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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just dont understand what it is men what.

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

Are you happy within yourself OP?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You sound like you are doing everything right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What about more traditional pubs - more your scene?

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

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

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

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

SevenSnapespearesSwimming Fri 28-Dec-12 11:49:30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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