html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Thanks for all your comments!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Thanks for all your comments!

Hey y’all. I started this blog as part of a decision to put myself out in the world more. Despite the current of thought that cute engineers have the world at their feet, I haven’t had a boyfriend* in years. The lessons from ‘being alone’ and ‘enjoying this time to myself’ are genuinely valuable, but I’ve long since exhausted their benefits. Sean and I were talking more seriously than I made it sound in that post; it is wrong for me to live in this great, beautiful, fun world without a romantic partner and I don’t know how to make it right.

So what are the possibilities? There aren’t that many.
1. I am unappealing in some way that I haven’t figured out.
2. I am not meeting the type of men that I am attracted to.
3. I am not meeting the type of men who are attracted to me.
4. A combination of these.

I don’t give too much credence to the first option. I think I am squarely within the date-able range. The economists have pointed out ways that I may be date-able but am signaling elsewise; I am definitely thinking hard about your suggestions.

The second option, that I am not meeting the type of men that I am attracted to, isn’t entirely true either. I meet bright, articulate, good men that I would enjoy dating all the time. Then I meet their wives, who are also sharp and fun and nice. I totally agree that I am not meeting enough of the single, hot geologists or demographers or electrical engineers that I yearn for.

The third option is that I don’t meet the type of men who are attracted to me. That happens a fair amount. If it were as easy as getting hookered-up, heading for a bar and picking up someone, I’d be doing that. But at bars I seem to meet mortgage broker recruiters, and they cut a girl no slack at all when she starts talking about furry blond lobsters who live in sulfur vents. You might think it would be hard to overcome natural advantages like a pretty face and huge rack, but I promise that it can be done.

So what are the solutions? Figure out if something is wrong in my presentation, which is what Sean and I were talking about when you joined the conversation. Meet more people, which I am trying to do around Sac and partially why I started the From the Archives. I am working on solving this and I am grateful for your help. Thanks, y’all.

Hey! Special treat tomorrow!

*Boyfriend?! What do you mean ‘boyfriend’? I thought we were just trying to get you laid!

Well, yeah, it is somewhat easier to get laid than it is to find a boyfriend. But even that isn’t as easy as you probably think. Men in their thirties are all of a sudden saying shit like “I’m trying to stop slutting around for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re plenty hot. It’s just… I’m not ready for a serious relationship, but I’m tired of not respecting myself.” You are fucking kidding me. I’m finally comfortable with whatever limited promiscuity I can scrounge for myself, and you just want to cuddle? Drop your fucking pants, Mr. Our Bodies, Our Selves.

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Blogger Caliban said...

There is a further series of options which is not related to whether you are appealing or whether you are meeting the right men.

The kind of relationship you want has three components: the right man, the right woman, and a mutual awareness that you are the right people. You already have two of these components. What you are missing is the third. You need to communicate your availability to men that you find appealing, in such a way that you invite reciprocation.

The tricky part is that you must allow sufficient room for the man to decline without looking like a jerk or an idiot. This is where that communication always goes wrong. If a man can't turn you down in a civilised fashion without publicly announcing his disinterest, he will not turn you down. He will indeed express an interest and get your number. However, he will also NOT CALL YOU.

This is a delicate negotiation. Some people spend a lifetime trying to master it.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Pity I'm on the other side of the world. Could have offered my services as a stand-by. Conversation guaranteed, further developments by mutual consent with approved documentation (cf: Caliban's issues), wooing an optional extra.

Or perhaps not. You write so well about not getting any. If you were sated, we might be deprived of a good read.

Yeah, selfish.

3:50 AM  
Blogger gigo said...

Just came across your blog. It is quite funny.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Macneil said...

Wait, *bars*? It seems in this discussion there is a lot of talk of the men you run into in life (at the gym, say, or at work or anywhere else, including bars) but not once have I heard you mention the internet.

Seriously, post an add up on Just lay out all of your cards on the table and make it clear what you expect. You'll need to ignore a lot of emails sent your way, but that's a small cost. You can use it as a meat market or as a place to meet people you'd actually want to date. It's up to you.

Some tips: if you do put up an add, include a picture. Avoid describing your sense of humor as "goofy," because that's actually a code word for "immature."

7:27 AM  
Anonymous hamilton said...


Could you inform us here at the blog how *you* would like to be approached by the sort of gentleman that interests you? Perhaps we can engage in an education campaign for guys interested in a woman such as yourself.



11:11 AM  
Blogger srchngformystry said...

i lived in sacto during my formative years in college, and i found that there were no guys there. in college, they were mostly frat boys or nerdy boys or just dumb boys, except i managed to get knocked up by an idiot boy who i no longer love or respect since he is unable to be a father.

the scene isnt different here in los angeles, where the boys are narcisstic and uninteresting. there are a few needles in haystacks who are beautiful in soul and spirit, but they arent interested in me.

being celibate now because i was sick of "not respecting myself", i find that while there is no one around, i have hope. hope is what drives me to put on foot forward and avoid the bar scene or another scene that will introduce me to dorkwads.

good luck in your search. i happen to find engineers sexy. the brainiacs who are gorgeous but dont even realize it are my weakness.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Ananda said...

"I meet bright, articulate, good men that I would enjoy dating all the time. Then I meet their wives, who are also sharp and fun and nice."

We do get snapped up pretty quick, don't we? My wife said that as soon as she figured out I was the one, she quickly went into panic mode to make sure the deal got closed. Of course I couldn't really tell this at the time, and maybe she overstates it in hindsight. I guess we* are scarcer than I thought.

Ah well. I gave your blog's address to my brother (whose voice is even deeper than mine, although he never flirted with becoming an opera singer -- he's much funnier, too).

*: Men who are geeky yet have physical as well as dork hobbies, deep voices, grown-up senses of humor, and want families.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous justus said...

I agree with Caliban (despite his apparently terrible taste in fiction..."The Belgariad"?!? :) that your list doesn't adequately enumerate the possibilities.

Just because you meet someone who is attracted to you doesn't necessarily mean they are in a position to do anything about it. It is possible that you aren't meeting *enough* people who are attracted to you...such that you happen to meet one while you are mutually open to pursuing something.

This can be especially difficult as there seems to be a natural tendency to separate into "single" and "non-single" cliques. I have found that if most of my friends are married I have a harder time meeting single women because they seem to know so few of them and their social patterns are relatively fixed: they are substantially less interested in going out (to bars, concerts, pool halls, movies, whatever) than my single friends.

Macneil makes an excellent suggestion. At the very least, dating websites give you exposure to a large number of men in a short period of time which gives you an opportunity to practice the difficult skills of flirtation with virtually zero risk.

Communication is also about a lot more than simply the words being spoken. A long time ago I read about a sociologist who did a ton of field work in bars looking at how people actually court. He found that the words used -- i.e. the pick up lines and small talk -- were virtually worthless as indicators of success. People almost immediately make a decision about the dateability of a stranger, a la Malcolm Gladwell's *Blink*, and further evidence rarely dissuades them once they've put their stake in the ground.

One of the most important signals he found was what he called "synchronicity". As the conversation progresses people turn toward one another, rather than sitting side by side. When one person drinks, the other drinks as well. It is a non-verbal signal that "you and me" are progressing towards "we".

It is possible that it isn't the talk of blond lobsters that are discouraging the guys but rather your non-verbal cues.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Sweet Coalminer said...

Hmmm. I say you quit playing frisbee. You need to meet an older man. I also think your sense of humor is above most commoners' heads.

You're too much of a sophisticate for Sactonians to get you. Maybe you need to hang out in SF more. Or just walk around with your boobies out.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous LizardBreath said...

(A) It's very refreshing reading this. I get so annoyed with the endless assumption from men that any halfway attractive woman is able to get laid or to form a relationship at will. It's just not true; it's hard for everyone out there.

(B) If you want concrete advice, it's to make friends with the married men you're meeting and liking (and with their wives.) Most couples have some single friends they're trying to fix up in a half-assed kind of way, and if you like the people in a couple, you should like their friends. (I, for example, have a British journalist I've been shopping around the single women of New York for years now. If you befriended my husband you'd end up having this guy dangled in front of you for your review fairly quickly. (Sadly, while everyone likes him, no one seems to want him long-term. But that's not your problem.))

Start hanging around with more couples, and they should start boyfriend-shopping for you.

7:49 AM  
Blogger pdf23ds said...

Eh. Too bad you don't live in Austin. I guess we'll be in the same boat.

I'm really bad about the body language thing too. Being male, it's a bit different, but really not very different. I picked up a book in the bookstore the other day that I found really helpful, though. You might check it out. It's along the lines of what you're talking about here.

9:25 PM  

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