Why Am I Still Single?
(The intersection of Isolation and Frustration)
Heterosexual man can't work women out. He's a "man's man" but still women think he comes across as 'needy'. What's wrong with women, anyway - they always seem to go for jerks, which is something I am very much not? I want help meeting women who are up for a meaningful relationship. Can anyone help?...
QUESTION: Why am I still single?MORE FROM Jim...
I have struggled with this problem for quite some time now, and I believe my situation to be quite unique, as I am myself. I want to explain this with adequate detail, I hope I don't get too long winded in the process, but here it goes...
I am a 31 year old heterosexual man, and my last attempt at a relationship ended almost four years ago
. Despite a real desire to keep trying, I have not been on a date since.
Not Doing Enough To Meet Women
I know that I'm not doing enough to meet women, but it's very hard to do so for me because I don't expect to find real substance in the places most people look for a mate: bars, dating websites and social media, and the like all seem like a great way to find meaningless lust
, or to meet shallow women who would end up cheating or lying or just playing games, but certainly not to find real deep lasting love that a man could build a foundation for a family life with.
"I Have So Much Love To Give..."
I yearn for real, deep, lasting love, the kind that could lead to marriage and fatherhood, which I believe are the only things that truly matter to an old man as he takes his last breath, looking back on his life.
I feel I have so much to give to someone, but this all remains bottled up inside. We men aren't allowed by society to show our sensitivity
, let alone sadness or weakness, so the resulting loneliness and depression get bottled up too. I know this isn't healthy.
"I'm Different From Other Men..."
I know that I am much different from other men in the way that I treat women. I deeply believe that this is in a good way, but it seems to cause nothing but problems. When women describe their ideal man
, they list characteristics that most men struggle to show or simply don't possess at all. They often mention things like sensitivity, being romantic, intelligence, altruism, a strong sense of self, strength, confidence, and courage... (things I know I possess).
However, when it comes time for most women to choose a mate, the vast majority will confuse bad behavior for good
, and pick someone who is selfish, disloyal, cold and uncaring, or worse. They get "treated like crap" by these men, and yet, beg for more.
They take them back when they cheat, and fall all over themselves just to be treated worse and worse by a man
who runs as deep as a puddle. At the very most they might realize that they do deserve far better and simply complain that "there aren't any good guys out there."
I have a deep appreciation for the delicate wonder of all women, I try very hard to respect them, and to truly connect on an intellectual and emotional level if given the opportunity. I display kindness and even open up and show my feelings when it's appropriate.
"I'm A Man's Man..."
I am not lost on the fine art of being a "man's man."
I work construction for a living, and I am extremely proud of my membership in the proud proletariat. The guys I work with know nothing of my sensitive side, my deep paternal instinct, or the loneliness and depression I live with every day.
I love to hunt, to fish, play golf, build hot rods, all the stereotypical guy stuff. I know how to be comfortable in my own skin and I'm quite confident in my quality as an interesting, engaging, attractive person. My female friends all tell me I'm handsome and brilliant and quite a catch.
The Same Ol'
Despite all this, despite a ton of heart and a ton of "try" (this man does not
give up!) I still find the same old problems over and over again in each of my failed attempts at serious affection. Most disturbingly of all, each and every relationship
I have ever had in adulthood has gone almost exactly as follows
We begin dating and hit it off instantly.
I have always had a natural understanding of human psychology and of human behavior, and I have never had trouble connecting on a superficial level with either sex, but I feel especially comfortable talking with women (and not pretending to listen while staring at their breasts).
On a romantic date I am perfectly within my comfort zone, and I have a bit of a flair for creative romance that I'm quietly very proud of.
I don't generally hurry (or allow someone else to hurry) the physical exploration of a new relationship, though I easily could in most cases if I wanted to.
Sex invariably speeds up the emotional process for a woman, and leads to bad results even quicker when it happens too soon. I have been told by every single woman whom I have shared intimacy with that I have a special gift for it.
I am naturally selfless in this regard, and care deeply about the role that intimacy can play in the positive development of emotional bonding between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, however, sex seems to play a pivotal role in what happens next, without fail.
Sex... Lovesickness... "Stop Smothering!"...In every single attempted relationship I have been a part of, the woman I am working diligently to know and appreciate seems to turn into a lovesick sixteen-year-old and claims to be head-over-heels in love with me.
This always happens waaaay before I am ready to return hard earned, honest love.
I reluctantly do the best I can to soul search, and look inside myself to build the bonds that real love is made from, being assured the whole time that "we'll be together forever" because I am "sooo amazing" and "not like anyone I've ever met."
The transformation that happens at some point after this seems to take place alarmingly quickly. The woman that I'm typically becoming quite attached to by now does a complete one-eighty.
All of the sudden I'm no longer sweet and amazing.
I hear complaints that I am "smothering" and being "too sweet" and trying too hard. I honestly don't see any real change in myself, I think I am invariably the same man that was so wonderful before.
I Get Hurt...
I can't help but be hurt by this, as I am usually well into the complex task of learning to truly know this person, and as I said, often quite attached by this point.
There honestly is nothing better in this life than the sweet company of a woman, and though I try not to let it show, I have become comfortable with this person and hide little to nothing from them, and can't help but display my disappointment and sadness at having failed yet again.
I continue to try to the bitter end, which is always punctuated with the terrible torture of infidelity
It usually doesn't help that I know deep down that this woman didn't love me. In most cases, I am the only one who really even tried.
That's the best I can really do to describe myself and my situation. I wish I could have been more brief, but I'm a sucker for specificity and vivid description, and terribly long winded with a keyboard at my fingertips.
Sorry for that, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read all of this.
I truly do need help.
I simply don't know what to do.
I have tried briefly with varying my approach, but I just don't want to resort to acting like a cocky jerk and playing mind games to get a girl to appreciate me. I simply won't do that, I
really do have a deep respect for the opposite sex.
What am I doing wrong?
And if I can figure out how to change for the better, where on earth does a man like myself go to find the person to share myself with?
STEVE'S ANSWER"Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds."
-- David Deida
Thank you so much for sharing your relationship story, so vividly, and with such detail. It helped. It helped you for sharing like that, I'm sure, but it also helps whoever read it get a better impression of who you are.
Anyway, here are a few thoughts that come to my mind as I read your relationship story (in no particular order):
- What women say they want, and what they actually want are often NOT the same thing! This is neither a good or bad thing, but it IS a thing. (This is true of men, too.)
- If successive women are experiencing you in the same way, then chances are there's something to that!
Perhaps you're putting so much store on 'finally' allowing yourself to love this woman, that by making this act so important you are actually changing how you're being with these women?
Perhaps you're actually loving them before you realise you're loving them, and that's when they become 'lovesick'?
From having read your story in full, now, it sounds like you're doing most things right - that you ARE a great man, indeed.
There just seems to be part of the process of dating, of falling in love that you're repeatedly struggling to deal with.
I wish you well, Jim, and I thank you for having the courage to open up here. Please read the resources comment below
- I'm sure they will help!
Wish you well. (Let us know how you get on, eh!)
StevePS Any women out there got thoughts for Jim?
How 'bout some solid suggestions from men?