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Men, attraction, relationships and sex

(183 Posts)
FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 16:59:55

I started a thread a couple of weeks ago because I was considering ending things with my bf because, ultimately I am not enough for him. I'm not young enough, or slim enough or pretty enough.

I haven't ended yet because haven't had chance. I want to do it in person and I want to tell him why.

I'm ok with it now, but the reasons have been playing on my mind.

I've made no secret n here of my issues of self loathing. In short, my mother taught me to hate myself - my looks, my body, my personality, my idiosyncrasies... in fact, to this day, other than the fact try not to take any more than I need (from the world/other people/society), I cannot think of a single positive thing I could say about myself.

Now I've posted on here before because I've never been loved or cherished and, somehow, I only end up in relationships with men who don't even fancy me! I think they want to, they just don't.

I just don't get it. I mean I get that they don't fancy me, but what I don't get is that other people try and convince you that someone will. Or why other people's experiences are so different.

The bottom line is that, it doesn't matter how many times women say "men who like women like women" or "not all men like skinny women" both on here amd in rl, the message I consistently get from men is that I'm unattractive and not slim enough.

This message comes in the form of - losing interest after seeing me naked; constantly looking at/commenting on/becoming aroused by slimmer more attractive women when I don't have the same effect; actually commenting on the fact I'm not slim
or pretty enough.

I'm 5'3" and wear size 12/14 clothes so, no, I'm not slim. But I'm not 'huge' either.

Not really sure what I'm asking really. I suppose, why do people say that men aren't that bothered about skinny women and it's not all about looks (both of which I've believed in my 2.5yrs of being single) when the verbal and non verbal feedback I've had from all men is that they are. Is ita lie women tell themselves/each other just to feel better? Does anyone actually believe it?

There are only a couple of people irl who know how I feel, so I certainly don't go around being miserable and moany about this. I'm not going to reveal my weaknesses to everyone! Who/where are these men who don't expect a woman to look like a model?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sun 07-Jun-15 17:06:37

I posted on your other thread, Folk, so can't remember if this was raised, apologies if so. Reading your post, I just get a sense don't feel good about yourself, so you (unconsciously) end up with people who confirm that for you. Kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Ring any bells?

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:12:40

The bf before the one I'm dating now went out with me because I was so different to the sort of women he was normally attracted to (I bake, go camping, craft, drink ale) and because he thought I'd be less attractive to other men and so less likely to stray.

I've been propositioned by a number of married men so either, I'm attractive enough to cheat on your wife with, or deemed desperate enough to be willing.

My female friends say I'm attractive. Which is very kind of them. Maybe I'm just not in the least bit attractive to men. Who knows!

mrstweefromtweesville Sun 07-Jun-15 17:14:35

Get counselling (again?) and work on loving yourself. A friend of mine told me 'Don't use your own energy against yourself.' She was right.

Look at your long post. It took time. Thinking about it took time. All that time was you using your energy to support how badly you think of yourself. Now spend as much time loving yourself. Build up your self-confidence.

Your height and weight are fine. Many attractive women are exactly that size.

Twinklestein Sun 07-Jun-15 17:14:42

If you look about the streets on a weekend, there are many, many very average looking men. Bit fat, lost a bit of hair, not great looking to start with. Are they with models? No. They're average looking men with average looking women.

Perhaps you have some unconscious draw to men who don't fancy you to confirm your conviction that you're unlovable and your looks aren't 'enough'.

One of my best friends is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, still at 44, yet before she got married she had an unerring knack of targeting on the only man in the room who didn't fancy her. Then she would say 'see no-one fancies me'.

It sounds like you're talking to/dating very shallow men. Who they aspire to date and who they'll actually get are two very different things.

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:15:50

Sponge I feel like I meet different people in different arenas. Amd some of these are men just in my social group. Not even men that are even on my radar.

For example, thee are 2 men in their 70s who do a shared hobby. Evem they felt it was appropriate to comment on my size/lack of attractiveness to other people in the group. So not even me directly. I made someone else tell me what had been said.

Vivacia Sun 07-Jun-15 17:18:04

I just don't get it.

You're looking for evidence that fits your beliefs and ignoring evidence that contradicts it. We all do it to some extent. It's like a filter. Counselling would help.

Twinklestein Sun 07-Jun-15 17:18:09

That's very bizarre, what do these 70somethings look like?

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:20:18

Your height and weight are fine. Many attractive women are exactly that size.

I think that's why I don't understand why no one finds me physically attractive.

I know people are going to think it's because I'm so self absorbed! But I never talk about it irl excrpt to 2 friends. I try to dress nicely, I do lots of stuff, but it's just not enough.

I don't see how I'm surrounding myself with shallow people though. They're just people. I don't do the sort of things/go to the sort of places that attract obviously shallow people, so I don't know what else I can do really.

Offred Sun 07-Jun-15 17:20:27

Folk - I just think you have got this all wrong! Why are you choosing to believe mean things that men say about you/do to you over what your friends say to you? I can only agree that it's what you want to believe because you feel badly about yourself, but it's not helping you is it? Why not see it (as it is) that you've been in relationship with loser men who encourage you to feel badly about yourself? Surely rationally, if not emotionally, you could understand that someone who encourages you to feel badly about yourself is not someone who cares about you and if they aren't someone who cares about you then they are not worth your time. I think you see that but I think you are absorbing what they say/do as concrete fact and excluding any intimation that they are wrong. Why so unwilling to love yourself for who you are? Even if you are utterly hideous, which I doubt, there will be people who see you as beautiful and you'll stand a much better chance at finding them if you see it too. What you are basically saying is you think you are unlovable - surely you know that can't be true?!

PeppermintCrayon Sun 07-Jun-15 17:20:27

How would you feel if your boyfriend dumped you because you couldn't possibly be genuine about liking him?

Seek counselling. You don't have to live like this.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 07-Jun-15 17:21:02

What you say on here- and I don't believe you mean to say it at all because you are very kind is: you can't understand men who fancy women who are older, fatter or plainer than say a 20 yr old model.

This is a message I think you've got from your mother and from the media but is not true. You only have to look around to see it's not true.

I think they're is something self fulfilling in it too. flowers I think you need help to see how loveable and desirable you are. When you believe it, you'll attract men who believe it.

CtrlAltDelicious Sun 07-Jun-15 17:21:43

It's horrible that you loathe yourself in this way. sad As someone who had a difficult time growing up with mother issues (alcohol) your post rang out to me. I don't know if it's the same for you but I sometimes feel so sad and angry that as a teenage girl, I was never taught to have any self respect or that I was special, let alone the basics - personal hygiene, healthy diet, etc.

With regards to men. For context, I am big. I'm 5 foot 7 and size 22 and big boobs. I have been out with men who actively preferred me like this, and men who asked me not to tell anyone we were dating, which was clearly because they didn't want the possible ribbing from mates about going out with a fat girl. (See what I mean about the lack of self respect?)

It's going to sound so patronising but I genuinely don't think you can have a satisfying, healthy relationship with another person until you're at least comfortable and accepting of yourself. I have been single for about 5 years now and only just ready to date again. You need to stop thinking about what men prefer and start realising that any man you choose to date should be thanking his lucky stars. When your self esteem is in the gutter, you'll pick the very worst of men and you'll still wonder why the fuck they want to be with you. I've done it myself.

Sorry if this is a bit incoherent. I really do hope you can find some way to stop feeling like this.

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:26:08

Twinklestein just like the bit fat, lost a bit of hair, not great looking to start off with men you have described in your post funnily enough!

I was so upset when it happened, I told my exh about it in tears because he was the only person I could revealthat level of insecurity to (so it's not like I moan about it). He said they were a pair of cheeky bastards and if it ever happened again, I should just say, "what so you don't want to fuck me? That's ok, I wouldn't have fucked you anyway".

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 07-Jun-15 17:29:56

He is right- but the fact that a couple of stupid twats affected you in this way is sad.

Twinklestein Sun 07-Jun-15 17:31:51

Exactly, so who are they to be commenting negatively on anyone's appearance? (if they really did). Would you go anywhere near them?
They'll probably have 70something wives if at all...

Twinklestein Sun 07-Jun-15 17:32:27

Are you any nearer to getting therapy OP?

Vivacia Sun 07-Jun-15 17:32:28

I think that's why I don't understand why no one finds me physically attractive.

How on earth could you know that?

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:40:31

John I get that that is essentially what I am saying and no, I don't mean what I say about myself to be reduced to that. I can see that other womem are loved and cherished regardless of their looks/size. I think that's where my belief that I'm fundamentally unlovable comes in.

But then this is a message that I'm getting from men around me.

Ctrl I get some of that. My mother insisted on the healthy eating and personal hygiene. It's just that everything was "if you do/don't do x, y or z" no one will ever want/love /marry you". But I was often criticised for fundamental things I couldn't change like my body shape (waist too small), foot size (too small), neck length (too long)

And it only matters what they think because I'm never gpimg to have a relationship with my friends. They're supposed to say nice things to me!

Pandora37 Sun 07-Jun-15 17:41:56

Sorry I haven't read your recent thread, is this bf the same guy who had the "perfect" looking ex? Or is it someone else? Has your bf actually commented negatively in any way on your looks or weight? In which case, I would definitely ditch him.

I wonder if you're attracting these horrible men because they can sense how you feel about yourself. I know you say you haven't told anyone but I think some men, particularly emotionally abusive men, can pick up or deliberately target women who are insecure or a bit vulnerable. I've known people of both sexes say they've gone for a partner who isn't amazingly attractive because they think they won't cheat on them.

I think perhaps you seek these men out. Not consciously of course but you can get stuck in negative patterns and you may look for someone who reflects how you feel about yourself - even though it seems ridiculous the brain gets some kind of reward out of it. A bit like people who constantly go through their partner's phone or emails or look up ex girlfriends or compare themselves to their female colleagues etc. Deep down you know that whatever you find will end up making you feel worse but you can't stop doing it. I have a history of attracting troubled men - it's not like I put an advert out saying "men with fucked up childhoods and mental health problems, apply here!", it just seems to happen. I do have a bit of a rescuer complex so I've come to the conclusion that something about me attracts them and is attracted to them, even though I'm not consciously seeking them out.

I expect if a man did tell you that he thought you were beautiful and he loved you that you'd think he was lying and wouldn't trust his judgement. Because that's how I felt about my ex. How could he love ME? There must be something wrong with him. Turns out there was something wrong with him, therefore I was right. I can go back to my comfy world believing no-one normal or decent could ever love me because that way I can't get hurt. I wonder if you're kind of doing the same thing - you choose men who reflect how you feel about yourself. It's a form of self sabotage and surprisingly common. I've really wanted relationships but when it's come down to it I don't think I'm good enough so I end up attracting unsuitable people.

Perhaps I'm projecting my own issues onto you, I don't know. It just makes me sad that you've got yourself stuck into this pattern. A size 12/14 is hardly fat (in fact I had one guy recently told me that size was his type and I would normally be too thin for him!) If you look at the number of women who are in relationships, the majority are probably bigger than a size 8 and don't look like models. I've known some women who whilst aren't conventionally attractive are extremely confident in themselves and this leads to them being very attractive to men. If you don't think you're good enough, other people will pick up on that.

Do you have anything in your life that makes you feel good about yourself? Your job, hobby, being a good friend etc. In my last relationship, I based all of my self esteem on him, he was so enamoured with me and I'd never had that from a man before. Despite him telling me I was his perfect woman and he loved my personality, I still constantly compared myself to other women around him because of my own low self-esteem. When it ended, it was awful because suddenly the positive comments I was getting about myself had gone. Now I was going to have to get them from somewhere else. And now I'm starting to do that. I'm not saying you don't deserve a boyfriend who doesn't fancy you but this clearly plays on your mind a lot and I think you need to try and work on your self-esteem in other areas. Because if you start to believe you're a worthy person, it doesn't matter if you're a size 12 or don't look like a 20 year old. From the way you write you're clearly thoughtful and intelligent and have a lot to offer, even if you can't see that. How do you react when these men make comments about other women? I'd be furious and finish things pretty swiftly. Get angry - how DARE they speak to you like that. Without having even seen what you look like, I'm certain that you don't deserve to be spoken to like that. Even if you looked like Quasimodo you still don't deserve to be treated like that. Nobody does.

GoatsDoRoam Sun 07-Jun-15 17:43:31

FokGirl, I know your opening post was about sexual attractiveness, but as everyone is pointing out, it's your underlying beliefs that you are unlovable that are the issue.

So I'll recommend this book as a companion. It's not therapy (you should still seek some) and it's not a magic wand. It's also not a classic self-help book: it's by a woman who also suffers from low self-esteem, and who is a talented author. She speaks to the emotional side of people with low self-esteem, with a lot of feeling and compassion. I found it a comforting read at a difficult time, and I hope maybe you do too.

CarbeDiem Sun 07-Jun-15 17:44:37

There sounds nothing wrong with your size though.
I've been told by lots of men that they prefer women who are curvy and not thin (of course there's many men who prefer thinner ladies too) I've been told that they don't notice or give a thought to the things that we stress/obsess about, such as cellulite, stretchmarks etc.. - some of these men were friends with no reason to butter me up as a bf maybe would.

Even my own personal experience - I've previously been a size 18/20, I'm tall at 5'10 but was still fat.
I'm currently a size 12/14 - guess when I got the most attention from men? (yup! when I was bigger)

Those elderly men - ignore them. But I'm a little curious, do you have any visible tattoo's ? as I know some older guys don't like them and I've actually heard a few in their 50's and 60's saying it makes women unattractive - they're entitled to that opinion but not everyone agrees.

Twinklestein Sun 07-Jun-15 17:45:11

Small waists and small feet and a long neck are positives in my book. Perhaps your mother was jealous of them?

My mother told me I was the wrong shape everything, she was bitterly unhappy. I don't pay any attention to her now.

FolkGirl Sun 07-Jun-15 17:46:42

Vivacia I suppose I just don't have anything to suggest that anyone does and if the men who like me enough to ask me out don't...

No, no closer to therapy. I can't afford it and don't have the time. I tried was unable to make the three appts I was given because of work.

I had counselling before but jad to stop that when I got a new job.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sun 07-Jun-15 17:49:02

I do blame your horrible mother! - but I think now the onus is on you to sort it out whether it's through counselling, meditation or something.

My parents adored me (this brings it's own problems but not lack of self esteem!) I'm not conventionally good looking but have always had - and expected to have boyfriends who would feel strongly about me.
It IS an attitude thing.

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