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Hi. I grew up with strict religious ideas, beliefs, etc. I also happen to be shy and a bit insecure. I am not very pretty, but I'm not ugly either. I got through all of high school and college without every having had a boyfriend or a first kiss.  At the time, I was very ok with that. (I did have a couple of male friends, but it was very platonic.) It was a bit later that I decided I would like to give dating and having a relationship a try.  Well, that was almost five years ago, and I still have not managed to get into a relationship. The only guys since then who have shown an interest in me were much, much older guys, some of whom weren't even single (when I lived in a small southern city), and later after I moved, only African American guys showed an interest in me.  The interest was never mutual. The black guys who acted interested in me tended to be uneducated, promiscuous, and some were even into drugs or alcohol. I just wanted them to leave me alone.  I found them unattractive anyway.
No one near my age who could be considered reasonably attractive and with a good personality has shown any interest in me.
I am not sure how to effectively attract whom I'd like to attract,or how to deter the "wrong" people.
I realize it might be a bit of a challenge to give me advice just based on an e-mail, but from what you can tell, is there anything you would suggest?  Might there be something I could do differently, or is there some key I might be missing?

Answer
Hello Lisa!

Ok, let me be blunt here: your standards and expectations are way too high, your delivery is way too low and your rigidity is a pure turn-off to most guys.

If you're looking for some fairy tale romance where Prince Charming comes in, completely ignores all your issues (he just "...loves you for you...") where you don't have to do any work (on yourself for his benefit) at all, full of tons of chemistry and wonder and awe and everything just all works out, forget it.

Here's the "new reality" of dating and relationships in the modern world: there are more single women than men. There are far, far more single women who are looking to be in relationships (or even, *gasp* marriage) than there are men who feel the same way. You have competition - REAL competition from women your own age (and for that matter younger and older too) for the limited resource of guys who fit your extremely-narrow profile of "attractive".

Further, most guys your age are just fed up with it all. I can't tell you how many times a day I get letters from guys (your specific target market) who have given up on relationships. They're still trying to get laid, but then they move on to the next girl, and then the next one and the next one after that. It's now a completely lifestyle all by itself!

Further, you haven't worked on any of the skills you need! You don't have very much to offer or to bring to the table! (Sorry, it's true.) Yet, you somehow expect to live the dream and are holding out until someone gives it to you - without you having to actually do anything to get it. After all, if you actually had to work for it, it wouldn't be that huge ego-boost you're looking for, right?

Does that sound bleak? Are you still even with me here?

Lisa, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or trash your goals. Honestly, I care what you're going through - as I do with the tons of women I talk to every week in your exact, same situation - but you need to see things clearly. The problem here is that your paradigm is wrong.

Now, before you fire off that angry response telling me, "Wait! I wore makeup once and I deserve to have whatever I want because I'm a good person..." just don't. I've heard it all before. Your situation is far more telling than anything else. Let's work on getting that solved instead, ok?

[Still with me?]

Here's what you need to know: you CAN have what you want, but you absolutely cannot have it the way you're going about getting it. Your goals are fine but your methodology and belief systems are holding you back. Change those and your success will change as well.

You're being fed a load of marketing crap by people with huge agendas (mostly involving your purse). The idea that you can just "be you" and that's enough simply isn't true. You need to become your "best self" - and learn how to sell it.

You start off your message to me with how you were raised in a dogmatic, rigid environment (effectively telling me that you have adopted that belief yourself) and that you're not "...very pretty". Lisa, seriously!? Why would you ever say that, let alone believe it? Who are you to decide for guys (your target market) whether you're "pretty" or not?

Take a second and go Google this phrase: "porn stars without makeup". You're going to see a bunch of women; some are generally pretty, but many are far, far less so. Instead, they become "pretty" through the use of makeup technology! If you're telling me you're not "pretty" all that really says is that you're lazy - and it seems to go along with the rest of your attitude.

As far as dating black guys and older guys, what the hell? You're looking for instant chemistry and Lisa, let me assure you that doesn't usually happen. What's far more important is that it CAN happen if you give it a chance! Going on dates isn't getting married, but it is a step along the way. Why NOT go out with (unmarried) guys just to see - and more important, to work on your own "dating chops"? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

That rigidity is hurting you. It's not going to get better as you get older by the way. The unfortunate reality is that women's dating "currency" is your youth, health, looks and your ability to relate to and be what your target market needs you to be. This is exactly why playing dumb games works so heavily against otherwise great women today.

Ok, bottom line: you need to fix your paradigm. Make better choices. Work on being the woman of your man's dreams. Get - and bring - skills, availability, sexuality, fun and marketability. In short, BE the woman your future man wants and needs - and he'll start showing up all over the place.

Don't do these things and; well, you are living those results.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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