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Problems with intimate relationships - advice/help?

(17 Posts)
relationshipwilderness Sun 12-Jan-14 15:26:12


Firstly, I'm completely open to suggestions and possibilities; I'd love to speak to anybody who has experience in this area, or have been through something similar.

I am 33 years old and have never had a relationship. Never had a boyfriend, a fiancé, a husband.

I really don't fully understand why, but at the same time I think that I do understand - if that makes sense.

At school, I was bullied, quite badly - by boys. I had no problem whatsoever with female friends and I still don't struggle in this area. (I also have no problem with male friendships.) I do, however, suspect that somewhere in the back of my mind I had this perception of how I was seen by boys - as a joke, as the girl they called names but didn't fancy, and that stayed with me on some level.

Please don't think that I have been dwelling on a bad experience at school for the last twenty years grin - but I always thought I'd meet someone. And, I never have. Tried online - no joy.

There's quite a lot of other stuff but I don't know how much to include, how relevant it is.

Can anybody help?

SundaySimmons Mon 13-Jan-14 02:11:50

When you say you have never had a boyfriend as such, what about dates? Have you ever been out on a date?

You are able to make platonic friends easily but perhaps you need to flirt with guys?

I don't like all that women's lib stuff and am able to flirt with men and ask men for help and I do get a lot of male attention.

Sometimes being very capable and efficient is a turn off for a man. I know it's very stereotypical and I'll have all the feminists up in arms, but if I ask a man for help or advice on how to do something they trip over themselves trying to help.

Do you think you give off the vibe of being very self sufficient?

Can you flirt? Can you make a flattering comment? If I feel someone likes me and I like them but they haven't made a move on me yet, I do the old there's something in your hair trick and I move up close and remove an imaginary piece of fluff from their hair!

I've then crossed over into their personal space and that usually makes it clear that I like them otherwise I would have said nothing or just pointed at their head!

Do you go places where there are men? Do you have female friends that have boyfriends that have single friends that you can see in a group?

To meet men, you have. To be somewhere where there are men! I play gold, there are loads of men!

Would you entertain a hobby or interest with a view to meeting men?

SundaySimmons Mon 13-Jan-14 02:12:58

Golf not gold!

LastingLight Mon 13-Jan-14 10:11:01

I got my first boyfriend at the age of 33, you are not alone. Been happily married to him now for 8 years. We met through online dating.

I made a breakthrough in my attitude towards men and relationships while I was having counselling for depression. The psychologist helped me to identify and change incorrect beliefs I had about men and myself, which were so ingrained that I never even questioned it.

relationshipwilderness Thu 16-Jan-14 21:28:53

Sunday, thanks. One date, in my whole life. I don't think I necessarily give the impression of being super-efficient and self-contained, or at least no more so than any other woman who is married!

Lasting, thank you - it's a relief to know I am not alone. Did you see a psychologist, then? I didn't find counselling enormously helpful when I tried, although I wouldn't be completely against trying again, but psychology does interest me.

claraschu Thu 16-Jan-14 21:42:33

Maybe you didn't find the right counsellor and could try a few other people? (That is, if you are interested in talking to a therapist.) I never went out on dates or flirted with anyone until I met my husband because my childhood really put me off the idea (parents repressed and old fashioned, but having affairs). I felt like there was no hope for me and no one would ever notice me, but when I got over my bad feelings, everything just seemed to work, and I found my wonderful husband.

Don't give up on yourself, as I think it is really scary and hard to be older and with no experience, but I am so glad now, 23 years later, that I waited and found the right person when I was ready.

SugarMouse1 Thu 16-Jan-14 21:45:00

Did you do the whole partying thing when you were younger?

Do you make an effort with your appearance? Not that it should matter.

Do you actually have men that you fancy or are you wondering about your sexuality?

which online sites did you try? Most have loads of singles, have you got very specific criteria? I.e non-drinking, highly educated, childless practicing Christian who must be vegan 6ft tall and love Italian cinema?

Maybe you need to open your horizons a bit.

I used to be like you in a way, my peers had boyfriends younger, but I totally changed when I was 17 and discovered alcohol/parties. It helped me meet people and flirt/relax around them.

relationshipwilderness Thu 16-Jan-14 21:50:19

Sugar - no, I wasn't much of a party animal. I do make an effort with my appearance and while I'm certainly not Kate Moss I am not ugly, either (I hope.)

To my knowledge I have never had a man find me attractive. I am not wondering about my sexuality - I am not sure why you think this?

I haven't got specific criteria beyond "pleasant, normal" smile

Clara, I am not sure about counselling. Strictly speaking I am not against it but I have tried with more than one counsellor, and while they were pleasant and kind people, I am not sure I can say it helped in any way at all which is why although I suspect there are issues, I'm not sure counselling will be particularly helpful for them.

SundaySimmons Thu 16-Jan-14 21:54:24

Would you consider going to a speed dating evening? Or any other singles promotion evening, such as an organised dinner?

You come across on here as being articulate and it sounds to me that you need feedback from how you come across in real life.

relationshipwilderness Thu 16-Jan-14 22:02:08

Sunday I do appreciate you taking the time to reply but it isn't exactly "advice on meeting a man" I'm looking at; I don't know quite why I've never met anyone but the fact is I haven't, and have been overlooked time after time while others have had no problems meeting people at college, university, work, hobbies, online ...

There is clearly "something" not quite right but since I don't know what it is I need help in this area, and I'm wondering what sort of help would be best.

SundaySimmons Thu 16-Jan-14 23:17:39

Without meeting you it's very hard to see why.

Starting from the outside, how do you look physically? Yes, that is very shallow but appearances are the first impression you make on everyone.

Do you dress like everyone else in your age group or peers? I don't mean mini skirts and low cut tops, I mean do you look like most people do?

You say you don't think a man has ever found you attractive. Would you consider going to a department store and asking at the beauty counter and personal shopper for advice. If they suggest things that are totally the opposite of what you look like, then they could be on to something!

If it's not your looks, and I don't believe it is because I've met plenty of unattractive women (I don't mean that unkindly, just stating a fact) who have boyfriends, husbands and partners and dates, then how do you come across to other people?

Are you shy? Confident? Too much of either can give a bad impression.

Are you bossy or boring? Do you have anything to talk about? Sense of humour?

There are lots of personality tests online, this is an example

Would you consider completing it and then analysing the results. You may be surprised and it could help you to understand why you may be coming across in a certain light that you didn't realise.

relationshipwilderness Thu 16-Jan-14 23:41:02

Sunday - look, for goodness' sake, I didn't post on here for an assassination of my character!

I very much doubt there is anything notably "wrong" with my personality, I am sure I have a few annoying habits but on the whole, I have friendships that are long-standing and more recent, and have never, ever struggled to make or maintain friendships. I relate well to colleagues and work in a public facing role and have yet to have a complaint about my manner.

Yes, I dress just fine thank you.

Please - I'm not posting to be pulled apart. The point of me posting was not to open myself up to criticism but to think about how I can tackle the issue of not having ever had a relationship which is I am sure a confidence/self-esteem issue on my part but it's identifying that and changing it.

As it is, your posts are making me feel as if I am personally to be questioned. I KNOW that won't be your intention, but please - I'm not looking for advice on me as such.

SundaySimmons Thu 16-Jan-14 23:51:02

I've misunderstood what you were asking, then?

I certainly haven't tried to assassinate your personality!

You asked why you have never had a relationship and I have tried to find our why and make suggestions as to what it could be that makes you feel you haven't attracted a date or partner.

What exactly is the remit? I've reads your op again, and it comes across to me that you are asking what is wrong with you that you haven't been asked out.

By asking what you looked like and how you act, was to eliminate anything that could be stopping others from seeing you as you would like to be seen.

Good luck, I hope you do find someone one day.

SugarMouse1 Fri 17-Jan-14 12:13:24

Is it possible that maybe people wanted to ask you out and you didn't pick up on the signs?

Sometimes it's not obvious

Some men will even ask you the time of day just to try and start a conversation with a woman they fancy.

relationshipwilderness Fri 17-Jan-14 17:41:02

Sunday, I think we were posting at opposite ends of the spectrum - sorry, I didn't mean to sound exasperated flowers I suppose I had assumed that, posting in Mental Health rather than Style or Beauty or Relationships that others would be able to make suggestions of talk therapies or methods that work, as I really don't feel it has anything to do with not looking nice or having a massively unappealing personality as I do have friends and have never struggled in this department.

Sugar, it's possible but I just don't know.

SugarMouse1 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:47:46

Could you ask some good friends for some really honest opinions as to why?

They know you a lot better

SundaySimmons Fri 17-Jan-14 21:04:00

Hi, I was approaching your situation at face value, as it were and not considering it may go deeper than that.

I'm sorry if I went about it the wrong way.

As sugar mouse says, those who know you must have a better insight.

Has it ever been brought up in conversation?

Usually people counteract their comments. I.e, asking you if you have a boyfriend and you reply no, and they follow it up with a comment such as, "can't think why, you're so lovely" etc

I can't find a book about relationships by him, but I have read a couple of Paul McKenna books and like his writing style.

I can make you confident the power to go for anything. I haven't read that one but maybe of some use?

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