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Completely clueless about dating

(38 Posts)
allofmycolours Mon 24-Aug-15 03:01:35

Firstly I am male and aged 42. I apologise if this is not considered the correct place to post and by all means remove my post those who hold the reins here if you feel that is the case. I read some of the other posts by female MNers and if nothing else if you are worried about dating and think men are scary or something this may make you feel better. I just came out of a 6 year relationship. I am contemplating seeking another relationship. I suppose I have some things to offer however I prefer to focus on my flaws and consequently worry noone will want to be with me. I will probably try OD as a starting point and hopefully this time it won't take me 6 months to choose a photo and have to spend £ at a professional photographer (male) who assumes I am gay and asks me to dinner which I consider accepting as I am hungry and grateful for the unexpected boost to my self esteem. I spend some time sucking my cheeks in in car mirrors to make it look like I have cheekbones and then have to pretend I was smoothing something away. I know less about women than I did when I was 16 and I knew nothing then. I am exactly 7 kilos overweight but prefer to say it like that as it sounds better than 1.5 stone and I can convince myself I am European and therefore sophisticated. I haven't perfected the art of smiling at women (or men) in non threatening public spaces such as art galleries because it makes my face look fat. I have a kind of half smile that makes passport security guards detain me for longer than usual. I try to persuade myself that greying temples are in but still pull them out. I agonise over whether to ask a woman out and an secretly relieved when she mentions she has a boyfriend. I constantly internally reproach myself for finding someone physically attractive as frankly they are unlikely to think the same about me. I am happy when I see superficially unattractive men in a relationship as it gives me hope. I am trying to time the next back wax I go for Correctly so I don't end up in bed with someone while sporting back stubble like a burned field of corn. I am the modern male and would like to say to any woman who is in anyway insecure about herself read this and be reassured. As the guy from the Inbetweeners said whatever else goes wrong for you at least you are not me wink

Inexperiencedchick Mon 24-Aug-15 04:31:51


antimatter Mon 24-Aug-15 06:08:04

This would do for your OD profile IMHO smile

pocketsaviour Mon 24-Aug-15 06:12:16

If you've only just come out of a Relationship, don't even think about dating. I'd give it a year. Be on your own, build your confidence and self esteem (possibly via therapy) and work on your stand up routine, because the humour (self deprecating) as it is) is shining through.

LowlLowl Mon 24-Aug-15 06:43:09

I think I might fancy you already! (although you're saved from trying to smile at me as I'm married) grin

All the best of luck to you in finding someone... being honest is a great start.

allofmycolours Mon 24-Aug-15 07:26:19

Lowlowl ahh yes honesty. .I was a big fan of it until I told a German lady I went on a date I was a child model for Mothercare (this is actually true, my Mum still has the pictures of me in blue flares) . She laughed so hard I thought her dentures would fall out. And she wasn't wearing dentures...we didn't have a second date....wink

bridie69 Mon 24-Aug-15 07:53:31

PMSL at dentures story! I will think of this thread if I have a bad day at work smile

Pickedmypoison Mon 24-Aug-15 07:59:45

I tell you, it is rare to find any humour whatsoever in online dating profiles so I think you would have more chance at finding someone quickly than the average joe.

I would give yourself a bit of recovery time though if you are just out of a long relationship.

jezestbelle Mon 24-Aug-15 11:16:57

Or maybe just dive in..what could go wrong? You will make someone smile if nothing else

allofmycolours Mon 24-Aug-15 12:13:07

What could go wrong is my hypothetical future date might, following 30 plus of totally unreasonable entitled male evaluation of her appearance actually want to date a man with above average looks herself. In this case having waded through the ocean of responses to her profile and filtered me out, based on my single photoshopped profile pic where I dont look like a reject from a lowclass ageing boyband. Then she will meet me and on laying eyes on me get the same look on her face as a deep sea diver sent to pick out a single pearl from a seabed full of oysters when that diver opens the oyster only to find a piece of common sediment..Anyway I am exaggerating the cross I bear slightly, but I would like to genuinely wish all the best to all the people on here looking for love like me. I have learned I think not to evaluate others on their looks and hope that there are others out there who will perhaps do the same for me.

Nevergoingtolearn Mon 24-Aug-15 12:37:17

I have been on a well known do dating sight for a few months and I get fed up of reading boring profile, most are the same so I just flick through them, very occasionally I come across a good, funny profile and these are the ones i am attracted too. I never message first so I will view the profile several times in hope they notice and message me.

I haven't been single for long, it depends on your circumstances to if your ready to date, I feel ready as I feel my marriage was over years ago ( just took me 2 years to actually kick him out ), I feel ready to date and eventually get into another relationship though I'm not in a rush.

OP, you sound lovely, you have a great sense of humour and your not one of those men who lists all the great things about them and all the amazing things they have done in there life ( I hate these profiles ). I'm sure you won't be single for long.

allofmycolours Mon 24-Aug-15 13:15:27

Nevergoingtolearn..many thanks for youd kind words. I am sure the same re not being single for long applies to you. I wish you well and lots of fun in your endeavours

Cabrinha Tue 25-Aug-15 13:30:45

Well, horses for courses and some people liked your post as a profile...
But three comments from me:

1. Don't post something which is ENTIRELY self deprecating jokes. It makes you look like a one trick pony. So if you use that, go for half of it and add some stuff that actually says what you like doing, who you are. I get very little sense of "you" from that.

2. Not keen on jokes about men who are interested in how they look being gay, or photographers being gay. Can't exactly put my finger on it but I was hmm at that

3. Finally, there is a gif that people sometimes put on here which is about "behold, here comes a man's opinion". It rather sprang to mind. I would be reassured by your experience if you just joined in and shared your feelings. I'm put off the idea that you're presenting me with some kind of gift in sharing them.

Good luck though!

And a tip: if you're worried that women only want better looking guys than they are, make your own choices based on personality. Then you're bound to find you approach a mix of "attractiveness" yourself, and spread the risk.

shadypines Tue 25-Aug-15 14:14:20


allofmycolours Tue 25-Aug-15 17:09:03

Many thanks for your kind opinions. I may just venture that I did not in fact post the OP as a trial OD profile, it was just a random collection of thoughts. To be frank I am a very ordinary human being and certainly no better than anyone else, so I would have thought this was giving some sense of myself. I dont recall having linked interest in appearance to someone being gay, if I did this was an error for which I apologise. And I was a bit surprised about you thinking I had posted as some kind of gift. I know I have far less right than others to be on here, and actually for me the way I feel now it is a gift to me to be able to get an insight from the other posts here, including the responses to mine. If you would really like my frank thoughts then my self esteem is on the floor and I would rather perform open heart surgery after looking up a youtube video than approach someone. I have always hated the way I look and cannot bear to look at myself in a mirror or in photos. I know this issue requires therapy. I perhaps naively hoped that by hinting at this stuff and admitting to being terrified at the thought of being rejected and having appearance issues I might make some other people on here whether male or female gay or straight feel a bit better about worrying about people judging them on appearance. It is so horrible feeling unattractive and my heart goes out to anyone who feels that way as I know the feeling

jezestbelle Tue 25-Aug-15 18:09:43

Well, if you feel that bad as people have said perhaps take some time out to build your self confidence. IMHO the post you are responding to you was a bit harsh and you seem quite sensitive

pocketsaviour Tue 25-Aug-15 21:23:45

If you would really like my frank thoughts then my self esteem is on the floor and I would rather perform open heart surgery after looking up a youtube video than approach someone.

Bless you OP, please do not try doing online dating until you've sorted your self-image problems out first. Some people seem to feel being online they can be horribly rude and cruel to others without penalty, and if your confidence isn't high to start with, it can be a really brutal experience.

Are you in a position to look for a therapist to work with? I think if you worked with someone on building your confidence and self-esteem, not just vague talk sessions but something with clear goals and exercises, it could work wonders for you.

As for your looks, let me tell you a little story from my scandalous lively youth.

I was good friends with a guy "Pip" who was one of four brothers. He was the youngest. His older brothers "Adam", "Bob" and "Charlie" were all very good-looking in different ways. Adam was a kind of hunky lifeguard looker (and this was when Baywatch was big.) Bob had a sort of James Bond thing going on, always wore beautiful suits. Charlie wore glasses and looked like a dashing Byronic hero.

My mate Pip on the other hand seemed to have really got the short end of the stick. He had acne, wore thick glasses, his hair stuck out at all angles, his ears were enormous and he had an overbite. No girl would ever spy him from afar and start throwing lustful looks his way as they did his older brothers. Not that I would ever have done that or had a ONS with one of them, ahem

But Pip might not have had the number of forgettable ONS they did, but he almost always had a girlfriend, and he had a lot of friends of both sexes, which his brothers didn't. Why? Because he was a genuinely nice person, he liked people, he listened, he treated people with respect, he was generous and loyal and kind-hearted, and he was funny as fuck. He also had incredible self-confidence - or at least he appeared to.

Some who's genuinely funny is a real knicker-dropper for a lot of women. And unlike looks, humour doesn't tend to fade with age smile

allofmycolours Tue 25-Aug-15 21:40:58

pocketsaviour thanks for your kind words made me feel a bit better. Re therapist it is very much a priority, I need to find someone I feel comfortable with and hopefully will soon. I can manage the cost and anyway it will be worth it. I liked reading what you wrote about Pip and his brothers. Pip sounds like a great guy. Confidence is just such a nebulous thing, I mean Pip must have had it but you would have thought he would not given the description..Anyway like I said thanks. Truthfully I am not especially ugly --particularly in low lighting--I just have a big confidence problem and was single for 10 years before my recent relationship which doesnt exactly fill you with confidence. I am sure some others have had a similar experience but it is not exactly something I go bragging about.

zas1 Wed 26-Aug-15 02:13:55

Maybe talk to the therapist about how come you were single for so long or what it did to your self esteem etc

ThisIsFolkGirl Wed 26-Aug-15 05:15:03

Hello OP

I agree with Cabrinha. Especially abiut the self deprecating stuff. Oh and, men are more than welcome to post, but there is a tendency for some to do so believing they have come with all the answers.

But anyway...

I have a friend who is an attractive man. But not long after I'd met him, he revealed all of his insecurities about his appearance. He went from being a perfectly imperfect man to a collection of his perceived flaws and I was acutely aware of all of them. Beware!!! smile

Oh yeah and avoid professional photos at all costs. When I did OD , I didn't even read the profiles of men with professional profile pics! They just look staged and unnatural. The last guy I dated had a couple of professional shots on his profile (but not as main pic or I'd never have got that far) and whilst the composition was right and he was more 'classsically' good looking on those pics, they didn't actually look like him and I much preferred the regular pictures. Professional ones are just so staged.

But I know what you mean. I seem to have fallen into some wasteland where I'm no longer attractive to men. I mean I was never gorgeous or beautiful, but when I look at photos of myself as a teenager or 20s, I think I'm more attractive now. The only advantage then was that I was younger and slimmer! Sadly though, I'm finding that that is all that counts. The last two men I've had relationships with (lasted a matter of months before I realised my dwindling confidence needed protecting from them!) were both attracted to me, but not the size 12/14, 40year old package I came in.
sad they were both older than me.

Men now seem to fall into one of 3 categories for me:

1 - so much going for them that they don't need to consider me because there are enough young, slim attractive women for them to choose from who are interested in them. And that's really what they want.

2 - are interested in personality, but would prefer it to come in a young, slim attractive package and so despite getting on brilliantly and having a real connecton, are still looking for someone younger, slimmer and more attractive.

3 - those who would love to meet someone young, slim and beautiful but lack the confidence/self esteem to think they deserve it, and so are resigned to settling for someone like me.

It's crap really!

Wando Wed 26-Aug-15 06:47:12

I don't think you are ready at the moment. See the therapist and take your time and please please please don't try and be someone you are not. Good luck

Cabrinha Wed 26-Aug-15 07:04:13

I'm sorry if my post was harsh - it was intended to helpful too, no mean intent.

I certainly don't think you have less right to post than anyone else, I'd happily see a much more even M/F balance on here. Your subsequent post evoked much more sympathy in me as it was just sharing how YOU feel and not "telling me" (to my mind) that lo and behold I can feel reassured now. It DOES help to know I'm not alone in insecurities (though different to yours) but it's more reassuring when that happens more naturally.

Definitely prioritise therapy. I would aka I strongly advise "fake it til you make it". Even the act of telling people you're insecure re-confirms in your own mind that that is the person you are. And they put you in that box and that can be hard to get out of.

The other thing about faking it is that you realise you can pull it off, it's OK!

Minor thing, but 10 years ago all I wore to work (office) were tailored black trousers and low key (not low cut grin) tops. I hated the idea that someone might comment on my clothes (and I mean positively!) as I'm not confident with clothes and didn't want (really didn't want) the attention.

Last week I wore a (fairly short) deep orange dress. Several people said "love that!" and I just smiled and said "I know! Isn't the colour gorgeous?!"

It has taken TIME to get there. To realise that the sky will not fall in if someone notices me.

Get therapy, feel the fear, do it anyway, find out it's OK! (that might be asking women out, not choosing a dress for work wink)

Cabrinha Wed 26-Aug-15 07:11:50

Oh and yes to FolkGirl!

Not only do I worry about "attractiveness" but I've got actual age, signs of aging and weight against me far more than men, I think.

I know you're ready to OD yet - and must people don't use it anyway. Bloody hell though. I'm 40 and searched 35-50 years old (only not 30-50 because I think early 30s is generally a big transitional period, and also men in their early 30s are more likely to be pre-kids which doesn't suit me. Almost every man my age had a range that was more like 28-40. MANY had a upper age younger than themselves.

It is flipping brutal for women in their 40s!

I also, with the same photos and profile had massively more emails aged 39. You get dumped from a lot of searches when you hit 40!

We've all got issues smile Get the therapy, and forget about dating for now. Trust me, when you're ready, there are loads of fab 40 something's out there grin

ThisIsFolkGirl Wed 26-Aug-15 08:16:04

MANY had a upper age younger than themselves.

Ha, yes!

And also many men specify women of 5'7 - 5'9 weighing between 7 and 9 stone! The number if men for whom 9 stone is their cut off!

Seriously OP, online dating is brutal. My exh tried it for a coup of weeks and many of the women were no better than the men in terms of their ridiculously unrealistic demands.

People seem to forget they're choosing from real people and it's not a replicator. There's more to it than just demanding "girl, young, hot" and getting what you want.

(I know, I know, I really should be more popular with the boys, what with my ability to reference star trek!)

ThisIsFolkGirl Wed 26-Aug-15 08:18:28

I dated one man who told me he wouldn't have a relationship with a woman with any grey hair. Even if it was dyed and you couldn't see it!

There's a fatal flaw in that plan... not least that he was already 47.

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