Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How do I properly communicate with women?

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  • #854949 Reply

    Compromise is definitely not always 50/50. Sometimes its 75/25, sometimes its 99/1. Sometimes one person gets all of one thing they want and another person gets all of a totally different thing they want, and putting the two things together makes a compromise.
    The idea that a compromise is exactly “we go to 13 of 26 parades” is another way you are demonstrating that you have extremely rigid ideas about relationships and how they work.

    Honestly I think you ought to work on being ok with being single and surrounding yourself with friends and things you enjoy. I have a single coworker who is 52, he was married briefly when younger but has been single (and truly single, not like lots of girlfriends) for as long as I’ve known him. He has lots of friends and is the life of the party. He invites friends to the things he wants to do and sometimes a lot of us show up, or only a few, or none of us can make it and he goes alone. I think if you had a more full life, friend-wise, you would probably not feel so desperate for a girlfriend. Also that full life would likely make you more attractive to women because it would give you those interesting pictures and stories and because happy people are generally more attractive, and it would give you more opportunities to meet women organically.

    #854952 Reply

    Sometimes the compromise is to compromise. Think about a different scenario: Baseball is only a few months out of the year – longer than the holiday season but it’s not all year. If you were a dedicated die hard fan of your local team and had two season tickets, you might want your girlfriend to go with you. But each and every time? Unless she’s as fanatic as you, it would be a lot of compromise on her side. Similarly if you were an opera fan and she liked jazz, going to a season’s worth of opera is a lot to ask.

    You can have the same interests but at different levels, and perhaps together find the balance where both people are happy. But starting at the “and this person must love things like I love things… ” oof. Your odds of finding a good match go down significantly because you’re no longer looking for a good match, you’re looking for the perfect match. And perfection doesn’t exist.

    #854954 Reply

    I wonder if on a subconscious level, you don’t really want what you think you want. Which is okay! Maybe you really don’t want a “forever partner” and marriage and kids. Because if you really truly did, you’d have compromised already. You wouldn’t be so focused on going to 16 light shows, and not even dating in Nov/Dec, and you wouldn’t even entertain the idea of dating someone who doesn’t want kids or smokes a pack a day.

    The holiday stuff is simply more important to you than the spouse and kids. If it wasn’t, your focus would be on finding a person you can connect with on a forever level.

    Maybe you should just acknowledge that all that family stuff isn’t really your goal. If it is, though, you have GOT to ease up on the holiday requirements.

    #854957 Reply

    Another thing to keep in mind is that although you have managed your schedule so that you have lots of free time in November and December your partner likely won’t have lots of free time. Many, many working people have to do their grocery shopping and errands on the weekends. They also try to do their laundry and some meal prep for the coming week during the weekend. Around all of the must do stuff they try to do something fun.

    #854959 Reply

    This is quite the same thing, but my favorite band is Pearl Jam. When I say favorite, I mean borderline fanatically obsessed. When I was younger, the idea of dating someone that didn’t absolutely love them was unheard of. And I actually found a guy that did! You know what? It was a disaster that sent me into therapy. We had no shared values, no common goals, very different ideas of the future, and very different ideas of what we wanted in life. We shared that one thing so passionately, but nothing else about us fit. Now, I’ve been in my current relationship for five years. Our values align, we want the same things, share the same views on life and generally just compliment each other so well. He’s the table force I need; I’m the quirky nut job that somehow keeps him happy. Does he give two licks about Pearl Jam? Nope. He’ll happily take me to concerts, listen to them when we’re in my car, even listen to me babble stories about how the band found the lead singer and how many drummers they’ve hard, but will he ever choose to listen to them on his own? Nope. And you know what? I kind of actually prefer that. Because now it’s my thing, you know?Not his. Not ours. Just mine. I love sharing it with him when it’sappropriate, but it’s a piece of me alone that doesn’t need him. And I like that. Oh, and when I’m in his car and he’s driving? Endlessly boring tech podcasts. Hella effing boring. I really have no idea what they are talking about. But I listen along because that’s what he loves and that’s what being a couple is.

    #854960 Reply

    @Skyblossom is right. Most working people have very very limited spare time in Nov/Dec because they are trying to finish work before taking off for the holidays, saving what little vacation time they have for those holidays, and then if you add on family obligations (especially kids, but also spouse and extended families)… I’m exhausted and its only October 17th.

    #854971 Reply

    Agree with Skyblossom,Kate and FYJ. This situation has been talked to death already from every angle. The consensus seems to be for Robert :

    Try some more fashionable,casual styles and looks.

    Forget your rigid thinking and requirements-if you seriously,really want a relationship. Your current focus is too narrow and unrealistic.

    Therapy is a good idea. I think it could also be worth finding a professional dating coach that you can meet with in person or by Skype so she can give you feedback and advice .

    #854976 Reply

    I will say, I find it a bit unusual to see someone struggling to get a date — not even a relationship, just a single date — when they have few/no physical requirements. Looks are by far the one thing I’ve seen most people get hung up on with online dating.

    #854987 Reply

    I just remembered that a gentleman stopped me recently on the same street. I was carrying flowers and he said “excuse me, where did you get those flowers?” I had no issue with that at all, and we had a little conversation about the supermarket. I figured maybe he wasn’t from around here because he had a British accent. In any case, he didn’t take it further. But that kind of thing is totally fine. If you want to compliment someone on their shoes or ask where they got their pizza, that’s legit.

    Oh but that just made me think of this article that came out a few months ago about this guy in my neighborhood who got egregiously scammed by a woman who approached him in the home store and asked him where the batteries are. Better to just not talk to strangers!

    #854990 Reply

    This thread has been so interesting to follow! Kudos to you, Robert, for being so open to advice and constructive criticism. I will only add a few things:
    – +1 to new clothing. Frankly, you look like you could be an extra on “Frasier.” (And I say that as someone who likes that show…) Be open! Open to dark jeans and laced shoes. You’re an attractive guy.
    – Speed dating sounds like hell on earth. BUT. It is a good opportunity to try to work on your small talk skills. As in, you may not get a date out of it, but it’s a way to practice having friendly conversation. That’s really all you have time for. And this is another reason why Meetup is a great idea. I met one of my best friends through a meetup! You never know who you will meet. AGAIN, you need to be open.
    – Therapy: You’ve made some strides in this thread to try to improve yourself. I think therapy could do wonders. You’re clearly stuck in a rut. Having a regular time to work through some of this stuff, including why in 15 years you haven’t had a relationship that you feel like you want so much.
    – Approaching women in public with the goal of a date is a hard no. Women (well, people in general I think) have their guard up more when out in public. We’re minding our own business and going about our day. Whether we’re married or not makes no difference. I don’t owe anyone my time or attention. I’ve had random men give me a compliment as an opening to ask me out and it’s awkward and feels disingenuous. Talking to someone in line at the coffee shop (making small talk) is one thing (fine!). Asking out a complete stranger while they grocery shop is another (NO!).

    #854992 Reply

    So, I just read this whole thread. I have a few impressions to share, in light of the whole dang thing in one go–

    Robert, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you’re a big ole weirdo. That’s cool, I’m a weirdo married to another weirdo, no judgement. But none of this comes through in any of your dealings with women. Like, you could potentially match with me when Christmas makes me grumpy and your idea of romance gives me hives!

    It just strikes me that you’re being all about what she wants in your profile when it should be all about who you are and being all about what you want in person when it should be about what makes her comfortable.

    The reason why I, and a lot of the other women on the board feel like you aren’t seeing your potential dates as people is because it feels as though you are auditioning for the role of girlfriend for your Hallmark Fantasy Christmas. You aren’t appreciating that the women you meet have full lives with their own fantasies, their own visions, their own things that are as important to them as Christmas is to them.

    I feel, rather than look for a girlfriend, you’d almost be better off looking for someone who wants a Hallmark Movie themed fling over the holidays so you don’t have to ever be real to each other.

    People will overlook a lot for someone they’re fond of– my husband only ever wears khaki pants and polo shirts and I’m not fond of his hair. It’s fine– he’s a scientist, he looks like a scientist. He looked like that when we met. But he’s also always made me feel like I mattered. A few years ago, I discovered a lump in my breast the week before Christmas (it was benign). I feel like in a relationship with Robert that would be a lot more fraught than it was for us. We dropped everything and rescheduled all family plans because of course we did. It would never occur to my spouse to resent me for that, but I fear that Robert would.

    Life with another person is full of that other person’s stuff. It’s incredibly messy and people get bored or sick or the kids can’t manage in the car. You keep telling us, in so many words, that you can’t handle other people’s stuff getting in the way of your Christmas events. In order to have a serious relationship, there HAS to be room for another person’s stuff. So, there has to be a little give– either in what your life has room for or in what you’re looking for.

    #855034 Reply

    I’ll see on Saturday if I got any matches, but I implemented some of your additional suggestions. Christmas things in most conversations was down to a passing mention, just enough to reveal that I enjoy them. There was more laughter in the conversations, too. I found most to be fun, actually.

    I did a profile re-write today, and have it in the doc. There are two versions, one for Bumble (where I used literally every character it will allow), and another for where I have more room.

    I know, I need to change my answer to the one question, I’ll work on that on Saturday.

    I was planning on taking a few profile photographs with the self-timer as best I could int he outfit I wore to the speed dating event, but I ran out of time. I’ll take care of that as soon as I can. If nothing else, next week should not be so packed.

    As for shoes, I have a wide foot, which means I can only go to a few stores. No Target shoes will fit me. I’ve had that problem my whole life. I will check in to that, but here are the shoes I wore for tonight’s event, Ne Balance 609 black leather:

    I also added a photograph of myself in a full suit to the bottom of the document. What do you think of that suit? *not* for the purpose of wearing it to a speed dating event, but does that suit itself (with different shoes) make me look the same as the other outfits?

    Anonymousse: I saw that exact shirt (the first one) in my Target, so I will get that this week and maybe another one besides.

    The next event is on a Saturday, and I noticed people are more casual on a Saturday than a Friday, soI’ll do a black jeans outfit.

    What do you think of this shirt with black jeans? The website says my Target has it in stock.

    Skyblossom & Copa:: I guess I will have some bridges to cross down the road. I’ll deal with them as they come

    I do understand that I own more of my time than most people ever will, so that alone will make her unavailable for many things, but it also makes me available to help *her* as well, and I am willing to help her with what she needs if that is all that is needed for us to spend a little more time together.

    Copa: If I have a bad approach that alone will stop me from getting, even further conversation, let alone a date, and I see with this thread that my get-to-the-point personality found its way into my dating. That’s really why I take breaks sometimes, the dating thing wasn’t “getting done”, and so I worked on other things in life that did.

    To say that I have “zero” physical requirements is not 100% true. Yes, height, eye color, hair color do not matter, but I do like a certain physique, and I do like long hair, but those are the first two things i give up to gain on personality and even common interests. For example, I would rather be with a big woman with short hair who enjoys a lot of Christmas things rather than a thinner woman with long hair who only enjoys one or two parades. I know I am bringing up Christmas again, but only as am example.

    Vathena: None of the parades or light shows I go to today existed when I was little. The first light show (that is still my favorite one today, and has expanded several hundred fold) didn’t start until I was 11, and was one of the first in the country, but watching the nationally televised ones on the holidays themselves kind of became a family tradition on Thanksgiving and Christmas itself, that quite honestly started with my parents before I was born. Many summer weekends were spent at parks and various children’s amusement parks. I guess I grew up doing those kinds of activities and continued as an adult. The Christmas things really started up when I was dating in my early 20s, and so became automatic date activities.

    SpaceySteph: ” I think if you had a more full life, friend-wise, you would probably not feel so desperate for a girlfriend.” There is truth to that statement. I cannot disagree.

    Though, there is no romance between friends. I see couples all around me happy, even when there is no PDA. That all is half the hole inside of me. I want that. When I had it with my ex I felt happy right with them. I ONLY felt the happy half, happy for them that THEY are happy, even though I did not know them, but I did nto feel the half that was the hole inside of me. You all have in your respective relationships. And I am happy for all of you.

    Your first paragraph and what LisforLeslie said are certainly some food for thought, in addition to a lot of other comments so far.

    Allornone: One more example of another couple being off on each other’s #1 interests, and in your case it seems to be a *plus* to you. I believe you and the others that it works; I’ve accepted factually that it does. I’m just having trouble getting a grasp of that on a deeper level, even though you all have demonstrated with many examples that it does.

    Though at the surface, you all are getting through. Tonight, for instance, I still wanted to learn if they had *any* enjoyment of Christmas parades and lights, but all assumed that I meant a few, and the quantity will come out over time.

    Moneypenny: Food for thought. I will absorb it. Interesting username, by the way.

    Turtledove: “The reason why I, and a lot of the other women on the board feel like you aren’t seeing your potential dates as people is because it feels as though you are auditioning for the role of girlfriend for your Hallmark Fantasy Christmas.” I’m speechless. *If* I am doing this, it is not intentional or even knowingly. I know that people’s feelings are important to me. When they are happy it rubs off on me. When they are upset, and especially in tears, it literally tears me into a million pieces and I am often in tears right with them. That person does not have to be my girlfriend, or someone I am dating, I just have to care about them on some level. It just means a lot to me to see them happy.

    More food for thought, reinforcing what others have said. I will digest it.

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