Why can't I find a sincere man?
June 12, 2006 9:22 PM   Subscribe

I'm 49 yo, Asian woman (my English writing is not very good). I have grown kids and they are on their own. I have a college degree, working for the same company for the last 16 years. Have my own house, above-average looking (I received many compliments about my look), younger looking than my age. I exercise regularly. I'm 5'3" and weight 126 lbs. I try to dress sophisticate most of the time. I'm a little shy, can carry on a conversation with someone, but not at a very deep level.

I've been divorced for the last 18 years. My ex-husband had a gambling/drinking problem and we fought all the time. The first 12 years, I didn't date anyone and devoted my life to raise the kids. The last 6 years: dated one guy for one year, found out he cheated on me with his ex-girl friend. Skip one year of not dating. Then engaged with someone who's been married three times (and cheated on all his wives). He told me he's changed, found out he cheated on me as well - with four other women-. Another year past, then in 01/06, signed up with on-line dating, met another guy. Beginning 04/06, started to get serious with him including physical interact. I thought the relationship was good. He said he wanted to be exclusive and canceled his membership with the on-line dating service. I agreed and canceled mine. Found out he's still active with the online thing. I don't see him as much as in the beginning. His reason: he has a 17 yo niece living with him and she is an intern in his company for the summer. So I think this relationship is going South as well. Sum it up, all three relationships I had since my failed marriage were all dead.

My question is why it is so difficult for me to find a sincere man who I can have a long term relationship and grow old with? I'm an average/above-average person in term of considerate, affection, hard-working and look (for my age). I do few volunteer works in my spare time. I go to temple sometime (I'm Buddhist). I know the older you are, the more difficult to find a mate, but it's not impossible, right? I'd like to meet someone about my age or a little older. Someone who is well read, has a job, cares for people around and knows how to take care of himself..... (throw in a little affection, then it'd be great). But seems like I can't find that person. Because of me? I don't know. I'm pretty calm and haven’t been in a shouting match since my divorce. I don’t curse, no name-calling, no drug, don't smoke and hardly drink. Am I too boring to be around?

I appreciate all honest responses.
posted by teapot to Human Relations (22 answers total)
Get involved in an external activity other than work, something you care about. The man you are seeking will be there. What you find appealing about the cheaters is their social skills and charm. That is not what you say you want but it's what you're attracted to. Put yourself in a social situation where charm is less important than interest in an activity. Your proper tao will present itself.
posted by ptm at 9:29 PM on June 12, 2006

Be interested in something, get involved with people who are also interested in that thing.

Take (advanced level) English lessons? Learn something like pottery? Join a reading group? A church group? Walking tours of your city?
posted by Meatbomb at 9:33 PM on June 12, 2006

Did you ever hear that old saying about having to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince? It's kind of sill, but kind of true. Don't stop taking chances on these folks just because they turn out wrong. There may be something about the type of guy you are seeking that brings you into contact with these cheaters. Someone who has had a gazillion partners before you, probably will have another gazillion. The friend, the guy who doesn't seem to want anything from you, those are better bets.
posted by caddis at 9:35 PM on June 12, 2006

hard to say ... you may be giving off "desperate" vibes ... you may be attracted to cheaters or they're attracted to you ... or possibly you just have lousy luck

the thing about your last boyfriend having his 17 year niece living with him and working as an intern at his company could be a totally innocent thing

some people might interpret your calmness as lack of assertiveness

caddis is on to something ... you may want to make friends first and get to know the man before you start dating
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 PM on June 12, 2006

Another old adage is when you stop looking, the right man falls into your lap. I used to hate hearing that, but there's an element of truth in it (I met my husband six months after I stopped caring about dating).

Perhaps a good idea would be to concentrate on yourself and your own interests for a while - it sounds like you've devoted most of your life to your children, which is totally honorable. However, maybe it's time to make some effort to develop your own personality and interests, as per Meatbomb's suggestions.

posted by timetoevolve at 10:08 PM on June 12, 2006

Good lord, you dated three men and you're ready to throw in the towel?

Get back to work. You have some more dating to do.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 10:13 PM on June 12, 2006

Seems like you have no problem getting a date, but should just go on more of them. It could be just a matter of probablility. By increasing your options, you drastically increase your chances of finding someone who is right for you. By not putting a huge amount of emphasis on any given date, you will end up feeling more confident, attractive and in control of your life (though don't make the mistake of being overly aloof). At the same time I would be careful that your attraction to assholes speaks to deeper issues that you may not be aware of. Usually but not always this pattern of behavior means that you need to work on self respect and esteem issues (possibly by seeing a shrink).

It is impossible to know what the problems are without knowing more about the situation. I hope you find what you are looking for, and just be careful for the sake of you and your children. I wish you the best.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 10:33 PM on June 12, 2006

My circumstances are pretty different but I can sympathize with parts of this. I have gotten into a lot of relationships that didn't work out. I am usually eager to move ahead quickly once things seem to be going well. That's partly because I don't want to waste time, and my desire not to waste time has gotten stronger as time has moved forward.

However, in the long run it may be a better idea to go really, really slow and be SURE that someone is right before you invest in them. It can take time, but so does getting into and out of a lot of relationships in a row.

Maybe you want to do more "dating," perhaps on a slower pace, and with multiple potential candidates, before moving ahead and getting more serious with any of them? Just a thought.

Good luck!
posted by scarabic at 10:39 PM on June 12, 2006

Change your short-term goals. More dates. Less "find a mate." Take some time (a year?) and treat your dating life as if you at a tapas bar -- lots of wonderful things to try, but nothing too big, and there's always another one coming along.

That being said, I'm a big fan of Dr. Drew, and your track record of the choices you have made speaks volumes. He would say you are subconsciously choosing losers. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's something to consider.

But ... more low-impact dates! Coffee bars are your friend!
posted by frogan at 10:50 PM on June 12, 2006

Forget about what A189Nut said teapot. You're not goofy. It's just noise and he shouldn't have said anything in this thread anyway. That said, it's something to remember for the future.

Where you are goofy though, is throwing in the towel after just three tries. Give it another shot. And another after that, if need be. Keep trying. You'll find someone who deserves you eventually. It's only a matter of time.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:59 AM on June 13, 2006

Learn to read the warning signs. "He was married three times and cheated on all three of his wives" is a good one. It means "Stay the hell away from him."
posted by megatherium at 4:06 AM on June 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

Teapot I really don't know you enough to say anything accurate, but consider this : could it be that you like to tend to losers?

I don't mean "loser" as if I hated people with difficulties, I don't. I know everybody has problems. Yet not hating doesn't mean that I like or that I love people that can't stand on their own spine. I don't blame them, sometimes a complicated past ruins a lot of people into troubled people, yet that doesn't mean that -I- have to carry all their problems on my shoulders, that doesn't mean that if they are won by life I must be won as well.

For instance you say

Found out he's still active with the online thing.

But he told you he canceled. Now -why- didn't he cancel ? The problem is NOT that he canceled or not canceled, but obviously the problem is he didn't do what he said ! Also obviously if he is still visiting the online dating site one would ask what is he looking for ? Did you confront him with that ? What was his answer ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:46 AM on June 13, 2006

Mod note: moved more to inside
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:04 AM on June 13, 2006

I really hope that I don't offend you, but from what I have understand of Budhism, it is a religion for people who are preparing for death. From what I know, there is an emphasis on limiting how one would let the world affect them, including controlling their passions and desires and learning not to need to want things.

But I find this way of thinking to be counter intuitive to personal growth. We can only meditate on so much without having experienced it. Perhaps you need to be more carefree in your search.

Not every person that you find will want the same thing as you, and that's okay. I'm sure you want something more than just 'sincerity' from a partner. I think you will have more luck if you look for a bit of passion instead.

What have you got to lose?
posted by dobie at 6:36 AM on June 13, 2006

from what I understand... doy.
posted by dobie at 7:16 AM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: I don't know a lot about Buddhism. I'm spiritual but not religious. One thing I know for sure is it not a religion for people who are preparing for death. Because I'm not.

As of younger man...I'd prefer not to.
posted by teapot at 7:39 AM on June 13, 2006

"from what I have understand of Budhism, it is a religion for people who are preparing for death. "

Funny, that's my understanding of Christianity.

But to answer teapot's question, I agree with the other posters that you should date widely, and try to enjoy the process of dating widely, rather than using it only as a means to the end of finding a permanent mate.

Also, you don't need to apologize for your English. Judging by your post, there are plenty of native speakers on this forum with a poorer command of English than you.
posted by adamrice at 7:40 AM on June 13, 2006

(Your English is just fine.)You just need to find more ways to meet people who share your interests and values. Perhaps get more involved with your temple or in your community? Pursue some hobbies? Take a class in something you've always wanted to learn about? My point is, seek out activities that are both personally fulfilling to you and also have a social element, to put you in contact with similar people. Don't worry about looking to meet men, just be open to some new friendships regardless of gender to expand your social circle.
posted by desuetude at 7:43 AM on June 13, 2006

You're attracted to the glib, charming men because they're your opposite. You say you're boring, and I think you many be finding excitement in guys who treat you badly. With excitement comes risk. You've been willing in the past to take rather large risks with guys. Perhaps you're wanting to take less risks, in which case, you know what to do - stop dating glib, charming men - or perhaps you just need to understand what you're doing.

I second the recommendation to do less mate-hunting and more casual dating.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2006

I can't say if this applies to your situation, but I have had a couple of friends who had serial experiences with dating losers/jerks/cheaters who are now in stable, happy relationships, and both independently expressed the same sentiment: that they decided to give a nice, sincere fellow a try who they didn't think of as their "type" and felt dubious about their potential with.

And I should point out the recently launched service by a Metafiltarian, the Impersonals. Apparently they are imbalanced towards a male population at the moment.
posted by nanojath at 8:29 AM on June 13, 2006

I don't know whether this is my imagination or the result of a faulty memory, but I recall reading this identical message a couple of years ago, either here or somewhere else. Could it be coincidence == or something else?
posted by donfactor at 2:30 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: No it wasn't me. I just signed up with Metafilter a couple of weeks ago. Thanks God!

But your post helped me to know that someone else had the "identical" problem with mine. I'm not alone ;).

Thanks so much for all the advices. I appreciate it very much. It's time to work on myself.
posted by teapot at 6:19 PM on June 13, 2006

« Older Part-time jobs for Mechanical Engineers?   |   Bear Market Investing Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.