until the last 6 months he had issues with people coming in his house and he got stressed over where they might sit and what they might do to his stuff. Bizzare.

So no, im not looking for perfect, just a normal, functioning, non loser type man.

LuluMai Fri 28-Dec-12 19:53:55

Badger it isn't about judging someone through status or money, it's about values. I wouldn't expect a man or the government to support me while I didn't work and I wouldn't respect a man who expected the government or me to support him. Ds's dad has never worked or given me a penny for ds and I've had to work so very hard to build a life for my son and provide for him. I would never date another man child and I don't think being a lazy sod is anything to be proud of. This is the real world if you don't support yourself that support has to come from others. I'm talking about men who are capable of working, not the disabled or ill.

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 19:54:20

I think we have another point there.."treated me like a free shag". Women who see sex as something to be paid for (directly or indirectly) are another red flag to most men.

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Dec-12 19:54:29

...and IME women quite often have a lot more to offer a relationship than men. The amount of men I dated who still lived at home! It was unreal..........

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Dec-12 19:58:25

So it was OK to use her for a free shag then?hmm

Do you think there is any compromise on this springchicken? Do you have a 'want' list and you might be able to let a couple of points go? For instance, I don't especially want to date someone in their fifties, don't really find men shorter than me attractive, but if it's the 'right' person can let the work status go if it's a temporary thing (I work full time have three children to support sinle handed, add a non working bloke into that equation, I'll probably feel resentful if it goes on too long...)

Could you maybe write down your top ten or twenty 'wow' things for a potential partner and then sleep on it and maybe cross out five? The problem (one of many!) with Internet dating is if someone is truthful, we tend to look at the one 'deal-breaker' in a sea of potential greats...eg, smashing profile, witty, charming, he likes Sci-fi/salsa/Plantagenet history too! amazing photos. Oh. He's a couple of years older than I think is acceptable/smokes/collects eggcups...

badgeroncaffeine Fri 28-Dec-12 20:01:15

Sex isn't something that is charged for other than by prostitutes...are you having trouble getting this orangeandlemons?

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 20:08:09

Honestly OP, I think its the online dating thats the problem. Its full of awful men that no-one else wants or players/timewasters/serial daters, with about 1% being decent. When I was single, I tried it briefly and found it much worse than real life for getting dates. Don't hold out your hopes for salsa dancing either - I tried that too and it was just like an online dating scene transferred to real life - full of older men looking to cheat on their wives/get attention/serial date. Just dire.

Sports clubs, mountain biking, hill walking, seem to be much better.

TurnipCake Fri 28-Dec-12 20:09:48

"...and IME women quite often have a lot more to offer a relationship than men"

That has been my experience too. My single male friends seem to have the higher expectations though

orangeandlemons Fri 28-Dec-12 20:10:18

It appears he was using her for sex and sponging off her. So should she just do it for his benefit? What was she getting out of it if he was using her? Or is this expecting something in return and therefore means paying for it

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 20:10:58

i dont see sex as something to be paid for in any way shape or form. i like sex a lot. I dont see it as sometihng to give or hold over men.
but i do expect it to be a two way thing, and then one i was seeing, who saw fit to go out with his mates, not invite me, come round to mine at the end of the evening, get laid and then get breakfast in bed the next day, as a waste of space, and i do deserve more than that.

i would rather be single than accept that, and thats probably why ive been single for so long, because i wont accept that.

i dont even have a long list of things i want or that he has to be, i dont think people work like that. but job/ car/ not living at home and social skills are things i just cant comprimise on, and dont see why i should. these are surely basic things for a mid 30's man.

sailorsgal Fri 28-Dec-12 20:14:17

I have to disagree about salsa dancing. Not a meat market at all! Lots of different ages and backgrounds. Even though I am married now I still go. I always find people friendly and normal.

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 20:21:28

Perhaps it was just the city I live in sailorsgal but it really was dire for meeting eligible men. There was hardly a single one under 50, the two that were had dated their way round most of the pretty girls and really knew how to lap up attention. Apart from that it was mainly married men wanting to flirt with other women or men with no social skills. I got some wierd retired man stalking me, tracked me down to my work and found out my email address, and the organisers would not do anything about him and I gave up.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 20:22:05

yoga??

asfarasitgoes Fri 28-Dec-12 20:22:40

As other posters have said, you sound a bit set in your ways. Have you thought that this might be putting men off?

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 20:25:24

im not set in my ways, im sorry, im just not. Im the most easy going, relaxed person there is. I cant see why im being thought of as set in my ways.
I only discounted the fake tan thing, and the personality thing, as i know those arent issues.

Im open to any other ideas.

sailorsgal Fri 28-Dec-12 20:27:48

LessMissAbs thats a shame about your experience but I have danced in quite a few places and loved it for the fact I could go by myself and not feel threatened. Slimeballs everywhere though. grin

sailorsgal Fri 28-Dec-12 20:29:56

ike1 As a yoga teacher I quite agree. grin

absoutely yoga. Fit as hell, remarkably bendy and you've already got the involuntary carting issue out of the way. grin

I think a bit of it is the time ofnthe year as well. Kids going off to ex partners, all the adverts are full of women wearing themselves ragged to make Xmas happy couples, the conspiracy of not being a real or full person less you are half of something else is very seasonal. Still, it's almost over. Then we have valentines day to look forwards to... hmm

OP, nothing wrong with you. Nothing wrong in liking sex. Don't compromise you to be in a relationship, it seems you don't do that anyway; I think the only thing to do is keep on hoping or drop a bunch of IQ points, slap on some tinted moisturiser and giggle at cocklodgers. If you're not willing to compromise your principles to be with someone that you migh mt like that much really, then you will have moments of self doubt or disillusion with the dating world. That's fine and human and a good things think compared to being uncomfortable with yourself.

blush at carting... farting blush involuntary carting sounds less embarrassing and rather good fun.

stubbornstains Fri 28-Dec-12 20:39:56

"Lawks-a-mussy! How did I come to find myself on this rustic cart with yonder smock-wearing peasant? Was it the tequila slammers? Hello Dobbin!"

I think those of you who think Springchicken has some sort of personality/body/style/attitude problem just don't get it. The online dating successes are the ones you hear about. We all know someone who knows someone who met someone on the first date etc. It is very easy to get a date, it is not easy to get a quality date and this is what Springchicken, me and others who are still at it are looking for.

How many times do we hear on MN watch the red flags, don't settle, you don't need man to complete you, better to be single that put up with a twunt. Above all, know who you are, have your inner confidence and you will find someone you deserve.

Except when a woman comes on here and epitomises exactly that, knows her worth and likes herself as she is. She gets told to loose weight, get a fake tan and eyelashes, be more amenable and stop knowing her own mind being set in her ways hmm.

Springchicken you sound lovely, I suspect you are scaring some men off but you wouldn't want those ones anyway. When you do finally meet someone who appreciates you, however many that takes, he is not going to be average is he grin.

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 21:05:59

I'm sorry. SALSA DANCING? To find a normal man ?!

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 21:07:04

I'd get mates to have parties and invite lots if people . Trust them. Even if mr right isn't there you might meet his mate etc eye.

It's all through people you know

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:13:03

juliette - thank you smile
very, very much.

and no, he wont be.
smile he will be as awesome as me ( despite being too fat, not orange or giggly enough)
if im scaring off some for being myself, then frankly they need to man up, and arent for me anyway. I need someone with confidence, passion, something about them. A shy, quiet, reserved man is not going to be for me. And to those that say im stuck in my ways, ive tried dating that type too. it doesnt work.

and no, salsa dancing is not going to find me a decent man. come on, really?
it will be full of over 50's slime ball men, trying to pick up the mid 30's divorcees who have been told by well meaning friends that salsa dancing is the place to find men.

sailorsgal Fri 28-Dec-12 21:18:03

If you have never been to a salsa club then you would be very surprised. I know many people who have formed very good relationships/friendships there. Don't have a closed mind as it limits one's meeting potential. smile

Salsa! Salsa! Salsa! Salsa! Go on springchicken

Salsa!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 28-Dec-12 21:24:53

OP - you are indeed attractive and come across well in your posts. Sorry that you find yourself in your situ.

I have a DH who I met online.

What astounded me about online dating was how it seemed to bring out the "traditional" roles in men as I think that is how they liked it (yes sweeping generalisation I know). They liked the doing the chasing, didn't like you to offer up too much info about yourself at first etc.

In fact a friend and I came up with our own set of "The Rules" which we were going to start following (don't volunteer too much info, don't text/comms too much before a date, don't contact them, let them lead) after a number of unsuccessful dates. However, I first decided I needed to meet the man who became my DH first as he'd been hanging about (online) for ages and I wanted to start afresh. So whilst I didn't get to use my "rules" on any new dates it did make me think about my behaviour with him when we first started going out.

This might all seem a bit depressing and be like the intellectual equivalent of getting Fake Baked when you don’t want to but I know that I can come across as arsey “a bit strong” so felt I wanted to “present” myself in a way that enabled all my good qualities to be seen rather than just the most domineering ones etc IYSWIM.

I do also agree that a lot of it is luck, you and your future DP need to be in the right place (on or offline) at the right time etc.

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:25:51

i have been. i went with friends... it was ok, but full of old men and 40 year old divorcees.
You know what, id bloody love it if i went to one or anything for that matter, and it was full of great, fun people. i do go to stuff, im the enternal optomist, but it rarely seems to be the case.
I joined a social group in my area. it had 2 men in it, both who i had rejected online dating. and then 70 or so women, all fresh out of marriages, most attempting to be orange and attract a man, all moaning about the lack of men joining the socials, and trying to organise ' manly' activities to attract them, like bowling confused i dont fit in with that.

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 21:27:04

I agree Sailorsgal I made friends with a couple of women from salsa dancing (and also ceroc dancing), and the women were of a rather higher standard than the men. But the men...they weren't the sort of men I would choose to socialise with in real life. Some of them were fairly pleasant, but clearly using the dancing as an excuse to touch women other than their wives in an acceptable form. I found them either annoying or creepy. Some of them were just gropers. You're not telling me that middle aged men suddenly develop an interest in <dancing> for the purity and beauty of the motion of dance?? And boy, does the difference in numbers between men and women give some really very ordinary men ideas of attractiveness above their natural entitlement!

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Dec-12 21:29:47

Oh yes, and MrsMargos comment reminded me, dancing is all about letting the man lead, cue endless repititive smutty references to letting men take the lead for once throughout the night.

Alittlestranger Fri 28-Dec-12 21:30:07

I find it amusing/depressing that not wanting to date an unemployed guy counts as "gold digging". Does badger assume all single women are unable to earn their own living and are just prowling the bars looking for a man to write cheques for them? Perhaps it's more about dating someone we are equal to, have something in common with and can split a bill with?

sailorsgal Fri 28-Dec-12 21:30:40

I also met dh online. I agree with the previous poster that luck and both been in the right place/ right time mode. Brings to mind the Sex in the City episode when Miranda says that guys have to have their light on. grin

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:30:53

i do agree mrsmargo. and tend to take that approach myself now, i let them do most of the legwork, while being encouraging and nice ( if i am interested)

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 28-Dec-12 21:32:42

OK, holding out for the Porsche-driving millionaire who not only looks like [insert fit sleb name of choice] but is sweet-natured, honest and happy to do his share of the housework might be setting your sights a bit high unless you, too, are a millionaire filmstar lookalike with a perfect temperament. Really beautiful, wealthy, successful, charming, goodnatured people are unlikely to be on dating sites because they can generally get dates/sex/partners whenever they want.

However, it's not unreasonable to refuse to date anyone who smells/is dishonest/lives by petty crime/has a face like a welder's bench.

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:35:37

Ok I could have gone out with a charming very well off man recently but he had BAD HAIR ....now THAT is shallow!!!

SGB have you been dipping your toes in my pool? grin

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:39:49

i think sgb has some kind of secret dating pool - please share sgb, its mean not too smile

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:44:53

Have you tried speed dating? Massively fun if you take a couple of mates along. I am 34 and just married, I met dh when I was 32 on a blind date set up by a couple of members of our respective families, another good idea to get family/friends on the case!

notsuchaspringchicken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:47:42

there isnt any speed dating in my area, ive looked already. i dont live in a big city.

Lavenderhoney Fri 28-Dec-12 21:48:51

34- you are a young woman! You make it sound like its all over for you. You look lovely in your photos.
The only advice I have is that single men do go to bars, that's where single girls go too. . Think what type of man you want and where does he go? And you go there, mountain bike club or whatever. Join the rugby club as a volunteer.

I also think you should mention to people you would like a boyfriend and hold a few dinner parties, inviting new friends with new interests.

Allthenamesiwantaretaken Fri 28-Dec-12 21:58:43

In which case, why dont you start one! make money and meet single men at the same time!

Lueji Fri 28-Dec-12 21:59:48

Sgb, millionaire and share of housework?
Surely pay for housework?

Otherwise what's the point of being a millionaire?

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:04:29

I am thinking of joining The Air Guitar Players Appreciation society or or The Odd Hair Club. Used to be Hunt Sabbers when I was younger ..oh I dunno Vegetarian Soc?

ike1 Fri 28-Dec-12 22:05:08

CND???To 80s...

mintyminty Fri 28-Dec-12 23:03:19

Ok, first I should say that I work at a gym as instructor. As a result I see, and talk with, many many women who have separated. It is often what causes them to join a gym in the first place, I. E., losing weight, meeting people, etc.

As a result I have people hitting on me regularly, mostly middle age males, but the occasional middle age female too. So it's a great place to meet people, but a lot of the people you'd not be interested in for a relationship (I confess I met DH here!).

Friends, friends of friends, seems to work better for meeting people than most fitness or dance clubs; at least based on what I've seen.

MariahScarey Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:09

Op. roughly where are you?

superstarheartbreaker Fri 28-Dec-12 23:40:30

I am 34 and have interest from much YOUNGER men. Don't let age be a barrier op. Get out there and follow YOUR interests.

VelvetSpoon Sat 29-Dec-12 00:01:42

I think suggestions that the OP should lose weight, spraytan and false eyelash herself up to get a bloke are nonsense.

1. She is absolutely fine as she is smile

2. I lost 5 stone last year have since put a lot of that back on. I fake tan, I own more pairs of false eyelashes than anyone I know. I wear high heels and am often described as glamorous. After losing all that weight, was I inundated with dates? Was I turning men down? Not in the slightest. I have been single since the end of 2008, and in those 4 years have only got beyond a 1st date with 1(!) man (and that was in October this year). I've turned down a couple of others. The rest (30 maybe, who knows?) I never heard from again after date 1.

So size makes sod all difference. To further prove the point, I have an old friend who is short (under 5ft), and generally hovers around a sz 16-18. She almost never wears make up, and usually dresses very casually. She is getting married next year to someone she met through OD. Prior to him, she had several longterm/short term relationships also through OD, and has only ever met 1 man who she didn't see more than once!

RL is better than OD. But only if you're interested in cycling, or rock climbing or mountain biking or yoga. If like me your interests are shopping, TOWIE and wine, the chances of ever meeting anyone are miniscule.

YerMaw1989 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:00:54

Erm, Could you come across as a little *ahem, arrogant?

just something I picked up from your posts.

I'm not trying to be harsh just offering another POV.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 08:53:50

Do you know what, im sure thats it!

Last night i was chatting to a man on match, graduate degree, seemed nice, said he was looking for a relationship etc. He asked for my number, which i gave him. Then the texts asking my boob size, if i had a shaved fanjo, and the size of my bum started. I humoured him and made up shit. To which he told me he was ' almost tempted to visit me'
But yes, i can now see its my fault for being too arrogant.

I was also asked out by a man that types in text speak with no punctuation at all and wants to take me to see a film and then see what happens. If the text speak wasnt bad enough, hes not even asked my name nor anything about me. Again,i can see how its MY fault for being too arrogant or not thin enough.

The ' hai sexi', ' you lot hot' ' inane compliments' that i havent replied too.... probably my fault for being too up my own arse to give them a chance....

fucks sake.
Im sorry, but damn. I was in an abusive marriage, all my pervious relationships prior to that were abusive. Its taken hell and all work to get my self esteem up, to be confident to know my own mind and know i dont have to accept shit. That my views count and dont have to be discounted in order to keep people happy.
And i get told it must be my fault because im arrogant?

I have a daughter. I would far rather she was accused of being arrogant that put up with any kind of shit from men/ women. If thats the kind of message we are still telling women, then no wonder women stay and put up with all kinds of shit, to their own detriment.

stubbornstains Sat 29-Dec-12 09:08:50

ike I reckon something like Transition Towns or anti-cuts groups? Lots of men reminiscing about the days when they had dreadlocks AND chained themselves to trees!

OP, I'll add my voice to all those who say you're doing absolutely fine. 2 relationships in a year and loads of dates? You're the one doing the selecting- you're the one doing the rejecting- it's going to happen for you, hopefully soon.

Now punch me.

HotBurrito1 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:12:22

To be fair, if you ask 'where am I going wrong' you are likely to get some suggestions relating to yourself. I think you seem nice.

FWIW I reckon you need to look in other places. Online dating doesn't sound like any fun at all. Gigs with mates, festivals, football, and yy to making it clear to everyone mates that you are looking.

lemonstartree Sat 29-Dec-12 09:20:15

Ive read through the first 100 or so messages. And I reckon you are just too full of how wonderful you are. Honestly you ask 'where am I going wrong' and you systematically reject every suggestion , are very defensive, and post photos to show how attractive you are. I expect you are just too arrogant.

learn some humility and try again ...

prozacbear Sat 29-Dec-12 09:26:18

I think you're lovely, OP. Strangely I can see why people are suggesting you come across as arrogant, and that that might put men off. My attitude is similar. Take No Shit; set your own personal bounderies; nurture self respect. If men aren't comfortable with that, they are not men who should be in relationships. Particularly with you.

Advice - not much unfortunately. You're pretty (and your daughter looks adorable), you seem intelligent and successful. The one thing I picked up on - are you quite picky? Not suggesting you lower standards, but take another look at what your criteria are, and which of those aren't quality-based, but more quirks? i.e. I used to have a penchant for men who played stringed instruments - don't ask, the folly of youth. Perhaps yours are to do with age (older or younger!), hobbies, or whatever, but looking outside your particular box might be a thought. Just a vague thought.

Snog Sat 29-Dec-12 09:28:32

I think you misinterpreted what the previous poster meant by arrogant OP. nobody is suggesting that you shouldn't insist on being treated with respect by men.

Having taken a peek at your photos I think you look very attractive in the first photo from the waist up but it looks like a very short slip dress that you are wearing which imo isn't a helpful look. Sorry if this offends but you seemed to want to identify what potential problems might be.
I'm not a fan of the second photo either as I think you look prettier in the first one.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 09:39:38

the dress wasnt short, it was just above knee lenght, i think its because i was crouched down.

I am going to be defensive when the advice is to overhall parts of me that dont need overhauling. I dont agree with having to pretend to be something im not to ' catch' a man, and can only see that long term, that would lead to an unhappy me, which is not something i want at all.

If thats arrogant, then so be it smile

and yes, i do think im pretty great. its taken a long time to feel that way. Im sure if my self esteem was in tatters, the advice would be to be single and work on that until i felt good about myself........ cant win really, can you. I dont harp on about how good i think i am, im a bit self deprivating in real life and am the first to make jokes at myself.

I could maybe re look at quirks i like, because i do have some, and might be guilty of looking for those, when really they are by the by and not important at all.

i go to lots of gigs and festivals, its not worked so far, im not going to stop going though as i love it. Im going to work more on local pubs i think.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 09:54:14

and lemontree, i posted pics of myself, as i was being told that making a little effort with make up and hair goes a long way.
i do do those things, they arent an issue at all. I posted pics to demonstrate that. Not be be arrogant, not because i think im think im stunning, or anything else that this might be being misinterpreted as.
Mind you, ive been told in the same thread that i have a negative attitude and need to think more of myself, just shows that people view things differently.

HollaAtMeSanta Sat 29-Dec-12 10:04:00

Please! You don't sound arrogant. Ignore the haterz. The sad truth is that almost all men are lame, selfish, uncouth misogynists whose mental age is stuck at 13 and who are used to getting away with being awful simply because they happen to have been born with a penis. I blame the patriarchy, innit.

By the way, when I did internet dating I got a cheap PAYG sim card so I had a separate phone number to give out - I would never give an internet man my real number - and I also used a separate email address. I think it's very unwise to give someone your real number until you have met them several times and are confident they aren't a weirdo/pervert/stalker. Dating websites, by their very nature, objectify the people who use them, and this can affect how said people treat each other.

Random thought, but might there be single dads at your DD's school or at any activities she does?

Alittlestranger Sat 29-Dec-12 10:10:58

OP was "where am I going wrong" just a rhetorical question so you could offload? Nothing wrong if so, but get thee to the dating thread. It's full of women who know full well what kind of stunted weirdos lurk on dating sites. Otherwise I think well-meaning people will continue to try and answer it.

Some of the posters here seem to have a blissfully naive rosy view of the dating world, or are prepared to compromise huge amounts in pursuit of a man. Nothing wrong with not compromising, but as I said above that can only be done in the understanding that it will likely lead to fallow spells.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 10:16:03

OP Haven't read all 8 pages- life's too short!

BUT a few thoughts based on your initial posts.

Flame me if you want- but " a bit curvy" and a size 16 may be too curvy for lots of men. Yes, I know you have a lovely personality but TBRH men are attracted initially to how a woman looks. If you are 6 ft then size 16 might look great- if you are 5 ft and a bit you will look overweight. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear but you did ask.

The other thing is- do you give out " available" signals without being overtly " Come on"?

If you appear disinterested, arrogant, head down looking at your desk or the floor, then you won't look like the sort of person men want to approach.

When i was single which was decades ago, I met men easily- some through work, but others through either friends of friends, or sports. Joining something like a tennis club, golf, squash etc etc where you meet men and women is the way to go- if you aren't sporty then substitute a drama group, choir, volunteering , etc for the above.

In other words, get out more and make your social cirle wider without looking for " a date". I'm sure you'll be more successful.

YerMaw1989 Sat 29-Dec-12 10:17:07

You misinterpreted what I said, which doesn't matter what you posted afterwards really spoke for itself.

in your eyes everyone else is the problem, 60 dates? woah so you have no problem attracting its the keeping that is an issue, fair enough if they are not for you but then maybe changes could work,

I mean I envy people like you who can just attract anybody, I'm on the opposite side I have only ever been with one person, I look like uglys favourite child...but I have a really nice, agreeable personality and that what keeps.
So I'm just following logic lines here if you can nab but can't find someone to settle on they may be arseholes but equally you must flawed in your approach somewhere.

There is a line between confidence/arrogance, and dismissing someone based on text speak is ridiculous btw. You seem ok looks wise and from what you get you get a lot of sleezy attention, so this 'I'm wonderful' attitude is still attracting shitty men, being a bit self deprecating shows humility which is attractive. being confident is owning your flaws as well as your attributes.

I dismiss based on text speak as well. OP is by no means alone... But then I'm single as well, I'm obviously far 2 picky. LOL hmm

Having healthy self esteem is not the same as being arrogant- I am amazed that based on what the op has said that she's been accused of that. Why should she pretend she's rubbish at things if she isn't?

Kiwiinkits Sat 29-Dec-12 10:23:32

Hi OP, my suggestion is to make sure you capitalise your i when you refer to yourself and to ensure your sentences start with a capital letter. You can refer to yourself as smart and outgoing till the cows come home, but if you don't get basic grammar right you're going to look a bit thick to all but the most undiscerning gent.

Alittlestranger Sat 29-Dec-12 10:25:49

I dismiss on text speak.

And YerMaw "keeping" isn't really the issue either if OP is the one doing the rejecting. The issue seems to be that she's not meeting and attracting the kind of men she is interested in. Which raises the questions of whether she needs to be looking in new places; has unreasonable expectations of the type of man she does like; or just needs to bide her time and carry on having a great life by herself in the meantime.

LeBFG Sat 29-Dec-12 10:28:34

OP, you sound just fine to me. I too would rail at some of the advice on here hmm. I think a few posters have hinted/suggested as to the real reason you're struggling. Age and having children. It's not that you're old, it's that most decent men are starting families by the time they're in their mid-30's. Men still single are, largely, going to be after eternal youth or be a bit weird. The pool of available, decent men is going to be small. If you were 8-10 years older or younger I'm sure you would have found many more men by now.

I do think you should be a bit more open to dating older men - there's only 6 years difference between DH and me but that pushes him into the 40-50 bracket.

YerMaw1989 Sat 29-Dec-12 10:31:41

Well fair enough but its still pretty shallow, tbh.

she's rejecting the ones that date her but how many are turning away due to over confidence/arrogance? you not gonna know are you?.

If you have to tell people how amazing you are its generally because they wouldn't know otherwise.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 10:32:05

What? The OP is narrowing the age range? Barmy. I had a long relationshipwith a man 15 yrs older.

IMO at 34 you should be able to attract men aged say 27/28 to mid 40s . Easily.

To a degree though, age is an issue. Men around your age might be thinking about 'settling down' having children, they might already have children and not want more. (Shrugs) Do you want more children OP?

Ooh yermar, honestly if you haven't done online dating, you can't imagine how soul destroying the text speak messages are: lol u r hot etc etc

Good advice from lebfg.

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 10:46:41

I'm a long time lurker but this thread has forced me out of the shadows and made me feel compelled to post.

I have no advice on the dating front, having been very happily single for years.

However, this thread has depressed the feck out of me in terms of how posters have reacted to the OP's confidence and high self-esteem. God almighty.

I think you sound bloody great OP, and I totally agree with the previous poster (sorry, I don't recall who it was) who commented on how there are endless threads on here from women who are suffering in bad relationships with awful men and putting up with all kinds of shit and losing their identities in an attempt to please a bloke.

All the 'change yourself to attract a man' advice has shocked and depressed me. Because it's not about the OP making positive changes, like improving her self-esteem and learning to value herself, it's all about compromising herself. What the feck is the point of attracting a man to someone who isn't really you anyway?

Are we so unused to women having confidence that we take healthy self-esteem for arrogance? If women aren't putting themselves down, we start telling them off for being too full of themselves? Christ, how depressing. I know I keep saying 'depressing', but that's because it's just so frigging depressing.

I'd say you're just fine - more than fine - as you are, OP, and the best thing you can do is just carry on being confident and happy and maybe you'll meet someone who's worth it, and maybe you won't. But to me, that's a much better plan than changing yourself in order to meet someone who's attracted to the false version of yourself. Women have been doing that for far too long.

And with that I'll crawl back under my stone. Merry Christmas.

Applauds oldminnie

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 10:51:50

I think it's an age range thing too. I can't remember exactly what age range the OP said she was looking for, but men in their mid to late 30s may well be wanting to start a family with someone without any 'baggage' from previous relationships - i.e. someone with no children. Younger men, in mid-late 20s, may not want to get involved with someone who's tied down by a child. Older men, late 30s to mid 40s, may be more willing to accept someone with young DC already, especially as they may have DC themselves.

So OP if you're the one who is rejecting the men who you've dated - what were generally the reasons? Nose picking? self obsession? Weird flatulent noises? I read through the thread last night and didn't see the reason why you're rejecting them (sorry if I missed it)

As others have said, it's not that you can't get dates obviously, so glamming yourself up with a fake tan and lashes is just pretending to be someone you're not. You're happy in yourself, and deservedly so. It's not that you can't get a first date, or even a relationship, it's just that they don't generally pan out into longer term things, and that seems to be your choice.

So.. why?

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 10:58:07

OP- did you post about this a few months back? It all sounds so familiar. I won't out you but there was an almost identical post from a professional woman your age with a DD who posted a pic of herself and said the same things as you- started off saying she couldn't find a man then it turned out she had loads of single dates but no follow up. Is this you again?

happygilmore Sat 29-Dec-12 11:03:27

Do you live in a small area? I think it's always going to be harder to find someone if you do.

FWIW I think it's harder to find decent single men than the other way round. I know several attractive, funny, slim, intelligent etc single women in their 30s, but I don't know any single men that fit the same criteria (sorry!).

A good friend of mine has tried lots of internet dating site and has just met weirdos and unsuitable people. I don't think it's her, she's really lovely, I genuinely think she's just not met a decent guy yet. Hopefully she will, and you will too.

I think it's a numbers game, and putting yourself out there is all you can realistically too. Definitely don't change your personality to make yourself more acceptable to men, that's ridiculous.

Wecanfixit Sat 29-Dec-12 11:14:04

Honey it can be a long slog , but with determination on your part you will meet some one or a few guys they are out there , you just have to sort the wheat form the chaff if you see what i mean, and be proactive take the intiative , I find men quite like to be approached on the online dating thing I mean , keep it light and I am sure you will strike gold, good luck to you!.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 11:27:22

i have been. i went with friends... it was ok, but full of old men and 40 year old divorcees.

OP you said the above a few pages back. Honestly- it took my breath away.

Just who are you excluding?

Are you looking for a man who is exactly 34? Or a year or so older or younger maybe?

if so you are being incredibly ageist.

Get real.

At 34 you should be looking at men your age, a few years younger if they are mature, and up to 10 years at least, older than you are.

Let's face it- men aged 30-35 are likely to be single if they are gay, weird, commitment phobes, divorced and looking for " fun" for a while- and there may be the odd one who has not met Miss Right.

You meanwhile are 34- still fertile to give a man a baby- but you have the baggage of a child and some men ( don't agree but there you go) will not want to be a step-dad, and you are divorced.

REALISTICALLY- you are going to attract older rather than younger men.

If you are focusing on meeting men in their early 30s and excluding anyone older it seems to me to show a certain immaturity on your part, because for whatever reason you are pre-judging people simply by age.

I have a friend who is late 40s and she has just married for the 1st time, a man aged 70.

Age is just a number- and you'd do a lot better to have a more open mind.

angeltulips Sat 29-Dec-12 11:46:47

A few random thoughts for you:

First, it's likely you just haven't met anyone because...well, these things take time. Can't hurry love & all that.

Having said that, you don't come across as arrogant but you donseem quite...transactional...on here. There's something very cold about the way you post. Maybe men can sense that? For example, it's quite unusual to point to your job as "evidence" of your bubbly personality. Um, no - that's a job. You haven't referred to any of your interests, philosophies of life etc - just banged on about how you are successful at work. And, no offence, if you are living in a small town you are unlikely to be a superstar career woman in the exceptional terms you're talking about. Perhaps work on thins that drive you outside of your job? People tend not to find people who bang on about work all the time v interesting.

Secondly, the comment where you describes the men at an event you went to as "40 year old divorcees". Um, hello? Reality check: you are a 34 year old DIVORCEE. So if everyone applies the same principles as you, yes, you will be single forever. There is having standards (good) and then there's dismissing entire tracts of eligible men out of hand - which is stupid and hypocritical in my view.

Just my 2 cents.

angeltulips Sat 29-Dec-12 11:47:41

Sorry for all the typos - on phone

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 13:04:56

Ive not gone on about my job. Its far from great, its not a career job at all. The point i made, and in response to being told i cant be friendly, approachable etc. Was that i got my current job because i am those things i went through physchometric testing, then masses of group aasessments and was picked for being, naturally this way.
So- bollocks to that smile

I do limit on age. 30 to 41 ish really i would struggle to find a man of 45 attractive but thats 11years older than me

Thanks to those that havent roasted me.

LeBFG Sat 29-Dec-12 13:11:19

To add to my previous post, I was wondering if your independence and security may be read by the opposite sex as detachment, not willing to commit, take-it-or-leave it attitude. If it is, this isnt very attractive - in men or women. It doesn't hurt to let someone know you want to be in a relationship and need contact and support (without being needy of course). Very few of us are genuinely happy living as an island after all. If you met a man like you, how would describe him? Would you date him?

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 13:24:03

I agree, 11 years older is probably too old. I'm 38 and tend to find 28 year olds just don't think about the world the same way as me. And if I'd thought about the world ten years ago the same way I do now I would've been a boring young fart. I tend to limit my searches to 29 to 41 year olds, with or without children - that range works for me.

But to get back to my question chicken - you said you've had about 60 online dates, and two of those turned into something more - one you dumped for cocklodging, the other turned out to be wet. All the other 58 had red flags of some sort. What kind of red flags were you seeing? I'll admit that there are going to be a lot of men (and women) out there with issues, but that's a ridiculously high number. And this is after weeding out the dross? What do you generally do to go from the first online contact to meeting them, and how do you filter them out?

I agree with you, you shouldn't have to change your appearance to please some ideal - the blokes who need women with big eyelashes and a fake tan are likely to not be your sort anyway, so leave those for the women on here who are telling you to change yourself. Your posts do come across as defensive, but then you're being told off for being choosy, which is just rubbish.

What is it that puts you off those 58 men you did meet, what made you screen out the others beforehand, and what made the wet man wet?

It's obviously not that you're unattractive, you're getting dates. I'd be depressed if so many of my dates turned out so badly. The question you should be asking here, I think, is why is your screening process letting through so many losers and possibly filtering out some who may actually be good for you?

I'm on the dating thread where the details of my OD are laid out. I have good radar for weeding out the flag wavers, still I go and meet some potentials who I otherwise have doubts about because my potential online dating pool is very, very small.

The advice I get in RL is why would I bother and on the thread people are kinder but I have never, ever had someone suggest I give any of them a go as maybe they will turn out better than I think. The evidence is there that I have indeed met a lot of tossers as well as some lovely men with whom I could never, ever imagine getting naked.

I am not photogenic but I am attractive, I love my body as it is, I'm smart can be witty and apparently good company in RL. I have looked at how I behave on dates, looked at my filtering and constantly retune. I often ask for a reality check on my views/decisions/actions on the dating thread. I have softened my approach and am mistress of giving the benefit of the doubt. So I am giving it a fair go.

What I am not prepared to do is turn myself into someone else or accept for traits in a man I find abhorrent (bigotry, racism, disliking women, the standard red flags for abuse). I'm up to about 35 dates now. If this is picky then good for me.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 16:06:13

I think you are making some mistakes.

here goes:

Psychometric testing does not tell you how you will behave in a 1:1 dating situation. If you think that " doing well" on those tests proves something then you are wrong.

If you have dated 60 men (I've not had that number in my entire life) then something is amiss. Either you are not setting your radar correctly and weeding them out beforehand, ( lots of phone chats maybe and then a coffee?) or you have totally unrealistic expectations of what is out there.

It might be that after being in an abusive relationship you have gone too far the other way and are expecting a man to be perfect rather than human.

Re. ages- I think you have a closed mind-set. There is no " cut off point" after which a man will not be suitable. You are stereotyping TBH. There may be a lovely 45 year old man out there, and dozens of 35 year old tossers.

If the men are dumping you after 1 date then you do need to look at your behaviour whether you think ti's okay or not. This does NOT mean you change your personality or cover yourself in fake tan- but that you improve ( perhaps) your social skills.

I'd just repeat what I said before- that if you start making your life more intersting and stop just looking for men to date, one will come along soon enough.

Having shared interests is a far better way to meet people - in a non-dating situation- than trawling the web.

BTW- DID you post about this a while back?

angeltulips Sat 29-Dec-12 16:33:24

Sorry, but passing psychometric tests for work =/= a great personality. What an odd concept.

And I am not roasting you, I'm trying to point out inconsistencies in your approach. You just slagged off an event as being full of "40 year old divorcees" - that's men who are only 6 years older than you, and with probably less complicated personal situations than your own.

I'm not sure why you started the thread in this way given you apparently think you're doing everything perfectly. If you just wanted people to give you hugz and tell you that you're luvly you should have phrased it that way.

Astelia Sat 29-Dec-12 16:48:31

I am wondering if you have a very broad accent or loud laugh that puts people off. They aren't the sort of things your friends can tell you.

I have one friend of 33 who is having no luck with men and I don't think her broad accent helps, but she is proud of it and I wouldn't dream of saying anything.

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 16:53:28

::Gives OP hugz.::

OP, you're luvly.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 16:57:18

Some of your comments earlier on make you seem rather shallow- I'm talking about the one where you said you had nic white, straight teeth. Errr. yes? That's nice for you. persoanl hygiene and clean teeth are important- but you aren't going to find love on the basis of having white teeth confused

Are you actually nice to your dates? Do you take any interest in them? it's one thing being thought of as " fun" at work- but are you are nice, caring person? Do you have good conversational skills? Are you interesting company? Do you make the men you date feel appreciated and do you draw them out and make them feel comfortable with you?

This is all much more important than looking good- and the other thing is- have they seen a photo of you- full length? A size 16 is a bit on the chubby side and you may be not to their taste if they have not seen a recent picture- sorry if that is harsh.

I think you need to tell us more about why the dates don't go anywhere and what is putting you off- and being open to what may put them off.

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 17:01:36

So mentioning that you have nice teeth is shallow and there's more to it than looking good, but a size 16 is 'a bit chubby' and may put men off? I see.

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 17:02:59

With respect, Tulip & BoPeep, the OP isn't saying she has a 'fantastic personality' due to psychometric testing, she's saying it showed she had an approachable and friendly personality. She's using that as a way of demonstrating that she's not rude and dismissive generally, and probably not that way on dates.

Also, she said that an event (Salsa?) was full of '40 year old divorcees' - now the way it was written was ambiguous - she actually said 'old men and 40 year old divorcees' - which could imply the 40 year olds were women. I don't know, but if that's the case then she's not ruling them out; and as she says her age range for online dating goes up to 41, 7 years older than her which is a reasonable enough age gap. Maybe she could be a bit more flexible on that, but it's not like she's saying 'no older than 36'

I think she's asking a perfectly valid question - if she's been on 50 or 60 dates, only two of which have turned into more, then where is she going wrong?

Personally, I've been on 10 or so first dates in 5 months, 5 of which turned into second dates, one of which turned into a somewhat short lived 'relationship'.

I don't know whether the men are 'dumping' her after one date - it seems to me that she's the one being picky as they aren't up to her standards. Juliette is in a similar situation - she screens out a lot of the obvious ones, but when she meets in person, a lot of them fall at the first post. She has standards and isn't willing to change to become something she's not simply to have a man she wouldn't be happy with. It sounds like SpringChicken is the same, and good for both of them.

The problem is, as BoPeep pointed out, is the OP looking for perfection and unwilling to settle for anything less, or is her screening process flawed so she meets people who she thinks sound right but in person are obviously not. If it's the first, she needs to lower her standards to accept that people have flaws/baggage etc. If it's the second, she needs to re-examine how she's choosing people to meet.

All the advice to get out there and meet people in real life is great, of course, and it's still the most successful way to start a new relationship - something like 40% of new relationships start with friends of friends or activity partners. Online dating, though, is 35%. Meeting through work is something like 15% or less as we're all terrified of sex discrimination lawsuits.

Having said that, juggling children, a job, finances etc leaves much less time and energy for meeting people in the real world. Online is just much more convenient, you can pretty much do it while you're ironing.

I think OP mentioned having nice teeth as a reaction to the suggestion that she (paraphrases)makes the 'best' or herself by getting a fake tan, eyelash extensions etc.

ImperialBlether Sat 29-Dec-12 17:15:18

A divorcee is a woman, so no wonder she doesn't want to go dancing with a bunch of other women and a few old men.

OP, I think you're not careful enough in who you talk to. If you go onto POF then yes, that's how a lot will talk to you. If you go on Guardian Soulmates they don't tend to.

What are the profiles like for these men? If someone has clearly spent a while on their profile, it's less likely they're going to ask you really personal questions and not even ask for your name. Are their profiles well written? Do they talk about their job? Do they mention children? Do they look like normal people, the sort who wouldn't ask you about your pubic hair before even meeting you?

Where do you meet them? Is there any suggestion of sex beforehand? Any joke about it, any reference to it at all?

When you meet them, have you spoken to them on the phone beforehand? Have you had a long conversation? Do you believe when you set out on that date that you're going to have a good night? Do you think the bloke is looking forward to the night out?

You are going on far too many dates. 90% of those men wouldn't be worth going out with.

You say most of the men don't want to see you again. At what point in the night is that obvious? Do they meet your eyes, laugh when appropriate, treat you well? Is your first inkling that it's not going to work out when they don't call you?

I feel for you - it's a real minefield out there. Men who you wouldn't sit next to on a bus are being approached by literally hundreds of women. They can't believe their luck.

Leaving online dating aside for a minute, have you thought of joining a running club? There are always a lot of men there and surely to Christ some of them must be single! Could you set yourself a goal of running a marathon in a year's time, something like that? (Or pretend you have!)

nickymanchester Sat 29-Dec-12 17:18:38

OP, originally you said you wouldn't look above 38, I notice that it's now creeping up to 41. But you also said:- i would struggle to find a man of 45 attractive

I would suggest that, in real life, it is relatively easy to come across some 45 year olds that you would find attractive. It's just that you wouldn't know they were 45 and so you wouldn't already have mentally written them off.

This is a real problem with OD and being able to filter by age, height, weight etc.

When you see an age on someone's profile a lot of people, I am sure, make assumptions about what they will be like. However, if they met in real life, that person wouldn't be carrying a sign with them giving all their vital statistics. So, you wouldn't be looking at them as a 40 year old graduate blah blah blah, but you would just see someone that you liked the look of.

It would then only be quite a bit later that you might find out that he is actually 45 say, because you don't generally go round asking someone's age on a date, certainly not a first date - well, at least I never used to.

And if you stayed round long enough to start asking him questions like how old he is then I'm guessing you will have been on a few dates with him by that stage and find him at least a little bit attractive.

Also, don't forget that a lot of men using OD will be doing the same as you. So, I'm sure a lot of 35-40 year old men will be only looking for women under 30. How fair is that? Just as fair as your attitude to men over 40.

MissBoPeep Re. ages- I think you have a closed mind-set. There is no " cut off point" after which a man will not be suitable. You are stereotyping TBH. There may be a lovely 45 year old man out there, and dozens of 35 year old tossers.

Just following up to this point by Missbopeep, as I mentioned in my previous post I could introduce you to a couple of really nice guys who are 45 - although you'd never know they were that old - good jobs, great fun to be with, divorced a few years ago get on ok with their ex's, quite good looking - although not a patch on my DH smile, had a bit of ''fun'' since being divorced and now looking to get married again

However, to be quite frank, I don't think that you'd make the cut. They seem to be very much in demand with quite a lot of women who appear to be in their early 30s - although I haven't asked them their ages.

A friend of mine is going through this whole OD process and I have heard all the horror stories so I can perhaps understand some of your feelings about the type of men that you're meeting. But, how can I put it, a lot of the really good ones, both men and women, seem to get snapped up quite quickly.

As someone else said above, the ''perfect'' men that everyone wants are also looking for the ''perfect'' woman and, unless that's you, I would suggest that it's unlikely you're ever going to find the ''perfect'' man.

By all means, maintain your standards - I'd certainly never compromise on my own standards - but do be prepared to accept that you might have to wait a very long time to meet someone who matches your expectations and also that you meet their expectations as well.

You don't say whether you decided not to progress with these 60 men or they decided not to take things further or if it was a mixture. If it is you that is deciding not to progress things with these guys then you perhaps need to think about why you are not attracting the type of men that do meet your standards.

nickymanchester Sat 29-Dec-12 17:25:54

OP, originally you said you wouldn't look above 38, I notice that it's now creeping up to 41. But you also said:- i would struggle to find a man of 45 attractive

I would suggest that, in real life, it is relatively easy to come across some 45 year olds that you would find attractive. It's just that you wouldn't know they were 45 and so you wouldn't already have mentally written them off.

This is a real problem with OD and being able to filter by age, height, weight etc.

When you see an age on someone's profile a lot of people, I am sure, make assumptions about what they will be like. However, if they met in real life, that person wouldn't be carrying a sign with them giving all their vital statistics. So, you wouldn't be looking at them as a 40 year old graduate blah blah blah, but you would just see someone that you liked the look of.

It would then only be quite a bit later that you might find out that he is actually 45 say, because you don't generally go round asking someone's age on a date, certainly not a first date - well, at least I never used to.

And if you stayed round long enough to start asking him questions like how old he is then I'm guessing you will have been on a few dates with him by that stage and find him at least a little bit attractive.

Also, don't forget that a lot of men using OD will be doing the same as you. So, I'm sure a lot of 35-40 year old men will be only looking for women under 30. How fair is that? Just as fair as your attitude to men over 40.

MissBoPeep Re. ages- I think you have a closed mind-set. There is no " cut off point" after which a man will not be suitable. You are stereotyping TBH. There may be a lovely 45 year old man out there, and dozens of 35 year old tossers.

Just following up to this point by Missbopeep, as I mentioned in my previous post I could introduce you to a couple of really nice guys who are 45 - although you'd never know they were that old - good jobs, great fun to be with, divorced a few years ago get on ok with their ex's, quite good looking - although not a patch on my DH smile, had a bit of ''fun'' since being divorced and now looking to get married again

However, to be quite frank, I don't think that you'd make the cut. They seem to be very much in demand with quite a lot of women who appear to be in their early 30s - although I haven't asked them their ages.

A friend of mine is going through this whole OD process and I have heard all the horror stories so I can perhaps understand some of your feelings about the type of men that you're meeting. But, how can I put it, a lot of the really good ones, both men and women, seem to get snapped up quite quickly.

As someone else said above, the ''perfect'' men that everyone wants are also looking for the ''perfect'' woman and, unless that's you, I would suggest that it's unlikely you're ever going to find the ''perfect'' man.

By all means, maintain your standards - I'd certainly never compromise on my own standards - but do be prepared to accept that you might have to wait a very long time to meet someone who matches your expectations and also that you meet their expectations as well.

You don't say whether you decided not to progress with these 60 men or they decided not to take things further or if it was a mixture. If it is you that is deciding not to progress things with these guys then you perhaps need to think about why you are not attracting the type of men that do meet your standards.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 17:29:48

Minnie I knew someone would get the wrong end of the stick.

I am not contradicting myself.

I asked the OP if the men had seen a full length photo of her before they met up. IMO- and some men's- a size 16 is large. Some men love something to get hold of- others don't. If they know her size beforehand then that's fine. This is not to say that looks are the be all and end all- they aren't, but I was asking if men had seen a photo.

The Op posted she had nice teeth in a way that made it sound as if this was the passport to a relationship- regardless of her personality, behaviour and TBH her weight.

ImperialBlether Sat 29-Dec-12 17:36:51

I hate this focus on the OP's weight. Nobody has asked whether those 60 men had good figures.

And the OP mentioned her teeth PURELY because someone recommended she should get them whitened.

nickymanchester that is the single most depressing post I have read on MN. I'm 44, a fairly young 44, but 44 nonetheless, I am 'competing' against women in their early thirties for men the same age as me. I should technically be pitching at men in their late fifties/early sixties.

Stuff that. Seriously. It may well be ageist, they might be lovely, but they are on the verge of retirement. Ugh.

ike1 Sat 29-Dec-12 17:48:43

Come now Snapes dont ya see yerself sittin on a Sugar Daddy's knee????

VelvetSpoon Sat 29-Dec-12 17:48:47

You can't put it all down to size though, or personality, or whatever.

I posted earlier in the thread about a friend of mine, who is a lot larger than the OP, and has with one exception never failed to get beyond a first date.

I also have colleagues who have met people through OD. They are of average build and attractiveness, there's nothing outstanding about their personalities, if anything they're a bit reserved/quiet (I know them socially as well, so its not just a work persona I've seen).

If it was all a matter of being thin, or very pretty, or wearing make up, or having a sparkling personality, or being highly intelligent, none of them would be in relationships. And a lot of the single people I know wouldn't be single. It really does seem to be luck, pure and simple. It all comes down to meeting the right person, and with the thousands there are online, the chances of doing so are tiny.

The age thing, I understand where the OP is coming from with her age limits. I'm 40 and I'd be reluctant to date anyone over 45. I have been on dates with men that age, and if anything had worse experiences than with men 10 years younger than me. It's not just a question of how someone looks, and no I probably wouldn't have guessed they were mid-40s if I'd got chatting to them in a pub. But I would have thought (as I did during dates) they were awfully middle aged/narrow minded in outlook and attitude, and that I couldn't see anything long term coming out of it.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 17:50:58

I don't think age should come into this at all. Not if one has a choice.

My 2 longest relationships before DH were with men who were 14 and 8 years older than me. DH is actually pretty much one of the youngest men I've been with ( he's same age as I am.)

As Nicky says when you meet someone not through OD you often don't know their age anyway- it's how you get on that counts.

I'd look at why the dates you are getting aren't going anywhere.

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 17:52:27

Nickymanchester, so it's ok for you eligible male friends to be ageist, in that the OP wouldn't 'make the cut' because they have younger women to choose from, but the OP is getting a bit above herself by having an age range with which she's comfortable?

That seems like just another way of telling the OP to get back in her box and stop thinking so highly of herself. Or have I misunderstood?

Yes ike I'm going to date the single-fathers of half the contributors to this thread and get them to adopt my children, substantially reducing their inheritance. hmm grin

ike1 Sat 29-Dec-12 17:54:27

Sounds like a plan!!!!

Eurostar Sat 29-Dec-12 18:49:10

Have you actually met any men who you are interested in OP and who haven't been interested in you?

This thread is confusing, you say, where am I going wrong but have you actually wanted to see any of these people again or are you interested in anyone in real life who isn't interested in you?

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 18:57:04

But you've had loads of dates and some flings and a relationship. It doesn't sound like a disaster to me. You haven't met Mr Right (is there such a thing?) but I think you might be over dramatising the situation.

nickymanchester Sat 29-Dec-12 20:20:41

Sorry, I seem to have ruffled some feathers - didn't mean to.

I should perhaps add that the two guys I was talking about both want to have more children.

I'm sure this doesn't apply to ALL 45 year old men - in fact, I KNOW it doesn't apply to all of them.

So, in the case of SevenSnapespearesSwimming I'm 44, a fairly young 44, but 44 nonetheless, I am 'competing' against women in their early thirties for men the same age as me.

I would suggest that you aren't really ''competing'' as they are both looking to become fathers again and a lot of men would be doubtful about meeting a 44 year old who both wanted and was able to have another child. I know how difficult it can be, I am about the same age as the OP and we have been TTC our third DC for quite some time now.

Of course, there are MANY single men in their 40s that either don't want children or don't want any more children. However, to think that you are NOT competing against women in their mid 30s for men the same age as you is, I would suggest, somewhat naive. However, as was said above about men, also applies to women:-

There may be a lovely 45 year old out there, and dozens of 35 year old tossers.

Which is why, any man not looking to have another child would be stupid to overlook someone just because she was 44.

And this all comes back to the problems of OD and filtering by age etc

OldMinnieC - I don't believe they are being 'ageist'. Both of them want to have children again, I think that they both had only one DC from their first marriages. I would suggest that this does limit their choices to a certain extent.

However, I am only guessing as to the age of the women they are dating. I certainly having enquired - or seen an online profile - so I can only go by what I think. The real world can be quite different to OD.

In truth, my ''you wouldn't make the cut'' comment had nothing to do with her age. I was just considering the way she comes across here and comparing how she comes across with the sort of women that I've seen my DH's friends have relationships with.

I don't know how to put it, but they seemed to have a lot better ''social'' skills than the OP seems to portray. Although, of course, none of us have met her so this is all conjecture anyway.

And, just before you assume that they have all been ''simpering airheads'' at least one was a barrister and the others all seemed to have professional careers of one sort or another. Not exactly the sort of people known as ''simpering airheads''

Actually, I would suggest that they aren't being ''ageist'' but they are looking for the right person for them and that a lot of the women they are dating obviously think that they are the right guy for them.

Who knows, the perfect person for the OP may well have been some 43 year old guy that she saw on OD and simply ''next''ed because of his age.

I seriously believe that OD, with it's ability to filter by age, height, weight etc does a real disservice to both men and women.

In real life, unless someone looks obviously too old, young, fat, thin , tall, short etc then we don't take any notice of the actual numbers until later on.

nickymanchester Sat 29-Dec-12 20:30:16

having = haven't

nicky thank you for very full post, it's really helped me understand your perspective better. smile. Feathers are unruffled.. My eggs are old and grey and tired and I have NO intention of having any more children. My three are more than enough to love. :-) in reality I am competing against women in their early/mid thirties with thir biological clocks ticking. smile. That's cool. My niche would be men who already have families they adore, or who don't want to procreate, or who really like doctor who. wink. All is well.

I do get the 'filtering-by-age' thing, it's just annoying that the women-of-a-certain age I know look fab and look after themselves & the blokes are a bit done in (disclaimer: my experience, by no means universally true) so I take a bit of umbrage at women having to pitch at men ten years older. I would see a 30 year old man dating a 20 year old woman as control-issues. That might filter out a little as we all age, but it does very little for me.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 20:49:05

ha, this is still going then.

The teeth thing was because i was told maybe i have bad teeth. I dont.

i dont have a broad accent, i dont really have one at all. I was daily, i dont smell. I am polite, but i do have a tiny mole on my chin, so perhaps this might put some men off, it is hideous. And if you believe that, you need a reality check smile

Im fine.

The sheer number of dates ive had are from actually not being picky. Anyone who has asked for a date, who hasnt shown any red flags, nor mentioned sex, and hasnt proven to be a knob after a few messages, has prompty been met for a coffee. If im honest, ive not fancied more than a handful. Ive been bored to tears by about half, and horrified by those left. But im not actually looking for perfection, and i dont recall saying i was. Ive been open minded.
Out of the ones ive fancied, only 2 or something have wanted to see me again. I dont know why the others havent, online dating is weird, people arent truthful, so i try not to let it get to me.
I think if i was more picky, then maybe my dates might be more sucessful.

the age thing, again, if i was chatting to someone and it turned out he was older and i liked him, it wouldnt be an issue. Generally speaking, i dont find older men attractive. Not sexually, i just dont. I cant help it. 8 or so years older than me is about my limit, but i wouldnt automatically discount someone just because of age. Unless they were 52 as i was contacted by yesterday.

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 20:51:23

You are doing fine. You are meeting plenty of men and it just hasn't turned into a relationship yet. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But I doubt there is anything wrong with you.

antonym Sat 29-Dec-12 21:07:32

Well OP there is your answer. You have skewed the stats against yourself by over-inclusiveness. Call me a romantic old fool (I'm 51) but I don't head out for a date unless I feel there is a 1 in 20 or better chance of her being The One and a 99% plus probability that I am not going to be "bored to tears" and I have never been wrong on the second point because you can't test for "spark" in preliminary email exchanges but you can sure as hell test for boringness. If you are being "bored to tears" by half the punters you meet you are not doing your homework. Simple as that.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 21:13:19

That is quite true.

To be honest, its posts like some of these on here, thats led me to think i should give people a chance. So i have.

Some dates ive turned up to almost dreading, because i know its not going to work. Thats not good really, is it. But ive gone, because, well, you never know, do you. Lots i would have seen again, had they of asked, and lots i had a nice time with, but just didnt fancy.
Ive also had some awful ones, a memorable one being told ' theres no spark, i dont fancy you, but will shag you if you fancy it'

Some ive fancied, but in no way would have dated, red flags or them just not being in the right place to date.

Some ive fancied, but they just havent liked me.

So, despite some of the dubious advice on this thread, i actually do have an answer - be more picky, not less.

smile

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 21:15:01

yep, be more picky then. Have a phone call with them first, some say a skype call even. You've got to tread that line between knowing them enough to know they're going to be vaguely interesting on a date - plus not being married, so get a home number for them, and building up too much excitement and risking disappointment.

For the ones who you've been interested in but haven't been interested back, which is a small proportion, that's a different question.

Also, while we say safety is paramount, avoid beer goggles, don't take any risks, we're British - and sometimes we need alchohol as a lubricant to actually get us to be funny and open up. Maybe meet for two drinks, no more, first of all, instead of coffee, and your guard (and theirs) will come down.

But screen out the losers first, don't just accept the dates with any old bloke who asks, make sure that you're actually interested first. Having a pulse isn't enough, surely. You're really far too nice for that.

Croccy1979 Sat 29-Dec-12 21:24:38

How do you view op's profile?

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 21:26:47

i think ive gone with a more scattergun approach. a meet quick for coffee, which does tend to be the advice for onine dating.....but maybe isnt always the best way.

the ones ive been interested in, but havent been interested back... yes. One i know had literally split up from his gf two weeks previously, and had just moved back in with his parents. So, not really up to dating, i guess i was just an ego stroke.

One, i have no idea on, we had a great date, he extended it after the activity, he text me the same night to say it was a shame it had to end and he would like to do it again. he text a general hi type message a week later, and then vanished into thin air.

One, i had two dates with, he was affectionate, reaching for my hand, squeezing my thigh.... we had a snog in the pub car park, and then he told me he was too busy to see me again.

One i faniced, but he told me he wasnt interested in relationships ( post shag) and was still hung up on his ex wife.

You know what, out of all of them, thats all i can remember that i liked. Not high, is it.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 21:32:02

and if its noticebale, the two i had relationships with, i didnt fancy.
So - there goes half the posts telling me im too picky, and arrogant and up my arse.

They were people who i had a nice time on dates with, but i didnt fancy, but thought id give it a chance, to see what happened. It didnt work out well.

I do find it interesting that automatically it was assumed i was being too picky and needed to lower my standards, and was accused of having unrealistic expectations... when actually, the opposite it true.

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 21:59:39

Yep chicken - you're attractive, you're witty (albeit some of your wit may go over some peoples heads online)

People are going to jump in with advice like 'you need to make yourself more attractive' when you already are. Or 'you need to lower your standards' when what you need to do is make sure your standards are actually met.

As you know, the vanishers, the ego-strokers who just want to know if they can pull, the 'I-know-this-is-crazy-and-we've-just-met-but-marry-me' types - they all happen online, and in real life, but IRL we can sometimes get that unconscious voice telling us to walk away.

It's basically a numbers game. There are thousands of people online. A good proportion, now it's become more normal, aren't nutters. But some people aren't looking for a relationship, they just want a quickie, or an ego boost, or something to do on a Thursday night. Obviously you're attracting them, just screen them a bit more before an actual meeting with them, talk a bit more on the phone, and then just go meet them when you think maybe it could turn into something.

MissBoPeep Sat 29-Dec-12 22:44:20

You need to be more picky and less picky all at the same time!

More picky in listening to your instincts- if you don't fancy them after 1 date then move on.

More picky in actually thinking about what they say about themselves- someone 2 weeks out of a relationship for instance is not going to be what you want I fear.

Less picky in terms of age. If you extend your age range to 10 years at least above your age.

I'd bet my last pound that more educated men are less likely to be boring and if that means they are 10 years older- so what?

Your attitude is very ageist. I'm a lot older than you and find some of your assumptions or even observations about older men ( and women too?) quite insulting. It's not their ages which make them boring- they were probably like that at 30!

I'd say with OD that a 1:10 success rate ie finding someone you fancy and like, is pretty good going- and if they have to fancy you and like you back that makes it 1:20. So what you have achieved so far fits with that. You can either carry on throwing mud, or trying harder to weed out. But you do come over as perhaps trying too hard , and meeting men who you pretty much know already are not your type.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 22:57:36

to be fair, i didnt know he had just split up with someone before i met him, else i wouldnt have gone on the date.
And even if he had asked me out again, i wouldnt have gone, because i would think he needed some time to ajust first.

Ive dated lots of educated men, by far the worse was some middle managament man who wore a suit everyday. He was as middle class as they come and treated me appallingly. He was also older.

Ive got lots of women friends who are older, i have nothing againist older people, im not agesit at all. Im just not sexually attracted to people who are 10 years older than me. I cant help that. Id be lying to myself if i did.

im perplexed about the trying to hard comment. First i wasnt trying hard enough, then i was arrogant, and now im trying too hard. In what way am i trying too hard? by trying to keep an open mind? before i had said that i was being too picky confused and now ive said ive kept an open mind, im trying too hard confused

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 23:07:17

So to summarise, OP, what you need to do is:
Try harder
Stop trying so hard
Stop being so arrogant and full of yourself
Stop being ageist
Be less picky
Be more picky
Widen the field
Narrow the field
Get Tangoed
Improve your poor eyelash quality
Get your teeth whitened but don't mention them
Stop going on about your job
Lose weight
Change your first pictures
Change your attitude
Change the people you fancy.

It's quite simple. Good luck.

Eurostar Sat 29-Dec-12 23:08:30

From what you have said then, you aren't really going wrong anywhere in terms of being rejected by people because it is only a couple who you have been interested in who haven't taken it further and one was on a very recent re-bound and the other disappeared as people often do with OD, could have been attached already, or met someone earlier etc..

It is perhaps possible that you are writing off one or two good ones early who could grow on you? You say that you have been in abusive relationships before and are determined not to go down that path again, which is good to hear. However, you say you only fancy confident, passionate people? Sometimes confidence and passion grow if you are together with someone who feels comfortable enough in their relationship to expose that side of themselves. Sometimes confidence and passion on the outside from day 1 are actually signs of someone who is not so caring and empathic, someone putting on a show. You know I'm sure that all the advice to someone with a pattern of abusive relationships is to give a little time for a relationship to grow that feels someone dead at the start and to try to learn to not need so much chemistry at the start.

It could be that this is still part of your journey to finding someone who is really worthwhile? It is interesting that out of all the dates, the one you saw the longest is someone who was not treating you with good respect (the "cocklodger") - I don't mean this in any critical way, but perhaps you are not quite there yet in terms of really picking out someone who has a lot more to them on the inside?

Having said all that I am quite aware that one meets lots of people OD where there is zero chemistry, you need some at least...

Eurostar Sat 29-Dec-12 23:10:07

not "someone dead", "somewhat dead" :-)

Do not feel someone dead at the start!

OldMinnieC Sat 29-Dec-12 23:12:40

Eurostar I've just laughed like a drain at that.

Perhaps the OP should be more inclusive of zombies. Some of them could be very nice chaps for all she knows.

nkf Sat 29-Dec-12 23:12:42

I came into this thread because I'm thinking of trying OD. It seems to me that it's no guarantee of anything but the process might be interesting and even fun. I know a woman of about 57 who is having a high old time on Guardian Soulmates. I think if you aren't enjoying the process, it's probably time to quit

Blunt as this may sound, OP, I don't know what the hell you are complaining about. I know some very attractive, intelligent, interesting, funny women in their 30s who have been online dating on and off four four years and got no more than 12 dates in all that time. I tried online dating for 18 months and only met 2 women! If it is true that dating is a numbers game, I would say you are doing very well, quite honestly, in having as many dates as you have had. Yes, a great pity none have led to anything lasting but again, if it is a numbers game, surely the more you meet the better the chance one of them will be someone long term.

But there are probably hundreds if not thousands of women (and men) who would KILL to have had as many dates as you have had. Don't dwell on the negative that it has led to nothing but be positive that so many people want to meet you in the first place.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 23:21:40

eurostar - the cock lodging incident came about because i dated someone different and thought id give it time to grow.
there wasnt anything wrong with him, i just didnt really fancy him. And then he started taking the piss a few months in, so i dumped him.

What i have learnt from that is, actually, i dont need to give people time to grow on me.
If i dont fancy them, then idont fancy them.

cheers oldminniec, for that list. I shall print it off, stick it on the fridge and refer to it everyday smile

Voice of unreason - nope, i dont think they do want to meet 'me', in most cases, they just want to meet a ' woman'. Im the fool whos been open minded enough to give them a try smile

BunnyKelly Sat 29-Dec-12 23:28:49

Interesting thread and some excellent advice, although it did dip a couple of pages back into:
Single men in their 30s are single as they're losers, while single women in their 30s are single because single men are losers. Go figure.

To the op- online may be a red herring as this has been goin on for 5 years. If you're really being open and warm and attractive you'll eventually get what you want. If not, Einstein had something to say about doing the same things and expecting different results.

As someone in a similar(ish) position I wish you all the best.

notsuchaspringchicken Sat 29-Dec-12 23:32:24

Bunny - i do agree, i dont think online is going to work. My plan is to get out there more and see what happens. difficult, but not impossible.

wish you all the best too.

BantaBaby Sat 29-Dec-12 23:33:42

sorry chicken but I have to defend voices point - yes, these blokes wanted to meet a woman - but there are thousands of them. I want to meet a woman who's great for me, but having looked through the profiles online, I want to meet Katie, because she's attractive and quirky and likes making cosmopolitans, then maybe if that doesn't work out I'd like to meet Sarah, who has a big dog and two young kids and regularly talks about politics and does a bad impression of Tony Blair when drunk.

So I go from wanting to meet any woman, to one who sounds interesting (those two were made up, btw) - I don't want to meet Sue, who is lonely this christmas and doesn't want to be hurt again. That's all I know about her, and I don't really want to solve her problems, even though she's 'a woman' I fancy the attractive interesting ones, meet those who I get on with, but I'm careful to screen out the ones who seem needy or boring or who like quoting cliches in their profile. I haven't seen your profile but I daresay it's interesting enough to get men interested in you, not just a random woman. Or if you need, to, talk to them more beforehand to make sure it's you they want to meet.

I'm going to go and whiten my teeth smile

HollaAtMeSanta Sat 29-Dec-12 23:55:02

grin at OldMinnieC's list!!!

MissBoPeep it's a while since I did probabilities but I'm pretty sure your maths is wrong. If the chances of one person fancying and liking another are 1 in 10, the odds of them mutually liking and fancying each other are not 1:20 but 1:100! We may as well all give up now sad

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 00:09:09

Men (and women) who are looking for a relationship want to meet someone who's interesting, and possibly right for them etc.

But the ones who don't want a relationship, who are just after sex, or a date, or just email chitchat (lots of those, who vanish into the ether once a date is suggested) aren't putting that much thought into it, and on the whole you can't tell before a date.

I had a date in the summer. We text, we spoke lots on the phone beforehand. We then had one date, and the next morning I got a text saying 'I can't see you again, I'm not ready for a commitment'.

I suspect it was all BS, he never wanted a girlfriend, or a relationship. He either wanted sex (he didn't get it), or to prove to himself he could still get dates, or whatever. There was nothing to suggest that was the case beforehand. But there are a lot of people OD who are like this.

And the idea of wading through 100 of these idiots (Holla I agree with your maths) to find ONE that I might have a chance of a relationship with is seriously depressing...

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sun 30-Dec-12 01:13:09

Actually OP: Congratulations! You are too smart and too sorted to accept any old knobber. Being single is much better for women, in general, than being in a relationship unless that relationship is spectcatularly good. It's well worth remaining single unlessuntil a magnificently suitable man appears. All this advice to simper, paint yourself orange and put on uncomfortable shoes would only net you a man who isn't worth having in the first place.

allchangeplease Sun 30-Dec-12 01:21:13

60, 100 men are really not that many if you consider that in rl you see dozens of men daily but not many catch your eye, let alone would be your match for a relationship, even if they were single. OD is just a very drawn out process wgilch in rl would take much faster if you saw all tese people at a big gathering, festivals/big weddings. It reeally is a slog and some women have freat gut instinct and luck on their side to meet someone quickly, but mostly LOTS of patience is needed!
I want to meet people in rl but it really is hard if you don't take part in a group sport. And I can get OP when she's saying that she fancies younger men - I'm older than OP and it's the same for me, they fancy me too but hardly a r-ship material, sad really. Thankfully there are SOMe older men that I can fancy 0looking back over my life) - agree with a poster who said that age doesn't matter if you really like/respect/find funny a person who is older.
OP maybe try (not hugely) younger guys - they can be very eager and attractive and intelligent - if you don't mind it not being neccessarily permanent, you say you aer fine on your own generally and you have your DD, so sounds like a younger guy may well suit you!

FromEsme Sun 30-Dec-12 01:21:28

What SolidGold said. Frankly, unless you're going out of your way to be unpleasant to people, you should just keep doing what you're doing.

allchangeplease Sun 30-Dec-12 01:37:46

OP, in case you are interested, there is a specific site for meeting younger men grin, it's surprisingly quite decent and the men are not all indecently that young, lots are in their late 20s or even older, I guarantee you'll get a lot of messages (looking at your photos).

Hypermutley Sun 30-Dec-12 01:38:47

My tuppence worth on this (but i havent read through all the 11 pages of posts!)
1) use 'good' dating sites (eharmony and mysinglefriend and the sarah beeny one) you pay but so do the men on it who may be looking for something serious with real women
2) maybe you come across as confident as you are and that puts prats off (a good thing) so dont worry about that
3) when speaking to a potential 'good un' be interested in a relationship, if you come across as being 'sorted' that can be offputting

but hey what do i know, i've been with someone 10 years married 7.5 and a couple of months back recall thinking to myself, he better not leave me cos i cant do the 'dating thing'! Good luck! all good things n all.....

MissBoPeep Sun 30-Dec-12 07:49:54

* Im just not sexually attracted to people who are 10 years older than me. I cant help that*

This is one of the funniest things I have read smile

So if Daniel Craig or ( insert name of some other man) tuned up you'd refuse because they were 10 years older. shock

I think you should rephrase that to " I've not yet been attracted to someone 10 years older."

have it your way- you are closing doors unnecessarily IMO, but there you go.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 08:04:23

Yep, im not attracted to him in any way, shape or form. Im just not. He does nothing for me.

Glad you find that amuzing hmm

Like velvet said, those wanting a relationship want someone thats interesting and right for them. Those that are dating for other reasons dont. Its almost impossible to tell via emails and calls beforehand. Unless of course its like yesterdays one and he asks me out on the first message ( obviously im not going)

My profile is interesting, ive had a full and unusual life, i live it to the full. But, if you harp on too much its a bit much and i know its intimidating, men find it intimidating.

OldMinnieC Sun 30-Dec-12 08:09:12

MissBoPeep, I'm not sure why you keep arguing with the OP about who she does/doesn't/would/wouldn't find attractive. Radical idea, maybe, but perhaps she does actually know herself.

I think your Daniel Craig example is misleading. I could probably be persuaded to go on a date with Harrison Ford, but since he's literally the only 70-year-old I'd consider from the entire human population and, let's face it, he's reasonably unlikely to pop up on Plenty of Fish any time soon, it wouldn't really make sense for me to include all men of his age in my search parameters.

LeBFG Sun 30-Dec-12 08:25:15

I'm agreeing with lots of these later posts. In my single years I would have met more than 50 men over a 5 year period (this is only 10 a year) through work, at a pub etc. But I've never met a bf like that. The idea of dating is fun, nerve wracking, but a bit weird too - you're meeting strangers on best behaviour, everyone is projecting their ideal selves rather than their true selves. The men I've really been interested have grown on me over time. I look for personality, humour, lack of fussiness. My idea of hell would be a suit OP! My odd ball DP is 1:1000 sort and took a few years before we finally got together. It was worth the wait.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 08:32:16

I would go on a date with a chat show host who is 50. I dont and would never want sex with him, but i just think he would be so much fun.

Johnny depp is the only exception to this, but thats not realistic at all!!

Other than that, no, i dont have sexual feelings for men 10 years older. It freaks me out a bit tbh, makes me feel like they are my dad or something, which is horrible.
I just dont like it.

In the same way, while i can appreciate the attractivness of 10 years younger men, i couldnt seriously be with one.

So its not double standards on my behalf. I just want to date someone my own age range.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 08:39:39

Lebfg- i dont like suits either smile
I was just being open minded to different types of men.

I always go for personality, everytime. I think half my problem is so many men are so bland with no interests and have done nothing with their lives. I dont care what they have done, just that they have done something.

I find it impossible to be attracted to man who still lives at home, has been in the same job since he was 20, takes a package holiday to spain and watches im a celeb and thinks its great.

And there is, i suspect, my issue.
That and the fact i dont find 45 year old attractive.

And yes, 50 dates over 5 years is only 10 a year. Not many at all.

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 08:41:46

Single men in their 30s are single as they're losers, while single women in their 30s are single because single men are losers. Go figure.

Unfortunately that in general is very true. Of all the 'single' guys I know, there's only one guy who I would class as 'decent'. And despite him being quite vertically challenged and virtually no self confidence, he's just bagged himself a stunning Polish girl. So I guess technically he's not single anymore.

It's slim pickings out there once you get 30+. The decent men are already bagged and the ones whom do appear quickly get snatched up.

Back when I was single I didn't just rely on online dating. Don't get me wrong, I had good success on the online dating scene. But it was just one iron in the fire. I also joined different communities I was interested in. For example as a single dad, I joined single parent sites too and became an active member organising meet ups etc. My aim wasn't to just meet someone but totally change my life and meet new friends.

In fact, I met my now fiancee through one of my LP sites. We started as friends, she even babysat for me whilst I was out dating. Then things developed from there.

My point is that the only thing I'd change with your approach OP, is to look at improving your social life in general as well as dabbling with online dating.

OldMinnieC Sun 30-Dec-12 08:50:05

You can't have Johnny Depp. He's mine. Gerroffim.

Is the chat show host Jeremy Kyle? Eek.

I agree with the offline socialising, especially in light of your most recent post. Clubs, evening classes, volunteering or something? The men you would meet there would, by definition, be 'doing something' other than sitting around playing on their X boxes while their mums cook their tea.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 08:57:39

yes, how did you guess. lol

the social life needs an overhall. i know that. Herein lies the problem. I cant get/ afford regular baby sitters, so evening classes, so any weekdayactivity is out.

I work in school hours and then look after a friends child to help her out ( she has mine while i work)

I have every other weekend free, which i try to see friends, all married, only want to socalise in their houses due to their babysitting issues ( fair enough) and have some time for me, doing housework, errands, or just chilling out.

I did join a local social group, but again, that had 2 male members, both who i had rejected online dating (so, not awkward at all!!!) and the rest were full of, yes, 45 year old women who were a bit lost following the break up of their marriages. I didnt fit in with any of them, which is almost as depressing as not getting anywhere with the dating. lol

LeBFG Sun 30-Dec-12 09:32:42

I could imagine myself in exactly the same position as you if all went tits up here. I'm sure your only 'problem' is age. When your kids are a bit older and in school you'll have a lot more time freed up to do some interesting things. In the meantime, I would probably continue OD but just be really fussy - don't waste your precious time with time wasters.

niceguy2 - I've got a near identical story of a pretty unattractive short man who has bagged a tall, leggy Dutch girl all of 10 years his junior. Twat also wanted to continue seeing his ex during holidays (an open relationship or something hmm where do they get these ideas?). Perhaps this is the thing unsuccessful men don't realise - hang around single til you reach 35-40 and you shall be rewarded by bagging real bombshells.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 09:41:35

My child is in school. but i work in those hours, so it really makes no difference at all.

I think,if im really honest, im as much a victim of circumstance as anything else. I have limited opportunities to meet people, and really thats not going to change for a considerable number of years.

i do interesting stuff all the time, but its not conductive to meeting/ dating. Yesterday i drove 2 hours each way to the o2 to see something with DD. I got chatted up by a nice man while i was there smile but of course, thats not going to go anywhere..... I did see lots of nice men, but they were all with their families. So, nice, interesting thing for me, something fun, something to talk about, something a bit different, had a fab time. Nothing in dating dept. And thats how my life is, i do lots of stuff, in the last 6 months ive been to the albert hall, horse racing, gigs, show in london, day out in london, cinema, meals out, off roading,camping, weekend away. new job and just moved house. I get out and walk the dog, ive gone to farmers markets, vintage markets and just browsing cool shops.... i do stuff all the time. And then i go home, put DD to bed and am stuck in, and its been that way for 5 years now.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 09:50:06

AND, in a way, the more stuff i do, the more interesting stuff i do, the more ' different' to everyone else i become, and almost alienate myself from people even more.
I have school gate mums say to my face they cant belive what i get up to, and how i do it, and how they wouldnt in a million years even attempt it. half wouldnt even drive on the motorway.... and these are the ones that like me and are my friends, to the ones that dont like me ive heard they say who the hell do i think i am. which makes no sense, but there you go.

But then i also become less interested in people that dont do stuff, i love having an interesing life and want someone to share it with. Someone whos happy to sit in and do nothing holds no interest to me... and again, men tend to react like the school gate mums and go one way or another with it.

bit of a vicous circle.

'When your kids are a bit older & in school' yes, give it another five years, you'll be 39 & then legitimate arm-candy for septuagenarians.... hmm

MissingInAct Sun 30-Dec-12 10:01:56

springchicken
One thing is standing up for me. You said you had a full and unusual life and that can put people off.

I don't know what you did but I have travelled quite a bit, lived abroad and there is no way I could get on with someone who has lived their own life in the same place.
I do realize this is a big generalization but I genuinely seem to get on only with people that have their own 'unusual' life too and generally with people who are comfortable in a very multicultural environment, do not conform to standards.

So it made me wonder, is the issue for you more to do with the type of people you meet, their background etc... rather than an issue about yourself/how you are getting on about dating as such?

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:02:33

oh, yes, ill be able to shoot for the 60 years olds. can hardly wait confused

MissingInAct Sun 30-Dec-12 10:04:13

xpost.

Yes agree about being unusual and not 'fitting in'.
This makes things hundred times more difficult unless you live in a multicultural area where lots of people have done at least some of the unusual things you've done.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:06:13

missing - yep.
ive lived abroad in two different countries, for 4 years...

i dont really have anything in common with someone who is 35 and living at home with their mum cooking them chicken nuggets for dinner. which is sadly more common than you might think.

Probably the type of man id get on with does not frequent dating sites. but im stuck in a bit of a situation where meeting new men is hard and its almost the only option right now.

OldMinnieC Sun 30-Dec-12 10:07:00

What about volunteering (so flexible and not too intrusive on your time) on the every other weekend you get free? Something that interests you, obviously, so you'll enjoy it anyway, and ideally somewhere you could meet other volunteers and the public. A theatre, an attraction, charity events, the National Trust or similar?

And I empathise with being the weird independent oddity at the school gates. It still seems to freak plenty of people out that women can just get on with doing things by themselves without a man (or anyone else) to give them permission or be there to do the bloody driving. People often seem to find it either weird or intimidating, or both. I have no idea why. Going to the pictures on your own is hardly climbing Everest.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:10:49

i didnt even realise, until recently that i was that unusual. Its just been pointed out quite a lot in the last few years or so.

OldMinnieC Sun 30-Dec-12 10:16:31

I find it very weird when people say they'd have liked to have done something/gone somewhere/seen a film or play etc but they couldn't because their husband or partner didn't want to. If I suggest they could just go anyway - on their own! - they look at me as if I've got two heads.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:17:51

i know minnie - it confuses me. One said to me she doesnt leave the town..... weird. ho hum. Mind you, shes married and im not, so....... ???

I could do some national trust work on something... i did one of their ' working holidays' when i was younger, a contradiction in terms, but lots of fun. I am an english heritage member too... so maybe something with that?

Ill become a weird leafy, historian, and segerate myself even more from everyone else. lol
smile
great plan.
smile

MissingInAct Sun 30-Dec-12 10:19:18

Then dating site are prob not the right way to go because you won't be finding the right person on there anyway.

Where do you live? Would you be able to get closer to a more 'multicultural' area? Perhaps have a look at place where 'foreigners' meet up, a 'language cafe' (Not sure how to call them, but they are people speaking another language who meet up just for the pleasure of having a chat in that language).

Seeing that I am finding it hard enough to make friends in that context, I can see how hard it would be to find a decent partner....

Croccy1979 Sun 30-Dec-12 10:33:30

Sorry how do you view the OP's profile?

This may sound random but when you are messaging people on dating sites make sure your spelling and grammar is correct. When I was online dating I ruled out anyone who had poor spelling / grammar or used 'text speak' as it makes you sound stupid if you are over 16 years of age (in my opinion).

Alittlestranger Sun 30-Dec-12 10:35:39

OP have you tried Guardian Soulmates? That seems to be full of people who have travelled lots/lived abroad. it's also persuaded me that the other type of man single in his 30s is one whose still trying to make it as a photographer/actor/novelist/comic book writer/comedian etc.

Maybe OD isn't for you although I'm not sure who it is right for. Are you political at all, maybe joining the local branch of a party, or some other group? Book clubs?

I really feel for you, it shouldn't be this hard but it does sound like you're looking for a needle in a chicken nugget munching haystack.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:35:48

croccy - ive hidden it now... smile sorry.

yes, i do discount for that, not typos or crap typing like i do... there is a difference. ( i dont proof read either) but text speak, yes. though up thread i was told i was ridiclous for doing so an dneeded to get a grip.

Alittlestranger Sun 30-Dec-12 10:37:03

Croccy we've covered text speak. Apparently filtering out those who don't bother to string a sentence together is one of the many ways that the OP is being too fussy/snobby. hmm

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 10:37:07

i think the guardian has about 3 men on it in my area. ive looked smile

Alittlestranger Sun 30-Dec-12 10:40:08

How far are you from London? I've found a lot of men claim they live in London when they're actually just prepared to travel there or spend a bit of time there. I find it a bit annoying to be honest because I'm lazy and don't want to commute for a shag but if you're quite close and comfortable with it it might be worth a bit of fibbing?

higgle Sun 30-Dec-12 11:49:58

Are you smiling in your profile picture? I had a look at a few womens profiles on guardian Soulmates and it was hard to see if they were attractive/nice people because they were all pulling strange faces trying to look either cool or maybe enigmatic or raunchy - not sure quite which but very strange. In one of the 100 quotes for the new year on Graham Nortons page in the telegraph yesterday was one to the effect of "if you want a happy marriage marry a happy person" perhaps a nice smile is the way to go.

LeBFG Sun 30-Dec-12 12:59:02

Sounds like you pack a lot of interesting stuff in your life. But I can't think these things are very conducive to meeting people properly. For that you need places you can talk.

Lots of good suggestions already and off the top of my head: clubs (birdwatching, rambling, nature walks etc rather than sporty clubs) and evening courses, trying to avoid obviously female biased things like cake making - furniture making, cookery classes for singles (do they even exist???), wine tasting courses...Other things: salsa evenings at the local wine bar (probably have to hang out around the bar though!), getting involved somehow with the local art-house cinema/bar (always populated with interesting people), universities are great for interesting people (not the students so much as the academics) - at my last uni there was a lovely art centre which had events the public could go to. Final suggestion came from my DH: get your kids involved in something like football or taekwondo were you go regularly and you may meet single dads cheering on their little ones. Just an idea grin.

That's true - enroll your dd in footy - she does not get a say in this - and turn up every Sunday.

BunnyKelly Sun 30-Dec-12 13:21:07

As someone (33 yr old man) looking for pretty similar things as you are in a partner (interesting and intelligent would be a good start), I think you should focus on this, and don't give unsuitable men a 2nd thought.

Where you get saddos chowing down on chicken nuggets at mum's, I get women (too) fresh from dysfunctional relationships with nothing in common with me aside from us both being single.

Its not their fault that their unsuitable or that i'm single, so I politely move on and concentrate on what I want.

Just how rural are you? It sounds as though you're doing plenty right, but if the only men in reach are country hicks with limited life experience then you're unlikely to find anyone suitable.

Again, good luck. Its a jungle out there.

Spring I think you may have something with the life experience thing. I recently asked a couple of people to review my profile and one fed back that I seemed a little too full on, with the things that I liked and did. The trouble is, I had already toned it down.

googlenut Sun 30-Dec-12 13:52:05

Why don't you two get together grin

googlenut Sun 30-Dec-12 13:52:48

That's to Bunnykelly and OP.

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 13:55:28

My sons have done football (for 10 years), cricket, golf, ju-jitsu. There are no single parents other than me!

sailorsgal Sun 30-Dec-12 14:02:09

I thought that too googlenut grin

BunnyKelly Sun 30-Dec-12 14:25:56

Well now that you mention it... would insert smilie if I knew how

googlenut Sun 30-Dec-12 14:40:32

As long as Bunnykelly is not a hairy trucker grin

Hairy truckers might be the way to go...

ike1 Sun 30-Dec-12 16:20:19

Sod NotSuchaSpringChicken, ya snooze ya lose.....Hi Bunny!!!(Ike flutters non extended eyelashes at Bunny)

BunnyKelly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:04:20

Hairy trucker? Have to say I'm struggling with euphemisms and acronyms more than anything on here, but I'm guessing that's not good!

Ike - I've just pm'd you a semi naked pic with my car in the background and a gormless, kinda constipated, look on my face. Hope you like.wink

ike1 Sun 30-Dec-12 17:09:41

Well.....I could overlook that pic Bunny if you have either a) dreadlocks b) a mohawk c) a dog on a string?????

BunnyKelly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:37:03

Full house ike- Mohawk which morphs into a dreadlocked mullet and a devil dog on a string (although where I live is pretty rural so its some farmer's twine).

I'd advise the rest of you to invest in hat stocks when the markets open again on Wednesday...

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 17:55:49

hey hey hey, i was busy earning a wage!!! i shouldnt miss out for that.

Bunny, ill pm you. Im not fussy about hair.... lol

GrendelsMum Sun 30-Dec-12 18:06:24

Trying to be helpful here, so sorry if it comes across as critical.

I have a lovely single friend - she is intelligent, beautiful, hard working, determined, decisive, loyal, considerate. She is finding it really difficult to meet men, and to meet anyone decent, which she would like to do.

SO... I have tried fixing her up with friends of mine and my DHs, and in a social situation, all the things which are great about her sort of intensify until you can't be surprised that the men are scared off. Rather than intelligent, she comes over as shooting other people down, rather than determined, she comes over as overbearing, and so on.

It's the same with a single male friend in his 30s (and yes, I have tried to set them up together). He's lovely, but his good qualities never really seem to come out when meeting potential partners. He just comes over as nerdy and obsessive, rather than being full of life and enthusiasm and huge fun to be around. To be honest, it makes me pretty angry that no-one has seen how great this guy is, because he would love to get married and be a father, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

I wonder whether things might be the same with you and the people you're dating, just because you're on dates and its a bit of an artificial situation. Might good characteristics be turning into something a bit off putting?

This might be wildly off, of course, but I thought that since you've obvously got a huge amount going for you, it might be worth sharing these people's experiences.

This book might annoy you wildly but it's great fun, I think, and worth a read!

GrendelsMum Sun 30-Dec-12 18:18:45

Now I've read the latest posts, I've changed my mind.

The people you're meeting at the school gates sound grim as hell. I think you need to move area, move house, move job and meet other people - men and women - who do interesting things like you do.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 18:31:35

they arent grim though, are they. They are just ' normal' there is lots of them, they will be at any school, in any place. Ive lived in lots of different places, so i do know this for a fact.
Like minniec says, people dont even go to the cinema if there is something on they want to see, if their husband wont like it, or wont go. If i want to do something i just buy two tickets and find someone to come with me at a later date, take DD, or at worst, go on my own. And yes, people do look at me like ive got 2 heads or something. I dont get it, but minnie has had the same experience, so, its not just me.

In the meantime ive distracted myself and have decided next year, 2013, im going to walk over the o2. how cool is that?? and a bit fun and different. Im terrified of heights, but its a great thing to have done smile

GrendelsMum Sun 30-Dec-12 18:52:26

Ooh, that sounds great!

But the overwhelming majority of people I know are much more like you than the people at the school gates you're describing, so I think it must be partly down to location?

ike1 Sun 30-Dec-12 18:58:13

Ive decided for most of 2013 I am gonna sit in bed eating orange pip sweets n' mumsnet and give up men...unless Bunny really does have the mohawk/dreadlock haircut combo....

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 19:25:45

I have every other weekend free, which i try to see friends, all married, only want to socalise in their houses due to their babysitting issues ( fair enough) and have some time for me, doing housework, errands, or just chilling out.

See, this is where I think you have it backwards. Back when I was single, I also only had every other weekend free. So what I did was have everything planned for those weekends. So from the moment the kids left to go to their mums on the Friday night, I'd try to have dates lined up until Sunday afternoon. It's actually quite easy. One on Friday night....one Sat lunchtime/afternoon (in case you get lucky and stay over on Fri or just have a lie in). Then another Sat evening and one Sunday midmorning/lunch. Late afternoon I'd do the ironing and clean the house before they came home. That's four dates in one weekend which was about my limit. Anymore and the whole thing became a confusing mess.

Seeing married friends, errands, food shops. Do them on the weekends you have the kids. After all, if they have babysitting issues then it shouldn't be a big deal if you take your kids along too.

Weeknight dates I could only do sparingly as so not to eat into time with the kids. I didn't at the time have many friends locally who could babysit. At one point I paid some local teenage girls to babysit until I met my now fiancee. It was far from ideal but then being a single parent you soon learn that 'not ideal' is par for the course. You do what you can, not what you should.

ike1 Sun 30-Dec-12 19:28:05

Bloody hell niceguy I am knackered just thinking about your social whirling!!!

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 19:29:17

oh, i could fill my weekends with dates if i wanted too. ive had 3 in one weekend before. I just dont want to, and do want to see people and do stuff other than meet random ( shit) men from the internet.

but thats if im not being fussy and just being open minded and meeting lots of new people.

if im being choosey, id quite easily fit one date in....

OP, just a small point. Don't worry about having an exact match with interests etc. DH and I are absolute opposites on paper. He is mad about sport, I hate sport, I love reading and the theatre, he hates both of those. I would never have picked him out on a dating site in a million years. We have very few shared interests, apart from eating out!

But what we do have is a deep fundamental agreement with values, politics and life in general. Things like partnership, working together as a team to bring up our DSs, fairness and equality, sharing the load between us and lots more.

None of our friends would ever have paired us up, but we have now been happily married for 25 years and are still very much in love. Our life together has been very hard due to poor health and disability, but we are still here.

BunnyKelly Sun 30-Dec-12 19:43:16

There's a happy medium somewhere, and while I'd be much closer to chicken than nice guy's plan (fuck that!) it is easy to make yourself too available to friends with families, at the expense of your own social life.

ike1 Sun 30-Dec-12 19:49:52

I really enjoy the company of my friends anyhow ...have some great single mum mates...better than fake smiling through coffee with a bloke I have no interest in! As it happens I am probs gonna volunteer at the local independent cinema as an usherette...something to do more than anything! But having said that, if I feel at some point I MUST have a BF above all else.. Nice Guy's approach would probs work..

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 19:50:37

im not even after a match of the same interests, its fine, i dont care, thats superficial stuff. its a match of values and beliefes which is far more important.

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 19:53:28

I think the advice to spend 'free' weekends entirely on dates is complete shit tbh.

My free weekends are bloody special. I don't want to fill them up/waste them on a bunch of randoms from the internet. Plus the advice to the OP upthread was to be more selective than less - and you cant get 4 dates in that short space of time without being utterly unselective.

If you did set up something like this (and finding 4 people all free at the weekend at convenient times to fit in around each other is fairly unlikely), then (internet men being a pretty flaky bunch) chances are at least 2 would disappear predate anyway. So you're immediately down to 2. And they always tend to disappear/flake at the 11th hour, so usually too late to arrange anything with friends. Then you have 2, one of which will probably be awful and leave you wondering why you are wasting time you could be spending doing something, anything, better than this. The other one will probably be nice, but you'll never hear from them again.

I think a weekend like that would be pretty awful. I'd much rather spend it at home on my own, if that was the only alternative. But I suppose men would say that's why I'm single hmm

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 20:06:05

ha, velvet. so true.

I think thats why i stopped planning lots of dates in a weekend, mostly they would cancel at the last min, i had cancelled plans with my friends in favour of the date, and then would be left with nothing to do.
or, worse still, i would go to the trouble of getting a babysitter, only to have the date cancel an hour before, leaving me red faced in front of the babysitter.
and thats how i came to only have day time coffee dates, as they were the least effort, least cost, and no worries if they got cancelled. But they arent all that conductive to romance really.

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 20:17:55

I think maybe the best compromise is to have a weekend where you've got something planned with friends/family/an activity or whatever, AND a date as well. That way if date gets cancelled, it's only one wasted afternoon/evening, and you've still got other things to do, and the whole weekend isn't a write off.

The cost is the other thing, I completely agree re coffee dates being easiest and cheapest, but evening ones tend to be more enjoyable. But then you've got the cost of getting there and back, drinks, food etc. This dating business isn't cheap, I'd be broke doing 4 dates a fortnight!

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 20:26:55

oh, i know. Evening dates tend to cost me in the region of £40 - £60
taxis, something to eat, rounds of drinks. its not cheap, im a lone parent, i have no money, i cant afford to spend that meeting dullards and it not going anywhere.
Least with a coffee date its only a few pounds, but again, not great for romance at all.

MissBoPeep Sun 30-Dec-12 22:16:05

I think you are just going to have to accept that it's going to take time. IN some men's eyes you won't be what they want because you have a child- that will ruke out some men. Other men will welcome you AND your child- but you will still attract fewer men because you have a child.

I do agree with others that you need to hone your search- I recognise the dud men you talk about but I'd never have met any or dated them when I was single because I moved in different social circles.

If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same results. I think it was Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of madness smile

The other point that someone mentioned ages back is on the thread here your punctuation and spelling leaves a lot to be desired.(You don't use a capital I and you omit apostrophes most of the time.) If this is how you reply to posts on OD etc then you may come over as uneducated- and put off educated and potentially interested men. if it's just laziness here fair enough- but you should aim to get this right when replying to men.

I think you should stop focusing on " getting a man"- just enjoy life, change your job if that will help you meet more people- take drastic action is you need to- then just relax about it a bit more.

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:40:19

Velvet & springchicken. I wasn't trying to say you had to do it exactly like I did and cram loads of dates into each free weekend. Just that it's better to organise dates into your child free time rather than the other way around. In fact it wasn't like a religion I had to pack my free weekends with dates. I just maximised my time. For example out with friends around town or organising lone parent meets. What I didn't do was sit around the house ironing, cleaning and food shopping.

Like I said, I do think it's better if you concentrated on getting your social life expanded rather than on dating sites. You've given it a good crack of the whip and clearly dating sites aren't working for you.

When I met my fiancee she wasn't interested in me at all. I thought she was attractive but thought for various reasons it would never work so pretty much dismissed anything but friendship and cheap babysitting. So for us it was the fact I wasn't looking at her as a potential GF and vice versa that helped us get to know each other and realise later that actually there is something there. If we'd have been on a dating site I doubt she'd have even replied to my initial message, let alone make it to the first date. On paper our relationship shouldn't work at all. But it does.

My point is sometimes it's all too easy to dismiss someone as unsuitable but then later that grows into suitable. Of course there is also more chance that unsuitable will stay unsuitable....but you only have to win once.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 08:43:11

yes, but i was having an open mind and dating lots of ' unsuitable' and i would have seen lots of them twice, to see if there was anything there, except, they have to want to do the same....... and they didnt.

Im fully aware people can grow on people and you have to get to know someone past a few hours on a first date. I KNOW this, doesnt mean that the people i go out on a date with know this.

Typically a date and one i thought went ok, would go - meet for a coffee in the day time, have a natter, no awkward pauses, lots of chat,some laughing probably have a second drink, so, maybe 2-3 hours long. A hug/ kiss on the cheek goodbye, me saying i had a nice time, ususally some comment about being in contact from them, or them saying it was fun, lets do it again. And then nothing, not hearing from them ever again.

Ok - this happens with a few dates, but most of them? i dont understnad what more the man could want to happen in those 2-3 hours, in a coffee shop, that would make it a better date? or how well they think they are going to know me?

bopeep - did you read any of my latter posts? im not totally focused on ' getting a man' its a very small part of my life . Ive also, just 2 months ago, changed my job, so, im not going to do it again, id end up with a very ropey cv if i did that.
And no, i dont use a capital i, so what? its just typing confused

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 08:52:13

And no, i dont use a capital i, so what? its just typing

Errrr- no it's not actually. It's a window to who you are, in terms of posting on a dating site and emailing men.

You've said all along that many men aren't " up to scratch" in your eyes. Can't you make the connection that if your writing reveals a lack of education or inability to use correct English ( and that includes capitals in the right places) then some men may be rejecting you online?

I wouldn't reply to a man whose Englsih was poor- I'd assume he was uneducated and not what I was looking for. Call that shallow but 1st impressions count.

I'm not the first poster to say this to you but you don't want to listen. confused

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 09:09:44

yet another poster told me off for rejecting men based on text speak.....

hmm

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 09:17:57

So? How is that connected to my comments?

You are very defensive.

Why did you bother posting?

People have given their time to be helpful but if the advice doesn't fit with what you want to hear then you defend yourself.

I don't care what another poster has told you to do- you don't have to take any notice of that.

You are complaining all the time that the men are boring, not your type, have few interests etc etc, live at home, blah blah blah.

Yet the minute I suggest something which might show that you are alienating some potentially nice suitable men, you come over all defensive- unwilling to accept the point.

You obviously have interests but your posts here are riddled with spelling and grammar errors. As I said, if this standard of English is just for this forum, fair enough (I don't bother too much on a forum) but if you want to make yourself as attractive as possible to the type of high-flying, successful, interesting, independent men you are looking for then you need to do everything that might help- which includes writing in correct English. Otherwise you will attract the losers.

If this is not what you want to hear, then fine. I won't waste my day.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 09:30:12

So i dont need to listen to other posters, just to you?

Wow.

And i was accused of being arrogant??

Look, im not a pendant, never will be, still have an english degree.

Ive dated lots of educated men, im not sure why you think they dont act the same or live at home. Lots do.

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 09:53:04

I can't quite see how you arrived at that conclusion. Where have I said take notice of me and no one else? I don't quite follow your logic.

I'd agree absolutely that you shouldn't waste your time replying to men who use text speak. But how that means you only take my advice, and not others is beyond me. Can you explain?

You say you have an degree in English yet you use a lower case E for English and seem to not understand the use of punctuation? ( eg I'm).
And you don't really understand the difference between former and letter- unless latter was a typo for "later".

It's not about being a pedant. It's about conveying yourself in the best possible way- OD is a shop window. If you want to attract educated and interesting men then you need to show you are at that level. Otherwise you will come over a thick.

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 10:10:53

BoPeep, why do you seem to be constantly attacking the OP? Seriously, pretty much every piece of advice you've given is confrontational, hostile, condescending and bordering on rude.

This is an internet forum. People type in a more relaxed way, I could point out your typos if you really want to be pulled up on them, but just because the OP doesn't capitalise her i's doesn't mean she does when she's mailing someone, or that they care. As a man who receives several messages a day from women on online dating sites whether they capitalise their I or not really doesn't make a huge difference. Text speak and LOLs annoy the hell out of me. Casual typing doesn't. The OP comes across as intelligent and educated, you're the one coming across as pedantic here.

A lot of the advice given is ridiculous (wear false lashes, put on a fake tan) and the OP shouldn't have to pretend to be someone she's not. She has a perfect right to ignore or rebuff advice that is just spurious.

ike1 Mon 31-Dec-12 10:14:18

Just as an aside I used to teach English at A level and my grammar on mumsnet can be pants. As you were...

niceguy2 Mon 31-Dec-12 10:23:51

Bopeep, sorry but grammar is probably the last thing a man would be worried about. Pure text speak would put me off. But lower case E? punctuation? I wouldn't even notice.

The frank reality is that on dating sites, men will look at the photo first & foremost. Their logic will go something like "Would I shag her? Would I be embarrassed if my mates saw me with her?" If the answer to both are yes and no (in that order), then there's a 95% chance you will get a message.

The profile, unless there is a red flag there like pure text speak or "I'm just looking for friends (aka I'm not ready yet and still hung up over my last BF) then you'll probably get a message.

The one thing which has been touched on before but OP has explained she's trying to tackle is her weight. Size 16 may be the UK average but it just means there are a lot of big girls out there. Because it is slim pickings out there, decent men have options. And chances are the decent ones are searching for those describing themselves as thin/athletic, maybe average and not "a few extra pounds". And if they are getting a decent response, they would never need to expand their search.

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 10:57:27

Banta go back to the first few pages and you will see that there are others posting the same things about her writing.

I am not attacking her- I am offering what I thought was constructive advice, and I have allowed for the fact that not everyone- including me- pays a huge amount of attention to accuracy on a forum.

I think you need to read all the posts which were much more aggressive and unsupportive several pages back and far " worse" than mine-so go and take issue with those posters too maybe?

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 11:07:26

BoPeep - yes, several posters gave advice, some good, some bad. However, you seem to be the only one who is persisting on telling the OP, several pages later, the same old things, and taking umbrage at her for not taking advice. Once you've given advice, or repeated the same advice other people have given, then attacking the OP for saying thanks but that's not for her, which is what she's done, is just kind of pointless.

She's posted a thread on a relationship forum asking for advice and she's got some, she's discussed the merits of some of them, disagreed with some, agreed with some. That's fair. You just seem to keep coming back and asking her why she's bothering if she's not going to take the advice you personally think is best. Several people (mostly men, whose perspective here I think is possibly more valid than women, as it is men she is trying to date) have said her punctuation and grammar is not particularly important in online dating.

Some of the advice is not great. She is allowed to not take it. Some of it is good, and she is also allowed not to take that too. What gets silly is that you keep coming back and saying 'LISTEN TO ME! DO WHAT I THINK!' - the others gave advice and it was disregarded. You keep on harping on.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 11:16:30

Bobeep, you did say ' i dont care about others advice, dont listen to that'

Im typing on a smart phone, typos and autocorrect happen. Its a casual forum. I would not be interested in dating a man who was so anal he got pissed off if i used a small e.

I get lots of messages, heck, lots of dates. So im passing the ' would i shag her' test.
What im not getting is dates that lead anyfurther, which was why i started this thread.

Some advice has been great, and im taking it on board, some has been weird and some has been absolute shit. Thats the internet, there is no rule saying i have to follow it.

stookiesackhouse Mon 31-Dec-12 11:28:47

I am the one who mentioned false tan and lashes on page one in a tongue in cheek comment, followed by a grin

My actual point was about looking the best you can because then you feel confident - and appearance is important when attracting someone. This was a. when the OP hadn't posted photos of herself and b. hadn't clarified she was entirely happy with her looks.

As soon as the OP said that look wasn't for her I said totally agreed she should stick to her true self.

I also gave good suggestions about being somewhere where OP would see the same people regularly i.e. pub quiz, gym or walking group.

I wish everyone would stop banging on about how ridiculous my comment was - it has been blown out of all proportion.

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 11:39:53

grin sorry Stookie - my point was, the advice was given, it was discussed and discarded. I went on a date a couple of weeks ago with a woman who had fake tan and lashes and put me right off her.

Any advice on something like this is useful advice, especially if the OP or other people can respond and say 'yes, that might work' or 'not for me, I'm afraid'. But the spelling/grammar bit has been done to death I think. If someone was coming back saying 'fake tan, go on, fake tan. Do it. Now' then I'd be the same about that.

It's just that your comment was one of the first to be posted, discussed and rejected as it wasn't suitable, and I was actually using it as a case in point of how the OP has been reasonable in listening to advice (good and bad) and taking on different perspectives. But once it's been given and rejected, people should let it lie.

stookiesackhouse Mon 31-Dec-12 11:54:06

It's ok Banta, I wasn't really taking umbrage at your post specifically - I agree with you. It's just I have been following this thread with interest as I am similar age to OP and newly(ish) single and have seen my comment taken out of context and flamed over and over.

Nevermind. The discussion has been very interesting overall though! smile

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 12:44:43

OP You are taking that quote out of context- or maybe misinterpretting it. the reason I said that was not that I think my comments are the only ones worth thinking about- but that I didn't see any connection ( ie " don't care what other people say") between the comment you quoted about text-speak, and mine.

I don't know confused- sometimes people seem to get the wrong end of the stick so often when it comes to posts- and I don't mean mine beofre you latch on to that!

I think the whole issue is much more simple than you think really.

OD gives you some idea of what someone is like but not really whether there is any chemistry. In RL if you meet men then you do at least know quite a lot about them before you have a date. You've seen them, heard them, seen them maybe with colleagues or friends. With OD you know nothing except how they look ( maybe!) and a phone call.

It IS a numbers game.

I used to work somewhere where I'd see 50 men on a daily basis. I dated one of them. That left 49 who I didn't like or who didn't like me, or who were married etc so unavailable.

If this was OD then I'd have needed to meet 50 men- or something like that- to find one I wanted to date and who wanted to date me.

All you can do as others have said is not rely on OD as the only way to meet men.

How much contact do you have before a date? Are you having a few long phone chats maybe? My brother does OD and he has 2 pet hates 1) women who want to email for ever and never talk, 2) women who want to talk and never meet.

You need a happy medium. Some of the time wasters could have been avoided I think if you had had longer chats with them first- ie are they living with their parents? Do they have many interests?

Are you meeting guys who've just literally winked at you?

And the same works for you- if you are not getting any follow ups, the either you a re different in real life to how you appear online, or there is just no chemistry which is something you can't do anything about.

I haven't read every post here, so apologies- but I get the impression that you would waste less time if you found out a bit more before you met, and they found out more about you- works both ways.

gettingeasier Mon 31-Dec-12 12:47:06

Well if you have passed niceguy s two stage test OP and been on lots of dates that havent led anywhere then isnt it just a case of you havent met someone you want to pursue a LT relationship with ?

I have been single 3 years and not made an ounce of effort to change myself , meet someone etc and nor have I met anyone so AFAIAC this idea that when you dont look you meet someone is nonsense too.

I think overall its either luck if you meet someone naturally in the course of everyday life or you persevere through the myriad of ways to meet people and eventually hit the jackpot

BunnyKelly Mon 31-Dec-12 14:27:52

getting easier again there's a happy medium between going all out to meet someone and waiting for it to fall in your lap.

Doing more social stuff for its own sake will inevitably increase the chances of meeting someone, so I'd say that's the way to go.

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