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Every man I've ever been involved with has treated me like crap

(183 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 21:49:30

That's really not normal is it?

I have been 'dating' (ha fucking ha) for 4 years, encountered an endless string of fuckwits. The latest one has decided he is 'too busy' to see me, cancelled on me 3 times and forced me to dump him.

But I've realised it's not just all these OD losers, it's all the other relationships/ encounters/ whatever I've had in the years beforehand too. Every single one.

I'm trying to think of any of them that have actually treated me ex helped me a lot with house stuff, but he refused to go to most social events with me, and in our 9 month relationship never stayed overnight at my house. So didn't exactly treat me that well. There was only 1 other, who was v considerate when I saw him but used to mess me around a lot in terms of seeing him, and would change/ cancel arrangements at v short notice.

So where do I go wrong?

VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 22:58:11


stargirl04 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:00:25

It sounds as though you are tolerating bad behaviour from the start, but then don't we all? I certainly have!

How old are you Velvet?

I don't think it's a case of you going wrong. I just think there are a lot of fuckwits out there.

mcmooncup Sun 01-Sep-13 23:03:37


1. You expect too much.
2. Your twat radar is off kilter.
3. You are emotionally unavailable yourself

Hard to say....

What attracts you to particular men?

flipchart Sun 01-Sep-13 23:07:04

Actually, no, we don't all tolerate bad behaviour.

I have cancelled many dates when I was younger because of possible red flags.

My friends were often surprised when I refused to go out with certain blokes because 'they are so good looking' 'they are loaded' etc.

I watched how they behaved with other people and then decided if they were worth going out with me.

Set your standards high in the future Velvet.

VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 23:08:44

I'm 41.

Not all were bad from the start, but ultimately none seemed to value me, or make as much effort for me as I did for them.

mcmooncup Sun 01-Sep-13 23:12:25

"make as much effort for me as I did for them"

That's interesting......that's a really co-dependent thing to say.

VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 23:14:03

What attracts me...looks, personality. It varies. I don't have a particular type any more.

In terms of settimg my standards high, tbh I just don't attract men who are rushing to treat me well.

A colleague was telling me recently about when she was dating several men at the same time a few years ago, and they were all buying her presents, running round after her etc.

I've never had one man do that, let alone several at the same time.

mrscynical Sun 01-Sep-13 23:17:52

From the first whiff of you being more interested in them than they are in you then dump. It will only get worse and worse otherwise. And being like this is weirdly empowering.

VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 23:31:41

To be honest as soon as they start being less interested they dump me fairly quickly. Or put me in a position where I have to dump them.

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 23:41:18

"...and they were all buying her presents, running round after her etc."

I've always thought that was a bit over the top, buying stuff, acting all needy and clingy. Presents are fine when in a relationship, but I wouldn't be buying gifts when dating.

I blame Madonna's Material Girl song for my way of thinking. smile

Diagonally Sun 01-Sep-13 23:42:29

You sound like you care too much about the dumping when in fact if they are not for you, then the dumping bit should be the best bit

Do you ever finish things with people who don't meet your standards?

VelvetSpoon Sun 01-Sep-13 23:47:15

The present buying doesn't bother me really - I've only ever had 2 birthday presents from ex's, so I'm far from materialistic. It's just an example of making an effort for the other person, not about the value of the item but taking time to find/ choose it etc.

I have been the one to end things many times, all my long term relationships were ended by me.

MadeMan Sun 01-Sep-13 23:57:49

"It's just an example of making an effort for the other person, not about the value of the item but taking time to find/ choose it etc."

Yeah, I can understand that. smile

Diagonally Sun 01-Sep-13 23:58:44

If that's the case wrt exs + presents you are not dumping early enough

stargirl04 Mon 02-Sep-13 00:03:23

A colleague was telling me recently about when she was dating several men at the same time a few years ago, and they were all buying her presents, running round after her etc.

A few years ago I had four dates, and they were all lovely! Men can soon pick up on the fact that you're not overly interested or have too much invested in them. Why would you be when you're having so much fun?

Never underestimate the power of a bit of mystery and elusiveness.

Do you think you may come across as too serious, too earnest or too keen? Do you talk about your previous romantic disasters? Do you ring them or send unsolicited texts?

Whatever... take heart, Velvet. A friend of mine didn't meet her DP till she was 52, and told me that all of her previous relationships were a total disaster. She's blissfully happy now, and seven years on she and her DP are the most compatible couple I know.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 00:05:59

But however early I do or don't dump them, they've still treated me badly - I can perhaps stop that earlier (although in recent years I rarely get beyond 1-2 dates anyway) but it's still not going to find me men who treat me well...

lilithtime Mon 02-Sep-13 00:16:36

How/where are you meeting these guys? What do you go for initially?

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 00:22:08

There are so many men out there whose behaviour is just awful. I don't why, maybe its the way they are brought up.

I haven't been treated badly by men, in fact the opposite, and I tend to be pretty nasty to those that attempt it, or for whom I think might be what I term "dodgy" in any way. So my advice is to be pretty nasty to them, then when you do favour them with a small bit of attention, they are flattered.

So many women run around after men, suppressing what they really think, in order not to put them off.

Red flags for me, which have proved pretty reliable -
- multiple pms on Facebook (most likely they are doing it to other women)
- stupid endless texts (they're either control freaks or attention seekers - decent men ask you out on nice dates, end of)
- bad skin (infallible - I don't mean spots necessarily, just rough unhealthy skin that indicates a rough, unhealthy lifestyle)
- secrecy - indicates presence of long term girlfriend/wife
- strange unexplained dissapearances - ditto

Being good at something, or some talent, attracts a lot of men.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 00:23:05

In the past I have met men through friends, at parties, in the pub etc.

In more recent years it's been mainly via online dating.

What attracts me would be looks to an extent (not that they are all massively good looking, but something attractive to me about them) and personality, some sort of spark, something in common.

WhiteandGreen Mon 02-Sep-13 00:27:35

I think it's impossible to say really without meeting you.

Either they do treat you badly and it's something in you that is attracted to or will out up with people who will do that.

Or you interpret normal being pissed off with someone who's not right for you, as being 'treated like crap'.

Or it's just random bad luck.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 00:27:48

I'm not sure I'd get very far being nasty to men tbh, I'm not exactly overwhelmed with interest at the moment while I'm being nice enough, but not a doormat. I suspect if I was nasty I'd get no interest at all!

I have a very good job, I am successful and solvent, have a nice house - if anything that seems to put men off, not attract them.

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 00:28:18

In more recent years it's been mainly via online dating


Try mountain biking. Seriously!

And when I was single, I would never date someone who didn't have the same educational level as me, same hobbies and same aspirations. Its actually stood me in good stead. DH and I are very happy, and there were only nice boyfriends before him.

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 00:29:40

If they're going to treat you badly, you might as well be nasty to them.

Ignoring pms, texts, etc is very liberating. As is just saying one liners such as "No, I'm too busy".

Bant Mon 02-Sep-13 00:35:18

And if they make a mess, hit them firmly on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. But don't forget to give them biscuits when they're good...

arsenaltilidie Mon 02-Sep-13 00:36:24

Follow 'The Rules' and that should help weed out the nasties.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 00:41:46

I've never dated anyone at the same educational level as me, I've never had any interest from men with degrees (although tbh that doesn't much bother me).

The guy I dumped today earned far more than me, is very career-orientated, successful, etc. I thought this would be a good thing, however this meant he had no free time to see me (and cancelled on me at short notice), hence dumping.

Bant Mon 02-Sep-13 00:43:47

Maybe you should try dating graduates then?

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 00:44:16

I could follow the Rules all I like (I wouldn't cos I think they're crap) but it won't make any difference to the men I attract, except it might get rid of them slightly quicker. Or more likely it would result in me never even getting a date!

garlicbargain Mon 02-Sep-13 01:09:43

Hmmm! Personal ramble alert:-

Before I was re-structured by a fearsome combination of therapy + MN, I used to have admirers like my cat's got fleas <urgent note to self>. Very 'pleasing', I was. Had it finessed: I looked right, walked right, had the right lifestyle, tons of 'right'ness. I cringe to think of it blush

To cut ten years of introspection down to a short paragraph, I was the personification of "template woman" for a very large sector of the kind of men who objectify women, seeing partners more or less as useful accessories. None of them really knew who I was, nor wanted to. It goes without saying that all these men were sexist to one degree or another, and the majority were abusive. I let them become abusive - god help me, I was proud of 'understanding men'. That phrase is only ever used by women who know how to please abusers.

So. I am restructured. I'm more 'me self', which is nice. I have a much sounder sense of what I'm worth - what every individual is worth - and an amazing awareness of genuinely nice men, whom I barely even recognised pre-therapy. As a dating strategy, this is dismal grin Now I'm not playing Template Woman, I'm no longer besieged by eager sexists, and I fuck idiots off straight away instead of tiptoeing round their precious male egos.

However, I am almost 60, very poor, unhealthy, and living in the back of beyond. I seriously don't believe my new attitude would have stopped me dating if I'd got on with it sooner - I would have dated less, but much more successfully. All of which is a long-winded way of saying: raise the bar, OP, a lot! Don't waste your wonderful time on dickheads, their egos are not your problem. And have fun smile

Spree Mon 02-Sep-13 07:30:30

Garlicbargain - a fantastic piece of advice

shootfromthehip Mon 02-Sep-13 07:43:16

Fantastic post Garlic. I hope you find happiness. OP, men can smell desperation (in this case the desire to have a successful relationship). That will get rid of weak men. You have to look at this whole thing as an advanced filtering process and you just haven't met one that can really value you yet. Can you be introduced to people through friends rather than the internet...?

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 07:54:33

I love garlic's post.

I don't wish to thread hijack but this thread struck a chord with me. 4th post into the thread...'patience' says its because there 'a lot of fuckwits'

I think that is very true. At my age (spying 50 approaching rapidly) I think there are a lot of people who are single because they are fuckwits. I'm single... I swear I'm not a fuckwit. confused. So the single 40+are not all fuckwits but you do have to step around them a lot.

So my response to the OP is its not's the fuckwits. However where does that leave us older ladies who don't want a fuckwit. The pool is small.

ALittleStranger Mon 02-Sep-13 08:03:38

It's not just fuckwits. The OP posts a lot and she's right that the experiences that happen to her are unusual. I'm always a big fan of a bit of introspection and I hope it's useful. There's some good advice here about knowing when to cut off.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 08:09:28

Garlic, some of what you say resonates with me. I have probably met 2 men in my 41 years who liked me for my brain and personality - the rest just liked how I looked. I am apparently very clever (not clever enough to meet any nice men but hey) and have a decent personality, but no-one wants to know about that. When I was in my 20s I lied about my job, said I was a secretary not a lawyer (no offence to secretaries intended) because men thought I was snobby and stuck up otherwise. I have stopped doing that now though.

As for being introduced to friends, most of them don't know any single men (I live in an area where everyone is married - I was/am the only single parent in my DS's year at school!) and the few who do know any single guys say they are in no way good enough for me....

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 02-Sep-13 08:11:27

Oh garlic I love you for that post. The "template woman" thing is so spot on, also the "understanding men" thing. I've wanted to put this into words so many times and now you have done it much better than I could have!

OP have you thought about doing the freedom project at all? It's designed for women who keep having unhealthy relationships and should help you to attract healthy ones instead.

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 08:12:47

Velvet Is having a bloke really important to you? I've concluded accepting being single is the only safe way to operate ( my life is currently very complicated and I'm not following my own device but that's another thread)

tireddog- i think you have hit the nail on the head, the pool of men gets smaller and smaller as you get older...with lots of the good ones staying married ( or being gay) thus you are dating from a pool with a higher percentage of fuckwits.

garlic - i do also understand what you are saying and have been through a similar thing the last 5 years myself. It doesnt stop people being arses, but it does mean i cut if off very very quickly. Married friends and indeed things when i post on here, usually tell me to give people more of a chance, or come up with excuses for shit behaviour, but im not going to do that for the sake of not being single.

yoni - the op doesnt keep having bad relatoinships, shes not getting to the relationship stage.. if she were that might be a good idea but this is bad treatment from men who are at the 1-3 date stage. where they might not show much of their true colours...

Emptychairs Mon 02-Sep-13 08:33:28

I agree with a way back post about "being mean".
For me this means no longer being a people pleaser.
Dh1 stayed a bachelor, dh2 suddenly morphed into an ea control freak who spousified his dd. in between I was lp for 8 years, practically no dating at that time, until encouraged by friends to find a partner online.
"Being mean" has meant that I no longer tolerate any of dh selfishness that I can't match with own selfishness. He is slowly coming round to the idea I have rights, privileges of my own. I've taken up driving again to feel empowered and refuse to back down and tolerate bad manners or put downs. God forgive me, but it is a bit like training a pet...
All those women who follow Rules or have own strategies put a great of deal of time and work into it (I admire dsd for her social skills and maximum me time, although I drip feed a bit of feminist lore at times) and I have come to realize that no man will willingly put your needs before his wants so you have to work really hard to convince him otherwise.
Sorry to ramble, been there. Not going back.

empty - i dont buy the ' having to train them and slowly they get used to the fact that i am a person' ( and really, thats treating someone like crap, just like the OP is saying....)

bollocks to that, i wouldnt be with someone i had to do that with.... maybe thats why im cronically single.

Emptychairs Mon 02-Sep-13 08:58:14

I admit that usually I'm the "whatever" type and will move on (divorced dh1 pretty quickly) and although I did meet men occasionally during my lp yrs, I didn't think they were worth the effort.
Dh2 literally caught me off guard, after posting here I soon realized he was trying on ea for size. I do think a lot of men are like this, spoiled, selfish bastards I mean, and if for whatever reason we stay with them then it is up to us to put in a great amount of self assertiveness and make it clear to them that its not on. This is the effort I mean, I can't change dh but I can stop enabling him. I can take him to couple counseling and let therapist do some work too, but work it is I'm afraid, any way you look at it.
Of course I feel like OP. oh why can't men just be naturally kind and considerate to me? But they're not, so I'm doing things that I sincerely hope will make my relationship more like the one I need and want.

Goodluck with that empty.

But i think the OP is dumping these men because they are shits, shes not staying with them..... shes just despairing that the majority of the men she comes across are not all that nice to her.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 09:30:22

I don't think the freedom project would really benefit me - I had one abusive relationship, but none that were abusive (though they weren't great) before or after that. Tbh I don't attract abusers (apart from that one), I just generally don't attract men who value me sufficiently.

I would like a man in my life, but I don't think I'm desperate to find one. I have spent more of my adult life single than in a relationship, so I am used to it, and bumble along fairly happily most of the time.

I am good at seeing the signs I think. I would just like to meet men who were nicer to me. For once to be dumping someone saying 'x is nice and treats me well but it's just not quite right' for example rather than having to dump them because they behaved badly.

obviouslyneedsupernanny Mon 02-Sep-13 10:30:12

I recommend you read The Man Diet by Zoe Strimpel

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 10:33:11

Garlic, some of what you say resonates with me. I have probably met 2 men in my 41 years who liked me for my brain and personality - the rest just liked how I looked. I am apparently very clever (not clever enough to meet any nice men but hey) and have a decent personality, but no-one wants to know about that

I have observed several different types of men (personal observations, might be utter drivel):

- those that get together with the woman they'll marry from an early age and don't split up and are all round decent blokes

- those that find a girlfriend who isn't really on the same level as them educationally, string her along a bit and only get more serious when their friends are getting married, etc. Some of them pretend to be single or go through phases of being single even when living together

- eternal bachelors

Unfortunately I've encountered plenty of male would-be cheats. I'm not single and I don't do anything to encourage them, but in fact being married is a plus point for this type. They want to have the quiet little unchallenging girlfriend/wife at home and affairs with women more on a par with them but without the risk of being dumped for bad behaviour. Its sad I think when men turn into creeps.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 02-Sep-13 10:39:32

The freedom project isn't just for abusive relationships though, it is for all forms of unhealthy relationships which not being valued is. It might be unsuitable, but it might be good - worth a google at least.

yoni - but they arent even relationships...... the op is dumping them when they show signs of being arses, so shes acting on it.

shes just, as i read it fed up with not meeting anyone that treats her decently.

I have similar experiences to the OP, i cut them off, but that in itself doesnt stop it happening... and it is exhausting and makes you wonder why it happen.

Bant Mon 02-Sep-13 11:43:00

Velvet - I don't quite understand what you're looking for from this thread. Several people have made suggestions - the Freedom program, following the Rules, and on other similar threads you've started they have made some ridiculous suggestions, but some possibly valid ones.

Yes, everyone agrees that meeting decent men in their 40s is difficult, especially online. But you just seem to dismiss or ignore anyones suggestions for what you can do.

If, as you say, you've never dated a graduate, and you keep meeting men who are dismissive of your profession, then it's obvious you are meeting knobends. So change the men you meet. Look for graduates only, who will be less intimidated by your job. Screen out men without a degree (yes I know, people without a degree are lovely too, but there seems to be a theme here)

Try and write a completely different OD profile with different photos and text. You're attractive and interesting, use professional photos of you in a suit, you on a beach, something like that. Read 'The Rules' and try and apply them rather than just saying they're not for you. Go on the Freedom program.

Lots of people have made suggestions and you keep saying 'that's not for me' and then coming back a few weeks later and bemoaning your lack of success again.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 11:46:25

I'll have a look at the Freedom project but I don't think it will help really. I'm rejecting men at the outset for treating me badly, or for showing red flags already, problem is that's every man I meet.

Maybe there just are no nice ones? Certainly I don't attract any of them.

ALittleStranger Mon 02-Sep-13 11:52:20

It's just offensive to say there are no nice men, is a lazy cop out and ignores the experience of scores of other people.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 11:54:46

I'm not dismissive of people's suggestions or points of view generally, I try to respond to the same thoughfully, and either take on board those suggestions or explain why I don't consider they'd be helpful.

On the basis you have made your views about me quite clear on several occasions bant both on threads and via pms to others, I'm really not sure why you'd bother to post on a thread I'd started, other than to shit stir. You can of course post where you like, but I won't be engaging with or responding to you further.

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 11:57:17

Do you have any male friends Velvet? Perhaps if you knew some men as just friends then something might develop there.

Mind you, it still means you have to find the men in the first place.

Back to the drawing board then.

There are lots of nice men but there are not very many nice single men in their 40s.
You are fishing from a very small pool (?) op, I sympathise.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 12:05:14

I do have a number of male friends (none of whom can understand why I am single, or why I meet so many unsuitable men). Most of them are married/ in ltrs, the others are much younger than me. So that's not really an option.

I have asked in the past about their single friends/ relatives, in case they might know anyone to introduce me to, however their response was they don't consider any of the single men they know good enough for me smile

Bant Mon 02-Sep-13 12:13:30

Just trying to be helpful, velvet. You can complain all you want to about how all men are crap, and how you can't seem to find a good one, but if you post yet another thread along the same lines, and then proceed to repeatedly ignore everyones well meaning advice, maybe you should be looking at your own dating behaviour rather than blaming everyone else.

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 12:14:26

"...however their response was they don't consider any of the single men they know good enough for me." - VelvetSpoon

If I were you though, I would want to see this cupboard full of supposedly unsuitable men of theirs, y'know, just to be sure. wink

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 12:21:07

I have met a couple of the unsuitable men at parties etc, and while nice enough blokes in their own right, they are far too much on the wrong side of the law for me to become involved with them, I couldn't risk my career. So I suspect the friends were spot on in their assessment of the others too!

Rufus20 Mon 02-Sep-13 12:24:52

This will sound a touch harsh, and I don't know you in real-life, but you don't come across that well online - maybe there's something in you that attracts not very nice men to you - sorry, I appreciate that's harsh

scrazy Mon 02-Sep-13 12:38:58

I was reading a good website recently about how men get to place value on someone they are seeing. You have to let them do the contacting and chasing initially. Let them do stuff for you and even accept being treated to dinner etc. It's about them investing in the relationship so will want to make it last.

It's interesting and I would say quite true ime.

I would back off next time you meet someone you really like and see if they come to you, if not, then you have saved yourself a lot of angst by not getting emotionally involved with someone who isn't feeling the same way in the first place.

This is what I intend to do and am doing atm with someone. I'm not that bothered about him at this stage and he is ringing and talking about things we can do in the future etc.

Good luck smile.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 12:39:37

That's an interesting viewpoint rufus, can you expand on how I don't come across well online? That's not something I can recall anyone saying to me before, so I'd be keen to know more.

i might suggest that those that also arent having much in the way of dating luck... to quit giving their advice, as as evidence is suggesting, they dont have it down pat either.

The deal with the rules is, apartfromitbeingaloadofsexistshit is its basing something on the fact that a man is going to chase, and is going to jump through hoops. I do believe there is another thread on here at the momment about the rules and online dating.... and how its basically shit.

The rules isnt going to weed out someone whos not nice, all it will do is show those that like the chase, nothing more.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 12:59:38

I have let men do the chasing in the past, and again more recently, unfortunately I don't think it's always that simple, although I wish it was.

The man I had to end things with yesterday did all the chasing and texting. I left it to him to initiate contact. We had 2 dates, a 3rd was planned, he had spoken about taking me out shopping (because we both love to shop and he said it would be nice to treat me), and for a weekend away next month. Unfortunately he messed me around re the 3rd date (and cancelled/postponed more than once at the last minute citing work pressure) which wasn't fair on me, hence I had to end things because whilst he was apologetic, he clearly didn't have/ wouldn't make time for me (although he had for dates 1 and 2, which coincided with a less busy time for his business) and I deserve better.

None of which is the end of the world but it's disappointing that even when he did all the running, made all the right noises and seemed keen, it didn't pan out.

CuChullain Mon 02-Sep-13 13:01:08

I would back off next time you meet someone you really like and see if they come to you

Or, most likely, they will just assume you are not interested and not pursue the matter any further out of fear of being labelled a pest or a stalker.

Its crap like this that makes the whole dating game so much more difficult then it needs to be.

agreed cuchullain... or those that do persue when its clear you arent interested, or even have a boyfriend.... because they think theres a chance you might be ' doing the rules on them' are just insane.

You cant back off from someone, when you have had one date anyway, or even before you have met. Backing off would impy to replying to emails/ texts, and, if you didnt do that, one) how would any conversation happen 2) how would you know if you liked them and wanted to meet up 3) how would any date get asked for if you were being too aloof to reply.

CuChullain Mon 02-Sep-13 13:21:30



I commented on another thread about 'The Rules' a few days back with regards to the whole acting disinterested and waiting a few days before replying to texts/emails/calls game plan. It really is such bollocks. There were several times when OD that I had what I thought was an enjoyable and 'successful' first date to which I subsequently followed up with an invite to go out again only to hear nothing back. After a few days I would come to the conclusion that she was not that bothered and I would move on only to get a whiny email several days later wondering why I had not pursued things further. By that stage knowing that she was playing some silly game as advised by friends or a book was an instant turn off.

SunRaysthruClouds Mon 02-Sep-13 13:23:40

I assume find these types of thread fascinating because there is so much analysis of what men should do / might do / think / want etc.

How can it be anything other than getting to know someone, deciding they are decent,, that there is an attraction then moving forward? And if they are not quite the person you had hoped for then say thanks but no thanks. Many people on here have said that attraction can grow, so logically it seems better to establish what kind of a person you are dealing with first, whereas so many have said it is better to meet v early and decide if there is attraction.

Fwiw my experience ‘from the other side’ was that emailing for a couple of weeks or more before meeting helped me to understand what the other person was really like. I think you can tell a lot from what people write. Then when we met we already ‘knew’ each other.

I have dated on line twice, each time contacted someone within a week, emailed for 2-3 more, met and gone on to have long term relationships. The second is still going after a year and it’s great. I appreciate that the nice man / nice woman ratio may be unfairly biased towards men but it just means the ‘establish who is nice’ approach must be more important.

Al that stuff about ‘men want to chase’ is so much bollocks. Maybe when I was a teenager that might have been true. But you (OP) and I are both over 40 and we are both mature enough to know better. If any woman had left me to chase even after I had showed interest, and we had established a reasonable rapport, I would have just concluded that she didn’t care and moved on.

Try not to over analyse – enjoy your life as it is. And make sure your correspondence reflects that.

SunRaysthruClouds Mon 02-Sep-13 13:25:17

Sorry - 'I find'

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 02-Sep-13 13:30:07

You don't think you're maybe being a little harsh on the "Because I'm Worth It" scheme of things? Someone putting off a date because they're very busy at work, while generally keeping in touch and making plans for the future does not equal "treating like crap" IMO. Obviously there may well be more to it.

You risk sounding like one of those jaded middle aged men in pubs who corner someone to tell them how all women are the same (i.e. dreadful, cruel etc). Do you think you might be setting yourself/your dates up to fail?

There is a difference between being a pushover and being kind and empathetic with the vagaries of someone else's life, it's not a sign of weakness. You sound scared tbh.

its the 'establish who is nice' that is the hard part....
people can, and do say anything, there is no truth filter, you have to take it on face value. You also dont know someones intentions, they might say they want something long term, appear lovely and then vanish a few weeks later having got what they wanted.

Theres a massive element of luck and meeting the right person at the right time at play.

yellowballoons Mon 02-Sep-13 13:49:42

You could well be living in the wrong area.
If all of the parents in your childs class are married, except for you, you sound like you are living in coupledom land. All very nice for most, but not suited to your circumstances.
Would you consider moving?

ihearthuckabees Mon 02-Sep-13 14:07:21

I think you have written him off far too easily. You only had 2 dates, both of which were good, then he had a busy time with work and had to let you down. He has his own business - this is what work is like when you're self employed. To say you deserve better makes you sound arrogant. You are still getting to know him and vice versa, and after two dates, neither of you 'deserve' anything from the other.

You could give him another chance. You were not obliged to dump him after one so-called transgression. It seems like you are scared of being messed around but can't necessarily identify what is 'being messed around' and what is just life's little setbacks.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 14:11:15

I wouldn't mind him cancelling one date due to work. The problem was he postponed it once, then postponed it to the next day, then postponed til later in the day and ultimately then cancelled. He clearly doesn't have, or won't make time. I can't date someone who will constantly be too busy to see me.

Re where I live, I am in a fairly well off London suburb. I am tied here until my children finish school in 6 years, so I can't consider moving til then.

JustinBsMum Mon 02-Sep-13 14:22:10

You have to stop looking for a man. You have to appear to be fun, interesting and very happy and content with your wonderful life, busy, with lots of friends and acquaintances, find your work enjoyable/interesting/rewarding one or several of these and men should then flock to your side desperate to be around this wonderful woman.
Somehow you are giving off either a needy vibe or a too capable vibe. The needy one scares men off and the too capable attracts the needy men.
Louise Hay has some positive thinking 'mantras' in her books which might help you give off a better vibe. Her books are very flowery but I tried some and they do work. So you could try that. Fake it til you make it as they say. Must say I didn't try them to improve dates, just to be happier.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 02-Sep-13 14:26:24

I found stargirl's list of 'red flags' on p1 really interesting - not for me, but in general, and as a parent of girls. Does anyone have any more?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 02-Sep-13 14:27:24

Sorry, it was actually LesMis who did the list blush

bangs head on desk

Justin - just imagine you dont really come into contact with many single men in your day to day life ( and we should all think about this, day to day, how many men do we come in contact with who are single, who could be potentials, not many i would suggest.... its no different for many lone parents) What actual difference do you think it might make if you were achieving the perfect balance of being not too needy and not too capable, and looking perfectly happy. do you really think random men would be 'flocking' around the OP while she buys milk from the corner shop, or takes her kids to the dentists or something....

garlicbargain Mon 02-Sep-13 14:31:35

Thanks for all the lovely feedback!

Velvet, I disagree with everybody who's made noises along the lines of "don't be so harsh", "give him another chance", etc, because that's the sort of thing that creates the problem in the first place. And what snail's just posted.

I agree with those who've suggested reviewing your profile and, particularly, applying very strong filters to your prospective dates. On the profile front, see if you can hone it to a perfect representation of who YOU are, completely without reference to what you believe is considered 'attractive' or 'appealing'. Be forthright about what you want, too. None of this will protect you from fuckwits, liars and abusers, but it ought to narrow the field. Have you ever thought of applying to one of those 'exclusive' dating agencies? They're expensive - I don't know if they're any good, but any that have been in business for a while with high fees must have something going for them, and be able to supply references.

Also, don't forget you can just go out with affable fuckwits for the laughs and some sex, if you feel like it. You don't owe them anything but basic human respect.

CuChullain Mon 02-Sep-13 14:31:48

I guess it kind of depends on the nature of how he cancelled the date. I would not be impressed with a "Sorry, something came up, will call you later" type of thing but it is possible to cancel a date, apologise and offer an alternatve day to meet without too much offence being casued. I am self employed, and although most of the time I can predict my work loads and plan my social life around it occasionally things to go bat shit crazy and I have had to cancel everything while I firefight whatever the urgent issue is and keep my clients happy. I hate it when it happens, especially if I feel I am letting people down at the last minute but work is work, especially in the current climate.

BeCool Mon 02-Sep-13 14:35:30

I have a single male friend, professional, nice looking, interesting, generous. On paper, a "good catch". DESPERATE to fall in love and have a family the whole 12 years I have known him.

However, he dates "beautiful women" - he judges women purely by their looks - oh the pretty girls). It's quite astonishing. As a group we would often sit up into the night talking, debating, laughing, drinking wine with a bit of intellectual discourse etc, but the women he would date just weren't up to it. Then he wonders why he can't find love and why all this dating is so expensive - he will do the expensive restaurant first date thing. He doesn't get it that judging people by how they look isn't a great indication of romantic compatibility. He would call himself a feminist <scoffs> but he does actually feel like buying an expensive meal (on his insistence) entitles him to something in return (not sex per se but he wouldnt say no and he expects at least a 2nd date)- FFS!

Now in his mid-40's he's dating younger and younger women. 26 years old is a common number.

I just don't get why he is such a total fuckwit when it comes to romance, when his issues are so very obvious to all around him (never dating women of his age range and intellectual ability, going purely for 'looks' and its all fake).

He'll be on dating websites, but don't worry ladies we will all be too old for him. <<bangs head>>

OP I have no wisdom at this point. But you are not alone. And my friend is 'still out there'. I don't know if I could ever www date again - I'm single again now too.

garlicbargain Mon 02-Sep-13 14:39:10

BeCool, what does your friend say when you pull him up on this superficiality of his?

CuChullain Mon 02-Sep-13 14:39:17

Somehow you are giving off either a needy vibe or a too capable vibe. The needy one scares men off and the too capable attracts the needy men.

Have to disagree with you on the last bit of that statement JBM. Agree that neediness is not an attractive trait to a bloke but I think capable women are more likely to attract confident capable blokes rather then needy ones!

My 0.02$ anyway!

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 14:45:57

Yes, if someone cancels a date multiple times, theres no way back. You were right to dump, as it would only be more of the same, so don't degrade yourself by giving him endless chances.

I have asked in the past about their single friends/ relatives, in case they might know anyone to introduce me to, however their response was they don't consider any of the single men they know good enough for me

This sounds as though theres something wrong with you but actually I doubt it. If I wasn't with DH, I would be thinking much the same. I don't think I've met one really nice single man in years. OK, I'm not looking, but nevertheless I've encountered many single men socially, and they have all mainly been putting it politely not relationship material for a decent, well educated woman. Even if you ignore the lack of physical appeal (bald, fat and wrinkled), the unhealthy habits such as excessive drinking and lack of exercise, the lack of well paid job, stable career or home ownership, the inability to spell or even pronounce the English language reasonably accurately, then theres the inability to create an empathy with a member of the opposite sex to consider. And even if you bypass all those faults, theres the ones who are single because they cheat, or are abusive, or are just impossible to live with.

If I was single, I probably wouldn't be attracted to anyone who wasn't a fellow professional and interested in sports, who was of the same standard of looks as myself. Otherwise, you're kind of just forcing yourself to be attracted to someone who is less than ideal for the sake of not being single any more. And there can only be very single few doctors, dentists and lawyers around.

And why are these single older men so arrogant? I've got a bald as a coot odd looking man on my FB right now who is advertising himself as single and keeps sending all his female friends pms in the hope of getting attention getting a shag. From the way he writes, it is obvious he considers himself quite a catch, not least because he owns a small poky flat in a rough part of town! Yet his only hope really is coming across as a nice, decent, modest guy, because cocky, arrogant self obsessed men don't tend to attract nice women.

Even in my twenties when there were more decent single men, finding one was still hard. So in summary OP, no I don't think its you at all, I don't think you should lower your standards and I think if anything the fact you have not paired up with one of these weird and odd creatures is probably a positive sign about you if anything.

niceupthedance Mon 02-Sep-13 14:46:08

BeCool I know a guy like that. He's 33 and fully intends to (and thinks he will) end up marrying a 20 year old model. Like outward appearances are all that matters. I guess a lot of men operate on this basis. I don't really understand it.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 14:48:51

Garlic, I have been quite laissez-faire in terms of men in the past, made lots of compromises and excuses. I have been much stricter in my criteria in the last year, and there has been some benefit. The man I've mentioned was far more on my wavelength than anyone I've dated in a number of years.

I do think my dating profile now is me, as much as it can be. I won't link to it because of the adverse comments I got when I did this once previously, but there's a photo of me on here so you can see I look normal, no supermodel but then tbf none of the men are either smile

Not sure I can afford the exclusive agencies, maybe I will start saving...

I have a man who has chased me for years, he said to me this weekend he knows hes very attractive as he only sleeps with goodlooking women, 9's and 10's.
And that hes had so many one night stands.

I did point out that maybe if he was such a god, these women would be coming back more than once.....

and that any looks he has does not compenstate for his shockingly arrogant personality, and it is for that reason ( and one of many) why i will not date him. he gets cross at me for that..... apparently im frustrating smile

Hes 37 and will only date women in their 20's who are a size 10 or smaller.

im neither smile

anyway - point is, just as some of the above posters have said. The pool of decent, single men, as you get older, gets smaller and smaller ( think i said that a few pages back)

BeCool Mon 02-Sep-13 14:53:27

garlic not much he says "I know I know" and then does the same shit. Over. And over. And over. It's not just me who pulled him up about it - other female friends too.

I don't see him much any more (and in part because of this behaviour which became too depressing to engage with) - but he represents to me, how even the supposed 'good guys' can be totally lost, confused, fucked up.

I (and others) can see how happy he would/could be with a woman of his own intellect and age. But its all about the looks!

In dating, you really do need all your wits about you. Fuck wits come in every disguise

mrscynical Mon 02-Sep-13 14:53:44

Well I can see that him cancelling due to work commitments may be plausible so your dumping actions could be viewed as premature, however, as you have young(ish) children I assume that arranging for them to be minded is another complication that can make you want to give up.

The fact that another guy did not want to stay overnight at your place is ultimately for the best as he then never had to be a 'proper' boyfriend in front of your kids.

Unfortunately dating after the age of 40 when you have children is not easy and not always down to the men. The complications of life in general makes you less tolerant to those who can't keep to plans.

I had to dump a lovely guy once just because I worked weekdays and he worked at weekends. Time together was minimal and it was just not what I wanted. I have also dumped plenty of twats though too!

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 15:01:54

My children aren't young, they are 15 and 12. I had a free weekend as they were at their dads. The issue was not cancelling, more the repeated cancellation/ postponement.

The boyfriend I had who wouldn't stay over - that was 14 years ago when my eldest child was a toddler, his refusal wasn't to do with my son who was around him a lot anyway, just one of various issues he had.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 15:06:55

Sorry just to be clear in my last post, the boyfriend's issues were with staying over, he had no issue with my son. Realise that it sounded a bit as though my son was the issue!

mrscynical Mon 02-Sep-13 15:19:06

But because you had a free weekend, which the (ex) boyfriend then cancelled/postponed, makes it more of a pain the arse for you. If you did not have kids and had every weekend free then you probably would not have minded so much, rescheduled and would still be dating him. I am only saying that the precious time whereby single mums have dating/romantic opportunities make it a much bigger deal that it does for those who don't and therefore more of a letdown when plans go awry.

Velvet - I am on your side in all this. I know how difficult it is and how much bigger the disappointments can be. Been there countless times.

Seeing as you have a professional career and live in a nice part of London have you considered the more upmarket dating clubs/dinner event type companies. I guess that men signed up to such an agency may be a bit more serious about looking for a relationship and could also be professional in their line of work?

it is incredibly difficult, i do think people who havent done it really dont quite understand how hard it can be.

Upmarket dating... thats maybe worth a try, but very expensive if it doesnt work out? but then again, maybe its worth a shot.

With regards to different sites, ive used them all, from the most expensive, to the free ones, and ive not found much difference, other than the ones on the more expensive ones seem to have more reasons for being long term singles... i know that sounds harsh, but thats just my experience.

garlicbargain Mon 02-Sep-13 15:48:48

Ooh, I'd forgotten about the 'dining clubs' in London! I did go to a few of those, way back when. They were OK. There are clubs that do activity breaks, holidays, all sorts of things. At least you get to see people face to face smile

ofmiceandmen Mon 02-Sep-13 17:12:09

Just putting on my flame proof vest as I enter the fray.

Velvet I have no idea what your other images on your profile look like but if your MN image is the tone, then i think you may be sending out a 'enjoy life' - aka 'she has a good time'.
Not bad in itself, but (this will sound so old fashioned) - sometimes you want to just be less glam and more YOU. surely you are not go go go all the time.

Male Feedback- personality bubbly, attractive and would certainly not let you down on the having laughs at a bar. all good traits, but when a chap is looking to settle down he kinda wants that but also wants to know there's affection and waking up in an old T-shirt and just being ok with it.

You look like a challenge- and we all know who loves a challenge - the idiots.

I find most dating site images and comments are just an extension of Facebook pages in that it's the highlight rather than the real person.

OK flame suit on...

Just a mans feedback.

ofmiceandmen Mon 02-Sep-13 17:20:23

Oh did i mention I chose some of the worst phrases - 'has a good time' did not refer to any "the deed" related activities.
More has a good night out with the girls.

(Arghh am I digging deeper) ok - backing away slowly - no sudden movements grin - drat! I showed teeth.. Run!!

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 18:08:30

No flame-proof suit required smile I have no objection to constructive criticism/advice.

I don't do less glam, tbh, and I've always been quite open about that on my profiles. I wear a fair bit of make up, and I adore clothes and shoes. I don't spend huge amounts of time or money (I dye my own hair, do my own fake tan, buy most of my clothes in the sales/Primark, so I'm not some financially high maintenance TOWIE type).

I fully appreciate a man who likes the natural look isn't going to be interested in me, but I don't think that all men are looking for a natural beauty - my mum was far more glam than I will ever be, and met (and was v happy with) my dad.

And I am a challenge to a lot of men, I fully acknowledge that. But I think that's as much if not more because of my job and financial position than how I look. And I'm not going to change my job, or (as one date once suggested) sell my house and buy a smaller one, purely to get a relationship!

ofmiceandmen Mon 02-Sep-13 18:23:27

That Velvet would be a lovely profile description.

Sadly dating sites are largely about looks for most people so I understand why you face the hurdle.

No problem with being glam at all. and It's not that men who like natural won't be attracted, they will. But the thing about settling down is it is usually accompanied by a desire to want less drama. So letting them know that they get all the benefits of glam without the drama so often associated with it will do your cause no harm.

ofmiceandmen Mon 02-Sep-13 18:27:57

For what it's worth - don't think your financial clout nor job would put off someone who is genuinely looking to settle down.

The 'Ego rush' knobs however would feel you were stealing the lime light.

I think most/some men would proudly flaunt a successful woman. 'She chose me' kinda thing. (aka- I can handle that) and vice versa.

Good luck! frankly -you don't need it - 'once more unto the breach'

garlicbargain Mon 02-Sep-13 18:37:42

I would not associate the posts you write here with the picture on your profile.

I haven't interrogated myself about this; I suspect it's all about snap judgements made on a single photo. I wouldn't want a date with anybody who'd made a decision based on one photo! I'm mentioning it because, I dunno, perhaps your presentation's all "bubbly" (awful word, implies airhead) rather than conveying multiple aspects of your character?

I'm not criticising you, Velvet. I haven't seen your profile, I've not given the matter much thought, and there's no suggestion you're doing anything wrong. Just thought I'd throw it out here in case it has any resonance.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 18:55:43

No, I know I don't look like the job I do - if that makes sense. If people think of lawyers, they tend to think in stereotypes, of some slightly cats bum faced sober suited woman. And that isn't me in the slightest, never has been. Which can work against me; when I was younger (and admitted to the job I do, which wasn't often) people didn't believe me. My own clients walked past me at court. I suppose I don't look as intelligent as I am (if intelligence can 'look' a particular way!).

But then again, I'm fiercely proud of my working class roots, can't be doing with faux intellectual convos (would rather be talking football or analysing the behaviours in CBB). So I'm not the stereotypical lawyer in personality really either, not just looks.

arsenaltilidie Mon 02-Sep-13 19:11:58

more likely it would result in me never even getting a date!

The rules are meant to emulate a confident woman who is nice but doesn't tolerate shit.
How do you think they will result in no one dating you??

I have been wasting time this afternoon ( day off work, hormonal and avoiding housework) and came across this dating blog thingy. The following is a profile, that was written by a bunch of men, about what they want to see on a profile, about how they dont give a shit if you run, or waterski, they just want to know that you arent going to nag them about watching football or going down the pub. Apparently the profile is sucessful. it attracts the masculine and then you just weed out and filter from there. personally i think its a ton of shit. BUT i also know that whats written in the dating profile mainly makes no difference at all as its all abou the pictures. So - as a matter of experiment, since im not dating this month, ive changed it to read as follows ( because, whats the worst that can happen)
- top 10 reasons why i would be the best girlfriend
10. You will see me wearing sexy lingerie more than “comfortable” undies.

9. You won’t hear me nag and complain because I don’t sweat the small stuff.

8. You will be proud to have me on your arm when we go out in public and your friends will probably be envious.

7. You will never, ever compete with me.

6. You will be nicely surprised when I kiss you passionately at unexpected times and in unexpected places.

5. You will never see me roll my eyes at you when you say something because I will respect you.

4. You will see my smile far more often than my frown.

3. You will find yourself thinking seriously about my observations on life and current events.

2. You won’t be holding my bag at the shops. You won’t even BE at the shops with me.

1. You rarely, if ever, hear these awful words: “I’m not in the mood”.

im a bit of a feminist, this pains me. But im also curious to see if the outcome is any different, i tihnk it will only attract dicks.....

ALittleStranger Mon 02-Sep-13 19:39:44

I would be a little bit sick in my mouth if I wrote any of that on a profile.

Even though a lot of it is true, what kind of knobber what put it on a dating profile? It just looks so obvious, it's the female equivilant of those men who post endless pics of themselves with children in order to scream "shag me, father figure".

it goes against all my principals. I felt indignant and an anger when i read it....

I dont intend to do anything with it, other that just see what happens. I am not dating this month, or at least into october.

However, in the time it took me to post that message and go back in again, i had 17 new messages... all saying how much they loved that profile and when could they take me out. Which makes me feel a bit more sick that it did just posting it.

the 1950's are alive and kicking it seems.....

and worse is they are all saying how lucky any man would be to take me out and how i will be beating them off with a stick.

sickeningly, they are right as ive had another 8 messages in this time.

30 mins on and my inbox is heaving. Literally. about 60 messages, most utterly shocked when i reply, and i quote ' i cant believe you have replied'

Ive had offers of dinners out and weekends away.


MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 20:57:00

Is that really your photo in your profile Velvet?

MsCellophane Mon 02-Sep-13 21:12:11

Velvet, you have (like a few of us) had rubbish luck with dating. It isn't you or any 'vibe' you give off. It is hard out there. The pool of nice, normal men is tiny. It really is down to luck most of the time for most and for some, it's down to accepting bad, rude or impolite behaviour

I have a friend who has had relationship after relationship - she hasn't been single in 10 years. Each man she meets is the one, each man she meets has obvious flaws (to her friends, most of these men the average woman just wouldn't go out with, that's not being mean, they were unattractive or unkempt or down right dicks) But she cannot be single, ever rather than try to wait and meet a good one, she jumps on the first person that show an interest - and we are left to pick up the pieces

I like to think you (and me) aren't willing to settle. I sometimes think my being single for a long time and the enforced independence that has brought is a little offputting but I won't be changing or dumbing down. And you shouldn't either.

As for Watch's 1950's profile, I have a list of 50 words that describe me on mine - 50! And the one word, in the whole profile that people pick up on is feminist - it is commented on every day. They ignore tactile, funny, friendly etc and zone in on feminist and never in a good way

Sadly, it seems many men still want the goddess in the kitchen and the wild woman in the bedroom. Even more sadly, they don't see that a feminist can do both, just on her terms smile

There is someone out there for you, it's just disheartening doing the dating thing, it really is x

applaudes mrsC

couldnt agree more.

Im rather disappointed that the 1950's profile has worked to such ridiculous levels.

Not one that has messaged me is interested in me as a person, not at all. Its very sad to think there are so many men that still think that way, but maybe goes some way to explain how dire the dating pool is when you get out of your 20's.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 21:21:44

made yes it is me, why do you ask?

msc I also have friends like that, they are never single (which to them is good) but they do put up with far worse behaviour from their men than I could ever tolerate.

It scares me how, beneath the surface, 1950s attitudes are still espoused by many men (and women), hence how popular the 1950s type profile is...

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 21:30:20

@Velvet I imagined you'd be blonde.

MsCellophane Mon 02-Sep-13 21:38:36

A song to cheer us up!

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 21:41:20

Hi Velvet

I agree totally with garlic's advice about being who you are and not trying to be the person someone else wants you to be. Which makes me hesitate to say change anything about yourself ...but your picture confused me

Your picture is nothing like I'd expect from your posts. I'm interested that another poster thought you'd be blonde. I thought you would be sleek and smart looking and your picture does not shriek sleek or smart at me. However it's you smile and that makes it something you should hold dear and not change...I just wonder if it needs balancing with a deeper version of you? I agree with miceandmen that it says 'fun girl' rather than 'respect me'

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 21:41:47

I still maintain the man pool is shallow at my age...

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 21:42:24

Do you know how many single men I cam across in my life last week.....


Big fat zero

thing is, why should a deeper version need to be displayed?
its very much kind of pigeon holeing people and saying they arent allowed to be one thing as well as this other thing.
which is crazy, people do not fit into one box and one box only.

people should be respected whatever they wear, and really its the fault of the idiot who goes around judging based on hair colour......

also, bearing in mind, on here, you are only seeing what velv ( or indeed) anyone chooses to post, it is not an overview of them as a whole and therefore, a picture might not show the 'them' from this thread, but might if it had been on another thread.

tired - nope, me neither. it just doesnt happen very often.

MsCellophane Mon 02-Sep-13 22:01:07

How can you take a picture that shows a deeper side??? Am truly puzzled

Velvet is hair and eyelashes, that is the look she chooses and likes and suits her - our looks don't define us

I look grumpy much of the time - most of the time I am not. I also look very sensible, mumsy and stern (spectacles) - when I can be very unsensible, am not very maternal and couldn't be proper stern if I tried.

It's ridiculous - she's an attractive and successful woman, regardless of how she chooses to wear her hair or make up and it certainly doesn't mean she deserves less than a decent, kind man who will treat her with respect. Or that changing her look will lead to a different type of man

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 22:03:59

I don't think a deeper version should be displayed for any reason other than it shows other facets of Velvet?

It might screen out the sort of bloke who only wants that one facet.

Totally agree that this thread/pic are just a snapshot. Problem is that you waste time and energy on a judgement made on a snapshot when dating. It might help velvet to weed out the time wasting demoralising guys

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 22:06:55

I wasn't suggesting a deeper picture <boggles> I was suggesting the write up giving a balance to a picture which seems fun loving allude to the intelligent professional that she is.

I am certainly not suggesting changing her appearance...or herself. I'm also aware that she possibly does all of this anyway.

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 22:07:16

I assumed Velvet would be blonde (or highlighted) because that seems to be the default 'professional' look for women. Like the newsreader presenters.

mademan hmm

ive got a lunch date on monday at the nicest place in town. Ive not told him my name... ive said ill tell him monday IF he asks nicely.
Ridiculous. Literally.

TiredDog Mon 02-Sep-13 22:11:55

Newsreaders are not an accurate example of a typical professional woman

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 22:18:29

Anyway, it's a nice pic Velvet if that is really you.

made - its her. Im friends with her off board.
im not quite sure what you are implying, but its a bit odd.

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 22:21:36

Not implying anything.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 22:23:42

I agree the stereotypical lawyer probably does have blonde highlights. I have worked with many in the past. A blonde-ish short bob is default 'business' style for a lot of 40 plus professional women.

It never has been for me. I've always had long, curly, dark hair. I'm aware - and acknowledged upthread - I don't look like the stereotypical lawyer.

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 22:28:06

And it really is me.

Why would I put up a picture that wasn't me?!

MadeMan Mon 02-Sep-13 22:39:19

People do it all the time on the internet. Like with online dating; loads of fake profile pics on those using models.

Oh and keep the dark curly hair. smile

AndAnother Mon 02-Sep-13 22:57:57

I agree with ofmiceandmen.

Do you have 'boobs out' in your dating website pictures? I wonder if anyone on this thread thinks that may influence the type of man who approaches you?

VelvetSpoon Mon 02-Sep-13 23:11:51

Oh, I know there are loads of fake photos on dating sites (google image search is your friend in that respect) but surely no-one would put a fake photo on their m.n profile! What would be the point?!

With regards to the photo, and what it does/doesnt show of cleavage (I have a large bust, I don't dress like a maiden aunt and as such some cleavage is inevitable), a while back I had a profile photo in a high necked, loose top, with absolutely no cleavage, hint of silhouette or whatever visible. Nothing that could possibly be construed as sexy. And I got many more pervy replies than with any other photos which showed more of my figure.

So I don't think it really makes any difference. And again, it's me, how I dress when I go out. Not some staged shot of me in my underwear (the boudoir photography craze has a lot to answer for...) which isn't something I'd ever want as a profile pic, though lots of women on dating sites do.

LessMissAbs Mon 02-Sep-13 23:30:30

I get a completely different opinion of you from the way you write than from your photo. And you almost sound like you want to hide being a lawyer, or tell men it almost as an apology - be proud of it (I'm sure you are), if a man cannot accept that then he isn't the man for you (or many decent women...).

Is it possibly the case that some men are just not attracted to big hair, fake tan, false eyelashes and this group might contain a higher proportion of the decent, steadier, more reliable type?

I know several lawyers who have a similar style to yours. I often wonder if its partly a reaction against the laced up stereotype.

or it could be thats just how she likes to dress??

not everything had a deep seated reason.

VelvetSpoon Tue 03-Sep-13 07:59:33

I don't know any lawyers who look or dress like me, though I'm sure there are some.

I've never worked for one of the magic circle firms, I've always been able to dress pretty much how I wanted for work, so it's not like my clothes/appearance are some reaction against being stuck in bland suits all week, they are just me.

And I've always been a little bit different - I'm not sure flamboyant is the right word, but for example when I was 15 and all my friends wanted to look like Kylie Minogue or Tiffany, or someone like that, I wanted to look like Cher in the Turn Back Time video.... smile

Lazyjaney Tue 03-Sep-13 08:03:41

I'm not sure that last guy treated you like crap, running your own business is harder work than being employed and has huge peaks and troughs in time required.

Lazyjaney Tue 03-Sep-13 08:08:44

As for Watch's 1950's profile, I have a list of 50 words that describe me on mine - 50! And the one word, in the whole profile that people pick up on is feminist - it is commented on every day. They ignore tactile, funny, friendly etc and zone in on feminist and never in a good way

Well, you could always, y'know, not put feminist on the site. It has a lot of negative connotations.

Are you on a dating site to meet men or tell them of your sociopolitical inclinations?

TiredDog Tue 03-Sep-13 08:14:48

Snail. You're very protective of Velvet. You obviously have reasons knowing her in RL. I also think some earlier comments on this thread were outright rude and hurtful. I think in later posts people have tried to be helpful and proffer observations.

It does feel a bit as if you're very touchy to 'observations' and Velvet is less touchy. I think the point has been made that velvet can be who she likes, dress how she likes, look how she likes, earn what she can.... As garlic so eloquently put herself. It maybe that finding the guy who matches is difficult. Altering an online profile to aid that search is not about changing who you's about changing how you present. Very different

TiredDog Tue 03-Sep-13 08:16:42

Online communication is tricky....none of that is 'said' or meant in a harmful manner smile

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 08:16:48

Err LazyJaney our sociopolitical inclinations are who we are. I wouldn't put a "feminist" banner blocking out my eyes but some of us don't feel the need to hide who we are love. And I've never found overt feminism a barrier to attracting the type of men I'm interested in.

If one "danger" word in 50 is too much for them then the poster is probably well clear!

VelvetSpoon Tue 03-Sep-13 08:33:17

Janey I have friends and relatives who run their own businesses, some of whom work 7 days a week when business need dictates. I fully understand it is demanding.

The issue isn't that he cancelled. Things happen, I am an adult and I accept that. But rather than saying 'this weekend is a disaster workwise Velvet, I'm sorry. Let's do something next weekend instead' he postponed it til later in the weekend 3 times, before finally cancelling. That's messing me about and not treating me well. And if I'd let it go, who's to say the next weekend there wouldn't have been another crisis, and more cancelled dates.

Lazyjaney Tue 03-Sep-13 08:35:32

I wouldn't put a "feminist" banner blocking out my eyes but some of us don't feel the need to hide who we are lov

Sure, but then don't moan that no one is interested in you.

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 08:45:04

Did you stop reading? I said this has never been a problem. Are you projecting?

dog - im not touchy to observations, im just sick and tired after so many dating threads, of the women being told its her fault because shes not wearing a polo neck. People come in all shapes and sizes, people who look all different ways have relationships.

Ive online dated as long as velevet, my experiences mirror hers. I had, what i thought, was very good profile, funny, self deprocating, showing me. Lots of MNetters had looked it over and declared it great.... BUT, this was flawed, it was written by a woman, and approved by women.

The 1950's profile, while making my heart sink, has got so much attention, so many 100's of new messages, most begging to take me out, most saying how i will be beating men off with it, and most saying how different it is to all other womens profiles. Now, really, men are thick, because, most of it is what you would get with a girlfriend. But maybe its set it out in a way that they see what they would be getting. and its that that makes them interested. They still get to see ' me' in the messages, when they ask what i like etc... i can bat the feminist word around and if they dont like it, then i just dont reply.

so - im thinking some hybrid of the 1950's profile might be the way to go.

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:07:33

I now know who you are.
I was in your thread on a sunday afternoon about a year ago.
Eventually you showed your pictures, and it was established by others who know about online dating sites, that our pictures were a bit slutty looking[not meaning that you were slutty]
So you posted some new ones that were much better.
And I remember then that no, you did not look like a typical lawyer[not that I know what a typical one looks like exactly]
Sorry to hear that you are still having problems.

I think it was established then, if I remember correctly, that because you come from a working class background, but work in the corporate world, that boyfriends didnt quite know what to make of you?

I think in life, that sort of thing is always a problem.

That in some ways you are neither one nor the other. Not your fault at all.

And I realise that me posting that, doesnt really help at all.

fwiw, I think you somehow[dont ask me how], need to find people like yourself. Women too. Because they may have a social circle that suits you more.

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:08:49

should be your not our

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:10:19

Oh, and you look quite pretty. smile

MadeMan Tue 03-Sep-13 09:14:52

@watchforthesnail Could you maybe create a sort of anti 1950's profile in a top 10 list format as an experiment?

I'm wondering whether the men are more receptive to key points listed clearly, instead of a big load of prose. Maybe the list format is easier for us to digest.

Just a thought. smile

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:15:54

The 1950's never went away for a lot of men.I dont think many women realise this. I dont actually think the 50's ever will imo. That is what a lot of men are like, and maybe always will be.

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:19:40

Not so sure about no 3 and no 10 on the list.
Could add at least another one.
no 11 I will cook your meals on time. They may not always be great but they will not usually be late, and they will be hot and they will be filling. And definitely not salad or quiche!
no 12 I will do a lot of the housework while you earn more of the dosh than me.

maybe the list format is. or maybe its because they can see what they are going to get IF i end up as their gf. Most of it is agiven actually.... so i still think they are dense not to have worked that out. BUT - maybe its giving them something,, so they can see if they put work in what exactly the gain is.

I went to change it this morning, and actually, all ive changed is the ' you wont ever hear im not in the mood' to ' im fab in the kitchen and will enjoy cooking for you' because, its true smile

the others, while yesterday made me feel a bit pukey, are true, yes, i wont roll my eyes because i will respect him, but equally, i expect to be treated in the same manner, and should i not be, then im not going to date/ be with them. Im not going to make him carry bags at the shops, becuse i loate shopping. I am going to want him to think about my views on things. I do wear nice pants smile Its not that bad.

but im not doing housework for anyone smile

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 09:26:39

I think what I find most depressing about the list is it isn't 1950s, it's an update for a post-ladette Stepford Wife. Some things change, others stay the same.

AND - taking it further, when chatting, thats when you can weed them out....

IF they want to take me out, ive said when im free, and they can work around that. I used to try to be flexiable, meeting halfway, just going for coffee, keeping things cheap and relaxed, trying to show i was relaxed and easy going. I do think ( that you poster than i pm'ed) that maybe i was doing myself a diservice by doing that.

I need to have worth/ value.

IF they want to take me out, they can work around me, they can damn well organise it and they can pay ( shock i have never let this happen before] and it can be somewhere nice.

stranger - i know. BUT, if you look at the list objectivley, without recoiling in horror as i did first... its pretty much normal stuff that comes with being in a relationship. Of course you would treat your boyfriend with respect - the flip side to that is you should be treated with respect yourself. That isnt written there, and i thought about adding it this morning, but thought no, ill just filter out from replies. if they dont treat me with respect, them im not going to go out with them.

and its as simple as that.

I might like to cook for them ( i like to cook for everyone) but equally, i like to be cooked for. Again, no need to write that, ill just filter from replies.

anyone that doesnt ask about 'me' wont get so much as a look in.

the profile is just a banner as it were, its not setting everything out at once. thats where the messages come in.

Lazyjaney Tue 03-Sep-13 09:49:26

Did you stop reading? I said this has never been a problem. Are you projecting?

It's very simple. If you want to catch fish, you bait hooks with the food they like.

@watchforthesnail Could you maybe create a sort of anti 1950's profile in a top 10 list format as an experiment

Or, you could put 10 points underneath, called "the flipside" listing what you want/won't accept smile

TBH I didn't see your 10 points as "back to the 1950s", it seemed more like a list of what someone who actually liked their partner would do. I wouldn't put up with a grumpy man who always moaned, dressed like a slob, rolled their eyes when I spoke, showed no affection, wouldnt do the business and worst of all..... took me shopping grin

i dont think theres any need for a flip side. Its just making the whole thing longer. I dont need to make demands, its pretty much on my terms smile

if they dont treat me well, then im not going to on on a date with them. and its as simple as that. The ones that can up their game, put some damn effort in and be nice, they can take me out, the ' hey baby' ones can fuck off. Saves me a whole lot of time.

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:58:11

I think the wont compete is a big one for men. Often their ego gets bruised if the woman earns more than the man. There are not many who like that imo, not many at all.
And that may be part of the problem for the op.
She is not necessarily attracted to those men who earn more than her?

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 10:00:57

Well yes Watch. Like with the Rules it's what most people actually do. I just find it incredibly desperate to put it front and centre like that. It says nothing about who you are and smacks of people pleasing. I'm a big believer in show don't tell for that kind of stuff.

I am fucking delicious. And have no interest in or need for bottom feeders.

yellow - not speaking for velv, but i think, like me, she doesnt much care so long as hes nice, treats her well and isnt an arse.

I used to have a big long profile of all the things ive done. Women told me i needed to to look interesting. I talked about it on dates, trying to again, appear interesting. Turns out its massively intimidating and men dont really give a shit if you have lived all over the world, done x, and x and x. Now, while that says more about them that it does about me..... i dont need show off and display what ive done. I can tell them, but those things dont define me, they are just a list. I wasnt showing them me, i was just being scary.

im not sure it is desperate little - how many womens profiles say how hurt they have been and how they want this and that and the other. and other such shit? loads.

I think show and not tell too. Tried that for 4 years, didnt get anywhere. This is just an experiment, ive got nothing to lose. Im as surprised at the results as anyone, and if you read back i said i cant see it making much difference. except it has.

Oddly, the men who are responding are not bottom feeders, ive had replies off far more unsituable men when i had, what i thought was a better profile. Mostly im getting responses from slightly older ( late 30's early 40's) company directors/ managers/ successful men. Im going on a date monday lunchtime to the nicest place in town.

Couldnt be more shocked, and like i said, does go aganist everything i thought too.

Im not selling myself short im not saying im not fab, because i am. Its just setting it out in a different way. As an dating experiment, i think its interesting.

VelvetSpoon Tue 03-Sep-13 10:23:59

It's not so much that I'm not interested in men who earn more than me per se, more that I encounter very few of them; with the exception of the guy I dumped at the weekend I don't think I have ever had a date with one via OD, and probably haven't had many messages from them either.

It's impossible for me to say whether that's because in my area there are no high earning single men - or if those men have simply chosen not to contact me.

Ultimately though a man's job or earnings doesn't mean much to me. As watch says, how they treat me matters more. I wouldn't entertain a cocklodger, but I'd never rule someone out purely because they were a lower rate taxpayer. One of my exs earned half the amount I do. It never bothered me, although it did concern him.

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 10:27:37

Ah but you see Watch I would strongly discourage anyone from saying they've been hurt etc on a profile.

Anyway, I ought to do some work. I won't carry on out-earning my boyfriend if I get sacked. [Wink]

i would as well little, its like waving a big red flag around.

still..... people do it.

lots of people do it.

in the interests of updating - im being taken out to dinner friday evening, by the very nice company director. He lives 30 miles away, without hesitation he said he would come to me, i resisted the urge to tell him no, im happy to meet him halfway, or even go to his to make it easier for him ( like i would have done before, because i like to think im nice) he said he would love to take me out to dinner and i can pick where ever i like. So - i have.

So - i have dinner somewhere expensive friday, where the guy is doing all the running. and lunch monday, at the nicest place in town, where the guy is doing all the running.

very very interesting....

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 11:50:46

It is like Lazyjaney says, "If you want to catch fish, you bait hooks with the food they like".

Women dont seem to realise it, or dont want to do that. Fair enough. Up to them. But as I said before, I dont think many men have changed all that much. Women change, men dont much.

Me, I am a bit naturally 50's anyway, so no skin off my nose.

[and yes, I realise Lazyjaney, we have been on a thread together before, but I suspect that you and I would agree to leave that thread be.]

Lazyjaney Tue 03-Sep-13 11:55:58

@yellow - no worries, I spent some years in Holland, their bluntness rubbed off on me, they are as blunt to friends as foes smile

yellowballoons Tue 03-Sep-13 11:57:53


its so odd, i would have argued till the cows come home. tbh im still shocked.

i think after a marriage break up, all my dating advice came from here, so it was all what women thought... and mn is quite feminist, and full of strong women, so it was all ' be interesting, be confident etc' not that these arent important things, they are. BUT - they arent the bait for fish.

lazy - that is possibly the best quote when it comes to dating ive ever heard.

I have also been treated like crap by pretty much every single date, ive been baffled and discusted and wondered why the hell it keeps happeing, but keeping on, because well, i know its not me...

but i wasnt playing the game right. The new profile gives nothing away, other than a peek at a future ( and a standard one at that) I can filter from there. It seems from the 100's of messages ive had than men what that, some of them have been begging ' tell me what i can do to get a date with you' they are literally willing to do anything. very odd. The ones i have replied to cant believe their luck and think im so kind of prize. IF they have asked me out ive said when im free up to them to be avaliable and to suggest something.

Maybe this will make the crap dates be less frequent and the being treated like crap stop, because im giving less of me away, for more effort from them. If that makes any sense.

ALittleStranger Tue 03-Sep-13 12:07:55

Watch having not had an actual enjoyable date, or relationship out of this profile, or found out if it attracts the kind of men you like, or found out if you can continue to attract them after the first date etc etc, I think it might be too soon to evaluate the profile. It is just the opener in a very long game. Very few people struggle to get msgs or dates, plenty of people aren't treated like crap, the challenge is progressing with the kind of relationship they want.

i know, im just pondering out loud.

im not expecting anything to come of it....

its just its wildly different in all aspects. I didnt struggle to get dates or messages, but i didnt get the volume ive just had. and they werent the same kind of messages either. That is interesting in itself.

Lots of people are treated like crap with online dating, you only have to look at a few threads or even talk to anyone thats done it to know that.

MsCellophane Tue 03-Sep-13 12:24:45

Watch - is it a whole new profile? Not wanting to burst your bubble but new profiles do get a huge amount of interest.

I did the IE experiment (as you will remember) looking for a FWB. I was very honest in what I was looking for - someone I could meet on a monthly basis, for drinks and sex and conversation. I made it very clear that I wasn't looking for one night stands and that sex would only come about once we had got to know each other over a few weeks

I got hundreds and hundreds of messages. From those I had a handful of dates, some led to one night stands, others were just left at one date. In all of this, I found only one man that understood that a true FWB should have a friendship over and above the benefits. That a woman who is being treated with respect at all times is more likely to be sexually attracted to them and that the terms are mutual so if I was to ask if he was free - then that was fine

It was disappointing, so many men just looking for a shag, on their terms only, not wanting to meet again as a woman 'can't remove feelings and it wouldn't be fair'

The good part is my lovely HotBut was an amazing FWB for a year - who then sadly got a GF but still stayed in touch (and is now single again and we are trying to sort a date lol) So I do know there are great men out there but the odds are not in our favour

So, long winded way of saying don't get too excited by new profile smile

its not a new profile. same pics and everything, which is why im more shocked by it.

if it was brand new i would expect that reaction... but its not.

I did the IE thing too and had exactly the same experience you did, bar finding a decent one.

and how nice hotbut is single again smile

LessMissAbs Tue 03-Sep-13 18:20:57

I don't know any lawyers who look or dress like me, though I'm sure there are some. I've never worked for one of the magic circle firms, I've always been able to dress pretty much how I wanted for work

Outside the magic circle firms or their pretenders, I've encountered quite a few colleagues who dress similarly. And certainly some of the attire in court would raise far more eyebrows than your profile attire!

But trying to analyse the point you make in your OP, I postulate that a lot of the decent guys are ones who do things in their spare time like hillwalking, cycling, whatever (and probably not internet dating as a time consuming hobby!) ie they fill their time not with shagging around and drinking and dating multiple women but with more traditional sort of hobbies, and perhaps those type of men couldn't see someone who spends a lot of time on their appearance doing those hobbies with them or being compatible with them.

VelvetSpoon Tue 03-Sep-13 19:28:16

That's a fair point. I'd find hillwalking or rambling deeply dull, and would rather boil my own eyeballs than participate. I'm sure there are lots of nice men who do those sorts of activities, but I wouldn't be their type or vice versa.

I do exercise, but I am not sporty, so that rules out any sort of sporting clubs etc, although I know they are very good places to meet people (I know of one couple who met via a running club, and several who met through diving).

AndAnother Tue 03-Sep-13 23:05:40

I guess someone has to say this: what is your relationship with your parents like? These things can influence our relationships years later (also their relationship with each other).

VelvetSpoon Tue 03-Sep-13 23:19:52

Sadly my mum died when I was 21 and my dad when I was 25. I am an only child, so have no other immediate family (grandparents died when I was a child).

My mum was my best friend, I was the apple of my dad's eye. We were very close. I remember some teen angst over friends and crying to my mum who said 'don't worry, friends will come and go. But however old you are, whatever happens, you'll always have me and your dad. We'll always be there for you'.

They were the most amazing, impossibly glamorous unique people, brilliant parents and I adored them both. They always encouraged me to aim high, believe in myself and that nothing was beyond my reach.

Even many years later, I still miss them every day.

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 23:36:48

Scarlet flag

AndAnother Tue 03-Sep-13 23:47:11

So sorry Velvet sad.

After that, I think I'd be scared to ever love anyone again, in case they also died.

AndAnother Tue 03-Sep-13 23:52:50

Scared to go for a good one in case they leave in the same way maybe?

Hats off for achieving what you have on the back of all that Velvet.

VelvetSpoon Wed 04-Sep-13 08:05:46

Thanks andanother. Honestly I think I'm lucky in some ways though, so many people had awful childhoods, and terrible relationships with their parents. I have loads of great memories of my childhood, even if my parents are no longer with me, I'll always have those.

I don't think that I'm rejecting nice men. I have dated/ been in relationships with some who seemed nice at first but weren't, leading me to have to get rid. In recent years I have mostly been the one getting dumped after 1/2 dates. But I don't think most of those men were very nice either, so actually them dumping me wasn't a bad thing.

yellowballoons Wed 04-Sep-13 08:20:59

Sorry to hear that VelvetSpoon.

Do you think you may be trying to find the perfect man, or a man that can live up to who you think your parents would have approved of?

I dont think the perfect man exists. After all, we are not perfect ourselves, so cant expect anyone else to be.

Can I ask one more thing, which you dont have to answer. Were your parents from the same sort of background as each other?

VelvetSpoon Wed 04-Sep-13 08:38:47

I really don't think I'm trying to find a perfect man. I do ask myself sometimes, if it's someone I particularly like, whether my dad would have liked them smile and I have thought several times that he would have approved. Plenty he wouldn't have liked at all though.

My parents were both from working-class (ish) backgrounds, although there were differences: my mum was from a v large, close-knit Italian origin family, my dad (who was 16 years older than my mum) had a very disjointed childhood, was brought up in the country by his grandparents for 10 years before being returned to his dad in London. They didnt get on, my dad went into the army at 18 (this was during WW2) and never saw him again. Both my parents under-achieved academically - my mum couldn't go to grammar school because her parents couldn't afford the uniform. My dad failed the 11plus because of moving. Hence why they wanted me to do well at school and go to university, because neither of them got the chance.

yellowballoons Wed 04-Sep-13 09:05:48

I think you are unique, VelvetSpoon, and I mean it in a nice way.
I do sometimes think that people who are much the same as other people have an easier job finding a partner.

The other thought that occurs to me from you post, is have you thought yourself about having an older or younger partner?

Quite often, families follow patterns, even if they dont set out to.

VelvetSpoon Wed 04-Sep-13 10:22:22

I know I'm a bit different to other people, I have been used to not quite fitting in most of my life, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do think if I were more average in many ways I'd find it easier to meet someone smile

Re age, I was in a relationship with a man 20 years older than me in my 20s. The last 2 men I've dated have been 5 years younger, so I am open minded as to age and always have been really.

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