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Dear Wendy

How do I properly communicate with women?

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  • #854575 Reply

    Robert, I agree that you’re taking the feedback and discussion really well, kudos. And I get the loneliness thing, especially this time of year. There’s a reason the term Cuffing Season was invented. I agree with the others to answer all questions asked of you (no “match with me and I’ll tell you”) I also get that you’re trying to be playful but in that specific context under such limited time I would absolutely nix it. Ask women about themselves, take genuine interest in what they say, and keep conversation light and interesting. Mention your love of this time of year and enjoyment of festivals and light shows without saying you go to dozens every year, that will put someone off.

    And I encourage you to focus less on whether someone meets specific boxes and more on if you click on the big things (smoking, careers, children, family) and you genuinely enjoy their company. I do not participate in my husband’s main hobbies at all. He has no interest in mine. But we both love to travel, walk and hike, try new restaurants and breweries, watch certain shows, go to the movies, and visit friends. Having separate interests, even ones we’re really passionate about, is actually a good thing. It gives us something to talk about and keeps us independent.

    I love Christmas. And I mean I really love it. I bake more than 100 dozen cookies every year, watch the movies, go to several shows, decorate the house, host multiple parties, and do all kinds of shopping. I spread these activities out because my husband would burn out on Christmas. The baking and shopping gets done with my mom, most of the shows I go with a friend or friends, and I do much of the party prep and decorating by myself with holiday tunes turned up loud. I actually love that I get to have some traditions that are just “me” and me alone, and my husband enthusiastically joins in for an alcoholic beverage and Elf, or a trip around the city to look at the lights, because he’s not overloaded. It has not dampened my enthusiasm one bit. Would it be great to have someone do literally all of that with me? Sure. But I get a lot of joy out of spreading my time and activities out, even if my only company is myself.

    #854581 Reply

    It’s not surprising that you got no matches. Like I said a few pages ago, the only thing you’re accomplishing with your revised approach is identifying whether a woman is as fanatical as you are about the seasonal events. That’s it. If no one at the speed dating event is like that, you won’t have any matches.

    Because it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to connect with them on any other level. You don’t even care what they look like, if they smoke, drink, want kids, etc. What their goals and values are. What their lifestyle is like. What they like to do. You don’t care about making a deep, soul-level connection.

    You’re communicating that you want a girlfriend for the holidays who’s open to going to 16 light shows. Almost nobody is going to be down for that. And if they are, they also need to BE at that specific event, AND find you attractive. Good luck with that. This is why people are telling you to broaden your target.

    #854582 Reply

    Robert, You have so many of us invested in your future happiness. I think we may be caught in the tangents of your search for a life partner. Therapy has been suggested. I hope you will consider that. It might be beneficial to accept that this year’s seasonal celebrations will be something that you enjoy on your own, or with a Meetup group that you start for other enthusiasts.

    Take a year for personal understanding and growth while working with a therapist. Maybe you need to ask why you want to live life as if it’s a Lifetime holiday movie. That’s not real life. Life is much more complicated and rewarding. You say you want a wife and children; then you need to prepare yourself to stretch beyond your comfort zones. Look at what you bring to the table to make that happen. I think a professional could help you focus.

    While I agree that your approach, wardrobe, profiles and photos could be improved to help your dating chances, those are all superficial. How about starting from the inside of Robert to improve your odds of building a relationship? Your original question to the forum “How do I properly communicate with women?” might need to be “How do I relate to and partner with a woman?” Like so many others here, I’m in your corner. I’m hoping you’ll get all that you’re looking for.

    #854600 Reply

    Hi Robert.The same things I see as issues/impediments to a relationship for you,keep popping up here when you tell us more. I think that you constantly are WAY OVERTHINKING and calculating things. You need to relax,let go of these rigid ideas and see what could happen. Otherwise you won’t “see the forest ,for the trees” As I said before-the activities are meaningful to you-but you have turned to them in some ways because you are not in a relationship and have time on your hands.
    So how about focusing on her-forget yourself and holiday shows for a bit-and just learn,listen,discover. Core qualities/values should be more important than things and activities when you want to find a good match. Do you know that the quality often most listed by men ,as an aspect they want in a partner-is kindness. Most women want similar good personality traits.

    #854642 Reply

    I forgot to ask something in yesterday’s post, I am getting some conflicting advice on the attire. The patterned button up and the lace up shoes seem to be consistent suggestions, but some are suggesting chinos and some are suggesting jeans as the pant choices.

    Note, I see suggestions for jeans, including mentions of dark blue. I am not a blue jeans person, so any jeans will be in another color. I’ve never been on a date or in any situation where another color has been inappropriate. I will wear blue in other styles of pants, but blue is the only color of denim that just isn’t me.

    I will go to Target Wednesday or Thursday and start with one outfit for the next event Friday night. Are chinos or black jeans a better choice to make a better first impression?

    Kate: Some of what I mentioned in my last post must have gotten lost because of the length, but I did expand on any interests the women brought up. I wrote about a musician who was one of the women at the event. Any expansion on Christmas beyond my passing comment was because the women asked questions, so I answered them. I am just seeing from your collective comments that I still volunteered too much information.

    General, since several in the community had similar responses:
    Drinking I won’t be doing anyway, as I have no interest, and see no fun or any point in it, but from your collective comments it may turn off the heavier drinkers who I would not want to date anyway, while it may not matter to a social drinker. At least that’s how I am interpreting your suggestions.

    I’ll just mention Christmas activities as a passing interest going forward and otherwise downplay the quantity, and just answer their questions. It didn’t occur to me that it may come across as overwhelming.

    I also won’t suggest that we could do those if she selects me as a match.

    BTW, I must have miscommunicated, I did not refuse to answer their questions. I was asked a couple of times what my favorite ones were, and I named my favorite three. Another asked me about one that went on hiatus three years ago, in our home county, actually, and I mentioned one that I found that was even better. So, I did fully answer any questions, and when I saw them getting interested, I just said playfully and with a smile, “put me down as a match and we can go”. Obviously I blew it.

    Peggy: I see your point about overthinking, I’m not overthinking for the purpose of overthinking things, it’s just that what I have been doing has not been working at all, and i am *still* making mistakes. When 3 or 4 people point it out, then it’s obvious that I need to stop that particular thing, so that’s why I ask. This forum has been quite helpful so far, as you have been providing some bluntly honest feedback.

    GM: Agreed. I see, after communicating with all of you, that the communication issue is a symptom of an inability to relate.

    Skyblossom: I guess I was neglecting to ask about *her* Holiday traditions. I actually didn’t realize I was until you brought that to the forefront. It’s amazing what is being brought up that should have been obvious. I’ve been single too long.

    I’m guessing you didn’t make that little list with the intention of getting a written answer, but I see that you are illustrating a concept, so I’ll answer those specific points to illustrate the same general concept

    Going to the Nutcraker: Definitely, yes. Actually, that falls under the same umbrella, to me, as the parades and the light shows. There is a theater district in my home city that puts on a lot of Christmas shows / plays / performances. I just haven’t gotten to them yet, because I do not yet have total ownership of my time. That’s one reason why I am working on a new career path, to get ownership of my time.

    Baking: That is a lot of cookies LOL. Yes, if my SO enjoys that, whether it’s the two of us or she invites me in (once we’re serious) as part of a family activity, though it’s more the quality time spent with my SO or the interaction with the people important to her that really appeals to me. Oh, yes, as well as *eating* the finished product LOL.

    Going to Florida: Yes, oh yes. It’s actually a dream of mine, especially for retirement, to have a winter home in Florida. There are a lot of things down there Holiday-related that I’d like to see and do, including the beach, obviously.

    Decorating the house: Yes. I live in an apartment, so I can’t do much at present, but if I had my own house I could see myself being like Clark Griswold.

    Antique stores: Yes. Actually, a lot of times when there is a night only activity I will often walk around one or more shopping malls in the area, since they are so festively decorated, and antique shops would actually be a perfect daytime activity. There is a town about 100 miles from where I live that does a light show at night, and the whole town has various Dickens-themed scenes on both sides of about 6 blocks, so i take those in and stop in various stores myself, so your specific suggestion would fall under that general umbrella.

    Watching Christmas TV shows: I do that already. One of the things I miss the company of a SO doing. For me, it’s Hallmark Channel movies, being the hopeless romantic that I am. Though, even at my age, I still get joy from Frosty and the Grinch, and I’ll add Rudolph and Charlie Brown.

    I am actually more than “moderately” interested in that list.

    I’m not overlooking your suggestions for therapy. That can get at the core of the issues, but things like a profile re-write (which I will do in the next couple of days) and some of the things I am doing that is turning women off, I’m learning a lot from the masses. I therapist, yes, would have an opinion, but it’s still only one opinion. I’m learning the “what” from this thread, and therapy can help figure out the “why”.

    #854645 Reply

    It’s not conflicting advice. Everyone thinks you should wear dark jeans. But since you won’t, then chinos are better than all-out dress pants.

    Black jeans are fine. But I will say, I was sitting in a meeting yesterday at a conservative investment firm where I’m contracting, and also looking around in the common areas, and several people had on very dark blue jeans, like the most dark wash you can get, in dressier styles, with blazers and such. It’s a REALLY good look. It actually annoys me on a fashion level that you won’t even consider them. It’s like, are you even American? That’s a joke. But fine, black jeans or chinos are cool.

    Not drinking wouldn’t turn off just heavy drinkers. It could turn off social drinkers too who like to have a couple drinks with someone. It could also look like you’re in recovery, which not everyone wants to deal with. A couple people here said it wouldn’t bother them, but it would bother a lot of people. I would guess you’re either really religious or an addict if i saw you not drinking on dates. I’m not saying start drinking, though a nice glass of wine is… nice. But understand it’s potentially another thing holding you back from matches. Because now you need a woman to be at the event who’s enthusiastic about haunted houses, is cool with non-drinkers, AND is attracted to you. It’s just going to be a smaller and smaller audience.

    I do think it’s a good idea to find out if someone is open to going to some Christmas events and Halloween events. You don’t want someone who outright rejects those activities. But then honestly try to make more of the conversation about her and her interests. Like try to get a match first and THEN handle the 16 parades thing. Like people said, maybe it’s 3 parades with your future gf, and 13 alone or with meetup people. Compromise. Moderation. Normalcy.

    #854649 Reply

    If you want to get to the really nitty gritty, the outfit you’re talking about with chinos will look like you came straight from work, which is fine. Most American males just don’t wear chinos for casual wear. My dad does, but he’s 70, and he also wears jeans.

    Black jeans could also look like you came from work, but could also look like your typical date outfit.

    Either one is fine.

    #854663 Reply

    Dark dark blue jeans. That’s what you should try. Just go to the store, and try some on. I know we probably seem so strict on this, but honestly it’s just pants! Trust Kate on the jeans. You have to loosen up your wardrobe and your dating tactics.

    I really think you need to stop speed dating. It’s just not working for you.

    Therapy won’t only help you figure out the “why,” Robert. Therapy could help you figure out how to refocus on finding someone you can love and build a relationship with, instead of fantasizing about how you can meet a woman who will fit into your extremely narrow view of what a fulfilling relationship should be. You seem to have lost sight of the real goal, a loving partner. I honestly believe you’re stuck on these holiday shows because maybe it’s the place you have found happiness on your own. Maybe it reminds you of being in awe and happy as a child. Whatever it is, I find it interesting. Mainly because I just don’t understand it. But thats beside the point, the point is why doesn’t matter as much. You need to learn how to eliminate the noise and distractions and figure out what you really want, and how to meet that someone. What do you do besides holiday stuff and mini golf? Do you read? Exercise? Cook? Do you volunteer?

    You say you want to meet someone, get married and have kids. How have you prepared for those things? I just wonder how much of that you actually really want and how much of it you believe you’re supposed to want.
    Have you spent much time with children?

    I really do think you should start a “singles Holiday parade and light show” meetup group. Meet some people who might have similar interests. They might know more people who have interests. Regardless of meeting a romantic partner that way or not, you will expand your acquaintance and friend group. A woman will feel more comfortable with you if you have a full life outside of holiday shows and a relationship. You need more than just a partner, you need friends.

    I do think women notice things like you not drinking, and that can be a warning sign of alcoholism or addiction. You could always get a soda or fizzy water and carry that around as a decoy.

    #854673 Reply

    I don’t think the jeans vs. chinos thing is a big deal. It’s not the reason you’re not getting dates. A woman isn’t going to see you in chinos and think, “OMG, what’s with this guy?” I think you should pick outfits that feel true to who you are, especially since it sounds like you plan to revert back to dress clothes once you start dating someone.

    A therapist isn’t going to offer opinions on why they think you are how you are. But they can help you figure out what’s genuinely important to you in a partner and what isn’t. I have a friend who met her now-husband online, and her checklist of what she was looking for was very different from mine. The one physical trait she wasn’t willing to budge on was height, and she otherwise wanted a gainfully employed man who accepted her and was nice to her. She married the fourth guy she met. He’s a bit odd (to me), but he’s an engineer, tall, and very good to her — she’s happy. Meanwhile, I could’ve rattled off a fairly long list of desired traits, physical and otherwise. I wasn’t getting anywhere with that, especially because online dating lends itself so easily to the mentality that there’s more and better out there. Therapy was helpful for me to understand which of those traits were actually important and dealbreakers, and which wouldn’t matter anymore in 15 years. Dating was a more positive experience when I kept a more open mind. Instead of going on a couple dates and bailing, I started having short-term relationships (like 2-6 months) that allowed us to get to know one another before deciding if it was worthwhile to continue dating. I think a therapist can help put into perspective whether you can date a Jewish woman who has never been to a light show, or a woman who can only handle one parade and one light show every year.

    #854678 Reply

    You do enjoy a broad variety of activities. If you can approach dating as finding someone you love to spend time with who can share some of your activities and introduce you to her activities you may find that you are very willing to cut way down on the number of light shows and parades because you have someone to do other things with that you will also like. Would you be willing to give up a parade to stay in and bake cookies? Could you pick your favorite parades and go to those and miss less favorite parades in order to do other things like going to a play or wrapping Christmas gifts or carving jack-o-lanterns? If you get too fixated on specific activities you will miss out on the love and companionship which I think are your top priority.

    You seem to have fun with almost everything, except sports. If you are open to trying more things in place of some of your things I think you can find a partner.

    #854683 Reply

    I hate to be this person but…
    What do you look like? Are you well groomed? Do you take care of yourself? You say you have high self esteem but you don’t mention you appearance. I know looks aren’t everything but you could need to switch something up there.

    #854686 Reply

    @skyblossom I know I’m super late to the party, but I wanted to thank you for recommending ‘The Like Switch’. I feel like I sometimes put out vibes that are unconsciously quirky and/or off-putting mannerisms that put people off. I placed a hold through the Libby app and I can’t wait to listen to it!

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