Jennifer Dziura writes life coaching advice weekly here on TheGloss, and career coaching advice Fridays on TheGrindstone.
Do you ever go on a date with a guy, everything goes swimmingly, and then you get the idea that you’ve been passed over for someone possibly dumber, prettier and/or more accommodating?
Check out this question from a reader I’ve renamed Andie Walsh, after the protagonist in Pretty in Pink.
I’ve been single for nearly two years now. I’m 32, so this feels like a big deal, especially as I am also losing all my friends because they are becoming couply and can’t relate to single people any more. I joined OKCupid and have been on maybe 30 dates, but it never works out. A lot of the guys I seem to attract are under-confident, overweight computer game geeks who come across okay in writing but in person want to treat me to monologues on Game of Thrones and so I’m fine with not seeing them again, but I do occasionally meet what seem to be genuinely nice, interesting men. And the result is always the same. We meet a few times, they seem keen, they tell me what a great time they had – and then they go on to inform me that they’ve met a “nice, pretty” girl online who they can “relax and talk nonsense with”, but still want to be my friend. Seriously, I’ve heard that line so many times I’m starting to wonder what film it comes from and while it’s kind of flattering to be asked to be someone’s friend, it’s also kind of frustrating when you met them on a dating site and you know both of you are looking for more. And having been that girl who would meet someone and talk nonsense and sleep with them the next day, I can say from experience that approach also didn’t lead to lasting, meaningful relationships.
People keep suggesting that I should pretend to be less awesome than I really am (honestly, I think I am pretty awesome. I even have a mint-green dress with walruses on it) and refrain from talking about subjects that guys find interesting in order to avoid being intimidating, but I really don’t feel comfortable with that – in fact, I feel offended that people would think that was something I would have to do as a woman. Haven’t we moved on from such outdated views of what constitutes femininity? Shouldn’t we be focusing our efforts on getting education for girls in developing countries and stopping things like child brides and genital mutilation? So, while I’m pretty sure the problem is with these pathetic cads and not with me, it I also feel like I’ve reached some kind of threshold of rejection where I am getting a little concerned that I’ve lost my magic woman powers of attraction, or something!
What would you suggest for an introvert who is burned out from investing in meeting new people over and over and is getting increasingly frustrated with it never going anywhere? How can I weed out these time-wasters who are clearly only interested in getting laid, but are also clever enough to not be upfront about that?
Oh, Andie. Dating can be truly frustrating, but for an introvert, it can be soul-sucking.
I sometimes have to explain to friends and boyfriends just how introversion works. Meeting new people isn’t inherently life-enhancing. Even if the people turn out to be awesome, I still feel like I’ve just donated blood, slipped back into the line, and donated blood again.
If I was trying to meet someone to date or work with and it turns out that the person was pretty cool but isn’t going to work out as a boyfriend or business partner, I kind of feel like I just ran a marathon to support the wrong charity.
So, we have to prequalify. But before we get to that…