Dating tips and relationship advice from Dr. Neder...
How To Date – Back To Basics
Hey Dr. Dennis – Hi and thank you for your help!
I am single and I have been for 2 years. I'm a 30-year old
woman with 2 part-time kids. I am attractive (though somewhat
overweight), intelligent and I like to think I'm good company.
Recently, I have had some pretty bad luck in re-entering the
dating scene. I've been stood up a couple of times, met a man
who did nothing but play games with me, met another man who
just took off and stopped talking to me, met another man who
fell in love with me way too fast and I just want to be friends
with, have had many, many emails messages through a singles
site that are ignored or they will just stop talking to me
with no explanation or reason, and I even joined a few Meetup
groups (Meetup.com) in the area and have been putting myself
out there but I just can't seem to meet anyone who is genuine
and good. In fact mostly what I've encountered is very negative
I'm also not very good at reading people so that makes things
a little more difficult, and I'm not the most social person.
I'm starting to wonder if there's something wrong with me,
or if this is typical of the dating game. I'm very saddened
by everything that has transpired and I'm discouraged and distraught.
I'm wonder if you have any insight on this, any tips I could
try, etc., I would greatly appreciate it.
It seems that the single common denominator in all of this
is you. Yes, I can tell you very likely what the problem is
since the symptomatology is so clear and specific.
First of all, let's do a little inventory, shall we? This
is a little painful, but trust me, it's very important so that
we have a place to start.
You have two kids and you're a single mother. You're overweight
and I'm going to bet you've met at least some of these guys
(if not most of them) on the internet. You're probably also
using some VERY outdated dating methodologies (I'll get more
into this in a minute), and there are probably a bunch of other
things going on here I don't yet know. I'll bet you also have
some pretty high - and maybe somewhat unreasonable - expectations
for the men you date.
the reality: both men and women have something of a "point
system" they have to address when they consider dating.
Frankly, very few people do that. They decide what they want
and simply hope for it to happen. When it doesn't, they look
around and wonder why. Worse yet, they never even consider
what THEY bring to the table to see if it's even a match for
the guys they want to date!
that you live in a big city; which considering that you're
involved with Meetup, I'll bet is
true. Big cities create
big competition. You have MANY other girls competing for the
same "male real estate" that you are. Many of these
girls are in shape and may not have kids, are younger and may
even be better partners or have better dating/relationship
skills than you have.
the first to tell you that while this is unfair, it's simply
the way things are. These issues are
for any single woman in the dating market! Your looks, your
availability, your skill sets, and even your age are all your "dating
currency". Men look at these things and decide whether
or not you're someone on the playing field or not and whether
you're short-term material or long-term material. Don't feel
too bad however; men have their own "point system" to
reach as well.
(and accepting) this will help you to maximize your ability
to market to the "right" guys!
There's another thing at play here you need to understand:
MOST women today are using the wrong play book when it comes
to dating. In fact, they are using the same one their mothers
and grandmothers used to be successful. The problem is, it's
a new millennium with new rules. The old techniques simply
no longer work anymore. In fact, they work against you and
the very symptoms you described are the same ones I see when
women use these worn-out tools.
Obviously this is a very large discussion, so let's go back
look is one of the most important tools you have in dating.
Maximize it! Get in shape and drop the
sure your hair is "date ready", and by that I mean,
no short haircuts! Style magazines tell you these look good
- they don't. The vast majority of guys want girls that look
like girls - not boys. Thus, grow your hair out - and no wacky
colors. Check your make-up and wardrobe and update it if you
need to. Another problem with being a mom is that you've likely
not kept up with these things.
* You girls
continue to propagate the myths that playing "hard
to get" gives you value in men's eyes. No, it doesn't.
That is a hold-over from a long-gone age! In fact, most guys
today don't even understand this game and simply see it as
rude and inept. Are you looking to date only rude guys? Of
course not - neither are men. Your availability is extremely
important! This is one reason why having kids works so hard
against you in the dating world. Likewise, not picking up the
phone, not returning phone calls, cancelling dates at the last
minute and any of the 1001 other little games some of you girls
play kills off modern, potential relationships! You've got
to be available to the guys you want to date or they'll simply
go find someone that IS available - and smarter. Think about
this: my readers understand these facts and usually have 2-3
or more phone numbers they're working at any one time. If you
don't pick up the phone or return the phone call, guess who
gets the date? The next girl in line! Guess who gets the relationship?
Yep - same one.
* Don't try to date via technology! This doesn't work either!
Texting and email (for example) KILLS relationships! Especially
if you're using dating sites, you've got to get to that in-person
meeting right away! I'm talking days here - NOT weeks and especially,
not multiple emails! If the guy can't/won't or doesn't know
he should do this, YOU have to move this into in-person immediately!
You don't want him getting impressions of you at a distance
that you can never live up to! These form VERY quickly. Don't
* Don't try to hold off sex thinking that makes the relationship
better - it doesn't. That is simply artificial manipulation
of the relationship that is supposed to be moving forward.
I'm not saying to get to it before you're ready, but don't
hold it off. Men use sex early on very differently from women.
Whereas you use it to bond and creating intimacy, men use it
to determine if we WANT TO bond and create intimacy with you!
Soon however, that window of opportunity closes and we realize
we'll never have that emotional connection with you. We'll
still have sex with you, but you'll never have access to our
your "standards". I'm not
saying to date just anyone, but you; like far too many girls
in your situation
have standards that your own dating currency likely can't afford.
You have too many wants and expectations without the ability
to return value. Further, if a guy makes even a small mistake,
you're ready to cut him loose and move on. That's not good
dating strategy. You need to cultivate relationships, not have
some perfect, unobtainable one right out of the box.
* Learn how to approach guys yourself and how to set-up dates!
Give back to the dating process too! For instance, if you've
been out with a guy a couple of times, it's a good idea to
invite him over for a meal and some wine or out for something
fun. Guys don't want to have to be the only ones investing
- nor do you. Guys will quickly lose interest if they don't
see something coming back. On the other hand, guys will hang
in there far longer than they should or otherwise would if
* Clearly separate dating from friendship. Don't mix the two
or throw mixed signals.
* Check your attitude at the door. No guy wants to be around
some girl that is judgmental, obnoxious, mean, hateful or angry.
We want - and in fact, NEED - to be around women that are sweet,
engaged, fun and interesting.
I've given you a lot to think about here. These are the basics
and everything builds from there.
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