I'm asking you so I don't have to ask the PUA jerks...
July 11, 2010 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I've managed to develop my looks and charm to the point where the women I'm into are actually willing to give me their phone numbers. And then... nothing. What's going on?

I'm a single 31-year old male living in the geographic sausagefest that is silicon valley. I've had problems in the dating world for years and years and years, mainly, I think, because I've spent most of my adult life very overweight.

Well, over the last 6 months, I've dropped 40 pounds and counting. Women are starting to notice. I still have some more weight to lose, but now I'm actually a decent-looking guy. I'm also very charming and sociable, have lots of friends, an interesting life, good conversational skills and stories to tell, a cute accent, etc. Losing weight has also given me lots more confidence than before.

So now I have a new problem. I seem to be able to generate plenty of initial interest that just... goes away. I'll be out and about (a cafe, the gym, etc.), and I'll meet some woman to whom I'm attracted. We'll chat for a bit, and if she still seems interesting + she seems interested in me + we have stuff in common + she doesn't have some inconvenient boyfriend or something, I'll suggest meeting up again and get her phone number.

Ok, so far, so good, right? And I have, for the first time in my life, been having no problem with this. When I really decide to put myself out there I can meet an interesting someone (or multiple someones) different every day.

Once -- seriously -- once I met an actual model on the train. Got to talking to her. And she initiated the phone number stage. A real life fashion model uttered the phrase "you should take my number" to me.

But then the post-phone-number stage is a big brick of nothin'. I'll call or text her, she won't respond. Or there'll be a brief exchange of messages along the "witty exchange about previous night's events" lines, and then she'll stop responding. Or we'll actually get to trying to arrange a date and there'll be endless fruitless back and forth about days and times that eventually peters out. Or we'll set something up, then she'll cancel. (Usually in these situations, I'll just drop the whole thing -- there are too many people in the world to chase ones who don't bother to respond to communications/cancel dates etc. Should I be more persistent?)

It's kind of bizarre. I'm starting to think I have some sort of weird power where I exude deceive-yourself-into-thinking-you're-into-me pheromones in person that wear off after 20 minutes. That would explain lots of otherwise unusual facts, like why I can't get ANY attention in the online dating world.

I could probably go on for pages giving little maybe-relevant details. That's the conundrum of the anonymous askme. I'll give just one -- I do tend to go for slightly younger women (don't scold me for this please, we're all attracted to what we're attracted to -- it's not a deliberate thing), like mid-20's, sometimes early-20's. Maybe that has something to do with all this disappearing?

Or... I dunno.

Please just toss stuff out there -- what causes single women to give out their phone number in a context where they've been talking to someone and it's obvious there's some vestigial interest going on on both sides, and then nada?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (55 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
In view of your comments about having problems with internet dating, could it be that you're doing something in the email or phone interactions that's turning them off?

Perhaps you're unintentionally giving off some vibe? Acting too eager, or too blase, or mentioning something inappropriate about yourself, e.g. talking about your ex-girlfriend or desire to expand your boa constrictor collection or something?

Alternatively, are you in a career or similar position where someone might want to exchange numbers solely for professional reasons, and then gets turned off because you jump right into a dating mode?
posted by gabrielsamoza at 10:26 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What are you saying when you call or text? A short reminder of who you are/how you met and a direct request for getting together again "date" should work. Is that what you are doing?
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


No idea for sure, but here are two guesses:
1) You're maybe trying to hard. Women can get skeeved out if you seem a little too eager.
2) Maybe you're attracted to flakes? You mention that you're into women in their 20s. That's the peak time for indecisive behavior (don't hate me, 20-somethings: I was there once).
posted by Gilbert at 10:29 AM on July 11, 2010


Is it possible your newfound confidence has made your approach a bit too forward? If you are being pushy yet civilized and non-creepy, people may feel safe enough in giving you their phone number with the intention of blowing you off later.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2010


It's not you, it's just the way it is. And it's not just about dating. It's not uncommon for me to meet someone, find someone interested, possibly exchange info and then just ... not do something about it. I have a life and a full(ish) social schedule and sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it to work on making friends with this new person. Or we'll exchange a few emails but an actual meet just doesn't happen.

And you'll note I said "making friends" -- I'm not talking about dating.

So I would guess a large number of those ladies just after the fact decide they just aren't interested enough to put the effort out to get to know someone new. It's not about you being unattractive or having some mysterious field. It's just that getting to know new people is hard and time-consuming and a lot of those women probably have full social lives and dating options with people they already know pretty well.

So, again, it's probably a matter of numbers. And probably having more female friends in your social circle (you're more likely to make an effort to get to know a new guy for a friend-of-a-friend than basically a stranger.)
posted by R343L at 10:33 AM on July 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Err, "interesting" not interested. I assume they find me interesting too, but I'm speaking more of my perceptions.
posted by R343L at 10:34 AM on July 11, 2010


This is from anecdotal evidence alone, but unless you're rather interesting and/or rather attractive, the odds are against a guy in his 30s w/r/t the early-mid 20s girls in the bar and club scene. It's not impossible, but it is very much less likely. There's nothing wrong with trying -- in fact that's the only thing you can do -- but you will be getting less dates than if you try to move slightly higher in the age bracket.

(Also: from someone who used to do the she-was-a-model-dude bragging all the damn time: cut it out, especially if you're using it as some sort of yardstick of self-worth.)
posted by griphus at 10:35 AM on July 11, 2010 [17 favorites]


Once -- seriously -- once I met an actual model on the train. Got to talking to her. And she initiated the phone number stage. A real life fashion model uttered the phrase "you should take my number" to me.

She could probably smell your amazement and elation. That kind of thing is flattering for a woman, but you don't want to date that guy. I would think a model would be particularly wise to that game.

Also, I think you're running into the general odds for the random pickup. With no other context to ground the relationship (i.e. you're part of some group where you have a chance to get to know one another), the random pickup will often, but not always, fizzle out quickly. I think you have one of two choices: you could become the master of the pickup, widen your net, hit on everyone, take what comes your way and enjoy the ride, or you could focus on becoming a part of social scenes where people get to know one another in a more long-term setting. This will lesson the number of encounters you have, but I would bet the ones you do have will be more serious-minded.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:40 AM on July 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


When a woman gives you her number, all that really means is that you've made a good first impression. First impressions are nice, but often someone who seemed attractive and interesting at the barbecue last night seems meh on the phone two days later.

Which is not a judgment on you, at all. Dating is not a hierarchy, it's people finding other people they're compatible with. A woman deciding she's not interested is not a stain on your character, she's just one of the billions of women who isn't right for you.

I also have to say that I find it difficult to get to "dating/relationship" from the "stranger in a bookstore" phase*. You should be prepared for that to pretty much never work out. Certainly don't feel like you've struck out or are bad at meeting women when this doesn't work for you. It's like playing the lottery.

I have much more success meeting people through friends, or at social gatherings or organized activities. Or online - though there is a high rate of "you look nice, oh, meh, nevermind" inertia on dating sites, too.

*I think this worked once, and I met the woman in question at a reading, not just browsing the stacks (let alone on the subway or in the supermarket or something even more anonymous). And we went out on like 3 dates before we realized that, for all we had in common, we weren't compatible in a relationship sense.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I've myself been guilty of giving a guy my number(even offering it to him) and never getting back to him. Even further, knowing that I wasn't going to get back to him while I was giving him the number. Usually when this happened I wasn't terribly attracted to the guy, but he wasn't repulsive either. Or, I liked the guy but didn't have a high enough interest level to take it further. Giving the number just feels like a friendly or polite gesture.

I don't think it's your problem because you can only be yourself, but sometimes I think women may have fleeting feelings of attraction towards the men they interact with. This feeling usually goes just as quickly as it comes(which would explain your 20 minute shelf life).

To remedy your problem maybe you could try a different tactic to meet women with more promise. Instead of pursuing completely random girls, try connecting with some you may already know or have something definite in common with. Example, if you're in the book store, put the moves on girls that are browsing in topics you know something about(instant conversation that's more in depth than the typical get-to-know-you chat).

Also, if you're having trouble online reevaluate your profile, something could be off..
posted by xbeautychicx at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


What R343L said, about it being difficult to initiate new relationships period, not just dating. I'm at the "setting up playdates" phase of life and it can be SO HARD to get a new playdating relationship going with a new family -- people are just BUSY and new people take so much more effort than people you already know!

Also, back when I was dating, I don't recall ever calling someone I met casually, or giving out my number on first meeting more than a couple times, and usually the next day I was like, "Well, that guy seemed nice, but I don't know, going out with a stranger is weird. I'll just let it go to voicemail." Usually I'd meet someone three or four times before I'd feel comfortable exchanging numbers or e-mails -- and that might be in a club or class, because we both go to the same bar every Friday, at work, whatever. But I always felt sort-of weird about giving my number to someone I'd just met once, and even weirder about going out with them. Casual, "I'll be here next Friday, will I see you?" would definitely get my interest, and after the 2nd or 3rd time I might trade numbers and follow up.

I probably missed a lot of great dates this way, I know. But I was meeting lots of people and had lots of friends and, I don't know, dating can be so UNSAFE for women. I vastly preferred to have a stronger "read" on a guy before I went out with him ... even better if he was at least an acquaintance of an acquaintance (if not a FOAF) so I could learn a little more about him from someone who already knew him.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Please just toss stuff out there...

Well, okay. An analogy: I recently sold a car on Craigslist. I wrote a really nice, honest ad, about my nice and fairly priced car, with nice pictures. Over the course of a week or so, I got at least 10 emails from people who were "really interested in my car." Several explicitly asked for my phone number so we could talk about the car. Several asked when they could come look at the car. I promptly replied to every inquiry.

Of the 10 people who'd contacted me via email, perhaps four emailed me a second time. Of those four, three called me on the phone and scheduled a test drive. The first two were very enthusiastic about the car, said they wanted to buy it, said they just needed to talk to their bank / dad / alternate funding source and would get back to me in a day or so. Neither followed through. The third guy who actually called came over and bought the car a few hours later.

My point is that this is a numbers game, and the readiness of a customer to buy something has nothing to do with how you present yourself, what you look like, or anything else about you. It sounds like you're inclined to think every problem you encounter has to be rooted in some personal shortcoming. It's just not true.
posted by jon1270 at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2010 [18 favorites]


You need to get the woman back into the state of attraction she was in when she gave you her number in the first place. Be manly: confident, yet playful.

One approach I'm fond of is when you've got the woman on the phone, talk enthusiastically about something you're about to do -- going for a bike ride, going to see some live music, whatever... even going to the grocery store can be an adventure if you set out with the intention to have fun. If her response is enthusiastic, tell her to come with you.

That's tell, not ask. Not "hey, would you maybe might maybe consider coming along? That would sure be swell!" but "I'm about to go for a ride on the XYZ trail. You've got a bike, right? Come with me. It'll be fun." Women (in the general case) are attracted to a guy who takes charge and has a plan. Even if she has a more dominant personality, she'd probably rather that you propose something specific first, and then she can interject her own plan, and you can go along with it like it's no big deal to you, or you can be playful and tease her about how lame her thing sounds, etc.

As far as texting goes, arouse her curiosity when you first text her. Something like: "Hey, I saw a movie last night and it got me thinking about you." (thinking about me how?) Or be cocky: "Miss me yet?" or "I know all you've been doing is thinking about me, but I'm way out of your league." Make yourself into a challenge for her. Challenge = exciting = attractive
posted by brain at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Have you ever tried setting up an actual date upon first meeting? That is, instead of saying, "we should get together some time. Can I get your number?" try saying, "I was thinking about going to see Sesame Street on Ice this Friday. Would you like to go with me?" (Obviously, using an actual thing you're interested in doing, such an arts event, an athletic activity, or a bunch of muppets on ice skates. Make it something you enjoy doing that is in a public place and will give you a chance to talk.)

This approach has a few upsides. First, it helps some in separating out the flakes and/or women who aren't actually into you. You have a real plan that she can say yes or no to, and so she can blow you off on the spot if she wants to instead of dragging things out (note, if she says "I'm busy that night," but does not offer an alternative, she's likely not into you). Second, it cuts out all of the texting and awkward phone calls and whatnot that are apparently getting in your way. You just don't have to do that part anymore. You just call to confirm what time you're meeting, and then either go on your date or don't. Finally, most people like to get to know people who are interesting and have things going on in their lives. By having specific things in mind that you like to do and invite her to join you in doing, you make it even more clear that you're an interesting, fun person with a cool life she should want to be a part of.

Of course, there will still sometimes be people who say yes on the spot and then flake out on you or cancel or stand you up. But those people were going to flake on you anyway, so you haven't really lost anything. Good luck!
posted by decathecting at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I think it's just the way it is. People don't really get that interested in people they meet randomly, unless they are absolutely remarkable. I do it at least twice a week, meet someone who I don't know hit it off, get their number, then things just fizzle cause I don't feel the need to make the effort with someone I barely know.

If you want my advice, try waiting until you've bumped into a person socially a couple of times before asking them out, that way they already kind of know you and are forced to respond one way or another.
posted by Rainsborough at 10:52 AM on July 11, 2010


Oh god PLEASE don't pull the "negging" BS. Ever. But especially on someone you think you have a shot at a real connection with. It might get you laid. Maybe. But that's really about it, and if it works she probably would have slept with you anyway without you having to manipulate her through cruelty.

I find it a horrible turnoff, because A) no, I actually don't like being insulted, and B) at best, it seems kind of rehearsed and disingenuous. And if I'm going to get involved with someone, I want it to be with someone who respects me and who I can have honest and open interactions with.

Also, usually, if I'm talking to someone about hobbies, interests, social plans, etc. and they mock me about them, 99 times out of 100 I'm going to conclude that we have nothing in common and they don't respect the stuff I'm into. Call me crazy, but I like dating people who enjoy the same things I enjoy.
posted by Sara C. at 10:55 AM on July 11, 2010 [14 favorites]


I'll take the harsh-but-logical approach. What should be occuring to you is that it's not just a matter of sausage-fest location, looks, confidence, or charm. The reason this didn't occur to you earlier was because those were all convienient blockages allowing you to avoid having to dissect the problem further.

Women are attracted to actions and attitudes, not looks and charm. Seriously. Your actions are saying, "I'm attracted to women based on their looks and a two minute conversation." "I think women should be attracted to me based on my looks and a two minute conversation." "If women are not sufficiently attracted to me based on my looks and a two minute conversation, they must not like me as a person."

Your actions need to be saying, "I like your looks, but I don't know you well yet. Let's be friends and get to know each other better, and then decide if there's chemistry." "I think you should like my looks, but also want to get to know me better as a friend and then decide if there's chemistry." "If you're not sufficiently attracted to me based on my looks and a two-minute converstation, that just means you don't know me very well as a person."

Basically, you need to present the impression that she would be worth spending time with even if she didn't want to date you, just because you enjoy her company as a friend, and enjoy her conversation. If this isn't true, you need to fake it well.

But then the post-phone-number stage is a big brick of nothin'. I'll call or text her, she won't respond. Or there'll be a brief exchange of messages along the "witty exchange about previous night's events" lines, and then she'll stop responding. Or we'll actually get to trying to arrange a date and there'll be endless fruitless back and forth about days and times that eventually peters out.

This is not how it works. You don't impress her with your wit and act like you both just casually fell into "setting something up." You make yourself more vulnerable, cut the dancing around and tiptoeing, admit your like her personality and want to spend more time with her, and then ask her if she would like to go to X event with you at X time? If not, would X time be better? If not, then you say, "Let me know if you get any free time/feel like it later." Hang up, don't call her, she'll call you.

Basically, don't say, "Do you want to go out with me? Do you want to maybe do this or that? Or not? What do you want?" You say, "I want to go out with you. I'm doing this or that. I'd love it if you'd come along. If not, that's cool too."
posted by Nixy at 10:55 AM on July 11, 2010 [45 favorites]


I don't think it's that odd that you're being ignored when you try to follow up. I think it happens to everyone.

Once you get some distance from someone, it's much easier for second thoughts to set in, and I think women often decide it's not worth the risk. Quite frankly, there are a lot of douchebags out there, and the odds are that at least some of the women you're talking to have been burned, which makes them more reluctant to take the risk to go on a date again. If you give the wrong signal or even if you're sort of "meh," it may not seem worth it.

Also, although you don't want to talk about the age thing, I think it's relevant.

When I was 23, if I met a 31-year-old man and liked him well enough to offer him my number, I probably wouldn't return his calls later, either. Once I had some time to think, I would begin to seriously question why he was interested in someone so much younger. I've never ruled out dating someone older, but I would only do so if I knew the person well enough to know that we actually had a lot in common. With someone that I'd just met, I would be very suspicious that he was attracted to my age and not me as a person.

Honestly, your post gives me the impression that you are attracted to the age rather than the woman. Regardless of whether you can "change that," it's something that self-confident, savvy women should legitimately be wary of.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


What about if, when you get the number/email you make your first contact something real brief, clear and pointed. "Hi, it's A., want to meet me tomorrow at 2:00 for coffee at Silicon Cafe on 4th street?" That's it...if you hear from her you do, if you don't you don't. Don't be any more invested than that at this point. (And yes, things are really that tentative and/or hit or miss at this point. I suspect it's a bay area thing, but it may be just a dating thing in general.)

Good luck and don't let this general and non-personal flakiness bust your confidence.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:59 AM on July 11, 2010


It sounds like you're primarily trying to meet dating partners by approaching them in public places. I think this is one of your main problems. It's just not a very good way to meet people to date. I'm sure there are some people out there who make that strategy work -- you're apparently not one of them. Neither am I.

I recommend meeting people through friends, breaking into some new social circles, finding some groups or activities where you'll meet a lot of new people interested in the same things you are, etc. Make new friends and you'll get invited to parties, and you can meet girls there. Check out some of the other threads on how to meet new interesting people.

And check out the SIRC guide to flirting, if you haven't already.
posted by Faust Gray at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you're looking for random action, I don't have any advice. If you're looking for opportunities to actually date, why not join a club or volunteer?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2010


I get that you don't want to ask the PUAs but let me give my input as someone who learned a few things from them...

1. There's always going to be a flake ratio with phone numbers. If you're very good, 50% of numbers will actually result in something (a second date, etc.). That's just the nature of the game. You can work your way up from 10% to 50% though.

2. It does depend though on how much of a connection you two developed during your interaction. The stronger the connection, the less likely the flake. That's because attractive women meet dozens of "cute guys" every week and it's nothing to them. So try to create connection so she feels like she knows you (and not just your personality).

Ways to create a connection: talk about things you can connect on emotionally - experiences, ambitions, childhood, family, outlook on life. I.e. non-superficial stuff.

The shorter the timeframe, the harder it is to make a connection, but try.

3. The way you get the number matters. First, get her to qualify herself as a non-flake. "Hey you're not the type of girl that gives her number but then gets all lame and flakey are you? No? Okay good." This is surprisingly effective at reducing flakes.

Second, try not to leave immediately after you get the digits (though sometimes unavoidable). Stick around for 5 minutes and chat, then go on your way. Women want to feel like you'll stick around after (whatever they perceive your end goal to be - number, kiss, sex, etc.).

4. It's better to follow up with text and not a call. This is counterintuitive but in my experience true. Text her in the evening after 9 (not Fri-Sun though) and use call-back humor so she remembers who you are (calling her by a nickname, for example). Keep it light and make a statement that doesn't require a response.

"Hey red, it's jeff from the bus. i just saw a cat that looks like it could be your twin."

Don't try to set up a date immediately. Don't ask how her day is. The goal is to get her to text something back on her own. If she does, banter back and forth a few times, then offer to "hang out Thursday night or something."

If she doesn't reply within a day, delete the number and move on.
posted by jeff1010 at 11:12 AM on July 11, 2010


I just give my number instead. Put the ball in her court. I suggest you do the same. Much less headaches.
posted by dobbs at 11:16 AM on July 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is possible for someone to give you their phone number not unlike a lizard dropping its tail — you think you have something and they can get away while you are distracted with this non-valuable "trophy." Tell me you've never had people call your cell phone insisting that this woman gave them this number. Raise the bar as to what you consider interested.

To that end, when you're talking with someone new, drop the conversational ball every so often. If they don't want to pick it back up, you have provided them with an escape. Someone who keeps talking to you through a lapse or two is more likely to be interested. Similarly, if someone initiates conversation with you, that is also a point or two in the "more likely to be interested" favor.

If I am somewhere and someone begins chatting with me, especially while I have my nose in a book or I am attentive to something else, and I drift out of conversation twice and they keep it up, and then they pass me a phone number or email address without prompting, that means that they're probably interested in getting to know more about me, and that's all you can go on, at that point. I mostly operate this way because A) I am rejection averse, B) I am not looking to date anyone, and C) most people find my looks off-putting, weird, or "creepy" and I would rather not go out of my way to make anyone uncomfortable.

Taking contact information from someone does not obligate me to call that person or to email that person and it works both ways.

If you do establish contact, chat for however long is necessary, and, at the end of the conversation, attempt to arrange some sort of meeting. It doesn't even have to be as strong as a "date." This could just be coffee. If she hesitates or avoids the topic, make sure she has your contact information and then stop pressing the issue. She can call you back if she's interested.

If she does arrange a date and then cancels, say "No problem, I know these things come up." Make sure she has your contact information and then that's that. If she wants to set something up, she can call you or email you. Otherwise, do not call.

If you get a call back, you've selected for someone who is probably interested in you in some fashion, could be friendship or romance or whatever, rather than someone who is doing all of this out of politeness or because she feels pressured. Will you probably miss some women who are ambivalent or have hang-ups about being the ones to initiate anything? Yes, you will, given a long enough time span. On the other hand, you're not being a pushy dirtbag or a masher.
posted by adipocere at 11:16 AM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


You should maybe focus on meeting people that you will interact with and meet again. Like through an activity or a group of mutual friends instead of trying to hit on random women constantly and relying on that to meet someone.
If you're too flirty in your texts, that's a HUGE turnoff for a lot of women. It makes you seem like a) a player, b) a creep, c) desperate. Act like you want to be friends, and ask about their interests. Don't jump straight to the giggly flirty stuff, unless the woman seems like she's really interested in that kind of interaction.
As a mid-20s woman, I will say that honestly, most 31-year-old men don't have much to offer me in the way of companionship that a guy my own age wouldn't be a better fit for, because we're more likely to be in the same sort of life stage (recently out of college, newly in a career path, in grad school, etc.). It's not that 5-10 years is a huge age difference in general, but those are ages where people are making a lot of life transitions and it's often more comfortable to be with someone in a similar phase.
Also, not to be a jerk, but when an older guy hits on me, I often get a vibe that they don't do too well with women their age, so they think that somehow a younger girl will be more tolerant of their eccentricities or whatever because we're dumber or less picky. Like I'm going to be wowed by the fact that they're in their 30s.

I'm also an extremely picky and stern person when it comes to random men, so YMMV with women who aren't so peculiar.
posted by ishotjr at 11:21 AM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


be cocky: "Miss me yet?" or "I know all you've been doing is thinking about me, but I'm way out of your league." Make yourself into a challenge for her. Challenge = exciting = attractive

Or...challenge = jerk who is not worth all the work

I do not recommend this approach.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 AM on July 11, 2010 [28 favorites]


I've given out my number and then don't ever follow up with the guy. Look at it this way: if you were giving off creepazoid vibe you wouldn't get a phone number. Right???

I think you're experiencing what a lot of people said, a matter of odds. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or with the women you're meeting. PUAs swear their methods reduce "flake" rates, but I've read up on the different schools of thought and I don't buy any of them.

Anyway, if you want a non-judgmental, confidential female to look at your online profile, memail me.
posted by vincele at 11:58 AM on July 11, 2010


or you can be playful and tease her about how lame her thing sounds

Oh geez, please don't do this. It feels all self-protective, and occasionally it works really well to get you laid, but it's better manners to lay off the negative teasing until you know someone a bit better.

Overall, I'm with Nixy:

You make yourself more vulnerable, cut the dancing around and tiptoeing, admit your like her personality and want to spend more time with her, and then ask her if she would like to go to X event with you at X time? If not, would X time be better? If not, then you say, "Let me know if you get any free time/feel like it later." Hang up, don't call her, she'll call you.

You've already shown you can take a risk by asking people for their numbers. Now take another by directly asking them out on dates.

Age disparities in relationships are totally cool; I know a lot of couples who have ten or more years difference between them. But I think it would be good to reflect on why you are constantly going for younger women. Are you hoping that they will be less judgmental? Less confident? Less able to compare you to other men? Or, of course, something much more benign? The point being, the reasons for your focus on younger women might be part and parcel of why you are getting such poor follow-through results, if they can sense those reasons and don't like them.
posted by Forktine at 12:17 PM on July 11, 2010


For me, what's tough about random pick ups is that there is zero context for the person. You can't ask a mutual friend's opinion. You have no references to provide a track record of normalcy. Are you a high-school dropout who is at NRA libertarian demonstrations when you're not dodging your first wife's calls for child support? Are you a loner who needs me as your only non-work lifeline? (Sorry to sound uncharitable, just showing a few scenarios that might not work for me.) I always had huge questions about our compatability which I could consider in the calmer moments after meeting someone to conclude "eh, probably won't go anywhere."

To that end, you might consider what dates you offer with the goal of letting them know more context about you. "Hey did I mention I organized an art show? The opening is this Friday, and all the great artists I worked with will be saying a few words. You should swing by with [the friend who was with you when we met]." Everyone's different, but that would work better for me.
posted by salvia at 12:22 PM on July 11, 2010


Or be cocky: "Miss me yet?" or "I know all you've been doing is thinking about me, but I'm way out of your league." Make yourself into a challenge for her. Challenge = exciting = attractive

This would make me think you're a presumptuous a-hole that I never want to talk to again and regret giving my phone number. Please don't do this.

OP, you say this: "I'm also very charming and sociable, have lots of friends, an interesting life, good conversational skills and stories to tell, a cute accent, etc. Losing weight has also given me lots more confidence than before." That, to me, makes you sound cocky. I am wondering if you're actually coming across as a sort of odd combination of overconfident and desperate, and like these women owe you something, and you simply do not have the time for them if they cancel a single date on you.

If you look at couples all over the world, you'll find plenty of downright unattractive men with girlfriends or wives. Not saying that looks aren't important, but what's more important is your personality and attitude.
posted by wondermouse at 12:41 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also really like Nixy's comment. It is more realistic. And for me, the less like a numbers game it is to you and the more like there's the possibility of a unique connection, the better. If you're picking up lots of people's numbers, why should *I* be the one to call you back? What do you even know about me that makes you want to date *me*?

Especially in early college, I remember feeling like guys (especially older guys that I happened to be nice to when outside of the college campus setting) were trying to capture me for their own without having the slightest clue who I was or what I wanted or whether as a couple, we'd be remotely workable. If I had a hint that I was one of a couple dozen cute twenty-somethings you were hitting on, that would've been a huge turnoff, like "oh go fuck yourself, I'm not some random cute girl." I'm not saying this is how you are, just how life was for me as a 20-year-old. Also, I've always been a romantic and not someone for casual encounters, so YMMV with others. (I remember thinking "Mr. Auto Mechanic, am I really going to end my road trip here and drop out of college to live with you in Randomsville, Colorado?" I never considered that it might just be one fun night, but I'd had a lot of religious influence.)

For someone like my younger self, the whole thing would have to have an air of "this is unique and special, and here's why it could actually go somewhere." So, my advice would be that if you aren't already, either consider these women less as numbers and more as possible serious commitments, or otherwise accept and welcome the fact that people who want something more real and serious won't want to call you back. I tend to think this may be more true for younger women, because now that I'm in my early thirties, a few fun dates or a casual hookup would be more like "whatever, why not? We'll see where it goes."

Peace: I'm just talking about myself and not making negative assumptions about you, so take what's useful and leave the rest. Any negativity here is how I felt towards people trying to pick me up back when I was 21 without really seeing me or knowing what I wanted, and the anger is because I found saying "no" challenging and scary. It's not directed at you or this post.
posted by salvia at 1:10 PM on July 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think maybe you are trying too hard, desperation is the least attractive thing possible.

If you think you really connecting then you could also try the "sudden coffee date" before the phone-number stage - you ask if she'd like some coffee/tea NOW and go to a Starbucks or other place and sit and talk or get drinks then walk someone scenic. You pay unless she insists (not to be sexist or anything - the "inviter" pays). This will generally only work if it is nearby, in a public place with a fair amount of people around - so she feels 100% safe. Don't even think of giving her a ride somewhere or taking her somewhere fairly isolated, you are still a stranger!

I'd also wait for her to ask you for your number or give you her card/number.
posted by meepmeow at 1:17 PM on July 11, 2010


if i meet a guy online, or in real life, and the first (or second or third) thing he says to me after the initial meeting, when he calls or emails or IMs is "hey sexy" or "hey beautiful" or "why are you single, when you're so gorgeous" or "i can't believe you're talking me to me, you're so hot" or any variation where he is overly focused on complimenting me, it is an immediate turnoff, and that person never hears from me again. So... are you doing that?
posted by Kololo at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't unintentionally make someone feel trapped when trying to make plans to meet.
  • Texting is less on-the-spot than calling.
  • Have a specific time and date (Tuesday night around 7?) and let her suggest a better time if it doesn't work. Don't ask, "When are you free?" (The only way out of that question is "Oh, I'm busy... for the rest of the month.")
  • Plan something with a small time commitment. When you ask someone to coffee, you're really asking to hang out for the amount of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. If things are going well, you can always keep hanging out after coffee (no reason for you to explicitly say this ahead of time, though... it's implied).

posted by the jam at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or be cocky: "Miss me yet?" or "I know all you've been doing is thinking about me, but I'm way out of your league." Make yourself into a challenge for her. Challenge = exciting = attractive

Uh, providing a challenge to women who aren't even willing to return your texts isn't a good strategy. This kind of strategy works when you're 20, but as women get older, they're a lot less impressed by cocky and more impressed with charm. This isn't at all charming.

It's quite possible that women who give their number out fairly easily will do so several times a day. It is possible that she has met another guy who she'd rather go out with.

I have found, in my experience, that texting is a very confidence-lacking second move; you've shown her the confidence by asking for her number, follow that up with a phone call, showing you're not at all afraid to be on the spot. Have an event in mind, book tickets and then give her a call, with a "I'm going to X event, if you'd like to go, I'd love to take you out" approach and you're likely to have a partner for the event.
posted by Hiker at 2:17 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wanted to quote this for truth:

Especially in early college, I remember feeling like guys (especially older guys that I happened to be nice to when outside of the college campus setting) were trying to capture me for their own without having the slightest clue who I was or what I wanted or whether as a couple, we'd be remotely workable. If I had a hint that I was one of a couple dozen cute twenty-somethings you were hitting on, that would've been a huge turnoff, like "oh go fuck yourself, I'm not some random cute girl."

If you're asking for multiple women's numbers per day, each individual interaction probably doesn't have that much value for you or for them and is not that noteworthy. For you - they are just that cute girl from the video store, but there was also that cute girl in the grocery, and oh look, another cute girl walking past your building. For them, you're just one of X older guys who expressed interest that day. I think a huge part of the problem is probably that they are picking up on this.

For you, maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe just a random date with a random cute girl who is at least somewhat interesting is what you want, at least in the short term - enough to retain your interest. But it sounds like the prospect of a random date with a random older guy who is just out looking for random cute girls who are at least somewhat interesting is not what they are very interested in.

I'm not saying go to the other extreme and act like you just met your soulmate. But I think you should try to change the situation from what it is now, where the interaction isn't that noteworthy for either of you.

The "numbers game" certainly has its advantages, but this is one of the drawbacks. I think you should figure out something to be interested in about each girl you approach that is more than "she's young and cute." And figure out what about you would interest her, more than all the other guys who hit on her in a day. I am certain that you have something unique to you that would interest the right person, everyone does.

My second piece of advice is: the more attractive she is, the LESS you should mention her looks, ever, at all, in the beginning. If she's really really hot, say ZERO about her looks, find other things to appreciate and like about her. Conversely, if she's not "conventionally" attractive, it's better then to talk about finding her beautiful, if you do.

The way you get the number matters. First, get her to qualify herself as a non-flake. "Hey you're not the type of girl that gives her number but then gets all lame and flakey are you? No? Okay good." This is surprisingly effective at reducing flakes.


Bah. This sounds like Dmitri to me.

Instead, I strongly second what adipocere said:

Raise the bar as to what you consider interested.

To that end, when you're talking with someone new, drop the conversational ball every so often. If they don't want to pick it back up, you have provided them with an escape. Someone who keeps talking to you through a lapse or two is more likely to be interested. Similarly, if someone initiates conversation with you, that is also a point or two in the "more likely to be interested" favor.

posted by Ashley801 at 2:28 PM on July 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


You are most likely to think the best answer here is the one that 'resonates' with you the best, i.e. the answer that you think is correct but need to hear extra confirmation of. Most likely, you think the answer to your problem is *the numbers and odds.* Usually, guys think it's all about the numbers and nothing about their personalities, hence the previous Metafilter advice like email 10 or 20 women a day to get used to rejection and widen the field of candidates or to ask more than 5 or 10 women a week on a date.

My feeling is that your problem is more than the numbers. I don't know you other than what you have written here, in your post, but you seem to me as overconfident, describing yourself as "charming and sociable, have lots of friends, an interesting life, good conversational skills and stories to tell, a cute accent, etc." It's one thing to describe yourself as decent looking, it's another thing to describe your personality as more special and cooler than the average folk. Also, I have usually found that people who are or who have been significantly overweight tend to have something to prove to themselves/ are overcompensating/ try to put on this superficial 'sheen' of coolness. This is not a judgment, just an observation about different groups of people.

This is supported by the fact that you prefer younger women.... like another poster said earlier, you should ask yourself why. Is this because you like younger women because they are closer to your emotional maturity and general stage in life? This is okay. But is it because you think that they are more insecure, less confident and therefore less likely to see through your superficial 'sheen' of coolness?

Noone likes to be asked out just because they might be a potential partner/ they have the appropriate ladybits. People like to be admired for their specialness. So maybe your problem is that you were too focused on your own specialness and not other people's specialness. Focus on the individual person, and not just because she's attractive and had a five minute conversation with you. Focus on the conversation and that you found an interesting person to talk to, and not on the fact that you are desperate to go on A Date.

Most women have these amazing subconscious internal alarm systems. These alarms go off when the man is interested in a woman primarily for sex/ ulterior motives (i.e. the man wants a Girlfriend), and not because of her personality.

Women may not consciously realize this when they give you their number. But after that initial rush of meeting someone new, when they have had some time to think about it, they realize something was slightly "off" about you. Perhaps you were a little too keen to ask for her number, perhaps you made an off-remark, perhaps you were too quick to flirt and tease, perhaps you were too interested even though you barely knew her. Even though they can't put a finger on what exactly it was, they will hesitate to make a specific date or give lukewarm answers to your future advances.

(btw, if you find yourself being too interested in multiple women you just met, and this happens all the time, you might want to reevaluate your reasons for dating...)

p.s. you should really read this old thread here where a female asks why do creepy/obnoxious guys keep hitting on girls if they never have any success?. The responses might be helpful, or at the very least, enlightening.
posted by moiraine at 2:44 PM on July 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


I 'm going to give you some questions to answer. Write as much as you feel necessary.

1) What do you have to offer a beautiful 21-27 year old that she couldn't get from somebody her own age? Money? Power? Looks? Personality?

2) Why do you want somebody so much younger? Why not somebody your own age? Is it purely physical? What do you find unattractive about women in your own age bracket? Would you feel comfortable explaining this to a woman if she asked you?

3) Why might a real life fashion model give her number to you? Why did this make you feel so good that you chose to write about it?

4) What do you think is unattractive about your personality? What do you think that women would find attractive about your personality? How many friends do you have? How many female friends do you have?

5) What is different about you now versus 40 pounds ago? Did you ever attempt to approach women in the same way that you are now? Rate your self esteem before the weight loss and after it.

6) List ten things that you love about yourself. List ten things that you love about three people that you know. List ten things that you absolutely need from a prospective partner.

7) Write a paragraph about what you felt was lacking from your previous relationships. Write about how your previous partners made you feel. How did the outside world view your relationships?
posted by 200burritos at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


First off, your at the height of your powers in your early thirties. This business about being too old is ridiculous.

Secondly, sometimes girls will give you numbers because they want you to go away. You need some serious game to be pulling legitimate phone numbers from random strangers in random places. Not saying it doesn't happen, and not saying you don't have game, but a lot of times you're going to get false positives.

Thirdly, once you get her number, don't text for f*cks sake. Call her, keep it brief, and say "I would like buy you a coffee / drink this week. How about Tuesday?" If she can't do Tuesday, let her choose. If she can't choose she isn't really interested or is playing games. There is no need to try and talk on the phone. As mentioned above, coffee is the perfect date because it can last 10 minutes or 10 hours. Anyone can leave at anytime if things go pear shaped.

Fourthly, do not look up or down at woman. I am speaking figuratively. Look at them straight on. This will help you not be a dick or a dink. Ask them about themselves but also be willing to open up yourself.

Fifthly, good luck. Be a champ. Don't let your fellow men down. Be bold, be brave, be a gentleman. And when it gets to that point, do not ask her if you can kiss her. Just kiss her!
posted by jasondigitized at 4:48 PM on July 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd imagine you're pursuing younger women largely because you're inexperienced with dating and relationships yourself. Very sensible, your immediate problems will likely get worse with women moving towards thirty.

Are you meeting people in bars? If so, that's your problem. If you like that route, ask the PUA jerks.. or maybe stick with bars focusing on one fixed musical taste. I'd recommend however simply spending more time doing stuff that'll increase your circle of friends : spanish classes, dance classes, hiking club, regional burns, a political campaign, whatever.

You're most likely trying too hard like everyone said too, just relax. In particular, you should stop worrying about phone numbers and just talk with girls. In fact, if you're moving in the right sized circles, you can simply stop asking for phone numbers on the first conversation entirely. You'll fair far better with women who you asked only after two independent meetings.

Just forget about online dating, basically worthless, especially worthless for your preferred age group. You might try funkier stuff like crazyblinddate.com or speed dating, but again not for low twenties.

Just fyi, all those women who've been giving you their numbers, yeah many already have boyfriends.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:37 PM on July 11, 2010


if i meet a guy online, or in real life, and the first (or second or third) thing he says to me after the initial meeting, when he calls or emails or IMs is "hey sexy" or "hey beautiful" or "why are you single, when you're so gorgeous" or "i can't believe you're talking me to me, you're so hot" or any variation where he is overly focused on complimenting me, it is an immediate turnoff, and that person never hears from me again. So... are you doing that?

This is especially true for online dating, and might easily be your issue there.

I get several messages a week from the dating site I use, even when I'm not active on the site. Anytime I add a new photo or update my profile, I get dozens of messages. Whenever I decide that I'd like to make a concerted effort to meet people via the site, I have more attention than I know what to do with. And I'm really an average looking person with what is probably a fairly typical profile.

A very large number of the messages I get simply say, "Hello gorgeous!" or something ridiculous and empty like that. I delete them without even the courtesy of a response, because

1. As stated, I get messages from more people than I can feasibly date;

2. How does one respond to "hey sexy!" in an intelligent and engaged way? It leaves the ball entirely in my court, and as someone who is sort of socially awkward, I have no idea what to do with said ball. Give me something to work with here!

3. It implies that the person sending the message either has very little in common with me or hasn't even bothered to try for a more meaningful exchange.

Increasing the quality of your online dating messages while simultaneously decreasing the quantity of same is a GREAT way to have better results.
posted by Sara C. at 6:02 PM on July 11, 2010


I think it's possible that some of the women who seem interested when you meet them actually aren't as interested as you think, but don't have the heart to say no when you ask for their number. It's a lot easier to ignore someone's text message after the fact than it is to tell them to their face that you don't want to give out your number.

Having said that, if you're getting this many phone numbers (sounds like you're getting a ton!), I think some of these women are honestly interested and it's just the "initial attraction fades to 'meh' very rapidly" phenomenon that others have mentioned above. It really is a numbers game...keep trying, and try to meet women in other ways as well (via friends, clubs, etc.)
posted by whitelily at 6:29 PM on July 11, 2010


I'm not patient enough to read through all the people upstream, but the ones I got to sounded really on. I'll offer my advice as one of those 20-something women you're going after.

1. I'll give a number to any guy who isn't obviously psychotic. Some guys get my actual number. Some guys get my older brother's number. Most of the time - on the bus, walking down the street, whatever - I just want to be left alone. I will offer my brother's number as a way to be left alone. I will offer my own number only if I think there's a chance that maybe I could ever be into you. I realize this sounds egotistical; I'm okay with that.

Plus, my brother gets a kick out of it.

2. I'm flaky. Even with a guy I like, I will second-guess myself, and assume the worst of him. This is especially true of men I randomly meet. If we have a common connection - a friend, a club, a sport - I'm more likely to respond.

3. I am most likely to go on an actual date with a man when he actually asks me out on a date, especially if he does it in person. Do it right there and then - have something that you can invite them to. You've got nothing to lose! It barely matters where you invite me - just make some concrete plans. I follow this rule as well. I don't just offer my number. I invite them to movies in the park, or a show I'm going to, or hell, just anything. Do it then and there.

4. Call, don't text. Teenage boys text. Men call.

5. Dating is a shit-fest. As my brother (the one who's endured all those calls from men interested in me) said: "you just need to get lucky, just that once. Everything before that doesn't matter."
posted by punchtothehead at 6:35 PM on July 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Another way to get around this problem is to join a group or two or three where you are likely to see women more than once and develop a relationship with them over a period of time. There's tons of hiking, volunteering, winetasting groups in the Bay Area. Knowing that you met women x at a hike this saturday but you'll see her a second time at a hike next weekend might take the pressure off. Heck, if you're looking to lose weight anyway why not join a running club? You'll be able to serve your goal of losing weight and you're likely to meet and hang out with very fit attractive women. Another suggestion would be the Stanford Outdoor Club (my understanding is that you don't actually have to attend Stanford to join) -- there you're likely to meet intelligent, fit women and the few events I went to the people seemed cool. Good luck.
posted by bananafish at 10:45 PM on July 11, 2010


okay, sorry, it looks like the Stanford Outdoor Club is limited to students. I'm not a Stanford student and I've been on their mailing list for years, but apparently they changed their policy.
posted by bananafish at 10:56 PM on July 11, 2010


When I was in my early-20s I tended to find guys in their thirties a bit old and creepy if they hit on me. But then, that's just me. I'm someone who never gave out their number, just arranged to meet again at some point if I liked them.

Are you giving the impression that you care more about getting a number/date/relationship than the girl? That is a massive turnoff, more so than seeming like you're only interested in someone for sex. I've seen friends of mine - very inexperienced with women and eager to settle down with someone - behave like this and it's fairly un=nerving.

As far as texting goes, arouse her curiosity when you first text her. Something like: "Hey, I saw a movie last night and it got me thinking about you." (thinking about me how?) Or be cocky: "Miss me yet?" or "I know all you've been doing is thinking about me, but I'm way out of your league." Make yourself into a challenge for her. Challenge = exciting = attractive

In order, this would make me feel a) a little freaked out b) repulsed c) piteous. Be normal, treat the girl as a person - show your interest in a genuine way, work out what you like about her, ask her questions. And remember that it is a numbers game, too.
posted by mippy at 1:00 PM on July 12, 2010


I just realized I could have said that whole thing with a lot fewer words:

If she's heard of you before she meets you, your chances are good; boyfriend or no boyfriend.

Otherwise, you really don't have much chance at all unless you're *astonishingly* good looking or drive a Bentley.
posted by eeby at 1:07 PM on July 12, 2010


Women's susceptibility to any degree of public renown, even negative renown, even infamy, is nothing short of astonishing. There must be some biological reason.

I think you're confusing 'women' with 'groupies'. (And the latter can either be male or female.) A lot of women don't want to be young, attractive girls - we want to be women. I'd rather be 28 than 20 even if I woke up tomorrow looking like Lily Cole. And there are a lot of men writing to Maxine Carr and wosshername in Italy, so the somewhat shallow picture of women you paint here is desperately inaccurate.

" It's excellent advice if you want to attract a schoolmarmish woman in her late twenties who has short hair, never wears a skirt or makeup, is starting to look at the clock, and who's fond of saying things like, "Relationships take a lot of hard work.""

Christ, you must be a very bitter young man. There's nothing wrong with a woman not wanting to wear make-up, a skirt, or conform to your idea of what a 'young, attractive girl' is (which is probably different from the next man). Also, the only clocl most women in their late twenties is looking at is the one that counts down to the end of the working day. OP, don't take advice from anyone who probably uses 'feminazi' without irony.

Becoming famous because you just want to be loved sounds enormously unfulfilling to say the least. Do you want to be Martin Amis? Well then. Don't do anything *only* because you think it would get you laid, it's crap and false.
posted by mippy at 1:12 PM on July 12, 2010


I think it sends out a creepy vibe when you are specifically interested in people of a particular age. What's going to happen in a few years and she's 31, like you? It's different if you just wanted to date someone close to your age. It's odd to want to date someone of a specific age.

This whole question gave me a creepy feeling. It's possible that the women were initially caught up in the emotionally good feeling you were portraying, but when going over the specifics in their heads thought something just didn't seem quite right.

To sum up, it feels like you are on the prowl for women of a specific age and this might be uncomfortable for some women after they think things through. I might be overly sensitive, but if I feel like someone is mainly interested in me because of the way I look or my age (there seems to be a creepy guy who is attracted to women at all sorts of ages), I instantly lose interest.
posted by parakeetdog at 1:13 PM on July 12, 2010


Otherwise, you really don't have much chance at all unless you're *astonishingly* good looking or drive a Bentley.

Again, ignore this: I couldn't give a shit what car my prospective OH drives (couldn't pick out a Bentley on a forecourt) and my current BF earns quite a bit less than me - and I wouldn't leave him for any 'famous' man, not even Louis Theroux. Most women don't care about you being famous, hot or rich - they want someone who's fun to spend time with, won't get creepy or nasty, and is interested in what they say.
posted by mippy at 1:16 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"There's nothing wrong with a woman not wanting to wear make-up, a skirt...[etc.]"

Who said there was?

I think the OP was pretty clear about what he's looking for. I don't think he could have been much clearer. I'm offering him advice on how to get what he said he wants, based on observation and first-hand experience.

"I think you're confusing 'women' with 'groupies'."

Not really. He didn't say as much, but I sense he's looking for a real relationship, not a hookup. What I said was intended to help him with that. OK, I could have been clearer there.

"don't take advice from anyone who probably uses 'feminazi' without irony"

Perhaps you should leave the choice of whose advice to take up to him.

I've never used that word with or without irony.

Way to attack me personally because you disagree with my opinion.
posted by eeby at 1:42 PM on July 12, 2010


I'm not attacking you personally, just what you're saying, which is thirty-six flavours of wrong and does women a real dis-service.

I surmised he's looking for a real relationship. This won't come from someone deciding to date him because he's 'famous' or drives a 'Bentley'. I don't know any woman who would date a man for those reasons - I'm not talking about hooking up, I'm talking about actual dating.

Saying someone should be rich/famous or attractive or not bother isn't at all helpful. One of those is mostly genetic, the other two are mostly impossible; many men and women get laid without any of the three, and many women and men care little about either. Essentially, you're saying that because I have a womb I'd drop knickers for the first semi-famous man to come along. Incorrect. Talent attracts women, sure - being good at or passionate about something is a massive aphrodisiac. But women are not Pavlov's dogs, trained to drool at the first sniff of money and power, and i find the suggestion really quite offensive. Or maybe i'm one of those 'schoolmarmish' women of which you speak.

Anyway, OP, I reiterate - treat women as a whole, not a hole. It'll get you an awful long way. Women are not 'women'. They are people.
posted by mippy at 2:33 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I'm not attacking you personally"

You absolutely did attack me personally: "Christ, you must be a very bitter young man" and "don't take advice from anyone who probably uses 'feminazi' without irony."


"I surmised he's looking for a real relationship. This won't come from someone deciding to date him because he's 'famous' or drives a 'Bentley'. I don't know any woman who would date a man for those reasons - I'm not talking about hooking up, I'm talking about actual dating."

Look, let's just drop the Bentley thing, OK? I was trying to use humor to make a point. I just picked the first expensive car brand that popped into my head. It wasn't funny to you and you don't agree with my point. Fine.

Yes, it's settled that everyone here is talking about real relationships and not hookups.

As for the other part of what you said, my experience has been very different. I've seen women become attracted to and date men due to their having some kind of public recognition. I've seen it over and over. I've had women acknowledge as much. Good Lord! This is ridiculous. Why are we even arguing about this??? Why not argue about whether air is transparent!


"Saying someone should be rich/famous or attractive or not bother isn't at all helpful. One of those is mostly genetic, the other two are mostly impossible"

"the other two are mostly impossible:" Based on the OP's evident intelligence and resolve, the necessary degree of fame (forget wealth -- it's beside the point) is probably within his grasp.


"many men and women get laid without any of the three"

Neither the OP nor I said anything about "getting laid." I can't speak for him, but I at least was talking about getting into a long-term committed relationship, as I mentioned above. If I had thought that all the OP wanted was to get laid I wouldn't have wasted even a second trying to help him. I can't STAND those guys who do that. They're horrible people. In fact, it was the way the OP referred to them as "jerks" that first made me think, "let me try to help out."


"Essentially, you're saying that because I have a womb I'd drop knickers for the first semi-famous man to come along ... But women are not Pavlov's dogs, trained to drool at the first sniff of money and power, and i find the suggestion really quite offensive."

I have no idea whether you'd do that. You say fame isn't that important to you. Good. Then it isn't. But the things I pointed out are facts and are ridiculously easy to demonstrate. It's the facts that are offending you. I just pointed to them.


"Anyway, OP, I reiterate - treat women as a whole, not a hole. It'll get you an awful long way. Women are not 'women'. They are people."

I agree with that, except the part about it getting you a long way. I wish it were true though. Things would be so much easier.


mippy, I'll leave the last word for you, if you would like to have it.
posted by eeby at 4:25 PM on July 12, 2010


I hesitate to say this because it doesn't sound like you do this, OP. But after eeby's comment I wanted to say this just in case. I sincerely apologize if you don't think this applies to you/you find it unhelpful.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being attracted to younger people when, as you say, it's just what you're attracted to, and not a deliberate thing. I don't see any indication that you're into younger women for negative reasons.

But a lot of older guys are attracted to younger women because they have certain expectations - that we will be silly, pliant, accustomed to not being taken seriously; that we're eager to spend most of our time servicing their needs while putting no pressure on them to meet our needs, or not having any needs at all. And that they will Look Good to other people by showing us off, and it is our responsibility to keep ourselves looking HOTT so that can happen.

The latter kind of guy is really, really unappealing. I've been attracted to older guys until realizing that they were the latter kind of guy. It's really not good to give off those kinds of vibes, they are a massive turn-off.

Like I said, I don't see any indication that you do this, but just in case - here is a really common pitfall that the latter kind of guy makes, something that marks him as being the latter kind of guy: speaking disparagingly of older/not conventionally attractive women.

When I read something like this:

I didn't see anything that's likely to help you much. It's excellent advice if you want to attract a schoolmarmish woman in her late twenties who has short hair, never wears a skirt or makeup, is starting to look at the clock, and who's fond of saying things like, "Relationships take a lot of hard work."


I don't feel flattered, giggle and flip my hair, despite being in my younger 20s, having long hair, wearing skirts and makeup, not wanting kids yet, etc.

I think:

How will he treat me, in a few years when I'm in my late 20s? Will he treat me as unattractive, over the hill, and leer at younger girls? How will he treat me a few more years after that in my 30s and 40s?

How will he treat me if I ever cut my hair short? Or if I want to wear comfy clothes? How will he treat me as I age, and I don't look the way I do now?

How will he treat me if I express needs, or even wants, that clash with his wants? How will he treat me if we do encounter a problem that will take work to solve?


When men speak disparagingly about older women, or treat older women as unappealing unwanted, and unattractive, this is what it makes younger women think. We're very well aware that we're aging too and soon it will be us being treated the same way. Just another thing to keep in mind and avoid if you think it might be happening.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:05 PM on July 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Mod note: few comments removed - side discussion needs to go to metatalk and not become about one person's feelings about men, women and relationships
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 AM on July 13, 2010


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