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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:34 PM
Original message
Single men of DU: Help Solve One of the Great Unanswered Questions
OK, this rant is on behalf of my sister, who I just finished talking to on the phone one more time about the sad state of her love life. It is one of the great mysteries of existence, as far as I'm concerned, that my sister is still single. She's 33, and she's got everything going for her--great personality, great sense of humor, very outgoing and engaging, intelligent, always very well put together, very interesting job, *and* she is also very attractive even as defined by our pitiably narrow-minded mainstream culture.

From a market economics standpoint, she's a much hotter commodity than I am. And yet, I hit the jackpot at 19, and she just can't get started. Probably part of this had to do with her spending a lot of her 20s in Manhattan, which is apparently a wasteland when it comes to relationships. However, she also seems to have run into this depressing pattern which keeps repeating itself:

1) Sister of Plaidder hits it off with a guy who also seems to really like her.
2) S.O.P. and the guy hang out a lot, maybe go out a few times, perhaps "hook up" at some point ("hooking up" apparently involves intimate activity and occasionally sleeping over but not actual sex).
3) Guy eventually sits S.O.P. down and says look, I really like you, but I'm not good enough for you/I have commitment issues/you don't want to be involved with me anyway, I have all these problems/bottom line is I don't want a relationship with you.
4) S.O.P has to forget this guy and go looking for another one.

So what is it? I'm a lesbian, I've only ever had the one relationship, I don't know about these things. Are these guys completely lying when they hit step #3? Or are they telling the truth, and if so, why are they all so chickenshit? Why can't these guys she's meeting tell a good thing when they see it?

Argh,

The Plaid Adder
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Simple: All men are swine...
including me.
:evilgrin:
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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. All right, so let's for the sake of argument say that's true.
Why would a swine pass up the chance to date my sister? She's hot, and if he really didn't want to be involved long-term he could always dump her. I mean, are they so literally swinish that they can't get out of the mud long enough to make a passable effort, or what?

The Plaid Adder
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
22. have you read Erica Jong?
I think that is the "author" of "Fear of Flying" and "Fear of Fifty". I do not remember if it is the latter book or an interview where she said something like "sexy men are usually not faithful". They have no reason to be, since they are always getting new offers. If I was sexy, I probably would be the same way, who is to say?
Also, I am fairly sure that "hooking up" is supposed to involve sex. If it does not with SOP, then such "virtue" could be a turn-off, particularly to a guy who is likely to get other offers from "easier" women, and maybe they are "virtuous" enough to not want to hurt a "nice" girl.
Or I could explain my puzzle-piece theory to you. People seem to hook together like puzzle-pieces, starting at an early age. When a friendship or romantic relationship ends, it creates a hole in each partner's life. Other people come along who more or less fit into that hole. People like me, or perhaps also SOP, who have had no long-term romantic relationships, do not have any holes, so people kinda bounce off. They cannot find a place where they fit, perhaps they do not feel wanted and/or needed. So they bounce away, just like a rubber ball.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. These guys aren't representative of the entire gender
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 10:39 PM by jpgray
And since I represent a different sort, I can't be responsible for them or explain their actions. They may be lying or telling the truth, but the basic kernel of it is they don't value your sister socially, sexually, or intellectually.
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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. it's probably a combo of things
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 10:40 PM by steve2470
1- lying males
2- just the wrong men
3- conceivably, they've been gay and have wanted to try out the other side.
Women like your sis have to kiss a lot of toads before they meet the right one. Ditto for high quality men.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. Is your sister unconsciously sabotaging herself in some way?
I'm not saying she is, but it has been known to happen.

As for the rest, I have no idea, either. I am hetero, but met my partner when I was 19, too, so I also feel kind of clueless with my single and looking friends.

:shrug:

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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
28. We're on the same track, Bouncy.
Plaidder's sister is subconsciously picking men who are unable or unwilling to commit because SHE is unable or unwilling to commit. I say this from personal experience.
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
35. you mean kinda like a
defeatist attitude, that subconciously, its been happening for so long she expects it to happen and inadvertantly sends out those signals?
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Goathead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. She needs to hook up with REALLY younger guy
about 21 or 22, for about three months, go to Central America with him, live on a beach, surf, eat mangoes. Dump him and then find some "nice guy" to settle down with.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. Agree, she needs to go out with much younger guys for a while.
Have some fun, losen up, try to maybe not shopping list the relationship. Make sure she goes to places where she is seen by the older guys with younger ones. Ignore the ones in her age group when at parties, and make it obvious she is not interested in the 30's group.

The 30's guys will see her having fun with the younger dudes, and they will persue.

Your sister will have fun, because alot of young guys would love to be with her.

Downside, she will be footing some bills. Dinners, drinks, you know, the stuff the younger wilder guys are not adept at yet.
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GAspnes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. we're not all screwed up
But as a father with four sons, it's difficult being male, lemme tell ya.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
30. If you would care to expand on that
I'd be very interested to know more.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. Hey I'm single, 36, funny, smart and some would even say good looking
I would love to meet your sister.
But when a guy feeds her what he fed her in number three, it just means he's not into her, or she doesn't meet his girlfriend standards, or perhaps he has his eye on someone else he likes better.

He gave her the old, "it's not you, it's me" routine.

Maybe the guy was intimidated by her intelligence. Maybe she turns them off somehow, unknowing to herself and yourself.

I would love to meet her and report back to you on my findings.


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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. always looking for the inside track huh? lol
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sparky_in_ma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. Here's a little different take.
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 10:48 PM by sparky_in_ma
I think you were right about the Manhattan years, that moved her into a different demographic group. It usually takes quite a few trial and errors before either sex can find suitable life partners. The pool of single men in their early 30's isn't as high, since that's when they're having kids with their first wife. There starts to be a greater number of single men in their early to mid 40's. Usually they take time out of dating for awhile after the first divorce.

I think she just hasn't found the right one, and it doesn't always follow that the others were creeps, they just didn't see her as their soul mate. Better to be told that early on before kids come into the picture.

Not defending all men, just not all are creeps. :hi:
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. She's being a "jerk magnet"
Attracting the wrong kind of guy, or going after the wrong kind.
BTW, where I'm from, "hooking up" means "hooking up", like putting the "plug" in the "jack"? Not just sleeping over and heavy petting.

I don't think the guys she's meeting are all there in the Hetero department, frankly.
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stopbush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Can a married guy opine?
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 10:58 PM by stopbush
You may not want to believe it, but ladies like your sister can be very intimidating to a man. I don't mean that the lady needs to act like an airhead, but most guys want to feel like a provider. That's been drilled into us since we were in diapers, and while such training works well in holding our responsibility feet to the flame in the family-with-kids situation, it doesn't work so well when we're footloose.

The number of guys who are comfortable with a strong and successful woman - a woman who is their equal or superior on many levels - is quite small.

Personally, my wife is a beautiful woman with a lot going for her. I'm lucky to have her. But back when I was dating, I was totally intimidated by "fashion-model" looks in a woman. I never believed that they'd mine the gutter to date someone like me. But I did end up dating a few "lookers" (even a Miss Alabama for awhile in ol' NYC), but it was they who initiated the contact, not me. And while they always liked my sense of humor, I could never begin to entertain thoughts that they'd be interested in something longterm. I just assumed that they'd move on to someone better looking, richer or more established. In most cases, I was right.

Maybe it's a pre-emptive move on the man's end with your sister. Maybe that little voice is going off in the back of his head, "this won't last...she'll dump me soon enough...I'M NOT WORTHY!!..." so he flees the relationship before he gets *really* involved to avoid the hurt that he senses is just around the corner. I think at our core, most men are softies and just as sensitive as women. Our macho society demands that we not show that sensitivity, so we act like jackasses and go totally the other way when our emotional space is threatened or challenged.

But I'm a long-married guy (15 years) and I can't really vouch for today's dating scene. When I was still dating you didn't need to get an AIDS test to present before having intercourse (I understand from the youngster in the office that that's SOP these days). It's got to be rough for anyone dating in these strange times.
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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #11
27. Damn you're smart and you may have something there
the SOP traits Plaidadder describes *are* very intimidating to men. And yes, some men might leave before *they get dumped*, theoretically. Good analysis ! :-)
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #11
32. Argh!
"Our macho society demands that we not show that sensitivity, so we act like jackasses and go totally the other way when our emotional space is threatened or challenged."

I hate hate hate hate HATE this!

WHY are so many like this? Okay that's it... I'm starting a new thread.
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
12. Sounds like she's attracted to closeted gay men
<eom>
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. She sounds wonderful
I'm curious, what does she speculate is the problem?

Also, at stage 3, are these men that she has a strong "this could be the guy" feeling about?



Could the intimate activity but "not having actual sex" part be putting these guys off? Honestly, just reading it as you presented, I'm not sure what to make of it myself.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
14. "not actual sex"
The rest writes itself.
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hickman1937 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
15. Men can smell desperation.
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 11:17 PM by hickman1937
She's in the happily ever after count down, and every man that she dates picks up on it. Unfortunatly, men usually key on women who don't need them. The more unavailable you are, the more they need to pin you down. I'm not saying that it is good, or right, but I watched how my brothers were raised, and the choices they made. They're not the bad guys, just given a differant set of rules
edit for crappy spelling.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I have a different take on that...
I want a woman that takes her own happiness seriously, and if I sense that someone puts the "happily ever after countdown" cart in front of the "mechanics/chemistry/whatever it takes to actually be happy-ever-after" horse, then I don't see her as taking anything but beinginarelationshipnow!dammit seriously.

And it's a turnoff.
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hickman1937 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. In essance, I think we're saying the same thing.
If a woman is happy in her life, and not looking for something else to make it complete, men come like bees to honey. When you are busy, and happy, you aren't holding the shopping list of what you need in a man, because you're not looking at every man like he is interviewing for the role of "other half".
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. yep
Although I don't even mind being "interviewed" so much, I just want to know that the criteria is something more substantial than just "sufficiently attractive male".

I want to be loved and even liked for who I am. OMG, what's happening to me???? lol.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. ooopsadupesah
Edited on Tue Mar-22-05 11:28 PM by AchtungToddler
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panbanger Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. the guy doesn't want to face reality
He's got an image of what kind of woman he wants in his head. Once you start getting to know somebody you realize that (gasp!) like everyone else on the planet, they have faults and personality traits that don't live up to the ideal that's been created in their head.

It's easier to spout the line about "it's not you, it's me" and keep looking for an ideal that you will never find.

and I believe this is my longest post ever at DU.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #19
33. I would agree with this,
... and the poster above who noted that men tend to be intimidated by intelligent, successful women - especially once we get into our mid 30's. If we're still single at 33/35/whatever, there must be something wrong with us - too strong, closet lesbian, control freak, etc - so dudes get this close, then find a bogus reason to bail.

I've had no luck - and lately no interest in - dating men in my age bracket (I'm 38). I'm aiming for the late 20's and it's working out well ! Maybe SOP would have some luck if she started hanging out with younger, more spontaneous & 'fun-filled' guys.


:hi:
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
21. The guy is smart.
He saved your sister a lot of heartbreak down the road. I'd rather more guys do that than lead women on into thinking they're "one of the good ones" and then drop relationship killing bombs on the women in their life after they've gotten seriously involved.

I did this with the woman I'm now married to on our first date; I wanted her to know what my bad side was like.... if she were to love me, she had to love me when I'm a pathetic jackass on my bad days and not just some "best face forward" idealized facade.

I told her all my problems and then said," after all this, if you STILL want to be involved with me," then I'll be psyched....we're still married and deeply in love six years later.
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
24. if it's a reoccuring theme
it's probabLy your sister then.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
25. Send her my way.
Austin is lovely this time of year.

Bottom line, you meet the right one when you meet them. You can't plan it.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
26. send me her phone number
Edited on Wed Mar-23-05 11:24 AM by leftofthedial
I'll take her through the "hooking up" stage and let you know what the issues are.

Glad I could help.
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ohiosmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
29. I can't speak for other guys, but I have typically used the "I'm not
enough for you" line when I felt pressured to commit to a relationship rather than letting it take its natural course.
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_TJ_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
31. Because they're IDIOTS
Edited on Wed Mar-23-05 11:39 AM by _TJ_
Your sis sounds like quite a catch ;)
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
34. Your sister needs to sit down and make a list.
The question is "What do all these men have in common?" I suspect that the answer lies there somewhere. There are plenty of men out there who wouldn't use the excuses that you cite in your OP. They're probably not even too awfully hard to find.

She sounds like a lovely person, BTW. I wish her luck.

-J-
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