I posted this reply on another site to a gentleman who bemoaned the fact he couldn't seem to 'find' a date. In order to protect the innocent, I've left out his identity, but...you should know that he mentioned making friends with 'several really gorgeous professional women who kept him at arms length'. Mammoth red-flag moment! I suspected and addressed some common fallacies that I've stumbled upon while attempting to navigate the dating game myself (after too many years on the sidelines)...
I started researching dating sites for a story idea. I looked at the various reviews and combed through the horror stories. Then I went on a few of the free sites and started reading the "about me" stuff that men posted. After weeding out the freaks, I really concentrated on what the rest had to say about themselves and it was...needy. Very needy. Which isn't attractive, at all.
Then there were the ones who sabotaged themselves from the beginning by choosing a name which included "Lonely" and "Desperate" or had a laundry list of requirements that started with, "I've been alone for too long". Well, duh? A fairy tale princess couldn't live up to their fantasies. We won't even go into the number of 60 YO's searching for 30-somethings or younger. That was scary.
My point is that they are setting themselves up for disappointment, it might not be conscious, but these are the guys who will be whining that they can't find a date or get anyone to contact them. When I look at a cell-phone picture of some guy slumped in his office chair, in a t-shirt with a wild-eyed look and an unkempt beard, sadly in need of a haircut--am I hugging the keyboard in anticipation of luring him to love me and be Mr. Right? Hell no! If I read his bio and list of demands, puzzling through the typos and lack of capitalization--does that make a girl swoon? Not hardly.
So, a few thoughts. Rein in your desperation. It shines like a lighthouse, warning women to steer clear of the rocks. If you've tried Plenty of Fish or something similar, take a good hard look at what you've written. Be realistic. Relax. Don't ask for the moon. Since you are able to write without typos and know where the cap key is located, you're way ahead of most of the competition. Take a good hard look in the mirror. Are your standards way too high? Gorgeous women are attracted to brains and attitude and high-achievers, (which will probably get me in trouble, but that's my take) but if that's all you yearn for or will accept, you've set yourself up for failure.
Stop hoping for instant success or that magic moment. Get yourself out in social settings. Do you go to the local community center and take a few classes? How about the rec center for a work-out? Don't be afraid to say "hello" or have a inconsequential conversation about the weather. Look a girl in the eye, don't stare at your feet. Be prepared to walk away but also train yourself to look for clues that she wouldn't mind talking a little longer. Make a joke. Ask her if she'd like to grab a cup of coffee. Settle in and have a conversation with someone, even if she's not gorgeous. I doubt she'll tackle you like a linebacker if you take a moment to pass the time of day. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by how interesting/funny that person is, under their cloak of social insecurity.
Give yourself a quota. One short, pleasant conversation a week with someone different. Even if it's the clerk behind the counter at a convenience store! Get in the habit. Try to think positive, instead of negative. I know it's hard but you have to try.
So, now you're wondering, "She's nagged me forever, where's the embarrassment come in?" Yeah, I kind of hoped you'd never ask. Let's just say that I no longer have the excuse of searching the dating sites for research only. My very long marriage has reached it's expiration date and I'm speaking to you as the voice of experience. I've made the effort to reach out and send comments a few times. The responses have been less than spectacular. Even the men who claim they just want someone to 'pen-pal' with seem to have a severe 'fantasy' dysfunction.
My one and only civil offer to have lunch was from a 70 YO gentleman who has apparently kicked the bucket, as near as I can tell. The other hot prospect was after a little something on the side while his wife was at work. No thanks. I think I'll leave the dating sites to the impossible dreamers and go to the gym, or take a class or make it a point to smile and say a few words while I'm waiting in line at the store. The chances are a million times better for a pleasant moment or a good laugh or perhaps a chance to make a new friend. And friendship is a very good place to start a new romance.