Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How do I properly communicate with women?

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  • #854523 Reply

    The PDA thing is excessive. Maybe when I was in my 20s and in the honeymoon stage of the relationship.

    #854534 Reply

    Just sort of reading along with your responses and other people’s comments. It sounds like, over the years you weren’t dating, you developed a pretty detailed picture of who you’d want to date and what the relationship would be like.

    That’s OK, you’re allowed to have specific things you’re looking for in a relationship. Most everyone does. I think, though, you’ve built up such detailed requirements, and so many requirements, that you’re going to almost no chance of finding someone who meets them all. I mean, we’ve got 1) wants to go to more than a dozen holiday events over a couple months, 2) has the free time to do that, 3) likes PDA, 4) is of childbearing age, 5) wants to have children. That’s a big ask, finding all that in one person.

    Your problem, I think, is that you’re expecting the woman who dates you to sort of slide into your fantasy and act it out with you. Trouble is, every woman comes with her own relationship ideals, her own holiday traditions, and a whole life that’s existed before you. Family, friends, work, hobbies. You’ll fit in among the other people and commitments in her life, not replace them.

    Another thing to think about is that your ideas about dating sound very….dated. The fancy restaurant on the first date is not going to appeal to a lot of women. It’s too much, too soon. It feels like the old “Mad Men” days when men took women to fancy places to show they could be a good provider. I agree that meeting for coffee or a casual lunch is a better start.

    I know you’re in a hurry to find a girlfriend before this holiday season, but you truly can’t rush this stuff. I would honestly drop the idea of having a girlfriend within the next 6 weeks. I like the idea of a meetup group to hit the holiday events with you, and maybe, somewhere in there, you’ll find a woman who meets at least some of your criteria. Or just go on your own, keep an open mind, and maybe you’ll meet someone at the light show or parade. The best place to find women who love holiday events is at a holiday event, no?

    #854544 Reply

    Skyblossom: If what you say is true, then I might have blown it at Saturday’s event. A few women did express interest in Christmas lights, but I also mentioned that I was at 16 parades last year and more than dozen light shows. They were surprised at the quantity, and understandably so. I won’t say that anymore. I got no matches from Saturday night’s event.

    Also, I was the only one there who did not drink an alcoholic beverage. I drank water, because that is what I wanted. Does that work against me?

    Peggy: You are half right. My interest in light shows actually started as a kid, the first light show in my area opened in 1985 (age 11). We went every year. That light show is still my favorite one today, only now there are enough activities to fill a whole day, and I’m thee for them all. Then, others opened up throughout the 1990s, and now they are everywhere. My interest actually developed while *dating*, then my ex enjoyed them just as much as me. At that point in my life, I had the ill-conceived notion that I could not go to light shows unless I was dating someone, and after a few years I realized what I was missing, so I started going by myself. I felt better about myself for quite a while, but I guess now that I became who I am on that one I’m missing someone to share them with.

    That’s why Ive been moving on when I talk to a sports fanatic. Sports to her are like light shows to me, if not more. I think of how happy she would be to have a boyfriend who is an equal fanatic on that sport. I don’t want to deprive her of meeting him. I am thinking of no one other than her. But then, several of you mentioned other similar situations in which one is bored to tears by the other’s major interest, yet it doesn’t matter, so I am considering that.

    Kate: Yes, I do have dealbreakers that aren’t interests. For example, I want kids, and so does she. I do not smoke, neither does she, ideally, or at worst she is trying to quit. I do not drink, at all, but I do not mind if she does socially / occasionally; my only turn off here is her being drunk. She is ambitious, goal-oriented, family-oriented, has a career path (unless she is already in her dream job). Things like height, hair color, eye color, do not matter to me in the least.

    I also find it attractive when a woman has a specialized skill, whether job-related or a hobby, especially if it is something I am not good at. Actually, at the speed dating event, one of the women is a musician; she plays the violin. I did tell her that I admire someone with musical talent, as I have none myself, even though i tried at one point, and I admire the talent it takes to play an instrument. She asked me what instruments I tried, so we got into a conversation about that.

    Now that I think about it, all of the above are what I focus on during the first half of the year. I do think about summer festivals, summer activities, haunted houses, and Christmas things, but they are more in the background since they are out in time a little. It seems to be after July 4 when i go to see fireworks by myself that my thinking starts to shift. I actually just now noticed that about myself, now that I gave that topic a little thought.

    It’s just the idea that I, and others, tend to be more lonely during the Holiday season. I see it like this: let’s say that a smoker who does not want kids is big into light shows who also wants someone to spend the Holidays with. If I can show her a good time and keep her from being alone during the Holidays, and we can fill each other’s emptiness during the season, even if we could never be together in a relationship, I still see that is nothing but a good thing, as we served a purpose in each other’s life. I know I am lonely, and I certainly am not the only man who is right now, and some women are, too.

    I am seriously considering doing the meetup thing.

    Now that I think about it further, dating in general may or may not be my #1 priority the first half of the year. I can hold a focus better on other areas of life, too, that time of year as well. If I have a lot to do to meet a short term deadline, let’s say, I can easily stay off the sites and apps for several weeks to get the crap out of the way.

    I don’t push women away if they don’t voluntarily express an interest in Christmas things. I do ask. It’s when they DISlike those things that I lose interest, as I won’t be able to share that part of my life with her.

    Leon: Yes, I realize (as I indicated in an earlier post) that I own more of my time than most people, including the women I would be dating, so that alone would stop her from coming with me to many or most of the events.

    Copa: Just wanted to acknowledge your comments, even though you said no specific response was necessary.

    LisforLeslie: I would have to cross that bridge once I got to it. I already go by myself, so that would continue. Maybe I would feel differently in a relationship, who knows. It would just mean more if I could share the experience with her.

    Essie: You are correct that my single time did give me the chance to figure out wha I wanted, and I guess I did get detailed.

    #854545 Reply

    I just thought of something, in addition to mentioning the quantity of Christmas things I did yeast year…

    Two of the women started asking me questions, like where they were, the best ones, etc. I humorously made a comment, “Name me as a match and we can go to some of them”, laughingly and with a smile. Could that have been a turn off?

    #854555 Reply

    Yes, not drinking could be a turn off. “Name me as a match and we’ll go” could be a turn off. “I went to 16 parades last season” could be a turn off. Most of all, though, what would be a turn off is if you only talked about the Christmas stuff and not anything about the women or made an attempt to establish non-Christmas rapport.

    #854557 Reply

    I wouldn’t worry about needing to drink. I quit drinking alcohol in my early twenties and no one has ever cared. It has not harmed my social life at all. When I go out with my friends after work almost no one drinks. Of eight to nine people only one or two will get a drink.

    Refusing to answer a question only if the woman agrees to a date is manipulative. I think you were trying to be playful but it doesn’t work. The women are asking questions in order to decide whether they want a date, and if you won’t answer the question the answer to a date will be no. The women are asking questions in order to get to know you better and to show interest in you and to build rapport. When you don’t answer the question you put a halt to all of that. In the same way that they are trying to show interest in you and what you like you need to show the same level of interest in them and what they like. You must build rapport or they won’t be interested. Refusing to answer unless you can force them to do what you want comes off as controlling and for a woman who knows nothing else about you that is a huge red flag. She has to worry that you will be manipulative, controlling, dominating and abusive. She is going to stay away from you.

    Telling someone that you went to 16 parades last year sounds like someone who is inflexible, a person with only a single, intense interest and as a potential partner you would have to wonder if there was any room at all for you to fit into that life. It comes across as I’m doing this, regardless, and it’s nice if you can fit into that but there is no room for anything else, including any interest of yours, including your family or job.

    #854558 Reply

    I do think it was a good sign when the women started asking you questions because I don’t think you’ve reached that level of interaction before. I think you are doing better but you have a ways to go. There is a learning curve and you are on it.

    I very much think meetup would help to alleviate some of the holiday loneliness. You wouldn’t have to go alone to all of these activities. You would have a group of people who enjoyed them and wanted to be there at them. You would have people to talk to and probably could go to dinner with them afterwards.

    #854559 Reply

    A woman not only has to see how she could fit into your life but how you would fit into hers. After she asked about parades and you answered you should then have asked about her holiday interests and traditions.

    A few of the holiday traditions of women I know.

    Going to the Nutcracker.
    Baking at least 12 dozen cookies.
    Going to Florida for Christmas.
    Decorating the entire house.
    Browsing antique stores for antique Christmas ornaments.
    Watching traditional Christmas TV shows at home.

    Can you see yourself fitting into any of those activities? Can you see fitting some of your activities around any of those activities. Could you sit through the Nutcracker or spend some afternoons baking and decorating cookies? You certainly wouldn’t be lonely but could you be at least moderately interested. Part of the fun of an activity is talking about it ahead of time. Some things like baking cookies are highly social because you talk the entire time you are baking and decorating and cleaning up. The same for browsing antique stores and decorating the house. Others are more snugly, like watching traditional Christmas shows, think The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, etc.

    #854561 Reply

    Yeah, I do agree that you should in parallel try to cultivate non romantic relationships to fill some of the voids in your life and do activities together. I think that part of the trouble you’re having is that you are expecting your prospective girlfriend to carry too much and it’s hampering your efforts to find a compatible partner.

    #854563 Reply

    Robert, what I think this comes down to is priorities. Would you rather make it to 16 parades and 16 light shows or would you rather have a life time companion who makes it to some parades and some light shows?

    If the activities come out on top accept it and know that part of the trade off is that you will be lonely or find activity companions in a different way, like through meetup.

    If your top priority is a life time companion then you will need to be more flexible. You may have to give up on some of your activities and go to some of her activities.

    I personally think you can get the best of both by finding someone to date who doesn’t hate your activities and who actually enjoys them to some extent. You aren’t likely to find someone who loves them as much as you do but it is okay to dream. Just don’t let the dream intrude on reality so much that reality is lonely. In the same way you will need to at least enjoy some of what she does so that you can share her likes and your likes even if you don’t share all of them all of the time.

    Again, meetup can fill the gap between what she is willing to do and time you have free from your shared activities to go to your own activities. I think part of your loneliness comes from not having good friends. You could really benefit from a partner and from good friends. Meetup could supply friends with similar interests and over time it might also be the best way to find a partner who likes what you like.

    Also keep in mind that the ambitious, career oriented woman that you want might be working 60 hours per week and travel extensively for work. She may already have serious family commitments and so even if she likes your activities may have serious time constraints that prevent her from attending many of those activities.

    #854568 Reply

    I’m not sure I’d even notice if someone was drinking or not at a speed dating event, not unless they were obviously drunk. I don’t drink much myself, so no, it wouldn’t bother me at all if someone weren’t drinking. If a woman is put off because you weren’t drinking, she’s not a good match for you anyway.

    And that business about not answering their questions unless they agree to a date would be a dead-stop dealbreaker for me. They’re trying to figure out who their possible matches are in a very limited time, just like you are. If the question is important enough for them to ask it, they’re not going to go out with you if you refuse to answer.

    #854571 Reply

    Robert, I’ve been reading along and just want to say you’re really taking this feedback well and listening. I’m impressed.

    I do think you are trying to shoehorn a partner into your already established life instead of being open to meeting an individual with whom you may be emotionally and physically compatible who may or may not share all the same interests. For example, it’s important to know that you want a family/children, that you don’t smoke and don’t want a smoker, etc – those are all baseline things. However, as a woman in your potential age range, I am overwhelmed at the idea of going to 16+ Christmas events every year. Damn. Also, as a woman in your potential dating age range, I have a very full life on my own – and you WANT a woman with her own full life before she meets you, especially at your age/her age. You don’t want someone who’s codependent and has no interests or personality of her own.

    For example: I am 36 and my boyfriend is 41. We are both on the fence/probably no about (human) kids, so we’re a match there. We both have interests, hobbies, and (very similar) values. Some of those interests and hobbies overlap, some don’t, and some we enjoy sharing with each other. I’m a comic and I perform a lot. He comes out to support me often but not at every show, because it’s too much for him. He is vegan and passionate about nutrition and compassion to animals, as well as being a vegan chef. I’ve gone to vegan potlucks with him and visited the farm animal refuge where he volunteers, none of which were things I did before, because I love him and am interested in what he’s interested in. However, I don’t go to every class he teaches or every volunteer event he goes to, because I am doing my own thing sometimes. That’s healthy.

    Would you be open to sacrificing a light show or parade to go to your girlfriend’s event, whatever that may be? Would you be able to be interested in the things she’s interested in, too, because you care for her? Just things to think about. I know it’s easy to get set in your ways when you’re single for a long time (being with my boyfriend for 7 months has taught me that I got a little set in my ways too, even though I dated a lot before him) – it’s good that you’re working to try to grow out of that.

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