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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????

BunnyKelly Mon 31-Dec-12 14:27:52

getting easier again there's a happy medium between going all out to meet someone and waiting for it to fall in your lap.

Doing more social stuff for its own sake will inevitably increase the chances of meeting someone, so I'd say that's the way to go.

gettingeasier Mon 31-Dec-12 12:47:06

Well if you have passed niceguy s two stage test OP and been on lots of dates that havent led anywhere then isnt it just a case of you havent met someone you want to pursue a LT relationship with ?

I have been single 3 years and not made an ounce of effort to change myself , meet someone etc and nor have I met anyone so AFAIAC this idea that when you dont look you meet someone is nonsense too.

I think overall its either luck if you meet someone naturally in the course of everyday life or you persevere through the myriad of ways to meet people and eventually hit the jackpot

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 12:44:43

OP You are taking that quote out of context- or maybe misinterpretting it. the reason I said that was not that I think my comments are the only ones worth thinking about- but that I didn't see any connection ( ie " don't care what other people say") between the comment you quoted about text-speak, and mine.

I don't know confused- sometimes people seem to get the wrong end of the stick so often when it comes to posts- and I don't mean mine beofre you latch on to that!

I think the whole issue is much more simple than you think really.

OD gives you some idea of what someone is like but not really whether there is any chemistry. In RL if you meet men then you do at least know quite a lot about them before you have a date. You've seen them, heard them, seen them maybe with colleagues or friends. With OD you know nothing except how they look ( maybe!) and a phone call.

It IS a numbers game.

I used to work somewhere where I'd see 50 men on a daily basis. I dated one of them. That left 49 who I didn't like or who didn't like me, or who were married etc so unavailable.

If this was OD then I'd have needed to meet 50 men- or something like that- to find one I wanted to date and who wanted to date me.

All you can do as others have said is not rely on OD as the only way to meet men.

How much contact do you have before a date? Are you having a few long phone chats maybe? My brother does OD and he has 2 pet hates 1) women who want to email for ever and never talk, 2) women who want to talk and never meet.

You need a happy medium. Some of the time wasters could have been avoided I think if you had had longer chats with them first- ie are they living with their parents? Do they have many interests?

Are you meeting guys who've just literally winked at you?

And the same works for you- if you are not getting any follow ups, the either you a re different in real life to how you appear online, or there is just no chemistry which is something you can't do anything about.

I haven't read every post here, so apologies- but I get the impression that you would waste less time if you found out a bit more before you met, and they found out more about you- works both ways.

stookiesackhouse Mon 31-Dec-12 11:54:06

It's ok Banta, I wasn't really taking umbrage at your post specifically - I agree with you. It's just I have been following this thread with interest as I am similar age to OP and newly(ish) single and have seen my comment taken out of context and flamed over and over.

Nevermind. The discussion has been very interesting overall though! smile

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 11:39:53

grin sorry Stookie - my point was, the advice was given, it was discussed and discarded. I went on a date a couple of weeks ago with a woman who had fake tan and lashes and put me right off her.

Any advice on something like this is useful advice, especially if the OP or other people can respond and say 'yes, that might work' or 'not for me, I'm afraid'. But the spelling/grammar bit has been done to death I think. If someone was coming back saying 'fake tan, go on, fake tan. Do it. Now' then I'd be the same about that.

It's just that your comment was one of the first to be posted, discussed and rejected as it wasn't suitable, and I was actually using it as a case in point of how the OP has been reasonable in listening to advice (good and bad) and taking on different perspectives. But once it's been given and rejected, people should let it lie.

stookiesackhouse Mon 31-Dec-12 11:28:47

I am the one who mentioned false tan and lashes on page one in a tongue in cheek comment, followed by a grin

My actual point was about looking the best you can because then you feel confident - and appearance is important when attracting someone. This was a. when the OP hadn't posted photos of herself and b. hadn't clarified she was entirely happy with her looks.

As soon as the OP said that look wasn't for her I said totally agreed she should stick to her true self.

I also gave good suggestions about being somewhere where OP would see the same people regularly i.e. pub quiz, gym or walking group.

I wish everyone would stop banging on about how ridiculous my comment was - it has been blown out of all proportion.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 11:16:30

Bobeep, you did say ' i dont care about others advice, dont listen to that'

Im typing on a smart phone, typos and autocorrect happen. Its a casual forum. I would not be interested in dating a man who was so anal he got pissed off if i used a small e.

I get lots of messages, heck, lots of dates. So im passing the ' would i shag her' test.
What im not getting is dates that lead anyfurther, which was why i started this thread.

Some advice has been great, and im taking it on board, some has been weird and some has been absolute shit. Thats the internet, there is no rule saying i have to follow it.

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 11:07:26

BoPeep - yes, several posters gave advice, some good, some bad. However, you seem to be the only one who is persisting on telling the OP, several pages later, the same old things, and taking umbrage at her for not taking advice. Once you've given advice, or repeated the same advice other people have given, then attacking the OP for saying thanks but that's not for her, which is what she's done, is just kind of pointless.

She's posted a thread on a relationship forum asking for advice and she's got some, she's discussed the merits of some of them, disagreed with some, agreed with some. That's fair. You just seem to keep coming back and asking her why she's bothering if she's not going to take the advice you personally think is best. Several people (mostly men, whose perspective here I think is possibly more valid than women, as it is men she is trying to date) have said her punctuation and grammar is not particularly important in online dating.

Some of the advice is not great. She is allowed to not take it. Some of it is good, and she is also allowed not to take that too. What gets silly is that you keep coming back and saying 'LISTEN TO ME! DO WHAT I THINK!' - the others gave advice and it was disregarded. You keep on harping on.

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 10:57:27

Banta go back to the first few pages and you will see that there are others posting the same things about her writing.

I am not attacking her- I am offering what I thought was constructive advice, and I have allowed for the fact that not everyone- including me- pays a huge amount of attention to accuracy on a forum.

I think you need to read all the posts which were much more aggressive and unsupportive several pages back and far " worse" than mine-so go and take issue with those posters too maybe?

niceguy2 Mon 31-Dec-12 10:23:51

Bopeep, sorry but grammar is probably the last thing a man would be worried about. Pure text speak would put me off. But lower case E? punctuation? I wouldn't even notice.

The frank reality is that on dating sites, men will look at the photo first & foremost. Their logic will go something like "Would I shag her? Would I be embarrassed if my mates saw me with her?" If the answer to both are yes and no (in that order), then there's a 95% chance you will get a message.

The profile, unless there is a red flag there like pure text speak or "I'm just looking for friends (aka I'm not ready yet and still hung up over my last BF) then you'll probably get a message.

The one thing which has been touched on before but OP has explained she's trying to tackle is her weight. Size 16 may be the UK average but it just means there are a lot of big girls out there. Because it is slim pickings out there, decent men have options. And chances are the decent ones are searching for those describing themselves as thin/athletic, maybe average and not "a few extra pounds". And if they are getting a decent response, they would never need to expand their search.

ike1 Mon 31-Dec-12 10:14:18

Just as an aside I used to teach English at A level and my grammar on mumsnet can be pants. As you were...

BantaBaby Mon 31-Dec-12 10:10:53

BoPeep, why do you seem to be constantly attacking the OP? Seriously, pretty much every piece of advice you've given is confrontational, hostile, condescending and bordering on rude.

This is an internet forum. People type in a more relaxed way, I could point out your typos if you really want to be pulled up on them, but just because the OP doesn't capitalise her i's doesn't mean she does when she's mailing someone, or that they care. As a man who receives several messages a day from women on online dating sites whether they capitalise their I or not really doesn't make a huge difference. Text speak and LOLs annoy the hell out of me. Casual typing doesn't. The OP comes across as intelligent and educated, you're the one coming across as pedantic here.

A lot of the advice given is ridiculous (wear false lashes, put on a fake tan) and the OP shouldn't have to pretend to be someone she's not. She has a perfect right to ignore or rebuff advice that is just spurious.

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 09:53:04

I can't quite see how you arrived at that conclusion. Where have I said take notice of me and no one else? I don't quite follow your logic.

I'd agree absolutely that you shouldn't waste your time replying to men who use text speak. But how that means you only take my advice, and not others is beyond me. Can you explain?

You say you have an degree in English yet you use a lower case E for English and seem to not understand the use of punctuation? ( eg I'm).
And you don't really understand the difference between former and letter- unless latter was a typo for "later".

It's not about being a pedant. It's about conveying yourself in the best possible way- OD is a shop window. If you want to attract educated and interesting men then you need to show you are at that level. Otherwise you will come over a thick.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 09:30:12

So i dont need to listen to other posters, just to you?


And i was accused of being arrogant??

Look, im not a pendant, never will be, still have an english degree.

Ive dated lots of educated men, im not sure why you think they dont act the same or live at home. Lots do.

MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 09:17:57

So? How is that connected to my comments?

You are very defensive.

Why did you bother posting?

People have given their time to be helpful but if the advice doesn't fit with what you want to hear then you defend yourself.

I don't care what another poster has told you to do- you don't have to take any notice of that.

You are complaining all the time that the men are boring, not your type, have few interests etc etc, live at home, blah blah blah.

Yet the minute I suggest something which might show that you are alienating some potentially nice suitable men, you come over all defensive- unwilling to accept the point.

You obviously have interests but your posts here are riddled with spelling and grammar errors. As I said, if this standard of English is just for this forum, fair enough (I don't bother too much on a forum) but if you want to make yourself as attractive as possible to the type of high-flying, successful, interesting, independent men you are looking for then you need to do everything that might help- which includes writing in correct English. Otherwise you will attract the losers.

If this is not what you want to hear, then fine. I won't waste my day.

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 09:09:44

yet another poster told me off for rejecting men based on text speak.....


MissBoPeep Mon 31-Dec-12 08:52:13

And no, i dont use a capital i, so what? its just typing

Errrr- no it's not actually. It's a window to who you are, in terms of posting on a dating site and emailing men.

You've said all along that many men aren't " up to scratch" in your eyes. Can't you make the connection that if your writing reveals a lack of education or inability to use correct English ( and that includes capitals in the right places) then some men may be rejecting you online?

I wouldn't reply to a man whose Englsih was poor- I'd assume he was uneducated and not what I was looking for. Call that shallow but 1st impressions count.

I'm not the first poster to say this to you but you don't want to listen. confused

notsuchaspringchicken Mon 31-Dec-12 08:43:11

yes, but i was having an open mind and dating lots of ' unsuitable' and i would have seen lots of them twice, to see if there was anything there, except, they have to want to do the same....... and they didnt.

Im fully aware people can grow on people and you have to get to know someone past a few hours on a first date. I KNOW this, doesnt mean that the people i go out on a date with know this.

Typically a date and one i thought went ok, would go - meet for a coffee in the day time, have a natter, no awkward pauses, lots of chat,some laughing probably have a second drink, so, maybe 2-3 hours long. A hug/ kiss on the cheek goodbye, me saying i had a nice time, ususally some comment about being in contact from them, or them saying it was fun, lets do it again. And then nothing, not hearing from them ever again.

Ok - this happens with a few dates, but most of them? i dont understnad what more the man could want to happen in those 2-3 hours, in a coffee shop, that would make it a better date? or how well they think they are going to know me?

bopeep - did you read any of my latter posts? im not totally focused on ' getting a man' its a very small part of my life . Ive also, just 2 months ago, changed my job, so, im not going to do it again, id end up with a very ropey cv if i did that.
And no, i dont use a capital i, so what? its just typing confused

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:40:19

Velvet & springchicken. I wasn't trying to say you had to do it exactly like I did and cram loads of dates into each free weekend. Just that it's better to organise dates into your child free time rather than the other way around. In fact it wasn't like a religion I had to pack my free weekends with dates. I just maximised my time. For example out with friends around town or organising lone parent meets. What I didn't do was sit around the house ironing, cleaning and food shopping.

Like I said, I do think it's better if you concentrated on getting your social life expanded rather than on dating sites. You've given it a good crack of the whip and clearly dating sites aren't working for you.

When I met my fiancee she wasn't interested in me at all. I thought she was attractive but thought for various reasons it would never work so pretty much dismissed anything but friendship and cheap babysitting. So for us it was the fact I wasn't looking at her as a potential GF and vice versa that helped us get to know each other and realise later that actually there is something there. If we'd have been on a dating site I doubt she'd have even replied to my initial message, let alone make it to the first date. On paper our relationship shouldn't work at all. But it does.

My point is sometimes it's all too easy to dismiss someone as unsuitable but then later that grows into suitable. Of course there is also more chance that unsuitable will stay unsuitable....but you only have to win once.

MissBoPeep Sun 30-Dec-12 22:16:05

I think you are just going to have to accept that it's going to take time. IN some men's eyes you won't be what they want because you have a child- that will ruke out some men. Other men will welcome you AND your child- but you will still attract fewer men because you have a child.

I do agree with others that you need to hone your search- I recognise the dud men you talk about but I'd never have met any or dated them when I was single because I moved in different social circles.

If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same results. I think it was Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of madness smile

The other point that someone mentioned ages back is on the thread here your punctuation and spelling leaves a lot to be desired.(You don't use a capital I and you omit apostrophes most of the time.) If this is how you reply to posts on OD etc then you may come over as uneducated- and put off educated and potentially interested men. if it's just laziness here fair enough- but you should aim to get this right when replying to men.

I think you should stop focusing on " getting a man"- just enjoy life, change your job if that will help you meet more people- take drastic action is you need to- then just relax about it a bit more.

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 20:26:55

oh, i know. Evening dates tend to cost me in the region of £40 - £60
taxis, something to eat, rounds of drinks. its not cheap, im a lone parent, i have no money, i cant afford to spend that meeting dullards and it not going anywhere.
Least with a coffee date its only a few pounds, but again, not great for romance at all.

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 20:17:55

I think maybe the best compromise is to have a weekend where you've got something planned with friends/family/an activity or whatever, AND a date as well. That way if date gets cancelled, it's only one wasted afternoon/evening, and you've still got other things to do, and the whole weekend isn't a write off.

The cost is the other thing, I completely agree re coffee dates being easiest and cheapest, but evening ones tend to be more enjoyable. But then you've got the cost of getting there and back, drinks, food etc. This dating business isn't cheap, I'd be broke doing 4 dates a fortnight!

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 20:06:05

ha, velvet. so true.

I think thats why i stopped planning lots of dates in a weekend, mostly they would cancel at the last min, i had cancelled plans with my friends in favour of the date, and then would be left with nothing to do.
or, worse still, i would go to the trouble of getting a babysitter, only to have the date cancel an hour before, leaving me red faced in front of the babysitter.
and thats how i came to only have day time coffee dates, as they were the least effort, least cost, and no worries if they got cancelled. But they arent all that conductive to romance really.

VelvetSpoon Sun 30-Dec-12 19:53:28

I think the advice to spend 'free' weekends entirely on dates is complete shit tbh.

My free weekends are bloody special. I don't want to fill them up/waste them on a bunch of randoms from the internet. Plus the advice to the OP upthread was to be more selective than less - and you cant get 4 dates in that short space of time without being utterly unselective.

If you did set up something like this (and finding 4 people all free at the weekend at convenient times to fit in around each other is fairly unlikely), then (internet men being a pretty flaky bunch) chances are at least 2 would disappear predate anyway. So you're immediately down to 2. And they always tend to disappear/flake at the 11th hour, so usually too late to arrange anything with friends. Then you have 2, one of which will probably be awful and leave you wondering why you are wasting time you could be spending doing something, anything, better than this. The other one will probably be nice, but you'll never hear from them again.

I think a weekend like that would be pretty awful. I'd much rather spend it at home on my own, if that was the only alternative. But I suppose men would say that's why I'm single hmm

notsuchaspringchicken Sun 30-Dec-12 19:50:37

im not even after a match of the same interests, its fine, i dont care, thats superficial stuff. its a match of values and beliefes which is far more important.

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