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Re: Online Dating
Apr 8, 2005
Nini, I'm kind of confused by some things you said in your last long post, not your most recent one, and was hoping you could clarify a bit more. First off, I think it's really, really important, as Sophia said, not to let any one guy sour you on every guy, online dating, or dating in general. It's so easy to have a bad experience and then extrapolate that onto everything else in the future...i.e., you screw up at work and then adopt the mindset that you're an incompetant loser and might as well just give up because you'll always be screwing up over and over (believe it or not, all these future worries and more really can arise out of just one relatively minor incident!). You never can really know what's going on with someone else, which is why it's important not to let one individual have too much impact on your outlook and decisions. This guy could be traveling, sick, have met someone else, gone back to an ex, decided he doesn't want to date at this time, or any of a million other reasons that don't reflect on you personally in any way. Please don't let one (or several) potential matches that fizzle out affect the way you feel about yourself and your prospects for finding love again. Chances are, they had little to nothing to do with you, so letting them undermine your optimism and faith in yourself would be a huge shame.

I do agree with you that there's no point in "kissing a lot of frogs" if you're 100% sure off the bat that you wouldn't consider entering into a relationship with them. While I'm still probably 10 years away from wanting to marry and start a family, I know that for you Nini and many other women here, you're looking to meet your future husband and settle down sooner rather than later. That's completely understandable, but it means that you'll take a different approach to dating than someone like me in her twenties who is really just looking to have some fun, meet a lot of new people including both potential friends and boyfriends, and gaining more experience and insight into what kind of guy with whom I eventually hope to spend my life. But there's a difference between dating guys you see no hope whatsoever for and keeping an open mind for guys that might appear to be frogs but actually turn into princes once you give them a chance and get to know them better. Nini, I know that ideally you'd like to meet the man of your dreams tomorrow and not have to waste another day (or unsuccessful date) in the process of searching for this man, but unfortunately just because you want things to work out this way doesn't mean they will (they hardly ever do for anyone!).

If you had the option to find your prince immediately on the first try or instead kiss a lot of frogs, obviously every woman (at least the majority of women who are actively looking to settle into a serious relationship) would choose the former. But in actuality, the choices single people looking for a partner face are less clear-cut and appealing: you can either accept that while dating, you're going to meet a lot of frogs but keep trying, keep meeting new people, and keep your hopes up, OR you can decide you aren't willing to waste any more time dating frogs and just give up entirely on actively pursuing Mr. Right. But this means resigning yourself to a life of being single, which while fine and even desirable for some people, is as we all know, Nini, your idea of hell on earth. I really hope you go with the first option I outlined, even though I do agree with you most of the time when people stumble across their future life partners, it happens by chance when they are not aggressively searching for "the one." I think that's because a woman who is confident, content, and independent on her own is infinitely more attractive to all men than a woman who is clearly anxious, even desperate, to find a boyfriend/husband because she feels lost and incomplete as a single woman. I know, Nini, that you'd describe yourself as falling into the latter category and don't see any way (short of finding love) to join that first group of women, but please remember that many people successfully project attitudes that don't reflect their true, inner feelings every single day in order to achieve what they want. Why can't you do the same? Well, there's absolutely no reason why you can't (and shouldn't!) You know the saying, fake it until you make it? It really does work wonders, especially when it comes to dating. Most of the time when I've been single I truly have been happy to be free of my last relationship and on my own, but there have also been times when I've been lonely, sad, and craving a new man to love. In those instances, I tried my best to give off the opposite impression--that I couldn't care less if I was single for the rest of my life--and the men came running! Even though you may be chomping at the bit to find the love of your life and get married, it will never happen if you let any glimpses of this desperation show through to men, who have an uncanny radar for women they perceive as needy and eager to trap a man into commitment.

Nini, where did you get the idea that you should steer clear of people who don't answer their phone? If this is a gut instinct, I would strongly advise you to ignore it, because I just don't think it holds true. If anything, I'd be wary of someone who always answered their phone whenever someone called (because don't they have a life, things to do and people to see, or anything at all better to do than sit by the phone)? I'd rather leave a message most of the time than always have a guy answer his phone, because at least then I know he keeps busy and is independent enough to leave behind, ignore, or turn off his phone when he doesn't want to be bothered. Maybe I just feel this way because it's very rare that anyone actually gets me to answer my own phone. I just don't feel any obligation to be tied to that phone and constantly available for anyone who wants to reach me. I pay for the phone, and it should be there for me to use when I want and to ignore when I don't want to talk to anyone. Actually, I think when dating, it's good to be hard to reach and somewhat elusive...an air of mystery and elusiveness are very attractive qualities from the typical male point of view. Let them wonder what else I'm doing when they get my voicemail--I'll return their calls, if I want, when I'm ready. No guy has ever given up on pursuing me because they could only get my voicemail--in fact, for some, it seems to make them even more interested and determined to meet me. Even though I'm notoriously hard to reach and rarely pick up my phone, I don't think this is a red flag that signifies a shady person whom you should avoid. If anything, it shows that he's got a busy life and lots of more important and fun things to do than sit around waiting by the phone, hoping someone will call. Nini, this is just my admittedly biased opinion, but I really don't think you should rule out guys just because they're hard to get in touch with--that fact alone is a pretty silly reason to rule someone out; it could be totally innocent or benign, and he could very well be a wonderful, busy guy. Please reconsider viewing this as a red flag, because I know lots of great, trustworthy people besides myself who rarely pick up their phones. I'd hate to see you let one of these guys go when he could be just what you're looking for, especially since not finding that man is what's keeping you mired in depression and hopelessness about your future.

I also disagree that you have to be willing to settle for a guy who is good on paper to successfully find love. While I agree when you say it's important to be open in the sense of not prematurely closing yourself off to potential partners, I'd never recommend settling for someone with whom you feel no chemistry. That's the quickest recipe for a short, unhappy relationship that I can think of...never settle!! Instead, try to evaluate each profile optimistically and decide whether, IF you did meet this guy and feel intense physical desire, you and he could be a compatible couple. If you're looking to settle down for good at this point, I wouldn't waste your time on anyone with whom you disagree on issues that are very important to you (like kids, religion, etc.), but otherwise, try to remain as open-minded and hopeful as possible. I hope you don't give up on online dating completely because you'd had some bad experiences...like anything else, you have to be persistent and go through a lot of different attempts before you succeed. Even the worst dates teach you something about what you don't want in a guy and provide an opportunity to hone your conversation skills (along with a free meal :D!!)

I haven't had too much to report...I've been regularly communicating with about five guys and am in the process of setting up real life dates with most of them. I'm a bit flaky and can be hard to pin down, but by the end of this weekend, I'll get to meet at least one more guy and see if there's any potential there. There are a few guys who are interested in me who I really like so far and think could make good dates, and others with whom I'll probably be better off as friends. I'll keep you guys posted and try to keep living up to Goody's standard of several dates a week! :D Good luck guys and have a great weekend!
Re: Online Dating
Apr 9, 2005
Hi Nini,

I didn't mean for it to come across like I was saying that you should continue to pursue someone who doesn't ever answer his phone or return your messages. That's just completely rude and unacceptable, particularly when he may be using this as an avoidance tactic only with certain people. Why do some people have to be such cowards and not have the guts to just be upfront and honest with people instead of evading them? Anyway, I was talking about someone who rarely picks up the phone when it rings (personally, I'm often just not available or not in the mood to talk) but is prompt and reliable about returning calls and keeping in touch. I think we're actually on the same page about this issue; I was just a bit confused about what you were saying. I think you're right not to pursue this guy any further...if he wants to get back in touch with you and apologize for his rude behavior, that's one thing, but I agree with you that you've done all you can for now.

WOW, 30% of online daters aren't actually available--well, unfortunately, I believe this stat and bet it's true. I guess I'm not in a position to say too much because technically I was still attached when I joined my dating site, but I also wasn't actively looking for a new man at that time. Hopefully most of these people are just looking as well and not starting up any relationships while still involved with someone else, but I'm sure there are some people out there who will always cheat and use whatever technology is available to make it easier, more discreet, and more convenient. On the other hand, I think that couples who are dating casually for a short time and haven't made any exclusive commitment shouldn't necessarily expect fidelity. I've seen girlfriends get way too attached and way too far ahead of themselves after dating a guy a few times--if she likes him, she starts acting like he's her boyfriend and so I think sometimes people who classify themselves as being in relationships really aren't as commited as they'd like to think. I met a guy online who told me that he'd dated a girl who ordered him to take down his dating site profile after a few weeks of emailing and one date in person!! :eek:

Nini, I know it's hard, but please try to keep your faith in yourself alive. You have so much love to give and so many wonderful qualities to offer a very lucky man, and I really think that will happen for you someday. The more you believe that there will be love in your future, the more likely it is to happen, so why not try? I know you want to be realistic and not set yourself up for any additional disappointment, but unfortunately, I think you'll probably be disappointed if you remain alone regardless of how high your hopes were. If you can stay positive and optimistic, you will exude a much more appealing, inviting air and have the best possible chance to attract the right man for you. I understand that it must be really tough to keep your faith that you'll find love when you're still waiting for it to happen, especially because you've only been in love once and most people need to experience it to really believe that it's possible to be deeply and truly in love more than once. I know it's hard to have hope at this point after many years alone, but at this point, it's worth a try, at least in my opinion. No matter what, we'll all continue to encourage, support, and believe in you 100%. :)

I'm also having some trouble with the whole politics/religion issue. When it comes down to it, I can't intellectually respect a man who obliviously and passively accepts everything some church or those criminals who have illegitimately seized office in the US tells him. The absolute most important thing to me in a guy is that I respect his intellect, his curiousity, his skepticism, and his willingness to question authority and accepted wisdom. Any man who accepts whatever he's told without demanding evidence and carefully evaluating the logic of a particular claim just doesn't appeal to me at all; I couldn't possibly be attracted to a hardcore religious Republican man. So it's been tough so far, because a few of the guys I've met online who I really like otherwise have been incompatible for me on those issues. I'm not sure if it's something I can compromise on or not...my instincts tell me no, but I think I'm going to at least meet these guys and see if there's any chemistry between us in real life. After all, I'm not looking for a committed relationship or anything serious right now, so I don't have to find the perfect guy, just some nice men to date while I'm enjoying playing the field ;). But in your case, Nini, I can definitely see why you're having a problem finding guys who are both religious and liberal. I would stick to the most educated, intellectual guys--I think those people out there who are really rigidly devout and conservative generally haven't been exposed to much in the way of divergent ideas. Hopefully you'll be able to find someone who suits you perfectly, or who is at least close enough to what you're looking for that you guys are still compatible even if you don't exactly agree on everything. I guess it depends how important those issues are to you (sounds like they're very important to both of us) and how much you're willing to compromise at this point in your life, considering the kind of relationship you're seeking. I definitely would advise you not to waste any time with guys who you compltely disagree with, but there are plenty of men out there who are fairly moderate on both issues, so maybe you could find a suitable compromise. I just really hope that someday everything falls into place for you, Nini, and that you finally find the wonderful love you deserve :)...we're all rooting for you!!





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