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How to meet men: Things every young lady should know  RSS feed

 
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I'm a fellow introvert, getting my energy from being alone. Some social situations drain me far more than others. A big group gathering with a bunch of strangers=VERY draining. Having my parents or other people who know me really well and I don't have to work to pick up on social cues=not usually draining. Some situations I have to spend more time recovering from.

For example, when I taught preschool at my church's school, my brother worked in the same building. When lunch time came around, I was usually so socially drained that I'd sneak off the hidden usher room and hide there to eat my lunch. I just couldn't bare to talk to another person. BUT, if my brother was at work, I could go sit next to him and blather away for 30 minutes and come away recharged. I think it was because being with him didn't require any actual extroversion--I grew up with him, and so he is a kind of extension of myself, if that makes sense.

If all social situations were equally draining, no introverts would probably ever get in relationships because they'd always need to be alone. But, if an introvert finds a good partner, the partner becomes almost like an extensions of self, and you don't feel like you're extroverting that much when with them.

In Roberto's example, the probable might not just have been in the anxiety, but also in the fact that he doesn't know anything about the other two ladies. He doesn't know what to talk about or how to talk about those things in ways that will jive with them. He kind of knows the first lady, so the conversation wasn't that daunting because he might already had an idea of what to talk to her about. So, it's not as mentally draining to figure out how to have a conversations.

But trying to converse with three people is HARD. You have to tread a much finer line because they all think differently and converse just a bit differently. For example, one may like football and another hate it and another think football means soccer and just the mention of it will get everyone mad. EDIT: just read Roberto's article (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201107/10-tips-talk-about-anything-anyone), and #3 on the list mentions picking up and adjusting to non-verbal cues. It's hard to do this with people you just met, and even harder if you're talking with three people rather than just one. I think trying to pick up on non-verbal cues is mentally exhausting for introverts. When you know someone really well, you don't have to think about those cues much at all!
 
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Something that seems a lot of people are unaware of is how much this society (American, can't speak for the others) programs a woman to feel inadequate if she doesn't have a man. From the clothes for sale at the stores that are designed to appeal to men, the music on the radio that tells girls it will take a man to make her a princess, the female politicians who get harassed for not looking like a model, the ads for everything, the other women who openly pity a single woman, the movies that never seem to end with the woman walking off confidently into the sunset alone, it's really serious programming. Start watching it, it's horrifying when you look.

 I'd say that being a man is a lot safer (with some qualifications) than being a woman, and that includes safety from this high level of bullshit.  We don't have the fashion element so much, but looking good is still pretty important, but looking big and tough is better.  If looking good get's involved, then generally this also equates to narcissism, however.  We have our own stuff that we are told to be, but its not so blatant and its not always so destructive as what is done to women.  Women do not really notice that a man in North American society is expected to always be strong, and to not show his difficult to deal with emotions unless it is anger.  As much as social advances have helped society in general and women in particular in the post WW2 era, the world among men has changed only slightly.   This constantly being strong (not just physically, but emotionally) business takes its toll on men since everything else is buried or hidden from society, and comes out in the breakdown of intimate relations.  The type of strength that is acceptable in the society of men is one that either puts other people down or props himself up.  Strength of character need not be necessary for such man; his character has been undermined by these societal expectations.  If a male can successfully navigate the social labyrinth to both put other people down and prop himself up, then all the better.  If a man does not do these things, then he is not really manly enough for many social circles, especially amongst men.  The interesting thing is that a really well-rounded man, in this society, with these cultural expectations, will be able to do all that and still give the impression that he has a strength of character and the abililty to show true affection and love.  If he's able to pull off that neurotic acrobatic act then he's liable to be really really successful in this dysfunctional society.  

There is also the arm candy element.  Men are supposed to find themselves some arm candy, and settling for less than some total fox is not considered acceptable even though total foxes are somewhat rare, and a great % of the ones that exist are actually more messed up than the ones who aren't total foxes.  I've dated a few.  The impossibility of every man finding himself a total fox does not seem to be part of the math in this department.  It is simply expected, and not to be questioned.  Pravda.  A man with a less than total fox on his arm is then needing his character to be intact, and as such, he actually becomes a much better human being, but is much less of a 'real man'.  The feminist movement and the peace movement helped a lot of men get comfortable with the idea that they did not have to be a dickhead in order to function in society and get a great lady so this element is changing... but not fast enough (otherwise the Me Too movement would not exist).  In general, a man in North America is programmed to feel inadequate if he cannot attract total foxes, and if he is not both physically strong (able to protect himself and his lady from the brutal world of real men) and emotionally strong (not showing his feelings, so that he seems invulnerable).  Vulnerability, in any way, is not allowed; not unless it can be masked with bravado/machismo. This is also one of the reasons that narcissism, as well as other forms of sociopathology, are rampant among men.

I was fortunate in some ways because I had and do have a lot of female friends/mentors/associations.  I lived in cooperative houses that were dominated by strong-willed women.  I had a great older sister and a strong relationship with my mother and grandmother.  I have many mother figures.  Women in my valley are strong advocates and passionate community members.  Even though I don't like most of their politics, both of the Mayors of my local villages are women.   My favorite politician is a female.  I grew up with a lot of aunties, and a big family that was run with a lot of equality amongst the sexes.  I leaned toward being a punk and a hippy and that took me out of the norms of society, and into becoming, I think, more well rounded in my character.  Most men do not have these elements in their lives.  They've bought the lies that society has taught them.    

I was on a few dating sites for a couple years and read a lot of profiles.  I preferred detailed ones over the sparsely written profiles.    One detail came out more often than not:  I don't know how many women had it in their profiles that they were looking for a guy who was considerably bigger than themselves.  A 5'3'' woman looking for a guy 6' or over was not uncommon.  At 5'5'', I didn't have a chance.  I had a friend who was my height that lied in his profile, saying that he was 5'8'' and added a few pounds to boot.  The girls never noticed because he had a gregarious personality that filled a room.  I was grateful, however, that these women had this in their profile though; I then could just carry on with my own search without involving the impossible. (once in a while I would tell them that I was disappointed that they were not interested in shorter guys)  But the volume of women with this in their profile was shocking to me.  This shock was not because I didn't already believe (through an almost constant barrage of societal cues) that I was too damn small in this society of men who were expected to be the toughest thing in town, but because it was so blatantly sought by so many women that my dating pool became extremely narrow.  But I refused to also make it shallow.  As such, since I am also not a bulky guy at all, I was tempted to add a ten or thirty pounds to my weight, but I didn't.  Honesty, I felt, was my best bet.  I was relying on strength of character to get me through, and as such, I got very few hits on my profile.  Another limiting factor was that I was extremely detailed in my profile and also about the type of woman I was looking for.  For instance, after a while of reading so many profiles that excluded me, I decided to go with it.  I wrote something right off the start that said basically, "if you are looking for a great big guy with big hands, then I'm not your man."  The result of these limits, though, was that the ones that did respond were generally of quite high quality (not necessarily total foxes, but totally great gals who had their shit together).  I sometimes got a message that thanked me for my detailed profile.  They didn't always want to date, but they found it refreshing that a guy was so open and detailed and honest.  I guess that was rare on that site.  This was contrasted by my experience early on when I had a less detailed profile and a lot more hits from fewer women of real social qualities and more total foxes.   It was through boredom in meeting these women that I decided to get detailed.

I got out of the internet dating scene because (in addition to a few other factors) at my present job I never know when I'm done any work shift-day to day, because my time off is extremely limited (almost no vacation time and my weekend is sometimes shortened by a long Friday shift), because I actually need some time alone (introversion) generally in the forest, and because I live in a hamlet that is remote from many population centers (where most of the ladies that hit on my profile are at).  I want to be able to devote a certain amount of time to a relationship and that is not really possible in my present situation.  If I just wanted hook-ups (and fancy arm candy), I could probably do that; but I'm interested in a real relationship.   Now that the land is paid for, I can consider leaving this job in the next couple years and possibly consider putting myself out there more.

Maybe this post will help women understand a few of the things guys are dealing with.  At least some of what I can see from a guy's point of view.
 
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Jan White wrote:Bahaha - #10 on that list made me laugh.  
...

So maybe that's a good tip for successful conversations - not necessarily to "overshare" - just don't talk about the same shit as everyone else.



That's my trick with questions. I rarely ask the usual questions: How you doing today? How about this weather? etc. I ask all kinds of odd stuff, makes a lot of folks laugh, and yeah, remember me. At a store, lovely woman in a gorgeous outfit walks by, I turn to the other lady my age/type right there and ask "Wow she pulls that off so well! Any chance I could wear that outfit? (I look down) um. Nope! How about you?" Best answer I have gotten recently to that one, from an old lady "I plan to when I get to heaven!!" Awesome, madam, you will look lovely in it too!

The same stuff question gets people in the same answer rut. Something that kicks them out of their rut is remembered. Try to make it a good memory :)
 
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Nicole, your description of introversion is right on!  

There is a small handful of people in my life, the core people (close friends and some family), who I don't need a break from in the same way and in fact interacting with them energizes me.  They know me well enough we're just being ourselves, we have in jokes, we have history, we have acceptance.  When we have a family reunion there could be 10 or 20 of us in the same room and I can handle the noise and chaos because they are all in this layer or the next one.

There is the next level out (friends, more distant family and closer coworkers) which is somewhat draining but not much.  We aren't intimate in the same way as the core people but there is genuine affection and shared history there, we've been through the trenches together and talked about our families and dreams - so unless i'm having a really rough day, these are enjoyable people to spend time with.

Coworkers/acquaintances - draining but not like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Next level - like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Each layer out becomes more draining to interact with and the farther out they are from the core, the more me/alone time I need to recover from those interactions.

I think this is why I hate dating so much.  Every initial interaction feels like you're at the vampire level and you're trying to act as if you're at level 1 or 2.
 
Sonja Draven
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Roberto, from my experience, a lot of guys lie about their height (whether it's to themselves and others or just to others, I'm not always sure) and it's worse on dating sites.  I think it's great that you were so honest about everything.  My guess is that a lot of women assumed you were lying about that (as others do) and were really shorter than you are and were exaggerating.  So even the ones who would have been comfortable with your actual height didn't respond.  Which is too bad.  :(  I found that being with a guy a lot taller than me just caused poor alignment issues.  ex. it is easy to get a crink in your neck when you're kissing.
 
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Maybe this should go on the men's thread cause I don't know if this would work for women or not, but Roberto brought it up here so...

With online dating, he mentioned not contacting certain women because they said they wanted a taller man. I think that's a mistake. I contacted whoever I wanted and let them look at my profile and vital statistics and decide for themselves if something in there was a dealbreaker. Now I know studies have shown that men tend to have a certain type of woman and that's that. Women on the other hand tend to change their type based on their current partner's appearance. My husband is nothing like what I always thought my type was, so don't rule yourself out. Let the other person decide. If your conversation and personality click with the other person I bet a lot of other stuff won't matter so much anymore.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Sonja Draven wrote:Nicole, your description of introversion is right on!  

There is a small handful of people in my life, the core people (close friends and some family), who I don't need a break from in the same way and in fact interacting with them energizes me.  They know me well enough we're just being ourselves, we have in jokes, we have history, we have acceptance.  When we have a family reunion there could be 10 or 20 of us in the same room and I can handle the noise and chaos because they are all in this layer or the next one.

There is the next level out (friends, more distant family and closer coworkers) which is somewhat draining but not much.  We aren't intimate in the same way as the core people but there is genuine affection and shared history there, we've been through the trenches together and talked about our families and dreams - so unless i'm having a really rough day, these are enjoyable people to spend time with.

Coworkers/acquaintances - draining but not like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Next level - like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Each layer out becomes more draining to interact with and the farther out they are from the core, the more me/alone time I need to recover from those interactions.

I think this is why I hate dating so much.  Every initial interaction feels like you're at the vampire level and you're trying to act as if you're at level 1 or 2.



Interesting post, you just explained something about myself to me. In your system, my world is 90% 1 and 4. only a few people are in the inbetweens. I either am totally fine, or totally drained. Not much middle ground. Explains why I do best with very close people or total strangers. Strangers I don't care what they think so I can bounce and be my weird self, as with people I trust they know who I am and aren't scary. So they are all 1's. People who I have met a few times are stressful, because I don't know who to be. And an awful lot of people are in that stressful group. Way more than in the close group. Once someone is not a stranger, they are a stressor until they make it to a 1, then they don't scare me anymore. Which explains why on the Meyers-Brigg test I get 50-50 on the introversion/extroversion scale. It's not that I'm in the middle, it's that I'm both extremes.

Probably also explains a lot of my bad relationships, if I like a guy, he becomes a 1, whether he should be or not... at which point he can hurt me really badly, as I have few walls against people I trust.

Fascinating! Thank you for that insight! I'm going to have to contemplate this.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Dale Hodgins wrote:So, it looks like small town Missouri is like the Philippines of the Southern us. The guy with his shit together could do all right.

Here's something that happens with women more than men I think. Taking themselves off the market for a long time, because of something bad that happened.


Pretty much, except that the girls tend to not want to leave.

As far as taking yourself off the market:  when it is suddenly thrown into your face that you are inadequate, it's a trauma. It's less that it was a break up, it's that it meant you failed as a woman to keep your man. If you are inadequate, why try again? You already KNOW you are, so you WILL fail again. Yeah, I have seen that one too.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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With online dating, he mentioned not contacting certain women because they said they wanted a taller man. I think that's a mistake. I contacted whoever I wanted and let them look at my profile and vital statistics and decide for themselves if something in there was a dealbreaker. Now I know studies have shown that men tend to have a certain type of woman and that's that. Women on the other hand tend to change their type based on their current partner's appearance. My husband is nothing like what I always thought my type was, so don't rule yourself out. Let the other person decide. If your conversation and personality click with the other person I bet a lot of other stuff won't matter so much anymore.

 Well, I noticed that if a woman was being specific and detailed in their profile then their decision was made and pretty final.  That was my experience.  I did try to contact a few of these women, but they would most often be put off or slightly offended with the assumption that I had not fully read their profile.  

On most sites that I was on, a person could see whoever checked out their profile (unless the other person paid a fee to exclude that information).  So most women would know, already, that I was checking them out, because I never paid that fee.  Also, while I was searching, I would go through the women who checked me out, and after sorting out their profiles by order of priority, I would go on and create some search parameters, (like hiking cycling, gardening) and then scan the profiles that came up in the search and read the ones that I thought might be worthwhile based, primarily on location and if they were willing to relocate (as I was pretty set on eventually being on my land) but I was in the city (with a very different job).  

Most women that randomly found me were doing much the same type of search.  One found me because I wrote that I was a writer.  Another because I enjoy raw food.  Another because I dabble with herbal medicine.  

I sought women of different appearances and body type.  My primary parameter was that they were interesting and they had to have some level of attractiveness and fitness.  The next was that we had shared interests beyond the search terms that I had put in.  

But on the whole, I think your advice is spot on, Jan.  i think that people need to go for it, and let the other people decide.        
 
Sonja Draven
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Sonja Draven wrote:Nicole, your description of introversion is right on!  

There is a small handful of people in my life, the core people (close friends and some family), who I don't need a break from in the same way and in fact interacting with them energizes me.  They know me well enough we're just being ourselves, we have in jokes, we have history, we have acceptance.  When we have a family reunion there could be 10 or 20 of us in the same room and I can handle the noise and chaos because they are all in this layer or the next one.

There is the next level out (friends, more distant family and closer coworkers) which is somewhat draining but not much.  We aren't intimate in the same way as the core people but there is genuine affection and shared history there, we've been through the trenches together and talked about our families and dreams - so unless i'm having a really rough day, these are enjoyable people to spend time with.

Coworkers/acquaintances - draining but not like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Next level - like I'm feeding a vampire full-time

Each layer out becomes more draining to interact with and the farther out they are from the core, the more me/alone time I need to recover from those interactions.

I think this is why I hate dating so much.  Every initial interaction feels like you're at the vampire level and you're trying to act as if you're at level 1 or 2.



Interesting post, you just explained something about myself to me. In your system, my world is 90% 1 and 4. only a few people are in the inbetweens. I either am totally fine, or totally drained. Not much middle ground. Explains why I do best with very close people or total strangers. Strangers I don't care what they think so I can bounce and be my weird self, as with people I trust they know who I am and aren't scary. So they are all 1's. People who I have met a few times are stressful, because I don't know who to be. And an awful lot of people are in that stressful group. Way more than in the close group. Once someone is not a stranger, they are a stressor until they make it to a 1, then they don't scare me anymore. Which explains why on the Meyers-Brigg test I get 50-50 on the introversion/extroversion scale. It's not that I'm in the middle, it's that I'm both extremes.

Probably also explains a lot of my bad relationships, if I like a guy, he becomes a 1, whether he should be or not... at which point he can hurt me really badly, as I have few walls against people I trust.

Fascinating! Thank you for that insight! I'm going to have to contemplate this.


:)
 
Sonja Draven
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Roberto, I would get annoyed when guys clearly hadn't read my profile and thought I was negotiable on the big things - politics, sex, religion, racism - and the life choices attached to these things.  But Jan is right that a lot of the physical stuff is flexible for a lot of us women.  They aren't as often the deal breakers.
 
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Hello Sarah.

I'm sorry I'm no master of relationships, but I'm forty, am on my second marriage, have three children, and have employed probably near a thousand people in the past decade or so. I am not agile or graceful in interacting with people,  but interacting with people has been my fate and I'll try to give you the benefit of my experience with women, and humans in general.

All "new" (unfamiliar) people have an axe to grind. The good ones, the bad ones. They (we) are all trying to gain a foothold in an unfamiliar environment. I believe it was Dale Carnegie who said the most vital human need is the feeling of importance. And I think it was Emmanuel Kant who said  "He who has a Why can live with almost any How." Freud said that all human motivation came from only two things: 1. The sex urge, and 2. The desire to be great.

Until we are established (have found our "Why"), we all have a "hidden" agenda (or at least from our limited perspective we believe it to be hidden). In most cases it involves seeking comfort or safety, and acceptance. Of course there are some weirdos out there if we are looking for arguments of marginal cases--but those top three are pretty close to universal. We are more alike than we are different.

In accordance with Chinese social structure--which carries three thousand years of function to recommend it--I value track records. Chinese businesses don't consider associates to be even marginally close until two or three generations have passed in solidarity.

When I meet a new person (and Lord have mercy...I meet a lot of new people), I cannot retain the smallest detail about them. Names and faces get flushed past me like a waterfall. I am bathed in them. (And most of them disappear right back into the ether.)

They...don't exist for me.

They're not real in that stage. No one is. You smile as you shake my hand and I smile as I pretend to give you some reason to think that I like you and our future together will be bright. I have certainly done my share of pretense: desire for sex, desire for acceptance, desire for power, all that stuff. Looking back it's not a proud feeling. I painted on all that stuff. I wanted so desperately to be liked.

It's a social charade that burnt out in my (already weak) social wiring years ago. If I lost my current social moorings, I don't know how I would ever rebuild them, so jaded have I become.

I don't do this much anymore. I'm established and tired and mean. I am the lion that everybody coming through the door rolls over and exposes their underbelly to, wags their tail and they want me to lick their face with approval....and it's exhausting. You would probably regard me as an asshole, and I guess I mostly am.  

The reasons for fakesmile are clear: everyone stands to gain more safety and acceptance, more survival, if we all play nice enough while strangers that an actual relationship--that tender, vulnerable, translucent, embryonic shred of relationship--can form.

Also, important advice that I wish someone had told me, is that your mental state alters who you want to sleep with, AND who will agree to go to bed with you. Insecurity makes you see in a different way, seek something different; kind of like when you're starving, you'll dive at a fast food hamburger and french fries, but someone who is full has a different aspect on what food ought to mean. A dash of Maslow's hierarchy of need plays well here.  

I have come to trust one measuring device for humans absolutely, and that is time.

In two weeks or a month or a year the artificial tail wagging comes off.  The lipstick wears out, the song is over, they run out of one liners.

Time kills pretense. And thank God for that.

Eventually people must exhale and relax their gut. It's not until you reach that stage that you actually know what you've got.

Aside from a few rare exceptions, I feel you cannot "meet people". You discover them, often requiring digging, grinding, polishing. It would be worthwhile measuring the thickness of pretense--which as I've said is a safety mechanism.

So, I would seek out this creature where security and acceptance are as established as possible--the closer to an environment of acceptance, the closer you are to people who are themselves. Like...whatever is the OPPOSITE of a meat market dance club where the women are pretending to be hot chicks for the men who are spritzing themselves with things they don't smell like and sucking in their guts as you walk by.

Nicole suggests a church--I'm not religious, so that would not work for me, but is good advice for others who are.

I guess I would try to find a group of people who already shared some important part of my perspective on life, and hunt through them for someone I also found attractive in at least two other ways. And, obviously, people who are not starving.

Remember that beauty is a stage. We're all going to be sick at some point. We're all going to be laying in bed and let out a huge, light fixture--rattling fart. We get fat. We have blunders. We screw up our careers, have low points, get lost. We get old, things stop working. So you better shop for some things with staying power, like how they speak. How they listen. Sense of humor. Curiosity, endurance. And simple grace.

 
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Heere's something concerning the settings when you put yourself online. I always read the profile, and if there's anything that rules me out, I don't go any further. It could be age, income, height and weight or it could be the need to be religious or to have some political stripe. If I'm ruled out on any point, I always move out on without making contact.

The odd thing is that I've had many messages from women who have ruled me out in their list of criteria. Mostly they ruled me out on age or religion. But then they read the profile and decide I'm alright. So the first thing that I do when I get a message, is read the profile. If I look and see that there are things on her list that judge me negatively, I'm done, and doesn't matter that she's changed her mind a little. That's because there are thousands of possibilities, and there's no point starting something when there's bound to be this thing, whatever it is that could be a point of contention. I'm not saying that I would rule it out in every case, but most times.

I'm pretty sure that women don't do the same thing, because I have flatly stated that I don't like bitching, yet I'd match with some very nice ladies who have a flair for it.😂
 
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This is not an area I feel qualified, because I have been extremely fortunate, and not of my own account.
Quick anecdote, one of my friends’ mom’s growing up was a fiery Italian lady married to a mild mannered guy. He told me “every relationship needs a diamond and a setting.” Opposites can attract and compliment to some degree with shared interests and values I truly believe.

First, there is no point meeting men if you don’t know why you are interested in it. Don’t do it because it is the time of your life or because of social pressure. Please don’t do it because you are interested in children, because hopefully the relationship will last longer than that phase. And kids know if that is the only glue… Be honest with your motivation. Are you doing it because you are looking for companionship, physical or financial security, emotional and physical intimacy? What are the main drivers for you?

Once you have identified your honest self-assessment (you can and should churn it out with good friends if that helps), then see if you can honestly identify why you haven’t met men that seem like they match those goals. I have seen shyness, emotional trauma, physical remoteness, other entanglements noted on here, can be a few of them combined. Most of the replies on here are simply about the mechanics of particle interaction, bounce around and see what reaction occurs. Not terrible but seems low-yield to me. A better plan in my opinion is to see what needs to be modified in your own life to attract the type of person that would complement you. If there are emotional scars in your past, it is a TERRIBLE idea to combine the role of counselor and lover. I have been there- not good at all. Find someone who can provide that role separately. And recognize we are 100% damaged goods, none of us make it without scars. Someone looking for an undamaged past is looney. Just the two functions need to be separate.

 
Tj Jefferson
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It seems that most people commenting on here are shy or introverted –except Dale, but we will pass that over now. And most of the advice is essentially that you need to get to know people before writing them in or out to some degree. And if you are playing the numbers, most of the people you haven’t met are shy too, amiright? So it may take time for either party to break the ice.

There have been several suggestions about nerd conventions and the like, which are great! I think that is a fine way to develop your “lady game”. You. Must. Interact. If you can’t do that, circle back and see if you can fix the reason why you can’t. If you can’t interact, I got nothing, and I’m a nerd. The other thing is that just like meeting/interacting with shy women, they have comfort in being with members of their own group. They are mortified completely out of their zone.

Internet dating- I have no advice. This never was something I got involved in. It seems like many things, done right it could be a great benefit. I have a brother in law who met that way, and it seems OK.

Understand the competition: porn and gaming. I really don't like bringing this up, but those are the two biggies. They are pathological to relationships in my opinion, but are often a marker for lacking success (gaming) or relationships (porn). Most nerds care little for awesome food until they are enculturated by women. That can be fixed!


 
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Talk is cheap.  Believe their track record more than their words.  

If he's been a drunk for 20 years, RED FLAG!  If he's been divorced 7 times, RED FLAG!  If he has lots of enemies, RED FLAG!  If he can't hold down a job for more than a few months at a time, RED FLAG!  If he has money, but can't tell you exactly how he's getting it, RED FLAG!

My dad used to tell me, "if it looks like it's too good to be true, it probably is.  Look it over extra carefully."  

I saw someone suggest a geekfest as a place to look.  Good idea.  A guy that's a geek or a nerd may be on the market an extra long time because he's a little socially inept but otherwise a fine person.  It isn't a garentee though, geek's and nerd's can be selfish assholes just like anyone else.  If you don't like the fish you're catching, you're either fishing the wrong spot or using the wrong bait.  

It's embarrassing to admit it because we are supposed to be all aggressive and fearless, but most guys are actually a little unsure in the female department and we ask out the ones who encourage us to ask them out.  Don't invite the guy over for the weekend.  Way too pushy.  If talk to him when it would be normal for two people to talk to each other, maybe smile at him in a friendly (not vamping) way, he will eventually see that you aren't threatening and may ask you out.  He may not also.  He may not be interested.  Either way, you've got a friend, move on.

Dressing sexy is going to attract the guys looking for sex (actually, it'll attract most guys, but especially the good time charlies).  Dressing like you respect yourself and take a little pride in yourself will go a long way to attracting attention from that you might want.  My daughter told me that after seeing how many homesteader women in her part of Alaska dressed and comparing them to how the women from the nearby russian village dress (Old Believers, think Slavic mennonites?), she started making sure she dressed up a little before she went into town.  She said the russian woman always look conservative, but well put together while many of the homesteader gals look really, really rough and unattractive.

Each person needs to figure out how to make things work with their own personality.  When I taught school, I quickly realized that the textbook answers weren't going to work in the rough and tumble of the classroom, I had to figure out how to act in a way that got me the results I wanted and was true to who I was.  (A naturally dominant extrovert has a completely different set of problems than an introvert who instinctively avoids confrontation, for example).  I had to adopt the strategies that fit me.

A person who is very shy and introverted is going to have a hard time putting themselves out there.  Joining a group activity is probably as far as they can go.  The majority of suggestions, while well meant and helpfull for someone, may not work for you.

Men are pushed by our hormonal drives to seek sex first, with intimacy as a secondary, though vital need.  (I know my support system consists primarily of my wife.  Family men often have very little support system once they lose their wife, which leaves them vulnerable to a host of problems).

Men are visually oriented.  That's just how we are made, don't rant about how shallow we are, accept reality because we are unlikely to change.  We also tend to seek younger women, all other things being equal.  This means that as a woman gets older, her market share dwindles.  Part of this is because there are simply fewer men of her age (men die in far greater numbers all the way through youth and adulthood).  Many of those older men are available because they have serious flaws.  

At the same time, both women and men who are on the market later in life often have some serious emotional scar tissue, which can make them less desirable.

All of this argues for taking it slow, developing friendships and getting to know each other, finding out where the land mines are.  This might be easier when you've got a few years under your belt, because you've both seen lots of results of hasty decisions in this area, and hopefully, you've become a little more comfortable with who you are.  

If you have children and are looking for a new spouse, you've added a whole extra layer of complexity to the situation.  It's hard for 2 people to figure it out, each added person makes the mix more complex (which is my primary philosophical objection to the idea of polygamy or polyandry).  Not that it can't be done, but it get's harder, with split loyalties between new spouse and children, possible resentments, etc.  

The end result, in my mind is that each person will have to find out what works for them.  The internet is an option, but it doesn't allow you to check the personal chemistry, which in my mind is really important.

Even after a long courtship, when you finally marry there will be some surprises.  Marriage is actually when things start, not the end goal.  I thought I loved my wife when I married her.  I probably did, a little, but there was a lot of rampant weasel monkey lust in there as well as a whole stew of emotional uncertainties.  Once we were married and things settled down a bit, we had to learn to love each other.  Love is an action word, and a decision to put the other person first, more than it is a mere fleeting emotion.

There is nothing wrong with looking at the other person and seeing if they will meet your needs.  Hopefully they are evaluating you also.  Be realistic though.  

Don't marry a fixer upper, thinking with a few coat of paint and a new roof he'll be fine.  Especially if he's older, he probably won't change much, and he certainly won't change if you push him to.  (My wife has a friend who's husband finally joined her church after about 20 years.  She said what finally brought him around was when her minister counseled her to stop nagging the man!  She said once she stopped pushing him, things got way better and he changed of his own accord.)  I had a friend who was going through a divorce (his wife demanded it.  later it came out that she was running around on him).  He commented that men marry women hoping they never change, but they do.  Women marry men hoping they can change them, but they can't.  

Make sure you can live with the product, even without aftermarket modifications.

 
Tj Jefferson
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My best advice for ladies is to understand what maintains attraction. To me it is the classic French vive la difference. Someone who is 97% the same genome, but with completely different ways of interacting with friends and family. Beauty is all the aspects that are different- emotional intelligence, softness, deep verbal requirement- stuff like that. The stuff that provides that feminine mystique. After a short time, sheer prettiness stops being that interesting on its own. As a combo with the other attributes it is fantastic, but only in combination. Highlight those attributes and don't be ashamed of them. Yoga pants are not required.

I am not out in the middle of nowhere, but you can see it from here. I don't think it's absolutely true about the ratio being that skewed. I think ratios of "good women" to "good men" favor men in both urban and rural settings a little, but overall, there are fewer "marketable men" for a couple reasons. One is education, with more women than men getting degrees, and only wanting relationships with men with degrees. Men don't have that hangup to the same degree. Nerds don't care at all unless its a technical degree/skill. Second is moral/criminal failings, which is more to Dale's point. No loss on those after a while, but many get there out of despondency. We are turning into a quasi-polygamous culture, because successful men are not expected to settle down (quite the opposite), and the only way to break into that "high value" group is often criminal for someone without the social skills or education.   And yes the really ambitious young men flee the small towns, but so do the ambitious women around here.

One place that no one has mentioned for pretty decent guys is around military bases. If you don't have a moral issue with it, most are not criminal, and the amount of available women is tiny. Veterans organizations possibly too. We lived near a base and women had tremendous selections.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Roberto, from my experience, a lot of guys lie about their height (whether it's to themselves and others or just to others, I'm not always sure) and it's worse on dating sites.  



Jan is right that a lot of the physical stuff is flexible for a lot of us women.  They aren't as often the deal breakers.

 Ok.  I'll definitely keep that in mind if I decide to market myself online again.  :)  

I think that there has been some excellent advice in this thread today.  

I particularly liked what Mike Fisch said here:  

He commented that men marry women hoping they never change, but they do.  Women marry men hoping they can change them, but they can't.

 

I'm guilty of the former and have been on the receiving end of the latter.  I highly recommend avoiding such unnecessary complexities.

This is great insight and advice from TJ Jefferson:  

First, there is no point meeting men if you don’t know why you are interested in it. Don’t do it because it is the time of your life or because of social pressure. Please don’t do it because you are interested in children, because hopefully the relationship will last longer than that phase. And kids know if that is the only glue… Be honest with your motivation. Are you doing it because you are looking for companionship, physical or financial security, emotional and physical intimacy? What are the main drivers for you?  



And this one, also from TJ:  

A better plan in my opinion is to see what needs to be modified in your own life to attract the type of person that would complement you. If there are emotional scars in your past, it is a TERRIBLE idea to combine the role of counselor and lover. I have been there- not good at all. Find someone who can provide that role separately. And recognize we are 100% damaged goods, none of us make it without scars. Someone looking for an undamaged past is looney. Just the two functions need to be separate.

 Doing the work on yourself is the best thing that you can do (do not expect that you will have positive results trying to work on someone else, and do not, ever, put yourself in the place of a counselor within your relationship).  Yes, we are all damaged, and no, it's not your job to be a psychologist or counselor. for your mate.  You can be wise counsel, but not a counselor.  It takes a strong relationship to do it, but suggesting that there are serious issues that need dealing with for the relationship to continue to grow and survive, and then also suggesting that seeking a counselor is really the only way to do that, is a big but very necessary step sometimes.  That is all that you can do.  It's up to the other person to seek and find the right counsel and to do the work necessary to make your relationship work.  

If you have done your own work on yourself, and your partner has no further ideas on things you need to do to help the relationship then, really it's up to your partner to figure out what's going on for them, based on your advice.  If they aren't willing or able to figure any of that out or do the work, then you have to parachute for your own safety.  

I have been in the situation of being involved with someone for many years who was deeply emotionally scarred from early life trauma, and she was unwilling, at that time, to seek the proper counseling, even though I had extended health/counseling coverage through my work that she could access.  During this time, we did seek couples counseling, and I had individual counseling, but she refused to carry on with her own individual counseling after she reached the wall that she'd built around her trauma and the couples counseling also fizzled out.  Just initiating the process was just too big of a hurdle for her to leap at that time, and I just couldn't live in the chaos that such a situation posed any time the stressors rose up.  I was expected by her to be there for her to the point of being put in the place of her abuser while she was a non-functional/uncommunicative/near-catatonic mess.  This never happened in front of anyone else.  With the help of my counselor, I left.  This was very difficult for me to decide to do.  She had three kids, was in a very difficult school, she was going through a lengthy and difficult divorce and custody battle, had land to pay for elsewhere, and we were living together in a relatively low-income situation in the city with me primarily supporting the lot.  The shiny side of this is that the next guy that she was with did not have to deal with her going to heavy duty schooling, the divorce, or most of the children.  Her schooling paid off with a career, she had the land paid off, and things were a lot more secure for her on pretty much every front.  So there was an opening up in her world that was simply not available when all those other stressors were present and I was involved.  She did seek counseling and get some medication to help her.  They are married now for nearly 5 years.  She is much happier, and I am too, both for her, and for myself.

Sorry this isn't really about meeting people...  but when you do get really involved with someone, and your guards begin to drop and you relax into the play of the relationship, sometimes the dragons appear.  Sometimes this is seemingly out of nowhere.   Beware.  There be dragons.  Some of them are less dangerous and some are more dangerous.  But...  Know how to deal with dragons.

Back to the TJ quote, I would stress that doing the work on yourself-to the ends of modifying your own life towards becoming the person that you really want to be-is really the best way to generate attraction.
 
Nicole Alderman
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My husband once told me that if I had met him a few years before I did, he wouldn't have been ready for a relationship. He was a mess--homeless, drunk, lost in a spiral of bad choices. But, he realized he was a mess and didn't look for a relationship until he'd fixed himself. He started keeping fish. It was baby steps to being more responsible. He figured if he couldn't care for fish, he shouldn't be in a relationship.

Anyway, like Roberto and TJ said, don't get in a relationship with someone who desperately needs to fix themselves. Let them fix themselves first. Maybe in a few years, they'll be a better person, like my husband became. Maybe then you can start a relationship, or maybe you'll both find other people by then. But, if you tie yourself to them while they're still a mess, you won't really be able to help them, and your relationship will be full of strife and hardship as you try to fix them.

Of course, we're all a little messed up. None of us are perfect. It's important to figure out what "too messed up" is, and be understanding of imperfections that just aren't that important.
 
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Not adding much to the debate, just dropped in to say - this thread is magnificent, thank you everybody.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Divided loyalties. That's a big one for me and the main reason that I was not looking for a woman with children. If she has children and she is a good mother, her first loyalty will always be to those children. And she will always be attached to the father of those children in some way.

I really like kids, but I am not willing to enter a personal relationship, where I help to raise another man's children. A statement like that is poison, absolute poison with some women, even if they don't have children. Just the idea that I would think it is bad enough for them.

I didn't decide on this one until fairly recently. When I started looking at the foreign dating sites, I decided to investigate what would happen if there were children. And it turns out that many of these women lie about the death of the father of these children. So you could end up with a situation where children have been transported Halfway Around the World, when they have a father who may still want to be part of their lives. So, to me, the whole thing seems quite unethical, with some and just terribly impractical with others.

I think it's quite a bit different if the children are grown or if they are older teenagers, who already have whatever relationship they are going to have, with their father. My issue is when very young children are brought into the mix. There have been many times when I would have considered it, but my main reason now is because of the large distances.

I think the number one thing that women with children must do, is to see if the guy is interested in the whole package. Is he just tolerating the children, or does he really like them? Could he be a pedophile? I guess that's the biggest fear that anyone would have, going into something like that.

I have a brother who has a stepson that he is really tight with. They are like two peas in a pod. He constantly sings the praises of this little guy. Whenever my brother and his wife argue, the little boy wants to join in on my brother's side, because it's a girls against the boys thing for him.

I think if there are kids, they need to be incorporated into a hundred different family outings and dates, to make sure that everybody is more than okay with it.

I had a girlfriend a few years ago who has a son. She's incredibly irritating, but it's always a pleasant surprise when I bump into him. It's the same with the grown daughter of a different ex. Her mother irritates me to no end, but I'm like the all-knowing uncle to her. She calls me if there's a problem with the garburator or if she's looking to hire someone with a truck or for any number of little things. We talked about her mother's drinking, which wasn't something she did when I first met her. She was on the wagon and didn't tell me about it.

So, offspring don't always have to be a problem. But they do complicate things. In both of these situations where I was dealing with women who were difficult, their children would pick sides and the mothers didn't like being ganged up on in this way. When a woman and her children gang up on a man who is not related, he usually just makes a run for it, because it's generally a hopeless situation.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think I'm mixing up the two very similar threads. I guess my last post could be in either one.

I know a woman who is very insightful when it comes to analyzing how people behave. She questioned me about my relationships with a few different women. After going over several situations, she said that women come in a few different categories for me.

These categories are
1. Bitches

2. The ones who are messed up

3. Nice, normal women.

The problem of course is that there's an oversupply of the first two types who are available at my age, and an undersupply of the latter. She told me that I have to find a way to make myself more attractive to the nice normal women. There's always going to be many more of the first two types, on the market. The nice ones often disappear and don't find themselves single again until they are 75 and their husband dies.

So, for me this whole thing about there being a shortage of men, doesn't seem quite accurate, if we subtract the first two types of women from my list. Remember I'm the one making the list, so I decide who goes into each slot.

So, for me, it's necessary to do whatever is needed so that I can attract one of the nice normal women. And for women, no matter who you were interested in, it would probably benefit you to be seen as a category three girl. If that's not reflective of Who You Are, it may be necessary to fake it till you make it.

My ex-wife was incredibly bitchy, even when we were teenagers, so it's not like I was tricked in any way. I can't really blame her at all. But my mom was far far more bitchy with my dad, so I guess I was raised with the idea that this was to be expected, and not so much a matter of anything that either me or dad did, but just a function of who we were with. Dad was incredibly stoic about it. He got married at a time when everybody married for life, and he fully accepted that he had made his own bed, and it was his fault that he had to listen to this constant barrage of complaints. :-) I got divorced. Different times.
 
Mick Fisch
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Back when I was single, my sister and I ran in the same crowd for a while.  One day she commented on how there were way more girls in the group than guys.  I protested, we lived in Alaska afterall and I knew there were way more guys in the group.  Upon discussing it, it became apparent that she was counting all of the gals (keeping track of the competition), but was not even counting about 90% of the guys because, in her evaluation, they were 'nonstarters'.  It became also became apparent that the ratio was not as skewed as I thought, because I was doing the same thing from the guy side.  So, everyone complains the odds are bad.  It may be true, but you are only looking for one person, and, as the carnival barker say, "You can't win if you never play the game".  But not everyone needs to play the same game though.  So, if you aren't the rich, beautiful, witty person careening through life in your lamborghini as is portrayed in the media (like the rest of the 99.9% of us), you just need to figure out how you can get in there.  What are your strong points?  What do you like to do?  

I have 3 unmarried daughters who are all completely different, ranging from 1 who is painfully shy, 1 who keeps asking the guys out and can't figure out why they aren't chasing her (they can't, she's chasing them), and 1 who is somewhere in the middle, who isn't ready to jump into the market yet.  All are pretty, funny (hilarious actually) each is smart in their own way, yet each is having their problems.  It's painful to watch.  I'm sure it was painful to see me going through it.  Truth be told, it sucketh greatly!  
 
Dale Hodgins
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I couldn't be more pleased with the young man that my daughter is engaged to. They were both teaching English as a second language in Korea when they met. When they came back, she became a teacher, but he had to upgrade his skills because he's never had a teacher's degree. So he spent about 45,000 of his savings and upgraded his computer skills. His income went from about 40,000 a year to 100,000 American. It's been a year and she tells me that neither one of them have experienced any lifestyle creep. Meaning that neither of them have increased their spending. She was worried that he might go wild spending money, since he had never had a really good income before. Once they are living together in the same place, they should be able to bank somewhere between 60 and 70% of their incomes. They will get a better car at some point because his is falling apart and she has none. But neither have a taste for fancy sports cars or any of that nonsense.

Both daughters have lists of requirements that disqualify almost any young man that might be interested in them. Being in the military is very close to the top of that list, mostly because of the whoremongering that goes on and that it's often guys who joined because they have run out of options. I think it's probably different in different parts of the country and the world. In some countries, I'm sure that girls in certain socioeconomic circumstances, might view military guys in an entirely different light.

They've also got strong bias against body art. And the guys who have produced children, particularly if with more than one partner, are not even considered.

Drug use of any kind, including marijuana which is legal here in Canada, is a disqualifier. Heavy drinking, mental disorders and obesity, round out the list.

Both of them have a strong bias against fixer uppers. They expect him to be completely grown up, financially responsible and without vices. It all seems reasonable to me. On occasion, friends have tried to set them up with guys that they considered major losers. They've never gone for any of those setups.

Fot both of them it is simple. They are smart, fit and healthy, with decent careers, and they expect the same.
 
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Mark Tudor wrote:- You aren't going to "fix" or "tame" another person, especially someone from your past. Ever catch yourself saying "they'd be great if they only changed A, B, C, and D... if they love me, they will change", or you meet someone new that has the same issues as someone from your past, and you date the new person thinking "this time it will be different, proving it wasn't my fault the last relationship failed"?

Dating people who all have the same issues is usually an attempt to resolve such a past issue.



This can be resolved by somatic personal work.
Just because wanting to resolve the past is an autonomic nervous system (ANS) feature. We all do this for everything, not only relationships. Repeatition is a sign of having to look for what is stuck in the ANS, and this is not accessible through pure cognitive work at all. The ANS got stuck on fight flight or freeze mode for one point of the story, and it can be tricky to find which exact point...

The ANS is wired to want to get the opportunity to "do what I could not". In accidents it is usually a movement, and in relationships it is often about saying something, or behaving differently. it can also be a suck defense movement if something bad happened.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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elle sagenev wrote:You'll never be happy with anyone until you are happy with and love yourself.



This is often said so... but we are a social species, so if we are single, we have to keep the necessary social relationships in any other way than a couple.

I think the main bad reason to be in  relationship, is to get our necessary "social engagement" needs...
(check the polyvagal theory from Stephen Porges)

....which unfortunately means that our society fails to provide the necessary, and thus pushes people into relationships to fulfill this healthy need.
 
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:You'll never be happy with anyone until you are happy with and love yourself.



This is often said so... but we are a social species, so if we are single, we have to keep the necessary social relationships in any other way than a couple.

I think the main bad reason to be in  relationship, is to get our necessary "social engagement" needs...
(check the polyvagal theory from Stephen Porges)

....which unfortunately means that our society fails to provide the necessary, and thus pushes people into relationships to fulfill this healthy need.



Hey man, not arguing that. I'm the black sheep in the family in that I have always had high self esteem and self worth. Something my  mother, who is the opposite, never understood and kind of berated me for sometimes. So society doesn't get it and I get that.

I just know that of my family and of all the people we've met and know, very few are in happy relationships. When I look at why that is it's just because they're looking for fulfillment in someone else and you aren't going to find that. You have to be good with you first. Easy to say, hard to do.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Taking themselves off the market for a long time, because of something bad that happened. I know a woman who had an unhappy breakup when she was 22. She went out on her next date when she was 45. And and now she constantly laments that she never had children and much of life passed her by, while she was licking her wounds.



Yes, trauma work is not only for war veterans...
And it can be done much quicker through any somatic method, also called bottom up methods, because they tackle the nervous system in the order of their ancienty in us. The ANS was first, then limbic, and last is the cortex. Top down methods start with understanding and talking about the story, which can make you understand and still not be able to change anything.... when we do not considere the story but what got stuck in the ANS (autonomic nervous system), then we can unblock the nervous system. In particular we need to finish all the defensive responses we could not have, before we can stop to be triggered by all that might look like "it is going to happen again". This is a normal reaction, and over-riding those reactions with our powerful cortex is a big little known mistake! And sometimes we cannot over-ride anyway... What can take years to self-regulate, can take very little time when we can find a safe place to re-negotiate whatever was left into our ANS.

This is a major work to do, and should be socially encouraged, and this is not even psychotherapy at all. Animals all do this when they get any type of accident! They let their body tremble and shake and have many reactions. If you have animals or even pets like dogs, what they do is very visible, that is why they are big helps for healing. Actually, we can do this among humans. Safety is essential. And even when you are safe, what counts is to FEEL safe, and no cortex argument will make you feel safe when your ANS does not!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Jan White wrote:This situation you describe, along with your feelings about it, and the fact that you keep talking about fear really makes me think that what you're talking about is social anxiety.  That's definitely something you can work on, and it sounds like you've come a long way with it.

Introversion isn't about fear.  It's an innate trait, and trying to be extroverted when you're an introvert just wouldn't be healthy.  You can be introverted and socially anxious (and so many people have social anxiety that it's probably really common), but they're two different things.



Even if you are sure that introversion isn't about fear, there is the possibility that there is something about a type of fear though... Fear is good and protective, and also, not all fear are felt. I am an introvert, not a big one but still... and I remember being immune to both fear and anger. I was just not enough in contact with needed defensive responses! Fear is usually not the best word, and I would rather talk about "reaction to a lack of safety". Some  people can react to an unsafe situation by being extrovert too. Extroversion is just another choice of behaviour, by our organic intelligence, and it is driven by the ANS (autonomic nervous system), for those who want to enquire further! This system is driving all other systems in the body, and still, it is pretty much overlooked and unknown...

Regulating our emotions is different from changing who we are, and there is no need to change from one side to the other. We are all either more on the side of the sympathetic activating system or the side of the para-sympathetic system. Brake or accelerator... introvert or extrovert. Even when it is not innate, there is no problem and no pressure to change it. After all, if we are permies, we try to work with nature don't we? We cannot skip this important system. We are mammals and we also still have features from ancient fish, and we also obey some rules as all species. I will not say more because a post will not do justice to what needs a book... The pocket guide to the polyvagal theory is a good one, by Stephen Porges (and in science, theory does not mean hypothesis. He is very estimated. He also created an audio program to improve auditive hypersensitivities and is speaking in favor of changes to make hospitals / medical care less challenging).

What comes out since a few years, is that all that has to do with "social engagement" has to do with the way our body manages our vagus nerve. It happens that Porges was the one who discovered that the ventral branch of the vagus innerves the face, is responsible for having and reading social cues, and regulating our heart (faster on inhale, slower on exhale, the more variation the better). This branch fully myelinate around 6 months of age. All that happen since conception, to us and/or our mother, will participate in shaping us without us knowing it, and creates the wonderful differences between humans! This can make us think twice about what means innate, as those early experiences are known to even modify the expression of our genes. This expression has even been found to be reversible at any moment of life. It is not cognitive but physiologic.

This system regulates itself all the time even if we do not know it, and it is the same system that takes care of our health (thus his voice about care in medical system). So it can be a good idea to regulate its pendulation between activity and rest, and in no way as Jan said, in no way it can be healthy to force a change. We do change but it is spontaneous when we do. I would not mean that we do not need to find ways to feel better and be comfortable with our type! The difference between introversion and social anxiety has to do with the % of the different branches of the ANS that are involved at this moment.
 
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The way I hear this, the discussion is describing a lack of profesional expertise.

Matchmaker

   The Matchmaker, and there are male and female versions, has to be.

Men are Society.

Women are Culture.

 The primary roll of the Matchmaker is the continuation of the society,
without disturbing the culture.  
Efficiently use all breeders, points are added if they are happy.
Most societies, up till the 1920's, were mostly homogeneous.
The job of the Matchmaker was not easy, but it was only dealing with 5 to 10 variables in lifestyle of the individuals.
The men worked in the mine, or farmed.
The women took care of the home.
One person in a hundred had other options.

Today, people try to get together, using criteria of their own choosing.
Criteria that they self analyze, and compare to someone else's self analysis.
It has always been that way on the person to person level.

The Matchmaker adds a third professional insight, without the personal bias.

So the Permie society needs a Matchmaker service.
Bene Gesserit training would be very helpful in this profession.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Bene Gesserit training would be very helpful in this profession.

 Perhaps.  The Dune reference does not go unnoticed, but the idea of a secret society of manipulative kung fu witches in charge of my partner choice does not make me feel like my own heart's desire would be respected.  Certainly, it was not the case with Dune's main character.  
 
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I guess I'm a total weirdo for finding shortness attractive in guys, in addition to all the other reasons I'm a total weirdo.
I'm so short I don't actually notice how tall other people are, they're all just taller than me. I guess it's easier to see and read someone's facial expression if they're not towering above me like the clouds, and I'm so bad at reading social cues and body language that every little bit of help counts.

Maybe a big part of my problem is I actually resent my biological urges bigtime. I wish I could just fill a kiddie pool with water, spew some eggs in it and get a healthy fella to fertilize them. I get so emotionally attached to people so (inappropriately) quickly that I lose all perspective, and my dad is the awesomest guy ever as far as what you'd want in a dad if you don't mind working on his car for him since he can't do that. He's super smart, adores us kids and is goofy and would never hurt anybody. It was really, really, really hard for me to get it through my thick skull that there are actually people out there who don't mind hurting someone to take advantage, because it's alien to how I was raised. So when I learned that through experience, it took a few rounds for me to comprehend.
It's hard for me to feel like there's a guy out there who will be able to relate to me and understand me and vis versa on the same level that me and my dad do, and so far my relationships have been with guys who are more like my mom rather than my dad. I relate better to my dad than I do to my mom.
When I was little, I played with boys. The other girls thought I was gross because I just wanted to play in the mud and I didn't like talking. Eventually, the boys didn't want to play with me anymore because I was a girl, and the girls didn't want to play with me because I wasn't like them. I didn't really care because it was almost as much fun to play in the mud alone, as it was with others.
So. Ages 7-15 literally no one touched me, because I didn't let people hug me etc. Age 15 I was clinically psychotic, maybe because no one touched me? My only early childhood trauma was almost dying from asthma a few times, which generally doesn't produce severe depressive and psychotic conditions later in life. My ideas about sex during my formative years were extremely violent, because my mother was abused and was overprotective of me and taught me to be fearful, and because I was reading stuff like H.P. Lovecraft and watching NCISUV Miami all the time. I believe this is referred to as "murderporn" in some adult cartoon.
Now I have a hard time combining sexuality and affection because I didn't associate them with each other when I went through puberty, and in fact kind of made them mutually exclusive in my psycho teen brain.
I think that first I need to heal this somehow, it's just so damn hard to resist the biological urge to try to lure men to my spawn-pool.
I also need to learn to SLOW THE F*** DOWN and not get super lovey dovey attached to someone within 2 hours of meeting them.
I also need to learn how to open up to people without handing them all my puppet strings. Right now it's kind of system lock-down, nothing's getting in.

Okay, enough crazybabble.
To me the only criteria I'm really maintaining are 1) that I can imagine making out with that person without wanting to barf, 2) that they are close to me on the religious spectrum, 3) that they have similar ethics/morals/values to me and 4) that they're interested in leading a similar lifestyle to me. Basically so that we could be together without requiring each other to change in ways that conflict with who we are as human beings.
I also mostly rule out guys with kids, for a few reasons. I don't have any and I don't know what it's like to be a parent, which makes me feel like a non-peer to parents. I don't want to deal with a woman from his past. I don't want responsibility for a child that developed his/her behavior patterns without my input, where my input would be inappropriate and unwelcome. The emotions I have towards children tend to be overwhelming and paralyzing as my ovaries demand I pluck the very feathers from my breast to build a nest for them while my mind, which could hardly relate to other children when I was one, wants to flee from them. So energetic. I don't have that kind of energy. I have like.... turtle energy. Not chihuahua energy.

Sorry for that ramblefest. My condolences to anyone who managed to actually read it. Needed to purge-typings.

I did notice talk about the introverty thing, where introversion|extroversion are not technically opposites. There are people who are energized from lots of shallow interaction, people who are energized from a little bit of deep interaction, and all different combinations I guess.
I think my own social anxiety is most intense in situations where ritual behavior rather than creative interaction are relied on, where the particular ritual behaviors that will be required is unpredictable. Dealing with a complex group (bunch of strangers) where you will be required to meet expectations by performing according to custom is extremely difficult if you're not particularly intuitive or aware of social behavior. In America we have a mixture of cultures and everybody has their own idea of what's the right or wrong way to act, what to say etc. in a given situation. Some women like it if you hold the door, especially if they're carrying stuff, older, or have kids. Some women are insulted. Some guys get angry when they call you boo and you don't holler back. Some people ask "how are you?" wanting an actual answer, and some just want a ritual "fine thanks, you?" and when you don't know what you're up against, or what ritual phrases and gestures are gonna be directed towards you from whom, it's hard to be prepared, especially when there's not a clear formula to follow.
So. I like long walks back behind the dumpsters, and deep philosophical conversation that's not debate oriented. Saying "hi, how are you?" stresses me the hell out.

I used to be really open to the arranged marriage thing, but then I eloped with a stranger and it went real bad. The end.
 
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That was a good story Sarah. No stone unturned.
 
Sarah Koster
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Thank you, Dale. I appreciate your use of ritual language and attempt to respond with appropriate ritual language.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hi Sarah:  

1) that I can imagine making out with that person without wanting to barf,

 I actually burst out laughing when I read that!  Much better than needing to be absolutely in love with the way the person looks, which is how most people seem to operate.  More realistic and saner.  Good for you.

I also mostly rule out guys with kids, for a few reasons. I don't have any and I don't know what it's like to be a parent, which makes me feel like a non-peer to parents.

 It can be very tricky.  I don't have kids, but I've co-parented with my partners who have had kids. It's not easy, but it can be done.  I think you would do fine as a mother of someone else's children, if you chose to do that; you have your relationship with your father as the foundation for how you know in your heart a child needs to be treated.  That's gold.  Not saying you should go against your instincts and gut feelings on that, I'd just say, that you have as much foundation for motherhood right there then many who take the plunge.    

I probably shouldn't to tell you what you should do, Sarah, but when I read this:  

I also need to learn to SLOW THE F*** DOWN and not get super lovey dovey attached to someone within 2 hours of meeting them.
I also need to learn how to open up to people without handing them all my puppet strings. Right now it's kind of system lock-down, nothing's getting in.

 I Just need to say, from my perspective, you should focus on this.  Get yourself solid about this, and you will have a foundation that you can stand on.  You will gain strength from knowing that you are in control of yourself and that will correlate to control in the situations that you are in.      
 
Mick Fisch
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I also need to learn to SLOW THE F*** DOWN and not get super lovey dovey attached to someone within 2 hours of meeting them.  



I have a daughter with this problem.  I think the source for her problem is that she is very decisive and observes, evaluates and comes to a decision far quicker than most people do.  (She and one of my sons are a lot alike, they are very smart, observant, decisive people with a lot of confidence in their decisions.  The problem is their decisions are only right 90% of the time.  That 10% wrong can be very bad if you stubbornly refuse to let go of the live wire.).  Anyway, she falls hard and fast and then starts chasing the guy, who usually responds by running away, because he's not there yet.  In her case, she's a total babe, with tomboy tendencies (that is an interesting word, tomboy), she's smart and funny also, so it's not her appearance or anything, it's mainly that she rushes things way too fast.

One piece of advice I gave my boys, which they agreed later was good, was "ask the girl out as soon as you start to like her".  If she's still trying to decide if she even likes you and you're already picking out you're babies names, it puts a huge amount of pressure on the girl and she'll probably scurry away.  The start of a relationship has to be relatively even in terms of commitment and caring.  The one who is least invested has all the power in the relationship.

The same advice goes for the girls.  Nowadays I hear that the girls can ask the guys out.  If you're going to do that, keep it light and easy.  To do that, ask when you first become interested but BEFORE you're head over heels in love, wild monkey lust, or whatever you choose to call it.  That way you can explore and discover together rather than you being the impatient tour guide, always trying to hurry the other on to the next step.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Except when I was married 25 years ago, I have always been the one with the least invested in the relationship, and I've enjoyed the power that that equals. The problem with that is that you end up listening to a lot of complaints, when they figure that out. Many women will say that they are happy keeping it light. But give that a year or two, and it often changes. Then you deal with anger and accusation.

So I've accepted that most women aren't built that way and that's a big part of why I've gone shopping for one that I could see myself staying with. I don't know that I was ever built that way, but I wasn't seeking suitable partners. In fact I would purposely involve myself in something that I knew had an expiration date. Safer that way. I think maybe because my ex-wife tromped all over my heart and ego. So I took the safe route and pursued those who for one reason or another, didn't match what I would be looking for in a long-term partner.
 
elle sagenev
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Except when I was married 25 years ago, I have always been the one with the least invested in the relationship, and I've enjoyed the power that that equals. The problem with that is that you end up listening to a lot of complaints, when they figure that out. Many women will say that they are happy keeping it light. But give that a year or two, and it often changes. Then you deal with anger and accusation.



Gotta say Dale, the fact that you enjoy power from being less invested would be a red flag for me. A pretty big one.
 
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Sarah, you have mentionned so many things that have to do with the vagus nerve that I need to mention it! This nerve can be stimulated and there are articles popping up with tips.

Also wanted to say that this matches also for me....
"It was really, really, really hard for me to get it through my thick skull that there are actually people out there who don't mind hurting someone to take advantage, because it's alien to how I was raised. So when I learned that through experience, it took a few rounds for me to comprehend." I used to say that my parents did not prepare me properly about life!


Sarah Koster wrote: I guess it's easier to see and read someone's facial expression if they're not towering above me like the clouds, and I'm so bad at reading social cues and body language that every little bit of help counts.

Ages 7-15 literally no one touched me, because I didn't let people hug me etc. Age 15 I was clinically psychotic, maybe because no one touched me?

My only early childhood trauma was almost dying from asthma a few times

get super lovey dovey attached to someone within 2 hours of meeting them.

I think my own social anxiety is most intense in situations where ritual behavior rather than creative interaction are relied on, where the particular ritual behaviors that will be required is unpredictable.

In America we have a mixture of cultures and everybody has their own idea of what's the right or wrong way to act, what to say etc. in a given situation.

when you don't know what you're up against, or what ritual phrases and gestures are gonna be directed towards you from whom, it's hard to be prepared, especially when there's not a clear formula to follow.



Following your points:
- Facial expressions and reading them is developped by the ventral branch of the vagus nerve, the one that is fully ready not before 6 months of age.
- Yes, touch is very important for the social wire of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) Singing with other people or even alone is helpful when touch is not available or does not feel good for any reason.
- Asthma has a lot to do with the vagus nerve as well.
+ almost dying is a big experience when we know how much we need safety! Having familly support helps to really feel we are fully back to life and celebrate it! You might actually have had very good souvenir of noticing the love of your parents through their reaction to your asthma attacks...
- It seems that your inner wise show you that being attached is very welcome! It is a deep fundamental for us mammals to feel safe, just look at animals like puppies piling up... Look at videos of otters and tell me if you can resist not melting, or if you want to reincarnate as one!
- The ability to feel what is socially needed is also a capacity of the vagus, and again the ventral branch. I laughed when I learned I was wrong to think that other children had learned it and I had not! It is not cognitive, though some learning can replace and help if we do not have the feeling.
Our sense of inner safety needs to get some social cues, and I fully agree that we live in a world that makes it more difficult than in a culture where we seldom meet strangers. It is for sure very safe to count on people we know since birth or since their birth... I do not live in my culture, and I can see that it makes it difficult for me. At the same time, as I am not very good at trusting my instinct about social cues, I know I can use my being a foreigner as an excuse!!! Actually, I can read cues, but I am hesitant to trust them and I need to check out.
 
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I love this topic pops up. <GG> Good place Permies is. <g>

Judging from my own relationships...

- Don't lie to yourself. Don't put yourself in positions where you are _going_ to lie to yourself. You have to able to walk away any time. Like now. A matador that isn't ready to die _will_ die because his decision making and perceptions are not able to cope with a reality he's spending so much energy denying. This is truly one of the hardest things because most of us are pretty needy. All I can say us use crutches, help from friends, bring a chaperon, whatever. It's the dilemma - we can't stand still but we're not ready.

- This is almost always true. Do things in small steps. Little, conventional steps. Coffee. Dance(?). Meet again "by chance". Movie(?). Whatever. Build the relationship step by step using dirt plain conventional building blocks that you _both_ understand. No one thing makes or breaks, it just adds up. You can back out, cut short, say no to any of the small steps w/out trashing the (potential) relationship.

- Most men need to "buy-in". We need to make a commitment that means something to us. Most men have a _real_ hard time finding a way to do that because we are such habitual liars, cowards and hypocrites. It can take many forms, and the woman cannot force it or extract it. A small but real example is the guys along the wall goosing themselves into asking one of the girls on the other wall to dance. The guy has to find a way to do it and the girl better wait or move on because anything else doesn't offer much future.

- (for most people) Don't sleep with men for quite a long time. Sorry. Sex is easy, bodies are wonderfully accommodating. Hearts/minds not so much - takes much more working around to find the dance steps emotionally. But sex is quick and once you're intimate and it's anything better than horrible, your body starts to adjust and become addicted. Separating a good physical union is much more than just a decision you can make and execute - something very basic in persons gets torn. I guess there are some people like alley cats where sex doesn't mean more than good fun - but... I wouldn't bet anything on finding them when you want.

- if the guy takes over your life purposefully (timewise and other ways) quit. Instantly. Nuke him. Ditto if he effectively separates you from your friends. It's NOT an accident. It's totally and utterly BAD.

- Don't lie to yourself. What you saw happened and probably means just about what you fear most it means. Don't lie to yourself. Do something about it now and maybe two strong people can fight it out and reach a Place. Or not. Be OK with the "not".

- Don't give up your life. Draw your lines and let the guy _know_ you will kill, literally, maybe, defending them. It's important that us guys understand that you MEAN it and often it seems there is nothing but rock in our heads so getting the concept across and making it stick can get very bloody. Fight now, not later. It's much worse later. You need to train each other. There is no shame in that but nice politically correct people today seem to shy away from that idea. It is your responsibility to draw you lines and let the oaf know that this or that isn't going to happen this life. And he has the same problem, but we're talking about girls here... If you don't have _real_ _serious_ fights the chances are very good that somebody or both is twisting themselves out of shape in bad ways. Fight now, not later.

- Don't lie. Not ever. If you can't talk, shut up and take the grief. But don't lie. When you lie you cripple your ability to believe yourself and that's bad. Don't lie. Don't lie. Get it?

Yes, I'm very firm about these beliefs. I learned all this stuff and proved it the hard way.

Did I say "Don't Lie"?  If you're tempted to white lies, read the old book titled "The Red Pony" by Steinbeck. It's a very short book, but it helps understand the cost of nicey-nice words, and the buy-out price.


Regards
Rufus
 
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