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Dear Wendy

How do I properly communicate with women?

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Viewing 12 posts - 649 through 660 (of 1,144 total)
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  • #859041 Reply

    Yeah. So, my boyfriend has a lot of close guy friends and several group texts going on with them. They’re in communication very regularly and the wives joke about their husbands’ boyfriends. He’s 38, and most of his friends are now married with little ones and no longer live in the city. He was one of just a few single dudes left in the group. But instead of being bitter about change, he made a few new friends who were still single (one through work, a couple through a rec hockey team he’s on every winter) to go out with and would happily get together with his buddies at kid-friendly events. They plan a couple “just the guys” events throughout the year, and that’s pretty much the only time I imagine any of them ever feel like nothing has changed. We have a quadruple date night coming up with three of his four college roommates, and had to plan it over a month out. We also have to be the ones to trek out to the suburbs even though the city has better food/entertainment options. But it’s fine! Everyone’s happy they get to see one another and that they were able to coordinate four of the five.

    All this to say that change in inevitable in friendships, and my boyfriend is a good example of how to embrace it even if you don’t necessarily like it. I’m positive he sometimes misses the days where they were unattached and could be carefree morons together. But I also guarantee he’s very happy to see his best friends find love and start families.

    You can be flexible and accommodating without feeling like people are taking from you like you’re a Wal-Mart. You can also put yourself out there and find people whose life stage more closely resembles your own — they’re probably looking for companionship, too.

    #859043 Reply

    Robert, the so-called “hostility” you’re detecting from people here is simply our frustration that, 64 pages into this bs, you’re STILL not getting what people are telling you. This isn’t about your clothes, or profile, or messages to women per se. It’s deeper. You have fundamental issues with seeing women (and possibly all people, given your weird ideas about what friendship should be) as PEOPLE. Early on you said that you wouldn’t date a woman who was a sports superfan because you’re not, so it wouldn’t be fair to her. NO. It’s not your place to tell a woman what she wants. She would probably be fine with you not being a sports fan, but that’s HER call, not yours. This is an EXAMPLE of you not seeing women as real people with their own perspectives and agency. An example, Robert, so please don’t start banging on trying to clarify what happened in this one instance, because this is indicative of your attitudes overall.


    No one is going to want to be the only person you have. That’s a lot of pressure on a person.

    I agree. 100%. I tried, but it’s always been the other person who didn’t want the friendship, not me.”

    You fundamentally misunderstood what Anonymousse was saying. They were saying that because you don’t have friends (and apparently don’t see the point in even trying to make any if they’re not going to be your picture-perfect idea of what a friend should be), any woman you date would be the only person you have in your life, putting an unfair amount of pressure on that woman. I’m not quite sure how you misread that, but again, this is your problem – you are unable to see things from anything but your own extremely narrow perspective.

    It’s pretty clear you don’t actually want a life partner. You want a fantasy woman you can plug into your fantasy life, and that’s all you care about. You’ve even said you stop talking to (or even dating) women when you find out they aren’t into this one thing you’re into, despite how well things might be going otherwise. The fact that you feel it’s a waste of time to talk to women who don’t exactly match this cobbled-together Sims version of your ideal woman in your head doesn’t exactly scream “I view women as real people.”

    The fact that you apparently feel it’s a waste of time to look for friends that aren’t going to make you their top priority is very troubling on top of everything else. Robert, you need to talk to a therapist. Have them evaluate you for narcissistic personality disorder, or one of the other antisocial personality disorders. Not viewing other people as autonomous individuals with their own thoughts and feelings is indicative of something more serious than “I need help taking good pictures,” which is all you keep changing the subject back to, and IS NOT what you need to be focusing on at all right now. Hell, have yourself evaluated for autism spectrum disorder, too. Throughout this thread, you’ve shown some pretty strong indicators for that, as well.

    I’m not trying to insult you, Robert. I just want you to find out why you don’t interact with society in a healthy way and get help to manage these issues.

    #859048 Reply

    I just realized I was the one who misunderstood your reply to anonymousse. I see what you meant now, so, eh, disregard what I said there.

    #859054 Reply

    Just a suggestion for/if you go to therapy. Ask the therapist to assess whether you are on the autistic spectrum. If you are a high functioning man on the spectrum it would explain a great deal about the way you view the world and interact with the world. If you are on the spectrum they could direct you to people who could help you with social skills and social expectations. This is not in any way meant to be a mean suggestion.

    Being on the spectrum would explain many things, like the clothes. You going back to the clothes that everyone told you to not wear but you want to wear anyway because that’s what makes you comfortable. It would explain how you missed twenty years worth of fashion change. It would explain how you have become so fixed on holiday parades and light shows. Many people would enjoy a couple but would find it monotonous to go to so many and to do so year after year. It would explain your willingness to schedule your life around those holiday parades and light shows. It would explain the difficulty with both romantic relationships and friendships.

    There is nothing wrong with what you like and how you schedule your life but it would greatly benefit you if someone could discuss with you how other people view things so that you aren’t feeling so dismissed and so lonely. You are very willing to listen to suggestions and try to follow through with them. I don’t think you always get what people intend you to get from their comments and then they get frustrated. You probably also feel frustrated with things that don’t seem clearly stated. You are very willing to keep trying. Good for you!

    If you were to find that you were a high functioning man on the spectrum it would be a strong starting point for making positive changes that would help you to bring people into your life as friends and as a special someone to date. If you aren’t on the spectrum you could still benefit from some social skills coaching.

    #859081 Reply

    I’ve been following this post silently for literally weeks now (alternating between hope and despair), and I didn’t want to say it in case I was accused of playing the armchair psychologist, but I am a teacher working with SEN teenagers, particularly autistic teenagers, and an awful lot of Robert’s behaviour and ideation is highly reminiscent of some of my students, especially a fixation on the idea of a person rather than a potential reality and a difficulty with dealing with deviation from the ideal, the fixation on an activity or hobby, and the constant circling back to a particular belief (eg, suits are good) that proves to be unshakable.

    Please understand, Robert, that this is not an attempt to shame, cow, or diminish. There is nothing wrong or shameful about having autism. A stigma does remain, but that is wrong. If there’s a possible missed diagnosis (which are common, albeit mostly among women), this has the potential of opening up an entire new world for you and a whole new lease on life, and would be worth looking into.

    JC suggests Narcissistic personality disorder, a symptom of which can be the obsession with an ideal or an ideal partner, the need to associate with people who are perceived as socially, physically or professionally superior, and a sense of entitlement (which, I am sorry, but 45 thinking he can easily pull a 28 year old, and that a woman must fit a particular ideal without compromise, is entitlement), combined with feelings of depression and isolation, particularly when the ideal is not met in either yourself or others. I can see some aspects but not necessarily – I would certainly look into a possible autism diagnosis though.

    I can’t reiterate enough, along with others, that this isn’t meant to be *mean* and there is nothing wrong with this, nor does it prevent you from finding love (my ex was autistic, for example). After 54+ pages of this, though, this could be a game changer.

    #859093 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    I’ve been thinking autism spectrum this whole time too. Definitely NOT something to be ashamed of and it is not an indication of anything “wrong,” but, Robert, if you are on the spectrum – and maybe you don’t even know if you are – it does mean that your brain, and particularly the way you communicate with others, is different than the majority of people. To be successful in relationships, you need to learn skills that typically-brained people pick up inherently. Do a little research on the topic, maybe read up on some of the signs of autism spectrum disorder and see if they sound familiar.

    #859094 Reply

    Yeah me too, but didn’t want to diagnose.

    #859112 Reply

    I just got caught up on the last few pages. Reading Robert’s lastest response, I started thinking ASD as well, and was surprised to see others start suggesting it. If you’ve got all these people wondering about autism, it can’t hurt to get screened for it, Robert.

    #859126 Reply

    I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to mention it. I’ve been wondering about Robert being on the spectrum since I started reading this thread, and kept waiting to see if someone else would suggest it. (Skyblossom, I think you and I were typing our posts at the same time!)

    #859175 Reply

    I seem to have miscommunicated and / or created confusion in my last post. I will not use those outfits in the photoshoot.

    I’ll start my question over, asking more broadly.

    My newer outfits that I got for “dressing up” — the patterned button ups, the chinos, and the dressy lace up shoes — I have accepted, as a point of fact, that such an outfit is considered dressy by today’s fashion rules. I get that.

    However, I *feel* casual when I wear them, sort of “dressy-casual”, a little bit casual and a little bit dressy. I see suits and ties on men all over the place, but if that’s wrong I will accept that idea.

    So, my question is, can you suggest an outfit that is dressier, that I might *feel* dressed up in?

    I was looking to communicate through a profile photograph that I like to actually dress up for some dates. Or, are you saying that the button front and chinos is the dressiest me that I should be portraying in photographs, and let the rest come out over the course of getting to know each other?

    Kate: was totally offering to take cell phone pics for free, to help you. You could have just said thank you so much and that would be awesome but you’re going to be out of town that day, so you’re going to contact her photographer friend.

    Ummm…did I come across as saying something different? I even gave the city and the event I would be at.


    You mentioned being at the point of disgust a few pages back. I have a feeling you’re going to put off this quest for another year.

    I was, but the advice here kept be going as I saw how to fix things. I am so close at this point, so it’s full steam ahead. If this starts leading me to at least first dates, then I can see some accomplishment, and so no reason to take a break.

    Generally: When I see someone as a friend, I am just as caring of them as I am of a romantic partner. If anything, I feel *closer* to those I consider as friends when I am dating someone, as there is more good in my life that I can share. The idea that we talk less often, or do fewer things together, etc., is not where I feel hurt, it’s when I get pushed out of the picture completely. A couple of you have expressed personal experience with this similar to mine. My caring personality also includes my friendships, but it’s hard to keep giving after continually being discarded.

    I have no problem revealing my career plans or other life goals to someone who is genuine in wanting to stick around, but like with friends, revealing things to someone only for them to exit just makes me a blabbermouth, a show off, and a gossip columnist, and none of that is me. I get no fulfillment from that. If someone genuinely wants to be a part of my life, then I’ll share it.

    BTW, I’ve been toying with the idea of therapy for some time, as lately I have been attracting some weirdo women and repelling quality women. I’ll mention, too, that I found two articles in Wendy’s columns that apply perfectly to me as it applies to this particular point; I mentioned them to her in my emails to her for the profile re-write, and she gave me some insight as to why it seems to be happening. Then, when I realized recently what I had been unknowingly doing all this time, I knew it was necessary. I am aware, but I cannot un-know all of my nice-to-haves, so therapy is needed to help me sort it all out. I’m going to go.

    #859189 Reply

    Okay, what would be dressier and still attractive is a dress shirt, blazer, and pants. Like what I see the finance guys wearing when they’re out for drinks at a steakhouse. Someone linked to pics of a celebrity wearing outfits like that.

    Or, like i said, a suit but only if it were in the right context, like a wedding or a fancy dinner event.

    The dress shirt with tie and no jacket reads *less dressy* than your new clothes, because the context for it is 1990s “first job out of college.”

    The suit is okay, but not without the proper context such as a nice hotel lobby. If you want, bring it to the photo shoot in a garment bag and change into it for a few photos.

    #859195 Reply

    Robert, we’ve all lost friends in our lives. But none of us have written off having ANY friends ever again because of that, and none of us have completely stopped making any effort into having a social life.

    Your social skills are rusty at best. Please consider dropping some work hours and joining meetup, going to an event, volunteering (I bet even holiday events need volunteers) or doing something else that puts you around other people.

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