Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How do I properly communicate with women?

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  • #886254 Reply

    This thread has gotten so sad and difficult. Robert, you don’t need the women who’ve rejected you to tell you why. You have a dozen very kind and empathetic people telling you. Many of us are women. I don’t need to date you to tell you why I don’t want to. I’ve got 93 pages, and your personality shines clear through your writing.

    And it is hard and sad for me to see. I’m an extremely empathetic person and I want so badly to connect. I’m not sure you can. I’m not saying that to be mean or pile on you, it truly makes me sad for you. Even with my friends and family, a sense of connection is very important to me (and to a lot of other people).

    To feel connected means I feel seen and heard by you. I don’t just mean my actual words. But if you and I are having a conversation, even a superficial connection means that I feel you hear my words and hold them inside yourself– that you give them weight alongside your own words. That my ideas are not only interesting, but important to you.

    Part of the frustration of this thread is that you don’t seem to listen. I KNOW you read every word and try to understand, but you don’t seem to internalize the emotional feedback you are getting. There’s a disconnect there which makes me wonder if you use checklists in lieu of connection.

    #886288 Reply

    Well that’s why I said Incel-lite. Robert is definitely not a red pill popping person. Just the vibe from wanting an explanation of why a woman loses interest made me think of NiceGuys(TM).

    I think Essie nails it. Robert wants to skip ahead to life as a couple, without the steps in between. And sometimes those steps, the start and stop, are awful. But you can’t really skip it.

    #886404 Reply

    Tuttledove: I found one of your comments to be rather interesting:

    To feel connected means I feel seen and heard by you. I don’t just mean my actual words. But if you and I are having a conversation, even a superficial connection means that I feel you hear my words and hold them inside yourself– that you give them weight alongside your own words. That my ideas are not only interesting, but important to you.

    SOmething clicked wtih me — maybe, if I understand properly. Are you saying that these conversations need to get into emotions and feelings, and not be limited to surface things, such as interests and things we like?

    In the most recent phone conversation, and the last two in person meets, the conversations centered around things we like and so forth, and never really got down below the surface. Honestly, it’s NOT because I did not want to know, but it’s also a first conversation or a first meet, and we barely know each other, and it doesn’t seem appropriate to me to get too deep. But the women keep exiting before the conversations have the appropriate amount of time to *get* that deep.

    I have had deep conversations, I don’t want to convey the idea that every conversation is only at the surface. If it gets deep quickly, then fine, I will not stop it, but I will not force it, either.

    Perhaps that is where I am at odds with this. It seems that most need it to happen immediately or not at all. With me, if it takes multiple conversations or multiple dates, then so what. I don’t need instant gratification.

    #886407 Reply

    “ Are you saying that these conversations need to get into emotions and feelings, and not be limited to surface things, such as interests and things we like?”

    I know this question wasn’t for me, but no, a first conversation should not get deep / into feelings. It is truly just chitchat, to establish a rapport. As to your comment that it seems to have to happen immediately or not at all, that’s not what we’re saying. I’ll say it again: most people know very quickly that they DON’T want to talk to someone again. If they have that feeling, that’s when they’re going to ghost you or politely say they didn’t feel a connection. But it can take a little while to know if you really hit it off with someone and there’s chemistry. Unless a woman feels a definite “no,” she’ll probably be open to talking / seeing you again.

    #886410 Reply

    Turtledove meant, I believe- that you aren’t connecting because you are so self focused you don’t truly listen to others. We’ve been saying the same things to you for a lot of these 94 pages. But you’re still here puzzling over your issues. You need professional help, Robert.

    Turtledove’s last paragraph is the one you should reread. And again.

    #886412 Reply

    To @Kate’s point, it took me a handful of dates to feel excited about my now-boyfriend. In the early on dates, I thought he was nice, funny, cute though not really type. The conversations were easy, being around him felt easy. I remember after the first or second date, I can’t remember, I told my sister I was going out with him again and she called me on not being excited. I probably could’ve gone either way on seeing him again, tbh, but he wasn’t a definite no so I made him a yes. (Being open to more dates with good guys who weren’t necessarily my love at first sight or however you want to phrase it is something I had to work on with my therapist, btw, because online dating is different from meeting people IRL.) Fast forward a few dates, my sister and I were in a cab together and I’d received a text from him, which made her comment that she knew it was him because I was smiling at my phone. And now almost two years deep? He wasn’t the guy checking off all those boxes I had in my head, but it’s hard to imagine having this same kind of connection with anyone else.

    #886428 Reply

    Robert, it seems like you really want a formula. Like, if you present yourself this way, and do X, Y, and Z, you’ll get the second date, or the relationship. There is no absolute flowchart to follow to happiness.

    This is not to say you don’t have some work to do, or that you haven’t gotten lots of great advice here – although, again, you seem to really fixate on the small actions and ignore the big picture insights about yourself, and how you view women.

    There are for sure lots of best practices that are statistically speaking going to make it easier to find a relationship, but I think you also need to accept the idea that sometimes you can do everything right and the person won’t be into you anyway. Sometimes everything is good on paper and there is no chemistry. Sometimes things seem good on paper and there is chemistry but there are compatibility issues that come up later than you would expect.

    I had ~4 longer relationships and countless crappy first dates before I met my husband. Sometimes they were jerks, sometimes I was the jerk, sometimes it was both and sometimes it was neither. The last guy I dated before my husband dumped me the day I got into my second choice PhD program. There are for sure stories where I was the bad guy or just acted weird ok a first date, but not that time – I did nothing wrong, I just wasn’t right for him. (He went on to marry a religious, socially conservative woman who immediately had his children and became a stay at home mom for him)
    I met my husband 6 months later and all the things that the last guy cited as turnoffs about me (yeah, he tried to give me the list when we broke up – still not advisable) were traits that my husband loved. And with my husband, we did a few things that are generally bad practices (met online before I moved and basically carried on a phone relationship for months before we met in person) but it worked out anyway, because we had chemistry, compatibility, timing….it just clicked.

    So, definitely keep up with the therapy, work on understanding that women are individuals with their own thoughts and preferences, get a handle on the technophobia, etc. But I think you really need to relax on the idea that if you do make every move perfectly, you earn a relationship. Sometimes you are going to do everything right and fail. Sometimes you are going to make mistakes along the way and put your foot in your mouth and they will want to date you anyway.

    These things you are focusing on are tiny details. On average, phone calls before a date are not a great idea. More women than not would prefer to stay on surface details for the first few conversations. These are generalities, not unyielding laws of physics. I suspect that you are coming off as very intense and trying so hard to get all the details right that you are scaring women off that way. Fix the stuff about yourself that you need to fix (in therapy), but also accept that you aren’t for everyone, no matter how perfectly you check boxes. And that’s ok.

    #886430 Reply

    “These are generalities, not unyielding laws of physics.”

    This is so true. You’re looking for a recipe, and we can’t give you one. Something about you might be a dealbreaker for one woman, and the very same thing might be irresistible to another woman.

    So much of what makes romance exciting and fun is the unexpected. The surprises. I have the feeling that’s a negative for you. You want something very predictable that fits exactly into your picture of the relationship you want.

    In reading along here, I’ve often thought about what you’re missing out on by focusing on bringing your (very specific) fantasy to life. You could have been in a deeply fulfilling relationship with a woman your own age all this time, that completed you in ways you never even thought about. A woman who ticked none of your boxes on paper, but meshed so well with your personality and introduced you to new interests that you never would have discovered on your own.

    #886443 Reply

    This is true, but some things are going to be red flags for pretty much any sane woman, like being sketchy and evasive about your job, having no online presence, and not being reachable through messaging. And refusing to acknowledge or understand why women need to protect themselves.

    None of that is acceptable these days, and that’s why one of your few in-person meetings was with a nut job who suggested riding with the Uber Eats guy as a first date.

    #886452 Reply

    No you don’t need to get in-depth early, you just need to be able to chat easily without any immediate red flags going up. Rapport can happen between any two people for many different levels of connection it doesn’t have to be an indicator of romantic interest, it can easily mean you’ve met someone that you get along with and could talk with more. Anything beyond surface level comes later, like say a few dates in (platonic or romantic).

    #886460 Reply

    Echoing @Nicole, I was thinking about this too: once you get yourself in a place where you are mentally, emotionally, financially and physically ready for a relationship, you will probably have to go through quite a few at-bats before you find the right one. I started online dating in my city in 2011. I was 28. It took me, gosh, 8 years, 3 (other) relationships, and dozens of first dates/1-3 dates before I met my boyfriend last year. With all of these men (we were mostly on OKCupid), we were extremely compatible via “the numbers”. I did take about 2 years off in there, to get over breakups, but still. During that time I started therapy and worked really hard on myself. I don’t believe I was sabotaging relationships and most of the issues were with the men I was dating, but if I had not been going to therapy my relationship would not be as secure and smooth as it is now, for sure.

    All that to say: I know it sucks, but 1. there is NO formula, and 2. therapy will only help to get you into “relationship shape”. Then, be prepared for more failure than success. It happens to all of us.

    Also: generally speaking, yeah, a first date isn’t necessarily the time to get deep. Then again, if you really have a connection, it definitely can. I’ve spent 6 hours on a first date (these usually turned into a few months-long dating or full-fledged relationships). My boyfriend and I sent novels of messages to each other before we met, and we closed down the bar on our first date. That is real connection. I feel like we keep trying to explain connection, something that’s very difficult to explain with words. I’ve met men who “on paper” were exactly what I was looking for and felt zero connection. My boyfriend and I were not 99% compatible by OKCupid numbers but we fit together better than I even imagined when we met. Maybe think back to when you were with your ex-gf years ago. What drew you to her? How did you develop your relationship? The basics are the same, no matter how you meet.

    #886495 Reply

    I’m actually not talking about deep conversation. You can find points of connection over superficial things. I recall bonding over wallpaper in the early days with my husband. We don’t care about wallpaper, we were just in a room with wallpaper I hated.

    What I really mean by speaking about how to connect is that you look for things you can ask about or connect with in the things SHE’S saying. For instance, I’m an artist and I work primarily in technology. AKA, I make video games. So, I also play a lot of games. If you were my date, I don’t expect you to play games or even really LIKE games. But I do expect you to respect that I like games and to try to engage with me on something at least adjacent to the topic.

    So, because I know you drive for a living, I might try to engage you on the differences in a driving simulation and driving in real life. That’s a point of connection and I would want you to at least try to think a little creatively and find some questions or interesting anecdotes. It’s another reason to share what you do. I’m not looking to judge you, but to find what I can share about my life that intersects with yours. That is how I connect with you.

    What I FEEL when I’m trying to talk to you, even in this format, is that you are too busy trying to figure out what you are going to say to me that you fail to internalize what I have just said to you. Stop a beat, take in what I’ve said, it’s important even if it’s superficial, even if it’s something you don’t care about. I need you to care about it or I wouldn’t have said it.

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