still single, 6 years now and no end in sight?

Reply Sat 25 Sep, 2021 01:36 am
I have just had a dating experience come to an end.
Without getting into the specific details, I was dating her for about a month, slightly long distance and we texted every day, quite a few lengthy phone calls and we spent two entire weekends together after a short initial meeting. Although that doesn't seem very long, we really did connect or so I thought at least, found each other attractive and so on. Last weekend which was my birthday infact I decided to spend it with her. I now realise that was a mistake as for most people your birthday can be an emotional day and spending it with someone who you don't know that well is a risk. And in this case it's a risk that didn't pay off. In brief, although there were some nice moments, I made some silly comments which did not go down well with her and as a result it led to probably killing the attraction. I do think they were inappropriate despite the fact that I was joking and I apologised profusely. Regardless, she didn't feel they were right and the day after I got back from seeing her we spoke on the phone and she said she wasn't at peace and couldn't get over the comments I made and she would take some time to think it over and decide whether we could continue dating. A few days later, she texted me to say she hadn't changed her mind and wished me the best. I reiterated those comments were out of character and I hated that she was hurting from them. I wished her the best as well and that was it.

This was the closest I've come now to a relationship in more than 6 years. I finally meet someone I am genuinely interested in (because that has been really difficult), have an attraction and a good connection with, only for it to end so abruptly. I genuinely thought that this could work out and I would finally have a gf after all these years, and in a way that's why I went up to see her for my birthday. I was feeling positive about the whole situation.

A t38 now, I do wonder whether a relationship/marriage is even going to happen for me, no matter how much I want it. I know dating isn't easy and for many of you on here you will be feeling the same. After 6 years, what hope is there of a breakthrough? The two previous relationships I did have at 32 (3 months) and then at 29 (1 year) were both psychologically abusive as I didn't have boundaries and I let these women take advantage of my patience and tolerance by constantly testing me, gaslighting and disrespecting me. So yeah I'm approaching the end of my 30s and I've had one pathetic relationship of 3 months. I have dated alot though in this time, we're taking tons of first dates, a few second and third dates but it doesn't generally get past that stage. Why? Because I can never find someone who I want to pursue and have a connection and vice versa. All the women that are interested in me, I'm not into and the few ones I'm into, aren't into me. This last girl who I spent the last month dating was the first girl in 6 years that I genuinely felt attracted to, connected to and wanted to pursue, hence the disappointment and sadness.

There are some great women out there but I don't know how many more bad experiences and setbacks with dating I can take. I'm not perfect and I will continue to make mistakes. I just want to meet my equal. That can't be too much to ask for but it seems, as a man I sense perhaps I don't have what it takes. I'm 6"2, sporty, have my own flat, a job that is nothing special but a comfortable salary, well travelled, fairly knowledgeable but none of this appears to be enough. I can get dates, matches or whatever but not progression to a relationship, someone actually wanting to be with me for me. There have been women in the past who have really liked me though but I didn't feel the same. For example, a few years ago I went out with a girl for a few months who I found attractive but there was no real connection and I knew that from early on but I carried on thinking that might develop. It never did. Then more recently 2 years ago I was very close with another lady who I had an amazing connection with, many similar interests but no physical attraction. Again I gave that a go for many months because I thought the physical attraction would develop but of course it never did. Deep down I knew in both cases, it was going nowhere but I wanted to try as people kept saying give this a go, you have to do things differently, well this is why you've been single for so long, you never know etc etc.

I have had many years in therapy and counselling when I was younger and most recently a few years ago. I'm not sure any of it has really helped in terms of my overall progress but it helped that I had someone to talk to. Perhaps I need that again. I don't know what else to do. I continue to go on dating apps, websites, try to meet women at church and other social events but it seems super hard to have what I see as the three essential aspects - a physical attraction, an emotional connection/compatibility and enough similar interests and for me as a Christian, a fellow believer. I have gone on dates with many women who have had 2 or 3 of those key areas. This last girl I felt ticked every one hence why I'm struggling right now. I messed up an opportunity but maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
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Reply Sat 25 Sep, 2021 08:53 am
Well, first of all, your name 'despairing' is a dead give-away. People can sense desperation a mile away and it makes them feel uncomfortable.

I think you need, first and foremost, to be content within yourself. Don't focus on finding a partner right now - just get really comfortable being on your own. If you happen upon a woman who strikes your fancy, well and good, but stop looking so hard.

What if you never find 'the one'? You may not. Some people never do. That's why it's important for you to be okay being single. Go out with your friends or colleagues. Help a neighbour. Join a club. Really, stop looking and just focus on yourself for a bit. Take the pressure and focus off this.
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Reply Sat 25 Sep, 2021 09:44 am
Two things stick out to me.

1) You say that women are interested in you, but you don't find them interesting. I wonder if you are being too picky. Is it possible that you might be happy with one of the women you are rejecting? A relationship takes time to build while you get to know someone. Maybe you should be more open minded and allow the chance that someone might surprise you.

2) You talk about women "ticking every one" of the "key areas". This sounds like a checklist, a process that makes dating even more awkward,

To be honest, I don't think you "messed up" this relationship. It sounds like you gave it a chance (which is good) and found out that you weren't compatible (which is also good). If you run into problems when you let your guard down, that is a sign that the relationship isn't going to work long term. In a relationship, you want to find someone who will accept you ... and if they are easily offended, that seems like a problem.
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Reply Sat 25 Sep, 2021 11:04 am
Seems odd that you finally find a woman you “click” with and you make comments (plural!) so inappropriate she won’t see you again.

Sounds like self- sabotaging and a whole lot of narcissism.

Go back to counseling and find out why you can’t find companionship on the level you think you deserve.

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