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Thread: Project Dating!

  1. #111
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I don't think it has to be black and white either. I went on two dates with someone last year, for instance: nice times, no sex, a kiss. The vibe just wasn't quite there, for either of us. Or, really, the vibe was: Rather than do that thing we did when we were younger—some nebulous, go-nowhere sex—we could skip that and maybe be friends? We were so 100 percent thinking the same thing, talked about it, have been friends since.

    I think that's pretty rare, and, per your last point, I do think us not sleeping together helped. I'd also say that us not sleeping together "helped" in terms of meeting my girlfriend a few months later. One, I wasn't engaging in a casual, nebulous thing (or two, or four) when I met her, so my bandwidth was clear. Two, I didn't have a complicated friendship to explain to her: "Oh, her? We were having sex here and there until I met you, realized we're better as friends, all good—let's all play checkers on Friday." That wouldn't have flown. Wasn't something she'd have been interested in—or, at best, it would have made me someone she'd be interested in only for a fun night or week. And now that she's met said friend—well, there isn't the cloud of past sex hanging over it.

    Along with Bolt and Batya, I agree that you seriously limit your options for "serious" when you're involved in casual arrangements. It's just not something serious people take seriously. Reverse the scenario: You meet a woman who is cool, compelling, but either your own radar tells you she's casually involved with someone else and/or seeking causal involvement or she openly tells you she's having casual sex with one or two people. Or she tells you that her tennis partner is someone she met a month earlier on a dating app, had some casual sex with, and is today tennis pals with. Are you still thinking "future partner"?

    I don't think all that means you have to live like a monk in order to "hold out" for "the one," for the record. It's kind of just about being honest. It's okay to meet someone, sleep with them—once, twice, for a consensual stretch—and then realize there's not enough there. It's okay to enjoy a fling. That is "dating." But then, I think, you just move on, calling it a casual chapter, a "dating" experience, and clearing the slate and the bandwidth, rather than blurring it through "friendship." What that looks like to a lot of people, because it often is that, is someone who likes keeping a fertile orbit of past lovers circling for reasons secure, intentional people aren't really interested in understanding.

    I've been a guy with that orbit. I've also been a guy without out it. All I have is my own lens, but in my experience the relationships I've gotten into when that orbit was orbiting were the rockiest, while the ones I've gotten into when my bandwidth was clear were the richest. I noticed that the type of woman I imagined myself with often didn't imagine herself with me, when I was in a certain stage. And once I was really, truly just interested in partnership my interest in maintaining that kind of orbit just went out the window.

    There are ways where I think our "youthful" dating habits, much like our youthful eating habits, start catching up with us. I've always been a pretty absurdly fit dude, say. I was junior olympic gymnast and diver from age 5 to 18. I ate whatever I wanted—lots of fast food—but still always looked the part. I ate much the same in my 20s, and, well, I stopped looking the part a bit. Had to learn the glories of salads, and the glories of being more intentional about staying active, in order to "be" who I think of as my most authentic self. Dating was kind of similar. In my mid-30s I still approached it all much the way I did in my 20s, though it stopped feeling authentic, or at least wasn't getting me what I really wanted, so I made some changes.

  2. #112
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    Thanks all for the thoughts and apologies for not updating this for a week and a half. Sometimes I find it easier to go away for a little while and figure things out for myself and get things clear in my own mind.

    Anyway, to update, I've not seen Emily again. We've been loosely in contact but haven't arranged anything. I realised she wasn't quite what I was looking for and it's been kind of a mutual and natural fade away on both ends. No conversation about whether we should stop seeing each other but, of course, I'd be honest with her if she were to ask me.

    After having a week off Tinder, I logged back on about 4 days ago and managed to get a couple of first meets arranged, one for yesterday, one for today. The one yesterday was a late drink after work with a girl called Sam. I found her quite irritating (without quite being able to put my finger on why!) so not planning to see her again.
    The one today was a coffee at lunchtime with a girl called Letitia. She was nice. We got on well, I found her attractive and it was a meet that I thoroughly enjoyed.
    I have got a couple of doubts - for one, she had less of an athletic body type than I normally go for. My physical 'type' is that of a female athlete. I've sometimes found in the past that when I've been with a girl with an 'average' body, the attraction fades after I've seen them naked and we've slept together. I'm well aware of how shallow it might sound saying that, but it is a natural attraction thing rather than a conscious choice.
    The 2nd doubt I've got over Letitia is that I got the impression that her hobbies / interests are much less active than my own - I've always imagined my 'perfect woman' as someone who would come out exploring with me / go running with me and my dog / play tennis with me, that sort of thing.
    So I'm in 2 minds - because at the same time, she was lovely, we had a great chat and I found her attractive.

  3. #113
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    No need for apologies. Live your life as you see fit. Everyone needs a break from everything from time to time, including the internet. Especially the internet.

    Question: If you have a preexisting desire for an athletic figure, and a preexisting fear that you will quickly lose attraction to a non-athletic figure, why bother swiping right on a non-athletic figure?

    I'll join you in your shallow pool for a moment. I, too, like an athletic figure, but I don't think that makes me shallow. It's what I like. I've only ever gone out with women who are thin and fit. I don't value them higher than other women, but they do appeal to me more. They've been lots of other things too—things I'd say are more important to me than thin and fit—but they've also been that thing. I am thin and fit—a thin and fit man who is into thin and fit women.

    Could I see a world in which I'm with someone with a non-athletic body? Of course. But that would likely happen more organically.

    Like, I have facial hair—the salt-and-pepper scruff of an aging hipster. Some women don't like facial hair, some do. I bet the ones that didn't didn't swipe on me—or at least I hope they didn't, since I'd rather just be me and not a test to see if someone could kinda maybe sorta be cool with some scruff even though history has proved they've ever been cool with some scruff. On that note, I'm aware that some women much prefer male bodies that don't look like mine. All good.

    As for hobbies/interests, I think it always takes a few minutes—meaning some real time with someone—to know how all that stuff stacks out.

  4. #114
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    Question: If you have a preexisting desire for an athletic figure, and a preexisting fear that you will quickly lose attraction to a non-athletic figure, why bother swiping right on a non-athletic figure?

    It was a bit hard to tell from her photos. They're not just face shots (I avoid these) but all from maybe belly up and she looks from them like she could be in decent shape - and, admittedly, she isn't in bad shape, just not the athlete body type that I normally go for.

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  6. #115
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Quick edit: I've actually dated basically every type of woman you can imagine—enjoyably!—but my serious relationships have been with thin and fit. So when swiping while interested in a serious relationship I was probably more hardwired to swipe right on people who, even in that superficial snapshot, had more going for them than not in terms of a potential candidate.

  7. #116
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Well, you say you were attracted to her and had a nice time. That, generally, is a pretty good combo to at least go out again.

    Attraction is funny. It can be immediate, it can grow. Ideally it is kind of both, in some way or another, a thing that keeps blossoming. Of course, you also can't force it. I met up with a number of women who were, without question, super attractive by the most conventional of gauges. But I didn't feel that juju. I'm pretty aware of where I fit into the spectrum of conventional attractiveness in males—I'm conventionally attractive—but to a number of women I was meh. Or something about me made me just that: conventional, but not special, not for them.

    It's all part of the fun. I think you're getting a few steps ahead of yourself, in that you're already having sex with someone you haven't had sex with and imagining the two of you a year from now, when she's home with the stamp collection and you're running alone with your dog. Try, maybe, to just ask yourself if you'd like to see her one more time.

  8. #117
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    It's totally fine to have your physical preferences and to notice that your attraction fades if the woman's body is not athletic. So.... do you worry that if you do want a child someday (not sure if you do or I don't remember sorry!) will you lose attraction for your wife if after pregnancy she doesn't quite get her athletic body back or if her athletic body becomes less athletic looking as she ages? I have no bone to pick in the sense that I am slim, basically always have been and I'm 53, I never had an athletic body but am fit because I exercise regularly. However my husband isn't particular about "athletic" and has been with me through pregnancy (took me 5 months to lose the weight -about 20 pounds I think? then I lost an additional 5 to 10 below my pre-pregnancy weight which was slim) -anyway point is my body has gone through a number of changes since we first met 25 years ago. And I never doubted his attraction to me. His body too and yes I notice he has put on weight, but far far more because of health related concerns rather than looks/attraction. Just be honest with yourself as far as the long term if you would be ok if your wife's body became less athletic or if she put on weight (I get that becoming obese could be a real attraction issue and understandable -I mean more like "not athletic" or "could lose 10 pounds".

  9. #118
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    I think you're getting a few steps ahead of yourself, in that you're already having sex with someone you haven't had sex with and imagining the two of you a year from now, when she's home with the stamp collection and you're running alone with your dog. Try, maybe, to just ask yourself if you'd like to see her one more time.

    Yeah I think you're right on this. Maybe my goal of finding someone long-term is making me think too far ahead too quickly.

    will you lose attraction for your wife if after pregnancy she doesn't quite get her athletic body back or if her athletic body becomes less athletic looking as she ages?

    This is a good question and a tough one to answer as I've never been in that position and I've never actually been with somebody long enough to experience body / looks changes over time.
    I suspect that my ideal partner would have to be someone who, like me, lives an active lifestyle and so, even if they put on some weight, never gets totally out of shape. But at the same time, if I was with someone long-term, had already fallen in love with them and developed a deep emotional bond, and they then put on 10 pounds or a stone, I don't think this would give me any desire to leave - I think the love and the bond built up over time would easily override the slightly less attractive body.

    Updates (Sat 28th Sept - Tue 1st Oct)

    Main update is that I've been really ill! Contracted what I suspect was food poisoning Saturday night and then spent almost 48 hours totally bed bound, getting up only to use the toilet or to fetch jaffa cakes and juice from the kitchen. I'm up and about today, really tired (and have took another day off work) but well enough to not need to spend the whole day in bed.
    Letitia (who I had the good date with on Friday), I had a bit of a text back and forth with on Saturday but she hasn't responded to my last message. It wasn't actually a question but it was still a text to which you would expect a response.

    I've been making an effort with Tinder and Bumble this morning. My available time for first meets is pretty much just the weekends at the mo and so I feel it's important to make some effort on the apps between Monday and Wednesday. Any later in the week than that and peoples' weekend plans are generally already made.

    I feel like I'm ploughing through on Tinder, rather than enjoying the process. I've started to be quite selective with the women I swipe on, using a few criteria:
    only swiping right on women who've taken the time to write a reasonable bio (I feel this is a sign of someone taking online dating seriously)
    not swiping on women who are flaunting huge amounts of flesh / cleavage
    only swiping on women who look physically in decent shape (as mentioned, this is an important attraction feature for me)
    if possible, looking for shared hobbies / interests

    I've started to find that if I don't go with these criteria and just swipe right on attractive faces, I end up with plenty of 'empty matches' – women who have said nothing at all about themselves and most of their photos will be of them pouting at the camera with bunny ears attached on and a large amount of cleavage on display. I then find myself thinking 'can I really be bothered trying to build up a conversation here?' and end up just unmatching them.

    I find, by contrast, that using the criteria above, gives me a lot fewer matches, but better quality matches – women who are more genuine about online dating and are more likely to put an effort into the process. The problem is that Tinder has no search criteria other than for age, gender and location. So I end up swiping left on maybe 10 / 15 / 20 profiles for every one I swipe right on, which makes the whole process feel long-winded and exhausting.
    Still I guess it is a numbers game and, ultimately, you do get out what you put in!

  10. #119
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    You basically just described exactly how I used the apps: lots of lefts, few rights. But need that be exhausting? If I go to a park, or a bar, or sit on a subway train the odds are slim that I'll mentally "swipe right" on anyone, let alone the majority of women I'm sharing space with. That's always how I've thought about the apps, as a kind of simulacrum of that moment.

    I never hard any hard rules, though "genuine" was the goal. The pouty, bunny-ears stuff? The cleavage-heavy photos oddly accented by a bio reading "no hookups"? No and no. Because let's be honest: the only reason you really swipe right on that is with the hope that, 10 seconds after the swipe, you are having sex with that person. A human hope, that, but hope best winked at and walked away from. Trouble is that even having sex with that person isn't worth the actual trouble required to get there: the cloying banter over text, the drink or three to fuel a mode of conversation that feels like putting together Ikea furniture, followed by a jagged romp that produces 20 minutes of joy followed by the tinny echo of a hollowed out soul.

    When it comes to searching for "long term" you still have to be present in the moment. That's really all long term is, after all: someone you can be present with.

  11. #120
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    - I've always imagined my 'perfect woman' as someone who would come out exploring with me / go running with me and my dog /

    My guy is more active outdoors than i was. I did walk my dog -- but when i met him, I started going for long hikes with him an enjoyed them. People can try new things. And now i hike on my own, too. Most people are up for "exploring" no matter their shape. What is an "athletic figure" is it cut muscles, or is it a woman who has a naturally slim build/very little in the breast and hip department that just "looks" like a "yoga rat" type.

    Forget about "the perfect woman" -- find someone who you click with mentally and you find her face somewhat attractive and she is not obese -- she looks like she takes care of herself somewhat (hey, my friend who is overweight is quite the athlete -- equestrian sports that are strenuous, she rock climbs every weekend, etc, but she has more of an apple shape. She could definitely whip my rear any day and run circles around me) - so be clear about what you really want. But a meeting of the minds is a start.

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