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Traits that help in my life seem to ruin relationship potential...


Coonsy

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I know I'm not alone in this - I've come accross dating coaches who make their living helping women like me find love. What I've found is that the traits that have helped me deal with my life and move forward are the exact things that make me unattractive to men - being strong, intelligent, articulate, goal orientated and somewhat competitive. Those are the exact traits that have kept me afloat through a variety of hard times, and kept me going forward and not dwelling on the past.

 

Those same traits, however, seem to be a turn off for guys. The only guys who seem even remotely interested after any length of time are the ones who (I believe) think I can take care of them - unemployed, lazy, not very bright, etc. The guys who I find attractive, the ones who are "stronger" men are turned off by those traits.

 

I understand that men don't want to date another "guy" even if she has girly bits. I also realize that if I want a strong guy, I need to let him BE that man, and not always jump up and lead the situation like I can be prone to doing. Those are some tangible things that I can work on, but I still can't change (nor do I really want to) who I am as a person. I've been a tomboy since I was too young to even know the difference. Although I've womanized myself in terms of appearance, cleanliness, fashion, and even working on body language, guys STILL know that's not my underlying personality - the funny part being that under that tough exterior I'm actually a big softie who would rather follow than lead - IF I am confident in the leader.

 

It seems like most guys, however, don't want to even have to deal with that on any level. Every time I'm with someone who I'm attracted to, I walk away feeling/knowing that they aren't attracted to the real me, no matter how much I try to keep that side of me in check, repeat multiple times throughout the date to "let him lead" and be caring, sweet, and a bit domestic...and even though those things are genuine (if a bit forced early on - I'm that way once settled, but I'm working on bringing that side out right away instead of waiting), it seems most guys would still rather have the kind, sweet, submissive and wouldn't EVER challenge their opinion types of girls.

 

Yes, I'm painfully aware that I am attracted to guys who aren't attracted to me (well, they're ATTRACTED to me, but they never want to turn that into a relationship), and that if I could be attracted to other types of guys, I'd be golden, but I'm simply not attracted to that. I've tried, I've let a relationship drag on for nearly two months longer than I wanted in hopes that I could eventually gain more attraction for the nice, unemployed (although not without funds) guy who is extremely attracted to me, but I simply can't make it happen. In fact, my neutrality towards the relationship/him had started to turn into mild repulsion by the end, but I had sincerely hoped that if I stuck it out I could learn to like something else.

 

Just hung out (in a date sort of way) with a guy who I was attracted to. He was attracted to me. He actually was the most perceptive person about who I am that I have come accross, and he had this down before he initiated that "more than acquaintances" contact. But I left pretty positive that he's really not into me, and it's something about me that caused that. Maybe at some point I'll feel comfortable enough to ask what it was without it being too weird, but it's still super frustrating.

 

The majority of the time I'm okay with who I am and with being single...but deep down there's still that craving for that deeper connection with someone. I know "love" is just a temporary thing, so my expectations are, I believe, reasonable - I don't need to be swept off my feet, but I do want that connection.

 

Ugh. I hate the holidays. Normally I'd be at work and not even worried about my love life right now, looking forward to the moto ride home, my martial arts class tonight and too busy to pout about my traits that guys find repulsive when it comes to being more than "just friends." Instead, everything is cancelled, I'm too broke to go do my own thing, and although I have a gathering later with some friends, the hours until then are just, well, miserable.

 

I've accepted that I may never find that someone...but that doesn't make me not want it, either.

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"strong, intelligent, articulate, goal oriented and somewhat competitive"

 

These traits helped me immensely in dating -I knew when to take my work hat off (i.e. when I was not at work!) and loved being feminine but it helped me meet men who were on the same wavelength as me and who wanted a woman with a profession/career. I think the issue might have to be more with your personality and social skills -how you come accross with those very positive traits -and also might have to do with the environments in which you're meeting men. I am not insulting your personality or social skills but I don't buy that most men are turned off by a woman who is independent, financially and otherwise, and intelligent. I dated on and off for 24 years until my late 30s and yes I did not get involved with men who were insecure about my life accomplishments and goals but so what? They simply weren't good matches for me.

 

The dating world is really hard, I agree -but not because of the traits you describe.

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I am as you claim to be...and while the independent, financially secure woman will attract those men who are lazy and truly not men...you just have to wait it out.

 

Do not compromise your true self. I dated men who wanted someone to pay the bills while giving lip service to equality. But I am now with a man who makes less than I and fights for the tab.

 

If you have to compromise your true self...it isn't the right time or the right guy.

 

Be proud of your independence and self reliance.

Having that is the cake...a relationship is only the frosting.

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You don't need to change who you are...that is the point.

 

The goal of your life should be to live it in an authentic manner. And is so doing, you will find a mate that is attracted to you...for who you are.

 

The biggest obstacles in life will come when you pretend you are not smart, articulate and independent... that is when you will attract and become involved with the WRONG guy.

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I agree on not changing myself...even if I could, and hypothetically speaking even if that worked and I formed a relationship, that relationship would be based on false pretenses.

 

I'm sure my personality doesn't help - it's not that it's bad or ugly, but I'm naturally introverted (working on that, but people can still pick up on it), and although I get along with people well as friends, forming a deeper bond means opening myself up to someone - and I'm overprotective of that "soft" part of myself, which is a trait that does not lend itself to being attractive to someone. If you're into personality theories, I'm an INTJ. Part of me is proud of who I am. The social part of me wonders how I got "blessed" with that curse. I do try to work on my weaknesses - I know I have them, but I can't change who I am at my core.

 

Some of it is maybe the area where I live, too? I seemed to have better luck where I grew up (it seemed like more men wanted a partner instead of an accoutrement), but I was also younger. And about 20 pounds lighter (working on that one now that the job situation is sorted out)...so I'm sure those were factors.

 

Just feeling a bit blue today with my normal "focus on life" options not being an option.

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Sorry that you feel this way. I think your difficulties in a major city have more to do with the introversion and, unfortunately, the weight gain (as I wrote in another thread I think in major cities overweight is more of an issue than in smaller towns/cities). I don't think you can change who you are at your core but I do think you can work on your social skills and getting over fears that are obstacles to connecting with people. Best of luck!

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The majority of my male friends married strong, independent, and intelligent women.

 

No one that I can think of married someone dumb, dependent, or weak.

 

Husbands often brag about how capable their wives are : they can depend their wives. not about how lazy or passive their wives are.

 

So I have to disagree with your entire premise.

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I hate that a guy can gain 20 pounds and b still handsome but if a girl gain 20 pounds, its like OMG!!! Lol... Look you will shed the pounds- its not that hard. 2ndly, yes work on personality. What i found out is that the guys care about looks but to get them to be really in to you, you gotta have personality. Even if your an introvert, or strong-minded or even stubborn, you just gotta add some wit and light-heartedness to it. When you do that, ppl will find you more.. 'endearing' and yes even 'tolerable' to the insecure 'macho' guys.

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There is a difference between smart and opionated.

There is a difference between intelligent and egotistical.

And there is a difference between shy and aloof.

 

Figure out who you are and the difference between who that is and who you project.

Because it is all the difference in the world.

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To be perfectly honest, I think these traits are hurting you the most.

 

I am very familiar with INTJ personality types. From the way you describe yourself, it sounds like you may come off as cold, unapproachable, and/or aloof. One of my closest friends is an INTJ and while I love her (and I think she is one of the hottest girls in the world to me), she kinda seems like a robot and is sooo aloof. It's odd to me.

 

It's hard to resolve the problem. You aren't attracted to guys who are interested in you. You also aren't emotionally available/emotionally attractive to the guys you are interested in. So, the resolution is a constant state of frustration.

 

If you WANT to be more emotionally available, I say keep working on yourself to be your best self for YOU and not necessarily for a dude.

 

The weight thing is just one of those things. Women who are slim/slender tend to have an easier time in dating. Men generally have options in terms of dating so that's just how it is.

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I was incredibly shy growing up...and saw how much I was missing out on. I never took a test to label myself....I undertook the challenge to change.

 

Labels are convenient hiding holes. Challenge them. Push yourself.

 

No one person who knows me today would believe I was a painfully shy 16 yr old.

In fact...NONE would believe it...because I haven't been "shy" in 25 yrs.

Was it difficult at first? Sure.

Did it get easier? Of course.

 

Don't label yourself or let other people label you.

Every day is a new beginning!

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I hate to say this: but no attractive woman was EVER short of dates because she was shy or introverted.

 

The reality is - visual attraction is number 1 for men. Men fall in love and chase attractive women who are cold and aloof to them all the time. Often they marry these women at the end.

 

Improving your physical appeal - staying in shape, dressing the right way - is probably the most immediate and effective way to increasing your potential dating pool.

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I hate to say this: but no attractive woman was EVER short of dates because she was shy or introverted.

 

The reality is - visual attraction is number 1 for men. Men fall in love and chase attractive women who are cold and aloof to them all the time. Often they marry these women at the end.

 

Improving your physical appeal - staying in shape, dressing the right way - is probably the most immediate and effective way to increasing your potential dating pool.

 

I would disagree with this on some level. I have known a number of VERY attractive women who struggle to find guys who are relationship material.

 

Yes, I'm packing a few extra pounds for what I feel I can/should be. I'm not fat by any stretch of the imagination. I'm 5'7", working on my fitness, and a size 6....I used to be a 3/4, and that's where the extra weight comes in. No doctor would tell me I needed to lose weight, I'm just not where I know my body prefers to be - but I'm also taking very specific steps to change that.

 

I don't have an issue finding guys who are willing to go out with me. It's finding guys who I'm ALSO wanting to go out with that becomes the problem, and my introversion is definitely an issue as several good guy friends have told me.

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I agree. I'm working on it, but it's also a personal struggle because it's my tendency to try to protect myself. I may have my reasons, but that doesn't change people's perceptions of me, either. Since I'm not naturally an emotionally intelligent person, it is, quite literally, a huge learning process to try to force myself to value things I normally don't value/see.

 

 

 

The label came in a few years ago when I was trying to figure out why I was struggling so hard socially. I found out why, and it gave me insight into how to actually change some of my complaints. Since then, my social circle has expanded dramatically, and I have gone from no friends in the area to countless friends, both very close and not so close. But, the next thing to tackle is that perceived wall my introversion tends to put up, and that thing that keeps me from connecting to guys on a romantic level especially.

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I've been you. a good part of me still is, actually. (check this, if you have the time: )

 

my 2 cents:

 

- stop hiding from yourself on your extra busy schedule

- leave some space in your life for that potential partner. when someone auditions for the role, let them write their own part. (maybe this looks confusing. did you ever play with dolls with another friend, and then you had to agree on who would say/do what, and how the story would develop? sometimes I was extra controlling and I made their lines too. I found out recently I did that as a grown up - set everything up so perfectly that, well... people didn't feel there was a need for them to be there. I'd be well too fine on my own, right?)

- realize no one is perfect. nor you, nor me, nor the guy you think you are attracted to. attraction may be instintive, but building a relationship and keeping the love alive is a daily choice. like the one you make between being happy for your job on a monday morning or complaining about having to leave your bed.

 

and I leave you with something that has helped me throughout the last couple of years of frustrating dates and failed relationships:

 

Maybe it's not a good idea to look at just any male as your market. The guys who've discouraged you are obviously not even part of your target, so why do they count? Wouldn't it just be easier to just stop listening to stupid people?

I'm not sure how many matches you need, but I only want one. There are millions of people living in this puzzle, and I don't expect most of them to fit with me. It just means I'll allow wrong matches to pass early.

 

If love were not rare, what would be so special about it?

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Thank you for that - some of this I've come to realize, and it falls under the "if you always have a problem with something, maybe the problem is you" thing, and I've recognized there are things I do that turn guys off. How to change that is more of the challenge - like most things, I'm probably not going to be suddenly charming and charismatic overnight when my personality is the opposite - but there are steps to be taken, but the usual advice from my extroverted friends of "just be more outgoing" doesn't work on this level. It has worked well for my overall social life, but not in relationships

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If you are not finding mutual interest in men, they want you and you don't want them. You have two options:

 

1) become more attractive to appeal to higher-value men. And yes, physical attractiveness is number one for men.

 

2) learn to adjust your expectations to be more realistic: perhaps these men are what you are able to realistically pull.

 

Step up your game or learn to appreciate the men who do show interest.

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My approach on this subject may seem naive but, honestly, I think it's all a matter of timing and luck. Not about your personality. Not even about your looks.

I have so many divorced/single girlfriends, with different looks and different personalities, who just can't find a guy to date! They meet guys they're interested in and the guy isn't interested in them...and vice versa.

Examples:

Friend no1: same age as myself, 5'8, long, beautiful, black hair, great complexion, athletic, awesome sense of fashion, music teacher, very sociable. Her last relationship? Almost 4 years ago!

Friend no2: 42, 5'3, blonde, a bit overweight (maybe 10 pounds or so), very pretty face, shy, sweet and good hearted, a vet. Her last relationship..2 years ago.

Friend no3: 47, 5'6, long, brown hair, good body, a bank manager, smart, goal oriented, independent, great sense of humour. Her last relationship ended a year ago and nothing since then.

 

We all live in a big city. We have a big circle. Some of us also try online dating. None of us is holding out for a Brad Pitt lookalike or someone rich or a nuclear scientist. And yet, we're all single and have been for a long time.

 

So, yeah, my conclusion is that love is just about timing and luck. Sure, you can work on yourself if you feel like it..improve your looks, change personality traits if you think they're holding you back etc etc...but do it for you, not to attract a potential partner...because, at the end of the day, if something is going to happen, it will.

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Very true. I have girlfriends who qualify as downright hot (RECENT modeling experience - I have some, but it was a number of years ago) and they seem to struggle with finding relationships as much as any of us. Sometimes it seems ALMOST more difficult, because they are having to weed through so many guys who are just into them for their looks.

 

Oh, and as for the things I want to work on, yes, I want to do those either way...it will help me in other areas (like finding sponsors for racing), plus, I left my last LTR learning that some of my weaknesses are definite issues.

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"So, yeah, my conclusion is that love is just about timing and luck."

 

My story looked like it fell into that category but I know the truth. I had to become the right person to find the right person and since I did the part of it that was timing/luck worked in my favor.

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I think it is very difficult for shy people to change the way they relate to others. It is EXHAUSTING for an introvert to talk to strangers. That is what I mean when I say "changing who you are"...the temperament is not something you can change. Yes, you can be cognitive of what you are doing and try to act differently, but that looks very forced and fake. The trick is to make it seem second nature, and that is nearly impossible to do for an introvert.

 

Luck and timing just means that you are lucky enough to be in a place where you meet someone who complements your issues so that you can balance eachother out.

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Shyness is trait/behavior that can be overcome, or at the very least...modified. I know because I did. Both of my siblings were outgoing...I was the "shy smart one". By the time I left.for.college.I was tired of it...plus they just seemed to be getting more.from life.

 

At.college, I knew no one. So I tried everyday to not act shy.

Was it hard? Yes --it was totally out of my comfort.zone.

Did it.work? Yes...the "act" worked until.it was nolonger an act,..it.was the new me.

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I would say shyness and introversion are two different sides of the (possibly) same coin. I am not shy, however, I am an introvert. I do not find it difficult to talk to people, strangers or not, but I do find in challenging to DESIRE to talk to people. And as mentioned above, oftentimes, it is quite exhausting for me after the fact to have engaged in normal social activity. Even if I am enjoying it at the time.

 

So, I would agree that this innate sense of personality - desiring more or less social contact - is not something easily changed or 'faked until it's made', but it is something you can challenge yourself on if your desired outcome is ultimately companionship.

 

It would also stand to reason that introverts and INTJ or INFJ personality types are, by nature, more self reliant and develop a greater number of skills conducive to an independent lifestyle. This is yet another factor that adds to the frustrations of meeting romantic prospects: The fewer needs you have that need to be met by someone else the less initiative you have to put yourself out there and be open to more people.

 

This has been a challenge in my life as I am typically considered even more independent than the usual independent woman...I have all the pertinent tools and skills to do my own auto mechanics, home construction, small engine/appliance repair, plumbing, electrical, sewing, cooking, etc. This has been somewhat of a hindrance to meeting other people (men) as I have less of a need for interaction than usual, but what's worse is I've often found men to be intrigued by my capabilities initially, then become somewhat insecure in their roles once they see I actually DO know more than even they do about so called 'man's work'.

"Whatcha doing, babe?"

"At my brothers, changing the alternator and water pump on his car. You?"

"Oh."

Cue eventual issues if the man is not secure with themselves and their/our roles in the relationship.

 

With all that said, I'm not willing to compromise who I am, dumb myself down, or pretend to need more from a mate than simply partnership and companionship. Once you know who you are, are comfortable with that, and make yourself available for the right person by being the right person, then it really does just come down to luck and timing and openness.

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