Why I am still single.

Ok, wow.  I just got back from a VERY short first meet/date with a dude I met on match.com.  WHAT A DICK.  Beforehand, he was asking me about what I’m wearing, talking about how he likes to dress sexy and that he “wants his woman to do the same” (I replied that we shall soon see if our ideas of sexy match up–and yes I found his comment VERY annoying). For the record, he did not dress sexy at all. Bro-shorts and a plaid button-down shirt? No.

We met at Dunkin Donuts (a coffee and donuts chain) and start with the small talk. He had shifty eyes, and didn’t really look as if he cared what I said at all.

At one point, he says “wow, you have big tits!  Good for making babies.”

To which I replied, “yeah, well…also, I don’t really want kids, so.”

“Oh really?  That is a problem. I want one. I’m 35, getting old.”

He asks me the standard questions about why I don’t want kids, and I give him the standard responses.

At the end of the date, less than 20 minutes after it started, and less than 10 after that exchange, he comes out blazing blunt: “I’m not interested, sorry. I’m gonna go.”

I’m all smiles. “Okay!”

And he jumps out of his chair and bails.

My thoughts?  Simultaneously “THANK GOD!” and “HOW RUDE!”

Right now, even though I continue to be a bit miffed at the rudeness, I think the whole thing is a bit hilarious, and I’m glad I dodged that bullet.

***

This has been a very hard post to write.  In fact this is probably the 5th time in less than a month I’ve sat here and tried to write it. The first time, I was just finishing closing my eharmony account.  Eharmony has a really nice filtering system, but the problem with it was that the people on eharmony were the types who want conventionally “perfect” mates: thin and athletic, outgoing and normal.  None of which apply to me.  I was not finding ANYONE who approved of me enough to chat with, much less meet.  I stuck around for 3 weeks, and then quit.

Now I am on match.com, as well as maintaining my free okcupid account that I’ve had for 2 years now (because why not?).  Things are much better than on eharmony, since I’ve met three men so far.  The two before the one I met tonight were both good prospects, but unfortunately, even though I liked them both, I kept feeling like something was missing, that a relationship with either just didn’t seem likely.

Which fucking pisses me off, because damn it, I’m sick of this shit, yanno?

My disappointment with okcupid and eharmony and these past few weeks on match.com got me thinking introspectively about dating, and wondering why after 2 years I can’t seem to get anything good going. Thoughts like; was I being too picky?  Were my match logarithms screwy?  Was I perhaps doing things wrong, since I’m not good at normal dating things like flirting, for example?  Or was my luck really that bad?

And the answer is probably both complicated and simple.  Simple in that yes, my luck really is that bad.  Simple in that it is in fact both me as well as them.  But what it REALLY comes down to is that I’ve not yet met anyone that I was “into” or anyone who was also “into” me.  Simple enough, but the reasons for that are many and not so simple.

I have been single now for over two years,  used 3 different dating sites, and have seen 17 men.  All of which, obviously, went nowhere. Only three went for a second date, and only one went for a third.  Which of course would lead one inclined to introspection, such as myself, to wonder what I am doing wrong.  Yes I know it is not entirely me–I have been rejected, just as I have rejected–yet I cannot help but look for patterns of behavior that may be sabotaging my own efforts to get into a relationship.  I may have realized something, but I don’t know how to change it.

But I don’t want to get into that quite yet.

So why am I still single?  I honestly don’t know.  I’ve been going in and out of the dating pool since the ex and I split, and while it hasn’t been all bad (I have had plenty of nice dates), its been on the whole, unsatisfying.  As I’ve said, I’ve had my share of rejections, but I’ve rejected more men than men have rejected me.  Which makes me think that I’m missing something, or am doing something wrong,  that I’m being too picky, etc. but the thing is,  I don’t feel like I’m being too picky.  I’m not rejecting men on the basis of some arbitrary checklist, but because something is missing or doesn’t feel right.  Most rejections were unique, though there were some guys who made the same mistakes.  Two dudes just stared at me while I struggled to make conversation, and just made me feel terribly uncomfortable–boy, did I ditch those dates as fast as I could, hating having to do so, but relieved to be doing it.  There were another couple dudes who were self-absorbed, like the one who, after talking about himself and his hobbies for 40 minutes asked “Do you have any questions for me?”–DUDE, its not a job interview and instead of asking whether I have questions for you, why don’t you try asking ME some questions? (There were several guys who took this approach online–they never got a date.)  One was a “mansplainer” going off on some book he had read, explaining it to me, not seeming to have heard or cared when I told him I had already read it.  One had the effrontery to grab my boob without my permission. That is one rejection I feel no guilt for.

But the vast majority of my rejections were simply because I just wasn’t that into him.  Most of the time the feeling–or lack thereof–was mutual, but sometimes it wasn’t. I hate those more than anything else, because then I have to come up with a way to let someone down easy, to give a gentle and honest reason why it just isn’t going to happen. I try to be as honest as I can be, but a lot of the time I just don’t know why, not until after all is said and done.

I don’t think that knowing what I need in a relationship makes me picky. Neither does having turn-ons or turn-offs. I’m open to all kinds of variation within those characteristics as well as without. I don’t even think my list is all that extensive. Honestly, are these too much to ask?

  1. What I need: I’m looking for Communication, Chemistry, Compatibility. Someone playful and fun to be with, different enough to be exciting, similar enough to trust. Just someone who feels right.
  2. Turn-offs: Right of center, smoker, narcissistic, abusive, religiously devout, indigent, or stupid.
  3. Turn-ons: Someone who has a boyish, playful outlook on life.  Someone who likes to explore and have fun, but isn’t a “thrill-seeker.”  An intelligent guy who has a lot of interests in different things; a polymath.  Kinda geeky without being a total geek. Kinda active without being a total jock.  Someone who finds meaning in being creative, however he expresses that.

In every single one of my 17 dates, what I’ve lacked is chemistry and/or communication.  I may have been compatible with some of them, but with out one or both of the other C’s, it just isn’t going to work.  And without that boyish spark I am attracted to–a characteristic that I need to see fairly quickly–I’m just not going to feel any chemistry. And I’m done.  The same goes for communication.  If our conversational styles are off, or if it seems that understanding via lipreading is much too difficult, or if he seems completely uninterested in considering learning sign language, then I am done.

I don’t think I’m being too picky; I’m being practical and honest with myself.
If I am doing anything wrong, it is in meeting the wrong men.  I’m wasting my time and theirs.  Right now I am not sure how to go about finding or meeting the men I want, since what I’ve got isn’t working.  I’m afraid that if I want to meet boyish, playful men who are intelligent and well-spoken, I’m not going to find him online.  The only other way I know of to meet people is in BARS, and I HATE the nightlife scene. Feels like a meat market. I can’t dance (well), and those joints are so bloody NOISY I can’t even begin to understand anyone’s jabbering.  I don’t even know how to flirt, for chrissake. No one has ever approached me in the times I have gone, usually with friends.  I feel INSECURE. I don’t trust the people who go trolling for dates in bars.

And that’s what I don’t know what to do about:  So far, I’ve been unattracted to the men I feel I can trust, but don’t have the courage to trust the men I am attracted to.

And that’s a pretty big, and frustrating, deal.

22 thoughts on “Why I am still single.

  1. Wow, sorry to hear about that last date-what a bummer! Believe me Rachel, I know a little about what you’re going through. As someone who has been without a mate for long periods, this dating thing, whether online or not, is very difficult, and I also know that’s an understatement.
    I also know it’s cliche, but I don’t really care: There WILL BE SOMEONE for you out there. You possess a myriad of very unique, fascinating, and wonderful qualities about you, both inside and out, that WILL attract the guy that you want to be attracted to. Please keep that in mind.

  2. Rachel,
    Since I know you I can say that you rock! You are pretty, funny and smart. Sometimes it takes time to find someone terrific. I suggest hanging around a bookstore or library, or rooting for a local sports team and meeting someone in the stands. Take a night class on woodshop! This will give you time to meet and spend time with some guys and maybe, just maybe, meet someone who could be classified as “normal”.
    Good luck, baby!
    Tracey

  3. I don’t know you, but I feel your pain. Your list of “turn-ons” is a really good description of what I’d like in a guy, too (and unfortunately seems like a rare combination…). I tried dating sites briefly, but found that I couldn’t get enough of a spark from the online messages to be interested in actually meeting people in real life.

    Do you ever go to geeky events to try to meet people? Or is it too hard to do one-on-one conversations at that kind of thing?

  4. First off, I think you shoulda gave eHarmony more than 3 weeks. It don’t happen overnight. It can take some time. Okay, I was on it for five or six months before giving up. But I met some very interesting people, all of which happened after 3 weeks. But a good friend of mine met a woman on eHarmony after nearly a year of using the service. They now live together. Probably gonna get married and babies at some point.

    If you are determined to meet somebody, first thing you have to do is befriend Indians. Now, the following is going to sound racist, but it’s the good kind of racist where I compliment an entire group of people. THEY ARE BETTER AT SETTING PEOPLE UP THAN ANYBODY ELSE!
    I think it has to do with the generations and generations of arranged marriages. They get it. Us white people, we’re dumb. We don’t get it.
    Make friends with people from India then wait for them to set you up with somebody. It won’t happen overnight. It’s not something you have to push. They’ll just do it for you when the time is right and the person is right.
    Trust me. One day, you’ll get an email that reads “I’ve given your email to a friend of mine. I think the two of you should meet.” Next thing you know, you’re in love with somebody who is in love with you. It’s just that simple.

    And although I probably meet your criteria, I must respectfully take myself out of the running. I got me some Indian friends.

      1. Im pretty sure he means East Indians. As far as I know, North American Indians don’t have a custom of arranged marriages. Could be wrong about that.

  5. You are not being too picky. Remember that.

    The sad thing is I know a few single guys who fit your criteria – they’re just quite a long way off in another country. Perhaps a change of scenery is in order?

  6. Tech-support Indians, not casino indians.
    And it doesn’t matter if they’re from India itself. Could be children of people from India. No accent that way.

  7. I had to go back and check to see if I was reading the right blog. Reads a lot like a post I’ve been working on for a bit. Except mine isn’t about guys, of course (especially in bro-shorts and plaid button-downs), as I’m strictly and utterly unsuccessfully attracted to women. If I stumble across any revelations during the writing of my own post I’ll certainly pass them along. For the moment, though, I can only agree wholeheartedly with you. But not about guys. Just want to clarify that.

  8. Four years of dating guys on match and eharmony, so I get it. I’ve had some really good dates and some dreadfully boring ones. The breast comment would have me high-tailing it out of there. I finally threw in the towel on dating sites. I’m not saying I would never try again, but I’m totally burned out on them. Eharmony was the source of the 3-year off and on relationship that has brought me both great joy and bitter heartache. And to be honest, there were a lot of people they seemed to think I’d be a good match for that were completely unappealing to me. I liked match better just because you at least get to choose for yourself. But still, it’s emotionally exhausting. Currently seeing someone I met in real life – an exceedingly rare thing for me. If there’s a secret to it all, I sure haven’t discovered it,

  9. I think you deserve a reward for not leaving the minute he commented on your breasts. But more importantly,you are not being too picky. You are special — extremely bright and witty, attractive and kind, plus a lot more. You would be compromising your standards to settle for someone who doesn’t feel right for whatever reason. I agree that bars suck, and am not sure that meeting someone online is successful for most people. I think you are most likely to meet a kindred spirit doing something you have passion for which is not about dating as the main objective: a class, club (ie photography or whatever) or even a volunteer activity where you can meet people w/o the pressure of flagrantly assessing and being assessed. Don’t sell yourself short, Rachel.You are not doing anything wrong — the guys you’ve met so far have just been wrong for you, and imo, not nearly good enough. Here is a little meditation I developed long ago which oddly, helped me to understand a little about why my relationships weren’t working: Water seeks its own level, and I was frantically building dams to try to keep them on mine. When you find someone who is on your level, or wave length, whatever, you won’t have to stress over making it work or feel inadequate in any way. When you are with the right person, the seas part and it’s mostly natural and easy.That is what I wish for you because you deserve no less.

  10. A question leapt to mind after reading your post. I agree that it will probably be a controversial question, but I’ve never shied from such things.

    We are passive participants in your search for an s.o. (significant other) through your blog. As a man who has watched eight sisters go through similar struggles in finding a mate or companion or whatever you want to call it, my question to you, as it was to them:

    What makes you believe that you “need” a man in your life? Is it because it’s expected of you? Do you feel you must prove that you can or otherwise feel like you’re not living up to your or others’ expectations?

    I’ve heard friends state such things as, I have everything I could possibly want. Now I want someone to share it all with. While I understand the sentiment behind those statements (it’s so much more real when we have a personal witness who’s on our side!), is artificially putting ourselves “on the market” the best answer?

    Perhaps I’m overthinking this. The guy was a DICK, after all. But that would make me question my motivations for putting myself into those situations at all.

  11. You may or may not remember my stories of failed internet dating. I know it works great for a lot of people, but I failed miserably. However, I have one friend who’s story inspires. She is also a great failure at the whole dating thing (like me). Part of it was that she was waiting to come to her, so I made her pick some out and go to them. And then she went out with this one guy who she labeled Mr. No Chemistry. I forced her to try him again and they’ll be together 4 years next Feb. Sometimes the chemistry grows.

    But don’t listen to me. Like I said – utter internet dating failure.

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