Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The dating game

Lulu: Ha ha. Reading Love Letters today, I was like, "Yeah, this seems like a normal problem, this is sort of like me," and people in comments are all "I don't understand, this is weird, you need therapy!"
I'm a 25-year-old woman, and it has been seven years since I've been in a relationship. Not just a serious relationship -- any relationship at all, or any date with a guy I've had positive feelings for...

I sing in a very social choir; I work at an office full of young people; I live in the city where I went to college and am still close with a lot of college friends. Granted, these aren't all the best ways to meet guys (my co-workers are mainly women, and choirs tend to be weighted towards men who are not interested in women), but I do socialize with a lot of people. Obviously there are a lot of fluky things that can result in dry spells, but it just seems like in such a long period of time, something should have happened with someone.

My conclusion here is that the problem is most likely something I'm putting out there. ... If I do have a crush on a guy, I'm not shy about trying to spend time with him. But if I don't already have strong feelings, it's hard for me to flirt in a way that might lead somewhere. I find myself pulling back. ... I also get really embarrassed at the idea that other people might think I'm romantically interested in someone. Is there any way I can turn off this scared-of-romantic-interaction vibe? Anything you can tell me to change my mindset? Again, it's not an issue with guys I have feelings for, but that happens really rarely (maybe once every two to three years).

Is there anything I can do besides be patient and hope the next seven years don't go by before something clicks with a guy?
Lulu: Also everybody is telling her to join sports and ski clubs. What if she doesn't like sports and skiing???

Ashley: I think she's a lesbian.

Lulu: Right?? I mean, some of the commenters identify her problem this way: she's not comfortable dating people she doesn't know, and she wants to be friends first before she dates. But that doesn't really happen after you get out of school. You have to date, and to be explicit about your interest in someone, even though it can be awkward. I think that's correct, and I have the same problem. I even have the thing where I'm only physically attracted enough to a man to overcome that aversion to flirting every 2-3 years.

That said, I mean, I'm (basically) gay. And I'm much more comfortable and into doing dating/flirting/there-is-no-plausible-deniability-I-am-interested-in-you conversations with women, even when I don't already know them well and they're not dropdead gorgeous model/actors.

That said, she doesn't mention being attracted to women, and you'd think she'd know that by now.

Ashley: Maybe she's just less attracted to people in general?

Lulu: It occurs to me that possibly the basic fantasy of slash fiction is a relationship where you intimately know the person before you consider them as a romantic partner.

Ashley: She probably loves slash.

Lulu: If she doesn't already, she would. But introducing her to slash is NOT A SOLUTION! It will only further her unrealizable romantic fantasies! With her gay chorus friends!

Ashley: The thing is, I also like to be friends with people before i date them. But i do eventually date them. So there's a weird disconnect for me between her preferences and her actions. There needs to be a step two: how does she get from preferring to date friends to not dating anyone?

Lulu: All her friends are women? If she's not a lesbian, she needs to become one! I mean, yeah, I guess the people who recommend sports clubs are correct in that she needs an activity where she'll meet guys. But sometimes you do not like those activities and are not good at them. Like imagine me joining Darnell's soccer team.

Ashley: Sports aren't the only option.

Lulu: It's true; of the activities I've looked into alone, several are male-dominated: coding, cartooning, rock music. And we know she can sing! Although maybe you don't want to date someone in your band.

Ashley: Video games. Role-playing games.

Lulu: Is that our solution to everything?

Ashley: Be gay or start gaming? Or both?

Lulu: Yeah.

Ashley: Well, it works!

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