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Carnatic
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4 hours ago, Carnatic said:

Personally I'm OK with being judged on appearance . . . 

I've found that by far--and I mean BY FAR--the #1 problem behind men not being able to find a date/relationship/what have you, is not their looks or even their personality, it's the fact that they simply don't know what women want.

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23 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I agree that going into a relationship with such a negative attitude is a nonstarter.  No one should attempt to transform their entire personality -that's silly. 

I didn't intend to transform my personality, it just happened... hence why I'm talking about it as a thing that makes me wary.

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18 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I didn't intend to transform my personality, it just happened... hence why I'm talking about it as a thing that makes me wary.

Yes that would make me wary too if I believed something like that just happened.  But it didn't.  You made choices.  I suggest evaluating and uncovering if needed the choices you made that led to those changes you felt.  I have to go through this process regularly in parenting -meaning when I act or react in a way that is not "like me" and I don't like it - but it is like me -I just have to figure out how to prevent myself from getting to a point where it feels like the transformation "just happens" impulsively or spontaneously.  It doesn't.  There are always choices made along the way including choices to enter into a situation in the first place.

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23 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Yes there is because wanting a trophy on your arm or arm candy - certain physical features -isn't the same as sexual attraction.  There can be some overlap - someone can have a type of looks they're more attracted to -for me it was shorter men and blue/hazel eyes as opposed to brown - but focused on looks is different than wanting chemistry.

...

I couldn't disagree with you more.

I never said that though.

I think you may be thinking of physical attraction in a different way to me though. I certainly don't think it's as you describe it, almost like having a checklist and wanting a partner for how they make you look rather than for them.

My thinking was more that if someone's reason for not being interested in me is down to the way I look then that's just how it is. I can't accuse anyone of being shallow because of that because that's unfair on them, just because they want to be physically attracted to someone before considering them relationship material doesn't mean that they don't go any deeper than that and I'm no different.

But you are right about looks and what people are looking for being more about chemistry, that's a lot closer to what I was implying anyway, and my points for most of this thread have been about both physical and mental attraction. Most people will be attractive to someone... but some are considered attractive to more than others, and not everyone is going to find it easy to find that someone.

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7 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Yes that would make me wary too if I believed something like that just happened.  But it didn't.  You made choices.  I suggest evaluating and uncovering if needed the choices you made that led to those changes you felt.  I have to go through this process regularly in parenting -meaning when I act or react in a way that is not "like me" and I don't like it - but it is like me -I just have to figure out how to prevent myself from getting to a point where it feels like the transformation "just happens" impulsively or spontaneously.  It doesn't.  There are always choices made along the way including choices to enter into a situation in the first place.

There were no choices made I'm afraid to inform you.

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11 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

There were no choices made I'm afraid to inform you.

Yes it feels like that.  But no, it didn't just happen unless you were under the influence of illegal drugs or a drug with a bad side effect - and then unless you were drugged it was your choice to take the drug (or drink to excess).  It's worth the work to find out your role - your choices that led to you then behaving in a way you felt transformative and not "you"

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5 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Yes it feels like that.  But no, it didn't just happen unless you were under the influence of illegal drugs or a drug with a bad side effect - and then unless you were drugged it was your choice to take the drug (or drink to excess).  It's worth the work to find out your role - your choices that led to you then behaving in a way you felt transformative and not "you"

Sometimes a traumatic experience can cause long-lasting changes to someone. Some people will deliberately create trauma or place others in traumatic situations in order to direct these changes to their benefit. I won't repeat the mistakes of the past but I can't forget them nor can I totally scrub my personality of them.

I can control my reactions to things of course, and I hope to God that my reactions don't have a negative impact on anyone, and don't have a negative impact on me... I do feel fairly in control on the surface but it's harder to say that of things left deep in my psyche.

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14 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

My thinking was more that if someone's reason for not being interested in me is down to the way I look then that's just how it is. I can't accuse anyone of being shallow because of that because that's unfair on them, just because they want to be physically attracted to someone before considering them relationship material doesn't mean that they don't go any deeper than that and I'm no different.

No, that's not my perspective.  And it's about physical attraction not mental.  Of course someone wants to be physically attracted to someone before considering a relationship.  The person's physical features often play a minor role in whether the person is attracted.  People who insist that a person look a certain way and tell themselves that is the only way they can be physically attracted are often -with exceptions- confusing chemistry with being focused on looks/wanting arm candy.

Wanting to be physically attracted isn't shallow in the least.  And yes I had certain looks-related dealbreakers including tattoos, body piercings, a disheveled appearance, bad posture, long hair - this was looks but also often reflected lifestyle choices I could be fine with as a platonic matter but not for a serious relationship.  I wasn't ok with someone who chose to dress in a way where I'd be uncomfortable being seen with the person in public. 

But I was very attracted to one long term boyfriend who wasn't at all conventionally attractive.  He was downright funny looking and he'd have said the same.  He was also short and could have lost a few pounds (as I wrote above I prefer short men.  My husband is short).

But he sparkled.  And he had a cute dimple.  But the sparkling -that got me on the first date.  Did I ever wonder about his "looks" -yes, I admit I did.  He really didn't look conventionally attractive.  I felt shallow and I forgave myself.  But we had great chemistry.  He married a very attractive woman -an actress- and when I met her she was obviously into him in a really intense way (and I met her because she was insecure about his past relationship with me - her impetus because she was that into him).  

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Just now, Batya33 said:

No, that's not my perspective.  And it's about physical attraction not mental.  Of course someone wants to be physically attracted to someone before considering a relationship.  The person's physical features often play a minor role in whether the person is attracted.  People who insist that a person look a certain way and tell themselves that is the only way they can be physically attracted are often -with exceptions- confusing chemistry with being focused on looks/wanting arm candy.

Wanting to be physically attracted isn't shallow in the least.  And yes I had certain looks-related dealbreakers including tattoos, body piercings, a disheveled appearance, bad posture, long hair - this was looks but also often reflected lifestyle choices I could be fine with as a platonic matter but not for a serious relationship.  I wasn't ok with someone who chose to dress in a way where I'd be uncomfortable being seen with the person in public. 

But I was very attracted to one long term boyfriend who wasn't at all conventionally attractive.  He was downright funny looking and he'd have said the same.  He was also short and could have lost a few pounds (as I wrote above I prefer short men.  My husband is short).

But he sparkled.  And he had a cute dimple.  But the sparkling -that got me on the first date.  Did I ever wonder about his "looks" -yes, I admit I did.  He really didn't look conventionally attractive.  I felt shallow and I forgave myself.  But we had great chemistry.  He married a very attractive woman -an actress- and when I met her she was obviously into him in a really intense way (and I met her because she was insecure about his past relationship with me - her impetus because she was that into him).  

tbh I'm not sure we actually disagree... except on how we use words like 'shallow, physical, attraction, chemistry, etc)

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2 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

Sometimes a traumatic experience can cause long-lasting changes to someone. Some people will deliberately create trauma or place others in traumatic situations in order to direct these changes to their benefit. I won't repeat the mistakes of the past but I can't forget them nor can I totally scrub my personality of them.

I can control my reactions to things of course, and I hope to God that my reactions don't have a negative impact on anyone, and don't have a negative impact on me... I do feel fairly in control on the surface but it's harder to say that of things left deep in my psyche.

Yes, some people abuse other people.  It's awful.  If you were a victim of abuse I'm sorry.  And in part you chose to continue interacting with a person who most likely had lots of red flags and showed signs of treating you badly - you said this was someone you kept dating - so you chose to keep dating a person who wasn't treating you properly.  So yes of course if someone abused you when you first met them and it traumatized you yes that can cause changes and therapy I believe can help that but I'm not a professional.  But you said it was someone you interacted with in a romantic relationship.  

I was bitten by a dog unprovoked in 1992.  For many years I couldn't be near any dogs.  Then slowly I could be near certain dogs.  But even today I'm very sensitive to being around a strange dog who is either off leash or where the owner won't keep control of the leash,  I've also been a crime victim and yes it made me see certain situations differently. But if I chose to be in a relationship where I was treated badly and made the choice to stay despite red flags I'd still be a victim AND I'd want to figure out ASAP why I chose to stay so I could prevent that from happening again.

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4 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

tbh I'm not sure we actually disagree... except on how we use words like 'shallow, physical, attraction, chemistry, etc)

I think we do because you equate chemistry with physical features and a person wanting to be "physically attracted" as referring to the way a person's physical features appear in a way and to an extent I do not.  So you surmise you need to look a certain way to attract women because "women deserve to feel physical attraction"  - I don't agree with that assumption.

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Just now, Batya33 said:

Yes, some people abuse other people.  It's awful.  If you were a victim of abuse I'm sorry.  And in part you chose to continue interacting with a person who most likely had lots of red flags and showed signs of treating you badly - you said this was someone you kept dating - so you chose to keep dating a person who wasn't treating you properly.  So yes of course if someone abused you when you first met them and it traumatized you yes that can cause changes and therapy I believe can help that but I'm not a professional.  But you said it was someone you interacted with in a romantic relationship.  

I was bitten by a dog unprovoked in 1992.  For many years I couldn't be near any dogs.  Then slowly I could be near certain dogs.  But even today I'm very sensitive to being around a strange dog who is either off leash or where the owner won't keep control of the leash,  I've also been a crime victim and yes it made me see certain situations differently. But if I chose to be in a relationship where I was treated badly and made the choice to stay despite red flags I'd still be a victim AND I'd want to figure out ASAP why I chose to stay so I could prevent that from happening again.

I certainly didn't spot the red flags, and I didn't know the relationship was abusive until maybe a couple of months after we broke up and I initiated no-contact and in time my head would clear... maybe I would spot them if it happened again but I guess the reason I brought this up to explain my wariness in relationships is that I'm more cautious now and maybe see red flags where there aren't any.

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I think we do because you equate chemistry with physical features and a person wanting to be "physically attracted" as referring to the way a person's physical features appear in a way and to an extent I do not.  So you surmise you need to look a certain way to attract women because "women deserve to feel physical attraction"  - I don't agree with that assumption.

I don't surmise that... and I don't think I gave any such detailed description of physical attraction either... but you've got me confused over what I did and didn't say now, so whether I did or didn't imply that physical attraction is all about having the correct physical features that not what I believe and never has been.

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2 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I certainly didn't spot the red flags, and I didn't know the relationship was abusive until maybe a couple of months after we broke up and I initiated no-contact and in time my head would clear... maybe I would spot them if it happened again but I guess the reason I brought this up to explain my wariness in relationships is that I'm more cautious now and maybe see red flags where there aren't any.

Yes of course you'd be more wary.  Just like I was wary of "all dogs".  What I would do is do the work as to why you "didn't know" the relationship was abusive.  Your not knowing most likely was because of choices you made for example to lie to yourself, to react with low self esteem - again, a choice to devalue yourself so that the person wouldn't leave you.  Choices.  Not a magic wand that transformed you.  And yes wariness about what is a red flag.  Again you can choose to do the work on how to be better at picking good matches, interacting with people who treat you with respect and thoughtfully.  

Example:  if someone says let's get coffee next week -I'll text you next week to confirm - and then doesn't text but texts two weeks later with no or a really lame excuse -do you give the person another chance? Sure some would and that's fine -depends on circumstances- but that's the kind of nitty  gritty stuff where you have to decide what your standards are. 

A woman I really do like texted me three weeks ago "I'm going to call you Thursday to discuss further and I will text you Thursday before I call.  Never heard from her.  Chose not to follow up either. We still interact on Facebook but no I'm not going to chase after her (she wanted to talk about her own situation).  But in another situation I might text again to follow up. 

Get really specific with yourself about how you expect to be treated by others.  Be consistent.  Stick to your values, reevaluate them and your standards as needed and that way you get much better at spotting actual red flags.

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2 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I don't surmise that... and I don't think I gave any such detailed description of physical attraction either... but you've got me confused over what I did and didn't say now, so whether I did or didn't imply that physical attraction is all about having the correct physical features that not what I believe and never has been.

You wrote a great deal about your looks and weight and about how that is a reason you're not attracting women.  I disagree.  I do think in certain cities especially being overweight is a real negative in meeting people to date -I experienced that when I dated (I was slim, I mean saw it in others).  But otherwise I saw you write over and over again about how women deserve to be physically attracted and thus your looks are keeping you from meeting women.  I disagree.

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2 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

You wrote a great deal about your looks and weight and about how that is a reason you're not attracting women.  I disagree.  I do think in certain cities especially being overweight is a real negative in meeting people to date -I experienced that when I dated (I was slim, I mean saw it in others).  But otherwise I saw you write over and over again about how women deserve to be physically attracted and thus your looks are keeping you from meeting women.  I disagree.

I was responding to others in most of those posts. I did mention that I was overweight and 'plain'... because I felt that maybe I should include some description of me that people can visualise. I wasn't sure people would believe me if I just said that I am generally unattractive, or at least the first thing they would ask would be 'how so?'.

Most of the advice that followed though was about things such as how I can lose weight. I do get the value of that and am working on my weight, I must have lost a few pounds since the original post and feel better for it, but I didn't want people thinking that this was purely about distinct physical features which I felt made me unacceptable to women.

If I had just ignored posts that were not of interest to me then there would probably be very little of me writing about my looks and weight... but also I would feel like a jerk for asking advice and then ignoring it when given.

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16 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

to explain my wariness in relationships is that I'm more cautious now and maybe see red flags where there aren't any.

You are quite right to be cautious OP.  

"Red flags in a relationship are intuitive indicators that something needs to be questioned."

It can be difficult to see those red flags when you first meet someone, or even on the second meeting, as usually the red flag bearers are adept at hiding (initially anyhow) behind that "Mask of Sanity". 

But you can be certain the mask will slip, unfortunately all too late when one has become rather enmeshed in the relationship and thinking becomes foggy.  

Even so,  reading someone a skill, and it can be acquired, so as to  be able to read someone early on. 

and IMO this is very important:

"If there is something “off" about this person that seems obvious to those who know you so well, you may need to listen to what they’re telling you. Often, in the throes of a new relationship, hearing criticism about your new “beloved” may not be welcome, but others may see things more clearly from an outsider’s perspective. At the very least, hear these people out."

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9 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

You are quite right to be cautious OP.  

"Red flags in a relationship are intuitive indicators that something needs to be questioned."

It can be difficult to see those red flags when you first meet someone, or even on the second meeting, as usually the red flag bearers are adept at hiding (initially anyhow) behind that "Mask of Sanity". 

But you can be certain the mask will slip, unfortunately all too late when one has become rather enmeshed in the relationship and thinking becomes foggy.  

Even so,  reading someone a skill, and it can be acquired, so as to  be able to read someone early on. 

and IMO this is very important:

"If there is something “off" about this person that seems obvious to those who know you so well, you may need to listen to what they’re telling you. Often, in the throes of a new relationship, hearing criticism about your new “beloved” may not be welcome, but others may see things more clearly from an outsider’s perspective. At the very least, hear these people out."

Thanks... I should say though that I'm certain I see red-flags where there may not be any. I mean it's to be expected if you've had a bad experience to be overly cautious as a result, like Batya was saying about dogs, it's not that every dog was going to attack her. The red-flags may be imaginary, but ignoring them makes me very anxious.

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Hey, you can never be overly cautious!  "Make haste slowly" is good advice. Particularly in the fraught area of looking for a relationship and more so in this era of OLD. 

What red flags do you think you'd be seeing that aren't actually there? 

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6 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Hey, you can never be overly cautious!  "Make haste slowly" is good advice. Particularly in the fraught area of looking for a relationship and more so in this era of OLD. 

What red flags do you think you'd be seeing that aren't actually there? 

well, as per the reason for creating the thread... it's been a long time since I was in a situation where there were 'red flags' to look out for, but some of them are really silly things such as showing 'cute' affection, or if she seems anxious herself, or saying that I seem 'really considerate' or complements of a similar nature. Silly because there's no logical reason to become anxious over these things but they mirror the way my ex behaved, and just sort of give me the fear.

Not a bridge I have to cross now, or indeed until I've already crossed other bridges, but I would imagine that moving in with someone again would be a huge step. I almost expect that I would refuse point blank, even if refusing to take that step was a dealbreaker.

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OP, giving someone a compliment is not a red flag. Lol.   I do it myself if someone has done something considerate for me or for other reasons.  Showing affection to someone likewise.

It is when that stuff becomes OTT and outlandishly blatant that the bells need to start ringing. 

I don't imagine you would move in with anyone early on, and indeed it would be very ill-advised.  If someone was very pressing to the point where you would refuse to move in, well there you have a red flag for starters. 

"Less is always more" applies to relationships too. 

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9 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

OP, giving someone a compliment is not a red flag. Lol.   I do it myself if someone has done something considerate for me or for other reasons.  Showing affection to someone likewise.

It is when that stuff becomes OTT and outlandishly blatant that the bells need to start ringing. 

I don't imagine you would move in with anyone early on, and indeed it would be very ill-advised.  If someone was very pressing to the point where you would refuse to move in, well there you have a red flag for starters. 

"Less is always more" applies to relationships too. 

Well yeah I know, it's not so much that I genuinely and logically see something as a red flag, it just gives me the anxiety because it's similar to how my ex was, the kinds of compliments she really doubled down on. In these situations my head maybe said 'this is fine' but my heart says 'if you proceed with this then I'm not going to let you sleep for a week and I'll beat so fast that your fitbit thinks you're exercising'

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4 hours ago, Carnatic said:

well, as per the reason for creating the thread... it's been a long time since I was in a situation where there were 'red flags' to look out for, but some of them are really silly things such as showing 'cute' affection, or if she seems anxious herself, or saying that I seem 'really considerate' or complements of a similar nature. Silly because there's no logical reason to become anxious over these things but they mirror the way my ex behaved, and just sort of give me the fear.

Not a bridge I have to cross now, or indeed until I've already crossed other bridges, but I would imagine that moving in with someone again would be a huge step. I almost expect that I would refuse point blank, even if refusing to take that step was a dealbreaker.

Some people babble or say awkward things when they are nervous on a first date and that's okay.

I really, truly think the woman that you are ultimately attracted to is either 1) a totally unavailable but extremely attractive women so you can say "see, i'm undesirable". 2) a woman who reinforces your own thoughts about yourself.  A woman who tells you that you are "plain and overweight" and speaks exactly what your inner dialogue affirms you as.   You are suspicious of anyone who contradicts how you feel about yourself.

Honestly - "plain" might mean you are not a head turning specimen of male perfection, but you are not Quasimodo either.  That is exactly where *most* guys fall in this world. There are a small percentage of men that could walk into an agency for fashion and fitness models and have a multimillion dollar contract and a small percentage of men who are considered "ugly".  In otherwords, your looks are absolutely no barrier in meeting a woman and having a meaningful relationship.  If you are "plain/average" and you are unclean (you always smell, you don't regularly bathe/shower), and you have poor other hygiene (never go to the dentist), then you will have no luck.

So make sure you have a somewhat up to date haircut, ditto your glasses if you wear them, and take an honest look if you are wearing clothing that show you to your best (does not have to be designer, but the styles you choose and that they are clean as well), and that goes a long way.

Stay off of bumble and tinder. that is very much an app for the very young or quite attractive.  Or you need to have a thicker skin.  Other apps might work better for you - where there is a longer profile, or branching out in more ways to meet other groups of people but i think having a better friend group goes a long way

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