Help me attract available men please!
June 26, 2010 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Please help me attract available men!

For the past 3.5 years I've found myself unable to attract available men. (I'm a hetro female for the record)

It started happening after I got burned pretty badly by an online crush who turned out to be lying about a lot of things, so I wonder if there isn't something inside of me that never recovered from the experience.

He had talked to me everyday on skype for months, flew across the world to see me, I helped him talk with his publisher in this country, he became belligerent when I admitted my feelings for him, and told me he had never been attracted to me in the first place. My relationship with him was one of the first times I believed I could trust someone so I had a hard time getting over it.

I have little trouble attracting anyone, but they are always unavailable for a real relationship; either emotionally unavailable, or married, or don't want a commitment, or only want to string me along.

Sometimes I really wonder if I'm broadcasting something that says "only interested in sex." My clothing and makeup are not overly sexual, so I don't think it's this, although I've noticed an increase in men who only want to sleep with me since dyeing my hair blonde and moving to a big city.

Is it me who is giving off the vibe that I'm unavailable? How on earth can I fix it? Or could I just be having a run of bad luck? Thanks for your advice!
posted by fan_of_all_things_small to Human Relations (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Change roles. Stop being the one who looks and filter those who look for you.
posted by Biru at 5:28 PM on June 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

It might be helpful if you tell AskMe how you currently look for men. Do you use dating sites, meet people through mutual friends, go to bars, what?
posted by MadamM at 5:35 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Your profile says you're in Japan. Are you still there? I ask because I figure there's a significant difference in dating cultures between America/Europe (where most MeFites hail from) and Japan.
posted by griphus at 5:40 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

i'm normally opposed to this sort of advice - but - if you want to stop being the gal guys just want to sleep with once, stop sleeping with men early in the pairing.
posted by nadawi at 6:14 PM on June 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Were there any red flags during your early conversations? Anytime I've been with a man who eventually flaked on me, I could look back and pinpoint things that gave me pause, but I decided to overlook. When you're excited about someone, it's really easy to gloss over issues (personality or otherwise) that could indicate potential problems down the road. Also, I think these types of guys are rampant in the online dating world. I know there are good men out there, but you have to weed through the liars, the men who are just seeking attention, the "grass-is-always-greener" serial daters, etc. to find them.

This guy sounds like a jerk. Allow yourself to feel bad for a few days and then start looking forward to the fact that now you're free to find the man who's right for you.
posted by lucysparrow at 6:57 PM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Assuming you're an American living in Japan, I'm thinking being the Foreign Girl has more to do with this than anything you're doing with your hair. Try considering for a moment what a Japanese dude's mother or grandmother would say about their son marrying an American. In this calculus, you're probably more likely to be seen as a sexual adventure more than family material. This page (warning: suggests that there's far fewer men looking for foreign women.
posted by pwnguin at 7:07 PM on June 26, 2010

I have little trouble attracting anyone, but they are always unavailable for a real relationship

That does rather imply that you do have trouble attracting very specific anyones-- the kind who are single or otherwise available for an above-board committment, and who want that kind of committment with you.

Since we don't know what your tactical dating paradigm is, I don't know how much help we can be. I suspect most of your dating/ flirting occurs in environments that lend themselves to high-pressure and high-deception approaches, and that you might need to avoid those sorts of events and places.

Focus on doing things and going places because you enjoy them, and not because they offer hookup opportunities. If you do what you love and connect with people who enjoy the same sorts of experiences outside of a "must date! must flirt!" atmosphere, I think you'll be happier with your eventual partners.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:13 PM on June 26, 2010

Sorry, I just re-read your question and it sounds like the skype guy was awhile ago. But still... don't feel bad about it anymore! And to answer your question, obviously none of us can tell what kind of vibe you're giving off, but I really think the key is to look at where you're meeting these men, how the relationship progresses, and what your role is in the relationship. You could have a really obvious pattern that you're not even aware of and recognizing it might help you weed out the unavailable men (or at least reduce the amount of time you spend with them).

Also, yeah--you could just be having a run of bad luck. It happens.
posted by lucysparrow at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2010

The impression I get from the way you phrase your question, and the types of guys who are coming to you, make me think that you're not projecting unavailability. Rather, it sounds like your attitude is "I'll take what I can get" - and guys who aren't willing to offer much are picking up on that, thinking you might take them up on their lame offers.

You know you deserve better, which is the first and most important step - some people never figure that out, and get into all sorts of relationships that don't make them happy and don't have good chances from the start.

Biru's advice is good here. I wish I could tell you exactly how to put it into practice, but basically you need to adopt the attitude that you're without a doubt great enough to attract a fantastic guy, and he will come to you, and in the meantime if anyone shows interest but can't or won't offer you what you want? Don't give them much thought. They're the people who don't make it past the first round of auditions, or who send resumes that go straight in the trash. (To extend the job metaphor: the more publicly you advertise, the more crap resumes you will get; but even if you don't advertise, you are desirable, and someone who's a good match and who wants to be with you will seek you out.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:29 PM on June 26, 2010 [5 favorites]

I haven't read the comments, so please forgive me if anyone else has said this already ...

I don't think there's any such thing as being the type to attract unavailable men vs. available men, sketchy/bad guys vs. nice guys. But I DO think there is such a thing as being the type to be willing to put up with certain behaviors. It's not that you attract them more. It's that you stick around for longer whereas another person would have been outta there a lot faster.

I think that once you stop being willing to put up with sketchy/unavailable behaviors, you will stop feeling as if you are constantly surrounded by unavailable men.

I also suspect that you look at the wrong signs to tell whether someone is available or not, is into you or not, is a good guy or not.

Spending hours with you on Skype and flying all around the world, sounds like something that would be very flattering. But it is the behavior of someone pursuing an infatuation. Someone having an infatuation with you is not the same thing as someone wanting a commitment with you and/or deeply caring about you. It's obviously possible that someone could be infatuated with you AND want a commitment with you. But don't assume that just because the infatuation is there, that the desire for commitment or the care is there too. If I were you, I would assume it was NOT there until you guys actually talk about it and decide to commit. Seriously. Don't tell yourself, "I know he SAID he's just not ready to commit right now, but he wouldn't be spending hours talking to me unless he was madly in love with me. He acts like my boyfriend so he pretty much is my boyfriend, he's just scared to admit it." NO. Don't play yourself like that.

Only spend your time on guys whose words match their actions, and both their words and their actions should be consistently demonstrating that they are taking real, tangible steps to make commitment happen. Otherwise don't waste your time.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:56 PM on June 26, 2010 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: MadamM - I've met people a variety of ways, but the common ones tend to be either through networking as a musician, attending shows or through people I've played with, or through the internet. Recently I use okcupid.

griphus - I still live in Japan and I'm aware that I'm being foreign may increase the number of men who are only interested in a fling. However I had 2 longish relationships with Japanese men prior to this 3 year dry spell, only for the last 3 years have the problems been happening.

nadawi - I don't sleep with people until there have been a few dates.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small at 11:31 PM on June 26, 2010

...either emotionally unavailable, or married, or don't want a commitment, or only want to string me along.

It sounds to me that you've just had a run of bad luck and because of your bad experience with the online guy, you are reading this as if you are doomed. There are a TON of guys out there that fall into one of these three categories, and sadly, the longer you look, the more you will find. The best way to find a guy is to stop looking. Yes, it makes no sense, but the less you care, the better guys you will meet. Go on with your life, make friends and stop looking - there are a ton of nice guys out there, but you won't find them until you stop trying to meet them.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:57 PM on June 26, 2010

You have blonde hair, and this may affect what kinds of Japanese men are approaching you.

Plus, you live in Tokyo, so if you are dating or encountering non-Japanese men, many of these guys are going to be transient and not really interested in an LTR.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2010

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