Here are five major things you’re doing “wrong”:
1. Even though, at 22, you’ve recently ended your first relationship, you say that “nothing has come” of any of the dates you’ve had in the last couple of years. Well, what would you call your relationship that ended a few months ago? Doesn’t that count as something? This, along with other signs, is an indication of a skewed perspective and unhealthy attitude. Rather than see what you’ve been gaining (experience, figuring out what you like and what you’re looking for in a boyfriend, fun/interesting dates, new friends), you’re focused on what you think you’re missing out on.
2. You’re waiting for the guy to plan a second date. Why don’t you put effort into planning it and asking the guy out? It’s 2016, lady; take the bull by the horns.
3. You’re giving the guys the power to do the choosing. They get to decide whether to have a second date. They get to decide whether you’re worthy to pursue (based upon, I guess, attributes like your being “pretty, artsy, smart, fun to be around”). What about who and what YOU want? Is there anything you’re looking for in a guy other than his being interested in you and putting effort into planning a second date? What about chemistry and a connection? You can think someone is good-looking and smart and artsy and fun to be around and not feel “it,” you know? Do you know what “it” is? Have you felt it before? If not, then that’s a pretty good reason why you haven’t had a lot of second dates, and maybe you should focus more on determining whether “it” exists between you and another person and if you even like the other person instead of whether he likes you.
4. You signed your letter “Wanna Be Bride-to-Be,” which is… weird. First, you’re 22. That’s awfully young to be concerned with getting married ASAP. Second, to be focused on being a bride suggests you care more about finding someone to fill a role (groom) than in finding someone who awakens something in you and fills you with love and optimism for the future. It suggests you’re more into the idea of a special day (a wedding) than of a relationship or creating a life with someone. It suggests you might have a princess fairy tale complex in which you only need to fill the prince role to live happily ever after. It suggests a disconnect (and a disinterest) in reality — of getting to know someone, like really know him — his flaws and his attributes and how they work with your flaws and attributes, and what his life goals are and what makes him unique and special and worth spending every day with for the rest of your life (which could be 80 years, so you better really know — and like! — what you’re getting).
5. You’re projecting your insecurities on guys you barely know. The whole “maybe they feel sorry for me so they lie to me about thinking I’m pretty” thing is the sign of self-esteem issues. Could it be that they really DO think you’re pretty but don’t plan a second date because: They don’t think you like them? Or, they didn’t feel a connection because there’s more to connecting with someone than simply finding her attractive? They got the strong impression from you that you were looking to fill a role rather than get to know them and that didn’t appeal to them? They got the strong impression you were looking to jump into a super-serious relationship with sights on a wedding ASAP and that didn’t appeal to them?
Bottom line: Slow down; shift your focus (from a wedding to getting to know these guys and enjoying your time with them, whether it’s just one date or a series of dates that may lead to a relationship); figure out what you’re looking for beyond a place-holder/role-filler in your fairy tale; build your confidence outside the validation of boys’ opinions of you (seek validation from friends and family and your accomplishments and the contributions you make to your community and society). You are young and have so much life ahead of you in which to find love and serious relationships and even the husband you think you’re ready for. It will be a happier occasion if you allow it to happen organically and with the right match rather than trying to force it with whoever likes you well enough.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.